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Non traditional degree(s), do I have a shot at a PhD?


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Hello all,

Let's get right down to it. At the last minute I've decided to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology (something I've always wanted to do, but never seemed within reach until now), so I'm researching schools and there is one program in particular that I'd love to get into but it sounds like a long shot.


It's the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program, Clinical Psychology, specifically interested in the Neuropsychology emphasis area.


BUT I'm a nontraditional student, I earned my AA from a community college, and my BA and MA from National University. NU works well for me as a self supported/ first generation college graduate and I believe the programs there are pretty good.


My AA is in English

My BA is in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice Administration, 3.02 GPA overall, 3.23 Major GPA

My MA is in Counseling Psychology with dual specializations in MFT and LPCC, 3.50 overall GPA (expected to finish in June, 2014)


I'm about to start a clinical practicum at a highly regarded psychiatric facility.

I've also worked full time since I was 17, and have been an office admin/ purchasing guru with a government contractor for the last 4 years.

No research experience yet but I think I can find a way to get some in the next few months.

I'm fairly confident that I'll do well on the GRE, I tend to test well but the other programs I'm looking into don't require it.


For reference, I'm also looking at Alliant International University CSPP, Fielding Graduate University, and a few others.


So the question is; do I have a shot? Should I put in the leg work and beef up my CV/ take the GRE/ network by butt off?? Or is my academic experience a serious hindrance?


Also, if anybody would like to recommend any other programs I should look into I'd be extremely grateful.


Thank you!

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You will need more than a few months of research experience to be considered at any reputable phd program. We're talking at least 2 years and usually with a least a few posters. Places like Alliant are diploma mills. What are you wanting to do with this degree? If academia, you must go to a reputable program, the kind you need lots of research experience for. A phd in clinical psych is not a "last minute decision," its one of the most competitive types of doctoral programs in the country and takes a LOT of preparation. People come with killer GREs, GPAs, and publications and sometimes don't get in. If you want this, definitely put in the leg work. Start volunteering in a lab right now, do this for a few years. If you can one day, get a full time paid research assistant job, though these are very hard to come by and extremely competitive too!


Any program you are considering, look at the admissions data. If its an APA accredited program (you shouldnt go to non) it will have it on its website. For example, here's the data for the program you want to go to: http://www.psychology.sdsu.edu/doctoral/Demographics.html Compare yourself to this data because this is about what it takes to get in. What it doesn't show is how much research experience is needed, unfortunately.

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There are PhD programs that do not require the GRE? I cannot imagine they are reputable, or produce graduates that are employable in the field. I get the sense (and correct me if I'm wrong) that you're limiting yourself to the San Diego area. A PhD education will almost certainly require you move to attend a school with a POI whose research interests match yours (you don't just apply to a school because it's conveniently close by, unless that school conveniently happens to have someone working there whose research interests match yours); in Clinical Psych, especially, you're looking at the in-house education, plus Match'ing to an internship, plus a post-doc, so, possibly 3 moves before you can obtain a license.


I would go a step further than Mewtoo and say that, if you want a career as a PhD in Clinical Psych, you have to attend an APA accredited program, as well as obtain an APA-accredited internship; because of the way licensing laws are worded, it is very, very difficult to obtain a license without attending an APA-accredited program.

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Actually many of the best schools in the world do not require the gre (oxford and edinburgh come to mind).  Or at least such was the case when I was applying.



That said, all other advise posted is solid.

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