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USA Fall 2022 Clinical/Counseling PhD/PsyD


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Hi all,

Figured I’d start a thread for this years cycle. Everyone excited to apply? Nervous?

I for one am really looking forward to applying. Still cutting down on my list of schools every day, as different websites are updating which PIs are taking student this cycle. 

Let’s help each other!

Edited by PsychApplicant2
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Those intending to apply this cycle: there is trouble brewing in a lot of departments right now. I strongly encourage getting in touch with grad students for honest opinions if you can. Those who have recently graduated if possible since they can’t face retaliation. I’ll post an example. 

I have had contact with a student who just graduated from an R02 because I was interested in applying to the program. I was surprised how strongly it was discouraged by the student. The reasons they gave:

- The DH and DCT are highly criticized for their handling of the COVID pandemic and responses to racial tensions.

- Both the DH and DCT have openly lied to current students and applicants.

- DH is being relocated outside of the department.

- DCT is being asked to leave because they were holding up TLLPs, annual reviews, grades, supervision, basically everything, and not responding to students and engaging in some retaliation.

- Classes are being dropped after students are enrolled. Apparently this can impact practica and internship placements.

- Classes are not sufficiently rigorous to prepare potential clinicians. The student said everyone had a 4.0, but not everyone was a competent therapist, and that generally the classes were at or below an undergraduate level (they went to an R01 for undergrad).

- Entire programs of study have been thrown out and now students who entered the program for those programs/tracks are getting general training instead of specific training. So students who came for specialist training in ASD treatments  don’t have the opportunities they were promised or can’t take specific, relevant classes in the program handbook because they haven’t been offered in years.

- Faculty sitting on committees are holding up milestones, not giving edits or feedback, or requiring entire projects to be redone at the last moment, or “not supporting students in continuing” in the program.

- Multiple students have left the program in the past month alone (June, 2021).

 

All this from a program with a 10-year APA accreditation. Be very, VERY careful this cycle. From the sounds of it loads of programs are struggling financially and some may even be closing. They still may take our money, though.

 

You can DM me for the program or more details, although this seems to be a trend. I’ll try to come up with a list of questions or something if it would be helpful.

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31 minutes ago, voluntconvertere said:

Those intending to apply this cycle: there is trouble brewing in a lot of departments right now. I strongly encourage getting in touch with grad students for honest opinions if you can. Those who have recently graduated if possible since they can’t face retaliation. I’ll post an example. 

I have had contact with a student who just graduated from an R02 because I was interested in applying to the program. I was surprised how strongly it was discouraged by the student. The reasons they gave:

- The DH and DCT are highly criticized for their handling of the COVID pandemic and responses to racial tensions.

- Both the DH and DCT have openly lied to current students and applicants.

- DH is being relocated outside of the department.

- DCT is being asked to leave because they were holding up TLLPs, annual reviews, grades, supervision, basically everything, and not responding to students and engaging in some retaliation.

- Classes are being dropped after students are enrolled. Apparently this can impact practica and internship placements.

- Classes are not sufficiently rigorous to prepare potential clinicians. The student said everyone had a 4.0, but not everyone was a competent therapist, and that generally the classes were at or below an undergraduate level (they went to an R01 for undergrad).

- Entire programs of study have been thrown out and now students who entered the program for those programs/tracks are getting general training instead of specific training. So students who came for specialist training in ASD treatments  don’t have the opportunities they were promised or can’t take specific, relevant classes in the program handbook because they haven’t been offered in years.

- Faculty sitting on committees are holding up milestones, not giving edits or feedback, or requiring entire projects to be redone at the last moment, or “not supporting students in continuing” in the program.

- Multiple students have left the program in the past month alone (June, 2021).

 

All this from a program with a 10-year APA accreditation. Be very, VERY careful this cycle. From the sounds of it loads of programs are struggling financially and some may even be closing. They still may take our money, though.

 

You can DM me for the program or more details, although this seems to be a trend. I’ll try to come up with a list of questions or something if it would be helpful.

That’s....very concerning. 

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4 hours ago, voluntconvertere said:

Those intending to apply this cycle: there is trouble brewing in a lot of departments right now. I strongly encourage getting in touch with grad students for honest opinions if you can. Those who have recently graduated if possible since they can’t face retaliation. I’ll post an example. 

I have had contact with a student who just graduated from an R02 because I was interested in applying to the program. I was surprised how strongly it was discouraged by the student. The reasons they gave:

- The DH and DCT are highly criticized for their handling of the COVID pandemic and responses to racial tensions.

- Both the DH and DCT have openly lied to current students and applicants.

- DH is being relocated outside of the department.

- DCT is being asked to leave because they were holding up TLLPs, annual reviews, grades, supervision, basically everything, and not responding to students and engaging in some retaliation.

- Classes are being dropped after students are enrolled. Apparently this can impact practica and internship placements.

- Classes are not sufficiently rigorous to prepare potential clinicians. The student said everyone had a 4.0, but not everyone was a competent therapist, and that generally the classes were at or below an undergraduate level (they went to an R01 for undergrad).

- Entire programs of study have been thrown out and now students who entered the program for those programs/tracks are getting general training instead of specific training. So students who came for specialist training in ASD treatments  don’t have the opportunities they were promised or can’t take specific, relevant classes in the program handbook because they haven’t been offered in years.

- Faculty sitting on committees are holding up milestones, not giving edits or feedback, or requiring entire projects to be redone at the last moment, or “not supporting students in continuing” in the program.

- Multiple students have left the program in the past month alone (June, 2021).

 

All this from a program with a 10-year APA accreditation. Be very, VERY careful this cycle. From the sounds of it loads of programs are struggling financially and some may even be closing. They still may take our money, though.

 

You can DM me for the program or more details, although this seems to be a trend. I’ll try to come up with a list of questions or something if it would be helpful.

Wow that is scary. Applying this year after being way too optimistic in my selection last year. Going to shoot for more masters programs this time though due to my undergrad GPA (2.8) being so low. Might end up just grabbing another research position so see you in the thread next year too.

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I didn’t post to discourage people from applying this cycle entirely, only to bring awareness to a trend and offer a very worrying example which I am almost certain is not the only one. I really hope my post encourages others to more thoroughly evaluate programs and think critically about how they are operating. Full disclosure: I am not in an ideal financial situation so the idea of paying lots of money to have my application tossed out really didn’t sit well with me and I wanted to know what my chances actually are. Also finding out if it’s a worthy investment for potentially 7 years of my life. 

I heard it from a student going on internship, they also went to my undergrad so I think having that in common helped them to open up.
 

My advice for getting this kind of information is to contact a potential PI and ask for current grad student contact information they may be willing to share, or look at their pubs and contact grad students that are co-authors, or if the program has an updated website look on the lab page and reach out to lab members directly.

I asked to chat over zoom, and asked for honest answers to questions like “what is the culture like their?” “How did the department respond to COVID? To the BLM protests and the violence against AAPI?” “Is diversity discussed openly or is there a ‘diversity day’ in classes?” “What are things you would like to change?” “What are things that are changing? How do you think this will impact the program?” “How does admin communicate with students? With faculty?” “Did you feel prepared for practicum? Internship?” “What were classes like?” “We’re you able to take the classes you wanted to?” “How did the PI/other faculty/ admin handle conflicts?” “Have students left the program? Was this related to the program or other life events? How supportive was the PI/admin?” etc.

Another thing I have found to be helpful is looking into syllabi, when the classes are offered and how that maps on to the programs of study.

 

Again, hope this helps others interested in applying to think critically about the programs we are applying to and maybe save some time and money.

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On 6/27/2021 at 6:01 PM, NotYourMothersGrad said:

For anyone following this thread, there's currently a discord where we are all gearing up and sharing tips for applying this cycle!

https://discord.gg/3HuxeBKy

Hi, I tried to join but it says the link is expired - would you or someone be able to send me another invite? I'd love to take advantage of this. Thanks!

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8 hours ago, yikespsych said:

Hi, I tried to join but it says the link is expired - would you or someone be able to send me another invite? I'd love to take advantage of this. Thanks!

https://discord.gg/CN7VH95FyY

 

to everyone else wanting to join, this link shouldn't expire :)

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On 6/27/2021 at 3:24 PM, voluntconvertere said:

Those intending to apply this cycle: there is trouble brewing in a lot of departments right now. I strongly encourage getting in touch with grad students for honest opinions if you can. Those who have recently graduated if possible since they can’t face retaliation. I’ll post an example. 

I have had contact with a student who just graduated from an R02 because I was interested in applying to the program. I was surprised how strongly it was discouraged by the student. The reasons they gave:

- The DH and DCT are highly criticized for their handling of the COVID pandemic and responses to racial tensions.

- Both the DH and DCT have openly lied to current students and applicants.

- DH is being relocated outside of the department.

- DCT is being asked to leave because they were holding up TLLPs, annual reviews, grades, supervision, basically everything, and not responding to students and engaging in some retaliation.

- Classes are being dropped after students are enrolled. Apparently this can impact practica and internship placements.

- Classes are not sufficiently rigorous to prepare potential clinicians. The student said everyone had a 4.0, but not everyone was a competent therapist, and that generally the classes were at or below an undergraduate level (they went to an R01 for undergrad).

- Entire programs of study have been thrown out and now students who entered the program for those programs/tracks are getting general training instead of specific training. So students who came for specialist training in ASD treatments  don’t have the opportunities they were promised or can’t take specific, relevant classes in the program handbook because they haven’t been offered in years.

- Faculty sitting on committees are holding up milestones, not giving edits or feedback, or requiring entire projects to be redone at the last moment, or “not supporting students in continuing” in the program.

- Multiple students have left the program in the past month alone (June, 2021).

 

All this from a program with a 10-year APA accreditation. Be very, VERY careful this cycle. From the sounds of it loads of programs are struggling financially and some may even be closing. They still may take our money, though.

 

You can DM me for the program or more details, although this seems to be a trend. I’ll try to come up with a list of questions or something if it would be helpful.

I'm not sure if this is also helpful to anyone (I assume it's not safe to post the school name either), but I also recommend googling news stories about the campuses you're interested in. I recently came across one department where a student committed suicide due to alleged bullying that was not handled and led to tragedy. I don't think it came up in my initial search.

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 6/25/2021 at 3:42 PM, PsychApplicant2 said:

Hi all,

Figured I’d start a thread for this years cycle. Everyone excited to apply? Nervous?

I for one am really looking forward to applying. Still cutting down on my list of schools every day, as different websites are updating which PIs are taking student this cycle. 

Let’s help each other!

Thanks for starting this! This will be my 2nd time applying (I wasn't originally going to apply again, but I was so close the first time). Because of time and cost, this will be my last cycle to apply. I only applied to three schools last time and have added more to my list, although I imagine this will change when schools provide more information. 

On 6/27/2021 at 10:42 PM, NoKappa said:

Wow that is scary. Applying this year after being way too optimistic in my selection last year. Going to shoot for more masters programs this time though due to my undergrad GPA (2.8) being so low. Might end up just grabbing another research position so see you in the thread next year too.

This is incredibly concerning. This process is expensive and stressful enough is, and this has been amplified due to COVID. Although, sadly, I can't say I'm surprised how schools have handled COVID and racism problems. 

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  • 1 month later...

I'm a bit surprised at how quiet this thread is compared to last year's cycle. Now that we are in September, almost October, how is everyone getting along with their applications? I made the decision to apply again, but I'll tell you, it has been incredibly stressful. 

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35 minutes ago, PsychMamaof2 said:

I'm a bit surprised at how quiet this thread is compared to last year's cycle. Now that we are in September, almost October, how is everyone getting along with their applications? I made the decision to apply again, but I'll tell you, it has been incredibly stressful. 

This might be because a lot of people have opted to be active on the discord server instead. Feel free to join: https://discord.gg/wEcFTwxzNy  

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1 minute ago, psych_student4391 said:

This might be because a lot of people have opted to be active on the discord server instead. Feel free to join: https://discord.gg/wEcFTwxzNy  

Thanks for letting me know! I tried that link, but it isn't working. I'll see if I can access another way.

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On 9/22/2021 at 6:03 AM, psych_student4391 said:

This might be because a lot of people have opted to be active on the discord server instead. Feel free to join: https://discord.gg/wEcFTwxzNy  

Is the discord anonymous? I have a discord account from gaming with my friends/my lab uses it so I would like to join if you want someone to give advice but I want to remain anonymous.

 

I thought that was kind of the whole point of grad cafe/SDN... that people could be relatively anonymous. In my case as someone who comments on here/SDN quite a bit to try to help applicants, I want to remain anonymous b/c many people might be applying to my PI's lab (we get 150+ apps any given cycle). Do you have experienced people on there who made it to the other side of the process, or is it just an echo-chamber of applicants? Frankly, when I was applying I did not find talking to other applicants to be personally helpful and it was more anxiety-producing. 

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10 minutes ago, Clinapp2017 said:

Is the discord anonymous? I have a discord account from gaming with my friends/my lab uses it so I would like to join if you want someone to give advice but I want to remain anonymous.

 

I thought that was kind of the whole point of grad cafe/SDN... that people could be relatively anonymous. In my case as someone who comments on here/SDN quite a bit to try to help applicants, I want to remain anonymous b/c many people might be applying to my PI's lab (we get 150+ apps any given cycle). Do you have experienced people on there who made it to the other side of the process, or is it just an echo-chamber of applicants? Frankly, when I was applying I did not find talking to other applicants to be personally helpful and it was more anxiety-producing. 

I second this. As an advanced grad student, I have enjoyed helping to answer applicant questions over the years on this forum. However, I personally don't have the mental bandwidth to add another thing to check. 

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6 minutes ago, Clinapp2017 said:

Is the discord anonymous? I have a discord account from gaming with my friends/my lab uses it so I would like to join if you want someone to give advice but I want to remain anonymous.

 

I thought that was kind of the whole point of grad cafe/SDN... that people could be relatively anonymous. In my case as someone who comments on here/SDN quite a bit to try to help applicants, I want to remain anonymous b/c many people might be applying to my PI's lab (we get 150+ apps any given cycle). Do you have experienced people on there who made it to the other side of the process, or is it just an echo-chamber of applicants? Frankly, when I was applying I did not find talking to other applicants to be personally helpful and it was more anxiety-producing. 

I second this. As an advanced grad student, I have enjoyed helping to answer applicant questions over the years on this forum. However, I personally don't have the mental bandwidth to add another thing to check. 

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1 hour ago, Clinapp2017 said:

Is the discord anonymous? I have a discord account from gaming with my friends/my lab uses it so I would like to join if you want someone to give advice but I want to remain anonymous.

 

I thought that was kind of the whole point of grad cafe/SDN... that people could be relatively anonymous. In my case as someone who comments on here/SDN quite a bit to try to help applicants, I want to remain anonymous b/c many people might be applying to my PI's lab (we get 150+ apps any given cycle). Do you have experienced people on there who made it to the other side of the process, or is it just an echo-chamber of applicants? Frankly, when I was applying I did not find talking to other applicants to be personally helpful and it was more anxiety-producing. 

1 hour ago, PsyDuck90 said:

I second this. As an advanced grad student, I have enjoyed helping to answer applicant questions over the years on this forum. However, I personally don't have the mental bandwidth to add another thing to check. 

 

Yes! The discord server is anonymous. We offer peer review but take measures to ensure members’ privacy. And there are a few PhD students on there that offer advice and answer questions, as well as repeat applicants who are more than willing to share what they’ve learned from previous cycles. The server has been a very positive environment where members can find resources, as well as get feedback and emotional support and encouragement from peers navigating the same space. 

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I hope some more folks do start using this thread. I just started my Masters program, and I'm compiling my list now for counseling (and maybe clinical??) doctoral programs next year! I was really hoping that this thread would be active so it could inform some of my decisions! I'm really hoping to work on refugee trauma, and be on the east coast. I have a pretty good list going, but would love to see if there's anyone else with similar interests, and if so, which programs were on their minds!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anyone have any thoughts on reusing personal statements? I applied last year and didn't get in, but I'm planning to re-apply this cycle. My research interests and experiences haven't really changed much... would love to hear what others in the same situation are doing. Thanks!

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28 minutes ago, sanna927 said:

Does anyone have any thoughts on reusing personal statements? I applied last year and didn't get in, but I'm planning to re-apply this cycle. My research interests and experiences haven't really changed much... would love to hear what others in the same situation are doing. Thanks!

Was your previous statement proofread by several people, revised, and edited? Assuming that your original statement was well-written, I think it’s okay to reuse quality pieces. Your new statement should be updated to reflect how you’ve grown in the last year, however.  Keep in mind that there's always room for improvement. If something didn't work for you the first time around, then submitting a completely identical application wouldn't make a whole lot of sense. 

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On 10/15/2021 at 10:37 AM, sanna927 said:

Does anyone have any thoughts on reusing personal statements? I applied last year and didn't get in, but I'm planning to re-apply this cycle. My research interests and experiences haven't really changed much... would love to hear what others in the same situation are doing. Thanks!

I'd echo the statement above, and say that its fine to reuse a statement, but its worthwhile to get extra feedback! That feedback could shed light on why it might not have been as successful last time. The portions about your research interests could conceivably remain the same, but the more personal aspects of your statement might be worth delving back into. Might also be worth changing up if you're applying to work with different faculty than last time.

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