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Clinical MSW to PhD/PsyD Clinical Psychology


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Hey all, forgive me for planning ahead so soon...

I was accepted into an MSW program last month, starting Fall 2012, and I'm intending on doing the clinical track. I know I'm going about this a really strange way, but going for my PhD right out of undergrad wasn't an option for me so I opted to get a master's degree first and then go for my doctorate. My question is, I know some schools will take the previously obtained master's degree into consideration for a sort of "advanced standing" program, and it says receiving a "psychology or other similar degree." Would clinical social work be considered to fit under the "similar degree" category? Social work can be taken in so many different directions, so I just wasn't sure. I'm also graduating with my B.S. in Psychology so I have plenty of psychology classes under my belt as well.

Secondly, my GRE scores are sort of in the lower end of the spectrum for what some schools list as their mean/median scores for accepted students. Would taking the GRE again be a good choice or would the fact that my scores are "pretty good" suffice? Also, I'll be graduating with an undergrad GPA of somewhere between 3.50 and 3.55, and some schools I see like GPAs that are 3.7 and above. Would my master's program GPA be taken into consideration?

I know I still have two years, but I figured it's never too early to start preparing for my next big move. I know about all the importance of being a good fit, but I know there are other factors taken into consideration when applying to a doctorate level program. Thanks to anyone who can give me some advice on this!

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1) I think this depends on the program and the school. At one of the schools I applied to, (once accepted) you had to submit an application for them to accept your Masters. A committee then reviewed all the work/courses you have done, and then decides whether or not you get credit for it. Not sure how it works other places. Also, this wasn't a clinical program, so not sure if that would make a difference as well.

2) It certainly couldn't hurt to have a higher GRE, but I would recommend not retaking it if you aren't positive you will get a better score. Though for the programs I applied to, unless your GPA and/or GRE were really bad or really good, they didn't really matter. Letters of rec, SoP, and research experience were used much more as deciding factors.

3) I think all my applications this round had a space for GPA in any graduate courses taken, so yes, I would think most schools would take your Masters GPA into consideration. For the record though, I've been accepted to a PhD program (though, again, not clinical) with a much lower undergrad GPA than yours.

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