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University of California Irvine - new clinical program


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I am really interested in applying to work with a mentor at the UCI program which has just opened applications for the first time to their new clinical program. On the website it states that the Fall 2021 cohort will "likely" graduate from an APA accredited program (they are still awaiting approval) and I was wondering how "risky" this is? It seems like it would be the case that APA accreditation would be granted - however, I have done the research and it appears super important to go to an APA accredited program which I would hate to miss out on. Does anyone know how long does this process usually takes? 

Also I see the department has other graduate programs that have been established for some time but I am interested on what others think about being one of the first graduate students in a new program?

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It’s risky. However, UC Irvine is a well respected school and I have no doubt that they’ll achieve APA accreditation. But there’s always that risk being the first cohort in a brand new program. Ultimately it’s up to you, but I personally don’t think you’ll have to worry about them not achieving accreditation. 

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The current accreditation process allows programs to be accredited, on contingency, before the first cohort of students graduate. This status is typically given within the first year after the first cohort has been admitted (i.e. probably sometime in 2021/2022). The program can only be fully accredited after the first cohort graduated, but graduating from an accredited, on contingency program means you graduate from an accredited program. There is always a risk but it is pretty low given UC Irvine's reputation and resources so I wouldn't worry about it. One aspect that a new program struggles more often is arranging/assisting in clinical experiences as they may not have established connections and it takes a lot of work to coordinate this. However, this can also be the case without a dedicated, organized DCT in established programs. 

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I'm in the second cohort of a newly established program, and it hasn't really hindered me in any way. We currently have accreditation on contingency but didn't when I started the program. Its always worth it to apply and then assess after interview day if you think its worth attending. Overall I'd say that if you make it to interview day, try to get a good grasp on how organized and prepared the DCT and faculty are in applying for accreditation. Be sure to ask questions about the process. If they appear prepared I'd think its less of a risk than you would imagine.

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14 hours ago, dr. bubbles said:

I'm in the second cohort of a newly established program, and it hasn't really hindered me in any way. We currently have accreditation on contingency but didn't when I started the program. Its always worth it to apply and then assess after interview day if you think its worth attending. Overall I'd say that if you make it to interview day, try to get a good grasp on how organized and prepared the DCT and faculty are in applying for accreditation. Be sure to ask questions about the process. If they appear prepared I'd think its less of a risk than you would imagine.

Thank you for sharing - I agree and these are all the right questions to be thinking about!

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is cool and the first I'm hearing about it! I wonder how they will decide on admissions? Probably based on their pool of applicants?

I think echoing off other people's sentiments, I would be most worried about internship matching, but I'm sure with the number of VA hospitals in California some connections are probably already in place.

Thanks for sharing! Not going to apply this cycle but it would be cool to do a PhD not to far from my hometown!

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3 hours ago, hrj_BA said:

This is cool and the first I'm hearing about it! I wonder how they will decide on admissions? Probably based on their pool of applicants?

I think echoing off other people's sentiments, I would be most worried about internship matching, but I'm sure with the number of VA hospitals in California some connections are probably already in place.

Thanks for sharing! Not going to apply this cycle but it would be cool to do a PhD not to far from my hometown!

I wonder if they will be taking student from their current programs as new cohort members for the clinical psych track - I've seen other programs note this in their Student Outcomes Data PDF. Other than that, I have to think they are going to be deciding on admissions in a relatively similar manner to any other program 

UCI is such a reputable university that I can't really foresee any issues with internship matching when the time comes, especially if they have contingent accreditation, but of course there are always possibilities of hiccups for the first cohort 

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