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What to do after rejections -International Applicants


phoenix31
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Hello

 

I am an International applicant and had applied to the social psychology graduate programs in the U.S for the Fall 2015. This was only my first round of applications and oweing to the huge amount of competition, I wasn't much hopeful. So my current position is that I have received 4 out of 5 rejections and I am pretty sure the 5th rejection is on the way. 

 

But I really want to work in the field of social psychology and if possible apply next year. However, I am in a fix as to how to improve my profile. I have 1 year of research experience and 1 year of teaching experience, but none is in the area of social psych.  I have seen posters mentioning to gain lab experience in the various labs . But as an international applicant, I am just wondering :

 

1. whether getting lab experience would be more appropriate or should I apply for a master's program. I am confused as both the options would be expensive

2. Can anyone tell any options for funded masters programs in social psych?

 

Please help !!

 

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An international student in my department first worked as a lab manager in the lab that she is now a student at. You might be able to look into lab manager positions in the US as well, but it might be hard if you have no experience in the area that you are interested in studying. Just a thought.

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This is just my opinion, but I don't think there is a right or wrong way to get more experience. It's most important that you do! So either route would boost your application, and you should pursue the one that works best for you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think most of the time skills and experiences are transferrable, so you really need to have a coherent story in your statement about how your experiences connect to social psychology and how the skills you gained contribute to your further study. Also, you just applied 5 schools which are not enough. As you mentioned, it's a competitive process. I will recommend you to apply at least 8 schools and have one or two low-profile schools. 

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Just wanted to add a couple of things to what others mentioned- if you can find ways to secure funding towards your PhD from sources outside of your intended program (such as natrional fellowships/ scholarships) it might significantly enhance your chances. Also- Good GRE and TOFEL scores are pretty important since even a strong GPA from a non US school might not mean much to American universities. Also- independent research experience might beef up your application as well. 

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I agree with the posters above regarding getting more experiences, preferably in the social psychology areas. If you're interested in finding a funded Master's, you may want to consider Canadian universities. Most Canadian psychology programs require students to go through a Master's before gaining acceptance into their PhD program. But funding is there throughout both degrees. 

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