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I am interested in applying to clinical/counseling psychology PhD programs and applying a little last minute. Thanks for taking the time to talk.

Let me give you a little background: I have a minimal psych background. As an undergrad, I took psych 1 and clinical psych. I've spent the last few years completing law school and am now in a PhD in political science in top ivy league schools, so my recommendations would come from that. While I have a strong interest in learning and conducting research, I would like to be in a program that takes practice seriously as well.

When to Apply - this year or next - I'm deciding whether to apply this cycle or wait until the next one. My hesitation to apply now is that I don't have strong psych credentials. I'm hoping the prestige of the graduate programs I've gone to (top ivy leagues) will help. If I wait a year, I can take advantage of my current institution's resources to take classes, conduct research, and secure a psych professor's recommendation. If the chances are too low, it's not worth sacrificing money/time/heart that will impact my other work. Should I wait a year to improve or apply now? Is there a realistic chance I'd be accepted with my background?

I need to decide soon as many, many deadlines are looming.


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You should definitely wait. As rising star said, these programs have very low accceptance rates (sometimes as low as med school). I'm just curious. Why do you want the degree? With 1 JD and (potentially) 2 PhDs, will psych complement your law/poli sci background in a particular way? If I were you, I'd def. tackle that in any SOPs and make sure my recommenders spoke to that as well. You don't want your other 2 terminal degrees to count against you/make you look indecisive.

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Definitely wait.

But you're probably going to have to explain in an SOP why you are switching fields again. Since spots are so few and competition so strong, you may be viewed as being unsure of what you want to do and perhaps just a "professional student". Actually, this is even more reason not to apply this cycle. Because this is probably exactly how you'll be viewed with such limited psych background.

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