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Red flag? Program gives you ~1 week to make decision when you were never on the waitlist.


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Hi everyone!

I would appreciate any thoughts or recommendations:


A school I applied for had their interviews in mid-late March and said I should expect to hear back in early April. I still haven't heard back, however I am expecting to get in. This would be my only Psy.D. acceptance for the year but I am worried about having to make a decision in about a week's time. To me, this is a red flag that it has taken this school so long to offer any decisions. Red flag as in that if they treat their applicants like this, how do they treat their students? A current student told me that they were given less than a week to decide last year. I've heard mixed reviews about this program which also has me worried. This school claims to be a great competitive program, but they are not as established with alumni or internship/externship sites compared to other programs in the area.

 

I was offered acceptance into a master's program at another school where I originally applied to their Psy.D. program. I was offered to attend a semester and was told that I would be guaranteed an interview at at-least 1 of their PsyD programs the following year. This was my top school but the doctorate was a combined school-clinical program (I think I prefer school psych) and the masters is only for MH counseling. This Psy.D. program is one of the top in the area and it would have been amazing to get in.

 

Also, I have great work and research experience. An average GPA. But terrible GRE scores so I really lucked out with the GRE being waived this year.

 

So what should I do? Is anyone in a similar boat?

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It's hard to give advice if we don't know the specific program. There are especially a lot of predatory PsyDs (and I say this as a PsyD student) that market themselves as competitive but actually have a horrible reputation in the field. If you aren't comfortable disclosing here, feel free to PM me. 

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It very much depends on your career goals. As you mentioned that you prefer school psych, is that your ultimate goal to work as a school psych? If that is the case and neither program provides funding, applying to specialist school psych programs may make more financial sense.

If the first program intentionally had late interviews and comes with a hefty price tag and poor reputation and student outcomes, that can be considered predatory, preying on applicants who want to get into a doctoral program seemingly without other options. However, you should know that you can always ask for more time to make a decision beyond April 15th. It is up to individual programs to grant an extension.

It is not uncommon to be offered admission to a masters program instead. While it is good to be guaranteed an interview, I would try to get some feedback on your Psy.D. application to see what you will need to work on to get accepted next year. If that is something you can address in the fall semester (e.g., more research experience, research agenda, interview skills), it may be worth a shot, and you can always apply to other programs next year. I am from a school psych program and have seen this work out and not work out (which is fine as they get a specialist degree out of it). However, if a masters in MH counseling does not get you where you want to be, you may have to reconsider. 

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4 hours ago, PsyDuck90 said:

It's hard to give advice if we don't know the specific program. There are especially a lot of predatory PsyDs (and I say this as a PsyD student) that market themselves as competitive but actually have a horrible reputation in the field. If you aren't comfortable disclosing here, feel free to PM me. 

I saw your comment and applied to one PsyD program that I have an interview for. Can I ask how you found out about which PsyDs are predatory?

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47 minutes ago, PsychMomOf2 said:

I saw your comment and applied to one PsyD program that I have an interview for. Can I ask how you found out about which PsyDs are predatory?

Usually they have large cohorts, low APA-accredited internship match stats, low EPPP pass rates, and high tuition. I think tuition is a very big thing to look at, as some PsyDs cost more than $100K+ over the course of the program, and this level of debt is just not commensurate to what psychologists make. There are also some PsyDs that aren't necessarily predatory and will provide a good education, but they will put you so far into debt that the return on investment just isn't there. Keep in mind that full funding in Clinical Psychology is the norm and not the exception. For instance, in my university-based PsyD, past everyone gets some sort of funding, whether it is an RAship, adjunct teaching, or a graduate assistantship in an administrative role (like the psych department or elsewhere on campus). Pretty much everyone gets at least half funding, if not full funding in tuition remission and pay/stipend. 

Also, it isn't common for PsyDs or PhDs to be interviewing soon, so I would be wary just based off that-are they trying to grab people desperate to get in anywhere as the application season is ending?

If you want more specific feedback, feel free to PM me if you don’t want to share the name of the school on here. 

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10 hours ago, PsyDuck90 said:

Usually they have large cohorts, low APA-accredited internship match stats, low EPPP pass rates, and high tuition. I think tuition is a very big thing to look at, as some PsyDs cost more than $100K+ over the course of the program, and this level of debt is just not commensurate to what psychologists make. There are also some PsyDs that aren't necessarily predatory and will provide a good education, but they will put you so far into debt that the return on investment just isn't there. Keep in mind that full funding in Clinical Psychology is the norm and not the exception. For instance, in my university-based PsyD, past everyone gets some sort of funding, whether it is an RAship, adjunct teaching, or a graduate assistantship in an administrative role (like the psych department or elsewhere on campus). Pretty much everyone gets at least half funding, if not full funding in tuition remission and pay/stipend. 

Also, it isn't common for PsyDs or PhDs to be interviewing soon, so I would be wary just based off that-are they trying to grab people desperate to get in anywhere as the application season is ending?

If you want more specific feedback, feel free to PM me if you don’t want to share the name of the school on here. 

Thank you for sharing this information! This is what I looked for too, but of course it worries me! I will PM you too, thank you.

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