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Reapplying to a PhD program advice

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Hi everyone!

During the 2018 application cycle for Fall 2019 admission, I applied to clinical psychology PhD programs and was interviewed by two schools. After being rejected from both schools, I decided to pursue my masters and decided to get more research experience in my field of interest. I really want to reapply to one of these programs in the upcoming cycle because the program and professor strongly match my research interests. Frankly, I also feel a lot more prepared for a doctoral program now that I was then. However, I'm not exactly sure how to approach this? Do you guys have any advice?

I think it might be a good idea to reach out and email the professor again to 1) reintroduce myself and show that I have taken steps to better prepare myself this time around and to 2) see if they're taking applicants for the upcoming cycle (especially due to the covid pandemic). But at the same time, I don't know how this will be perceived, considering I was rejected previously.

Thanks a bunch!

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I'd say you should absolutely reach out again! You can attach your updated CV and reintroduce yourself. Now that you have more research experience professors know that you can hit the ground running. I think along with a more decorated CV you can talk about how you've grown since then in your personal statement and really show how dedicated you are to your research interest and then how a doctorate will further elevate you as a researcher. Good luck!

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Hey! I initially applied during the 2017 cycle for the 2018 year, also was rejected or waitlisted by all schools. I had also applied for some master programs and when it came down between doing a psychology master program, with a research track, and a human ecology master program, with a clinical marriage and family therapy track I picked the second- as it more closely aligned to my area of research and practice interest. I applied again last cycle for PhDs, and while I initially planned to reapply to many of the same programs as well as some new ones, after networking (including reaching out through email- and definitely through conferences and with my professor's and advisors network connections as well) I actually ended up applying to completely different PIs this time around. Getting more research experience and starting to see clients let me narrow in on some specifics I wasn't really aware of before when it comes to clinical and research work. 

First, I wouldn't concern yourself with being rejected previously. PhDs are competitive.

Second, networking is important, even if it's just through email (and with the current pandemic email or other virtual connections are going to be what you mostly do). I attended in person guest lectures, conferences and went to PIs research/poster presentations and school booths, etc... I literally stalked the founder of one of my favorite therapy models, waiting for them to show up at the conference I was at, to the point that when they did show up one of their students came and got me from across the conference floor so I could meet them (and I got an invitation to apply to their program and a follow up email out of it). You likely can't do most of that, but you could watch virtual talks or read articles and books and follow up through email. You can let them know about your interest in their research/clinical work and why you are enthusiastic about applying to their program and to work with them. My second time around I got interviews for 75% of the places I applied, literally the only programs I was not invited to interview at were the ones I hadn't managed, or made the time, to network with and meet the PIs at. So take advantage of the fact that everything is virtual right now and definitely send emails. 

Third, take advantage of how you have narrowed your focus and see if there are other programs and PIs that would fit you as well or better now than when you applied two years ago. I fully expected to be applying to the same programs and PIs last year basically up until the point I started looking at them again over summer and realized that they weren't really the best fits for me/I wasn't the best fit for them anymore. 

Good luck!

Edited by PsyZei
cleaned up
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