psychguy2022 Posted August 31, 2020 Share Posted August 31, 2020 I am a graduated BS in Psychology who is having trouble distinguishing what schools are actually attainable. I am planning to apply in the Fall of 2021 to clinical psychology PhD programs. I have asked the graduate students in my current lab this question, but this is such a nice way to get thoughts from other grad students who have successfully done the thing. About me: I attended a well-known R1 university in the midwest where I aided in research as an undergraduate RA for 3 years in 2 different labs (one running clinical trials in endocrinology, and later on I was in a developmental cognitive neuroscience lab - the latter sparked my interest in clinical psych). My senior year, I completed a project that allowed for me to travel to a large international conference for a poster presentation. I presented this again later in the year at our school's undergraduate forum and placed 3rd out of several hundred undergraduates. Separately, I received an award for this project. I now work as an RA at a fairly prestigious school in Chicago. I am currently listed as 5th author on a paper that is in submission, and I've already taken the lead on a small pilot project that I expect to turn into a poster at the very least, and with some work, a paper in which I could be first author. I have secured at least 2 very solid letters of recommendation and have a few people in mind for who could be a third. I have strong leadership roles from undergrad and a two others that I've recently taken up in my community. Academically, I had a rough first 2 years of school. I came in thinking I knew what I wanted to do, and quickly realized I did not. While everyone around me seemed to love and fit perfectly into what they were studying, it became that much harder to focus on schoolwork and find my passion. I haven't yet decided how I will be framing this in my personal statement's but I am aware of the things to avoid (i.e., mental health difficulties and other clichés). Once I started studying psychology and joined the neuro lab I was in, things turned around completely. Though, as a result of the more-than-rocky start, my cumulative gpa is a 3.15, and major (psych) gpa is 3.66. In my last 60 credits (2 years) my overall gpa is a 3.76 and psych gpa in that same time frame is a 3.88. My gpa is by far my biggest hinderance (at least in my eyes), and I don't yet have a GRE score but I am quite confident I can meet both math and verbal requirements for ~95% of schools. I am currently enrolled in a post-bacc certificate program at the school I work for in an attempt to show that I am continuing to educate myself and succeed academically. I've received an A in my first class and have 3 to go. What do you think? Is there more I could be doing? I know how competitive things can be. This is what I want to do and I know if I have to apply a few times, I will. I just don't have a firm grasp of what things might be like when I take a swing at some of the schools I really would like to do research at. Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this, it's beyond appreciated! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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