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Advice for PhD in US?


lonarkesa
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Hello all, I am gearing up to apply for my PhD in Clinical Psych & Law and I’m wondering what tips/advice you have since I have somewhat of a head start. Specifically I’m curious about what you feel is helpful to stand out in your application and how you survive on stipends.

A little background: I finished my MSW about 5 years ago and have been working full time in the field ever since so I’m not young/inexperienced. I work a job that pays well so I want to start saving a bit more intensely to have some funds.

Thank you for any and all suggestions!

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Highlight research experience in essays and most importantly make the program “the hero.” What they (the program and potential advisor) can do for you, and why you’re choosing that specific program is just as important as highlighting what makes you a great applicant. I’d say the best way to make it stand out is to make it special to you. These people read hundreds of applications. Don’t make it what everyone else’s will be, but you also can’t make it too personal. Find the sweet spot in between!

In my opinion, the most arduous part of the application process is creating your list of where you’d like to apply since you have to find schools that have your program, make sure they have faculty that match your research interests, and that you like the values and curriculum of the program. You’re already ahead so it’s definitely best to start looking around although you won’t be able to have a solid list until faculty announce if they are accepting new students in late summer/early fall. It’s a long process, but will be worth it. Good luck!

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