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Applying To Counseling Psychology PhD. Program Directly From Undergrad


stella8815f1
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Hello! I am really new so sorry if I am not supposed to post this topic in this forum.

 

So I am currently a college sophomore and am very interested in applying directly to PhD. programs during my senior year without a Master degree. The reason of it is simply because a Master program seem to be costing too much, and at the same time a wasteful of time for me since I am planning on getting a PhD. degree at the end regardless. For now my top choice is the counseling psychology program (personally really interested in multicultural counseling) at Teachers College, Columbia University. Is there anyone that got accepted into the program right after graduating from college? Would you mind sharing some of your experiences and how you prepared yourselves during college? I would be highly appreciated! 

 

Here are some of my stats:

1. Domestic student (was born in the States) but grew up in Taiwan until junior year of high school.

2. Currently in a college that ranked 70s in the national universities.

3. Double majors in psychology and telecommunications with a minor in counseling.

4. Cumulative GPA 3.6 for now (I know it's kind of low but it is getting higher each semester so hopefully it will rise to at least a 3.8 before I graduate).

5. Have worked in a Speech and Hearing Science lab in my university for a year as a volunteered research assistant. I am now working in two labs (Developmental Cognition and Social Cognition) in the psychology department as a formal research assistant; as well as working on a research project as a RA with a professor in the department of education. 

6. Have had intern experiences in schools, companies, education centers etc. during summers. But they are all institutes in Taiwan instead of in the States.

7. Plans for the next two years: Might turn down the developmental lab I am currently in and continue to work in the social lab, and I am planning on doing an honors thesis research with the social lab professor.  

 

Although my dream school has always been TC, anyone that is willing to give me some general advices/suggestions about how I can prepare myself to become an outstanding applicant would be appreciated! Just anything you think I am lacking now or I should be keep in mind of! I would also love to know those of you that got accepted directly to a PhD. program without a Master degree!

 

Thank you all so much for reading this long post! :)

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You look well on your way to being competitive.

 

For counseling programs, they're main interest is that your focus and goals align with their program. Start looking at programs who's research labs are similar to what you are interested in. Also, start articles and the direction in your flied. You may be able to come up with a research idea yourself and pitch it in your lab. That you might be able to become a primary author on a conference presentation, etc.

 

Also, you can see if you can become a teaching assistant/tutoring/etc on campus. That will give you some more great experience. You can also volunteer for crisis centers for hands on experience here in the states.

 

Your work experience in Taiwan should count. If they can provide you a recommendation in English, that would be preferable. But, understandable if you can't.

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I'd agree that you're in good shape! You could look into studying for the GRE now if you want to get that out of the way.

 

I think 'getting in' is partly being qualified and partly strategic, and you need both. So, as far as being qualified, you look good there. Keep doing research and like psychkita said, make your projects relevant to the programs you are applying to. As far as strategy goes, it's usually advisable to apply to 6-10 programs that have at least (preferably two or more) faculty members doing research you are interested in. Contact them in the summer before you apply to make sure they're actually taking students. This could save you a lot of time and money! It stinks to see qualified people just applying to programs that aren't a good fit for their research, so it's very important that you carefully select which schools.

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I'm in my last year of undergrad and am entering a Counseling Psychology PhD program this fall. Going straight to PhD from undergrad without working or getting a Master's in between can be difficult, but it is certainly still possible. As other users said, make sure you have lots of relevant research experience in your area of interest to create a cohesive narrative for yourself and your academic path. Continue finding relevant summer internships as well.

My experience with TC is limited and, admittedly, unfavorable. I was offered an interview, but I didn't want to book my travel without making sure TC was still a competitive option for me since I had other offers, so I reached out about 2 weeks before the interview to inquire about potential financial packages. The Insider's Guide said only 66% of students had assistantships, or something like that, and I was unsure if all students received tuition remission since it said nothing on their website about this, so I asked. I waited ~2 weeks, sent follow-up emails, and never got an answer other than "I'm waiting on info," so I withdrew my application the night before the interview (yet they still sent me a rejection this week...). With my friend dropping out of their EdM program because it was too easy, TC rudely "congratulating" PhD applicants for getting into their EdM program in past years (see Results in 2012 and 2013), inviting lots of people to interview just to advertise their EdM program, two of my professors speaking poorly of the program, waiting 2 weeks for no info, and their apparently non-competitive funding, it made the decision easy. But that is just my experience - perhaps yours will be different, and I bet there are current students who have had positive experiences with TC, so don't let mine influence you too much.  

Good luck! Feel free to ask me any questions if you have them.

Edited by Bubbala
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Thank you all for your replies! 

 

I'm in my last year of undergrad and am entering a Counseling Psychology PhD program this fall. Going straight to PhD from undergrad without working or getting a Master's in between can be difficult, but it is certainly still possible. As other users said, make sure you have lots of relevant research experience in your area of interest to create a cohesive narrative for yourself and your academic path. Continue finding relevant summer internships as well.

 

To Bubbala:

Would you mind sharing some of your stats and what schools did you apply to? What kinds of research experiences/internships did you have that was relevant to counseling?

 

Thanks so much!!

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