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PhD any chances?


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Hey guys,


I am studying Clinical Psychology in Germany and want to apply for a PhD. I am thinking about Clinical or Social Psychology. I am not sure yet. Do I have an advantage when I apply for a PhD in Clinical Psychology because I already have a Bachelor in it?

Furthermore, my GPA will be ~ 3.8/3.9, I haven't taken the GRE yet because I really need to study for it. I did an internship at a psychiatry, in equine therapy, one research internship and a project in animal assisted therapy. After my Bachelor I will work for a year (6 months research and 6 months at a hospital, maybe in the psycho-oncology department).


Cons: Not much research experience and I didn't publish anything.


Do I still have a chance to get into a decent PhD program?

Thanks in advance!

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Clinical Psych is extremely competitive -- you'll be up against people whose GPAs are the same as yours, have years of research experience, possibly publications, etc. So I don't think having a Bachelor's in Clinical Psych will make much of a difference. It's great that you have good internship experience though! I would start getting more research experience now so you can have a year's worth by the time you apply next year. Your GPA is amazing, that won't be a problem. As long as your GREs are good, you get more research experience, and apply to tons of programs, I'm sure you will get in somewhere :)

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I agree with ISILYA on a number of levels.

As one of my research advisors put it, "Everyone wants to do Clinical." Not literally, but you get the point. Not to defer you - only to put things in perspective - I've interned in labs where the current Clinical students applied to 15+ programs coming directly from undergrad and did not get accepted. These were not bad students, either. They took a few years off, gained some valuable experience working as techs, and had their choice of programs when they reapplied. With that many applicants (most Clinical programs receive 100+ applicants, if not more) and so few spots, you have to be more than just a "good applicant." You sound like you have the ability to stand out, though.

Study hard for the GRE and more research experience (while getting a letter-writer in the process) is key. Your internship should stand out. Make sure you highlight your strengths on your CV. Good luck, and to answer your question: you absolutely have a realistic chance.

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Thanks a lot!

I already noticed that clinical Psychology is really hard to get into. I am also thinking about applying for a PhD in Social Psychology, do they require the same amount of research experience?

I would say Social Psychology programs may require even more research experience for admission. You may want to take the GRE and do a round of applications to see how it goes...and then perhaps go for a Master's degree to show that you can do graduate level studies and research.

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Social is not anything like Clinical. If you want to do clinical work, apply to clinical programs. In a Social program you will be conducting research and teaching classes. That's it. No clinical training or even exposure at all. 


If you are set on Clinical, I recommend getting a Master's in Experimental so you will have more research experience and look more competitive when applying the next time.


Good luck!

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