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A Few Questions...


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Hi everyone,

I haven't been through the academic applications process in a few years and I have a few questions while I spend the next year or so preparing to send in applications for graduate school in clinical psychology (Ph.D), bear with me.

First, a little about me:

I'm a junior majoring in psychology at Adelphi University (Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies). My psychology GPA hovers around 3.8 and my overall gpa is usually between 3.5 and 3.7.

The two schools at the top of my list are:

Ph.D in clinical psychology, Adelphi University (Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies)

Ph.D with Health Emphasis in clinical psychology with a minor in clinical neuropsychology at Yeshiva Universtity (Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology)

So, onto my questions:

1. Has anyone here applied to either program at either school? If so, what was your experience like? What are the admissions statistics for each school?

2. Is it advisable to take the psych GRE, the general GRE or both when applying to Ph.D programs in clinical psychology?

3. Will having a psychological disorder, being a disability rights advocate or battling a chronic genetic disease, along with my grades and GRE scores, increase my chances of being accepted into such a program?

4. If I transferred to my current university from another, do I have to send original transcripts from both universities if the current university has the grades and credits from my previous university?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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1) Nope.

2) For most clinical psych programs, you're going to need to take both. You will definitely need to take the general GRE.

3) http://psychology.unl.edu/psichi/Graduate_School_Application_Kisses_of_Death.pdf

4) It'll depend on the school, but I've had to send transcripts from every program I've attended for my PhD programs.

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Discussing your psychological/physical/genetic disorders almost always works against you.

--you get to focused on telling "your story" and most people frankly end up missing the point of the SOP when they attempt this (or they come off sounding self-important, like no one else can be a good psychologist, but usually they waste space needed for other info)

--people worry that you're only committed to "me-search" instead of research broadly

--ad-coms are still humans, subject to biases against people with psychological disorders, even psychologists

Maybe the advocacy thing can be helpful but I'd probably only use it in the first few sentences as a set-up for the rest of the SOP. Definitely not more than 1-2 sentences.

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The above posters have good advice. Definitely don't mention any personal conditions.

I'm not in a clinical program, but my intuition is not even to mention the advocacy unless it's directly relevant to research (e.g., "I have worked with groups that advocate for people with X, which will give me the connections and experience to recruit people with X for my proposed research on that condition."). A potential advisor could worry that being an advocate will be a drag on your time.

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  • 1 month later...

Since we all love research, this article was incredibly helpful for me in crafting my personal statements without putting myself at risk for rejection!


To answer your questions:

1. No

2. Do whatever is required, but not more. If the school doesn't require the psychology subject test, odds are they will do no more than glance at it when reviewing your application.

3. Increase your chances? No, and thinking it will help you will only hurt you. Make you interesting? Maybe, if you write about those experiences in a way that invites dialogue and fits into the larger narrative of your personal statement.

4. Yes, all transcripts. Sometimes they'll only request official transcripts after you've been interviewed and admitted and only require unofficial transcripts until then.

Good luck!!

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