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Admissions Question


chow
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Hi everyone,

I recently just realized what I want to do with my life which is teach and do research in the field of Social/Personality psychology. I just want to know if you think I would be able to get into any programs with my current standings.

I have a 3.49 GPA and scored 700(Q), 680(V), and a 4.5(A). My Psych GPA is 3.86. I am going to take the Psychology GRE exam in October and I think I will be able to score around 850-900. I have been doing research for a year and have done my own research (poster/presentation). My name will be on three publications by the end of this year, one of which, my name will be third on. With these criteria do you think I have a chance of getting into any of these programs: Columbia, NYU, UCLA, UCI?

Thank you.

EDIT: Actually, I just rechecked my GPA, it is not as high as I thought it was. Turns out I only have a 3.35. Yikes. Will this hurt me?? My Psych GPA on the other hand is still above a 3.7.

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From professors I have talked to regarding my situation I can say I think you will be competitive, and certainly get consideration at the decision table. If you go back through previous threads and look for topics pertaining to Social psych it looks like your overall GPA might need to be higher to get into the top programs. However, the fact you have done your own research project should bode better for you than simple data entry. In terms of publications- that helps a lot, but everyone has always told be it is better to be first or second author. I would give it a whirl, but be sure to diversify where you are applying. It might be that you have a better shot at schools where there are professors who share your more specific interests.

**Were your projects pertaining to the field in which you are applying? That might help.

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Would it better for me to just apply for my MA first at a state university by home? Then after receiving that, I can apply for my PhD and hopefully get into one of the top programs?

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chow,

Every professor I have talked to about grad school in the fields we are both interested in have told me that the MA is a waste of time if you have the grades and the research experience. I have heard that from 4 different people. I'm going to take a year off (don't want to) to solidify 2 more semesters of research experience and gain better LOMs. I can apply to programs in a much less frantic manner, and will have the time and funds to travel to programs to do interviews face to face. After graduation I only will have a 4-5 month layover until I apply, and I can always move right when I get offers. For a while I really dreaded this idea, but in prospect I don't see how the extra year does anything else but help me. I'd hate to be pigeon holed into a program based on getting one acceptance. I don't need 2 years and more debt to get into a Ph.D program, and with your stats I don't suspect you do either. Don't forget...if you are going into your senior year and who wait to apply those final 2 semesters will be factored into your GPA which may be a great deal.

It is just a matter of opening up the scope of schools you are applying to and looking for good research matches. I'm not saying your grades are not good enough; rather, if those are the only programs you are set on you might need to raise your GPA. Who knows when it comes to grad school admissions? I've also been told by professors who have sat on admissions boards at top schools that typically everyone who applies is above a 3.3-3.4, and that after some kind of GPA threshold was met other things like your research experience and GRE scores are more important.

*Your Quant score looks good!

Read the thread titled "Social Psych" on forum home page. It might help you out more.

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You're fine. I had a 3.5 general GPA in college, good GRE scores, and two years of research experience post undergrad. I got into a top ten program and a few other respected programs. Your research experience trumps that C+ or B- you got in some random class your freshman year of college.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Your numbers and research experience should be enough to get you noticed. Your SOP and LORs will be what makes or breaks you. Now is a great time to start focusing your energy on those -- writing SOP drafts, for example, if you haven't already. Good luck!

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  • 1 month later...

I heartily agree--my statistics were very similar to yours and I did well in the admissions process. Like everyone says, make contact with faculty members, try to impress them with new perspectives on their ideas, and show that you have a future research avenues together. Work on that statement of purpose!

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