panic!atthepsychapps Posted April 3, 2017 Share Posted April 3, 2017 Hey all, just looking for opinions/thoughts here. I'm still in the running for a PhD program, so not all hope is lost in that regard, but I need to start thinking about potential alternate paths. Currently, I'm considering the possibility of entering a Master's program to get more research experience and to prove that I can make it in a graduate school type environment. A bit about me: overall GPA 3.7, psych GPA of 3.8. GRE Qual 96th percentile and writing 99th percentile. Quant isn't great, but isn't totally terrible, either (58th -- math test anxiety is very strong), but I got As in my statistics and research methodology courses. 3 1/2 years of research experience in both health/social as well as clinical labs. I ran two of my own projects (sadly did not publish -- I regret that terribly) in addition to standard lab work. 10+ first author poster presentations at both regional and national levels, some teaching experience, and some clinical experience (9 months of volunteer work on a crisis helpline). Strong LoR. My primary mistake (I think) was limiting myself geographically, which caused lab "fit" to be slightly less than perfect. My age is also probably a factor -- I just turned 22, which now seems young compared to many of the people I met at interviews. Funding also kind of messed me up one place, but there's nothing that can be done about that. At any rate, it is looking more and more like I will need to try again. It's disappointing, but one can only ever move forward, and now I need to know about the best path. It's not really an option for me to become a lab coordinator / manager. The city I live in does have a university but the psych program is very weak and I know they don't have positions like that available, especially not to individuals who did not graduate from there or know any of the professors. I'm also not willing to move elsewhere to get a position like that. I know that may be seen as a mark against me, but it just is what it is. I either want to pursue more schooling or get a job for a year while I reapply. As is, the jobs in my location with only an undergrad degree in psychology are not stellar, and I do not feel as though they would meaningfully improve my CV / likelihood to get into a program. Thus, the only additional marks in my favor for the next application cycle would be my increased age and my much increased willingness to go further for a better fitting program. Thus, schooling seems like a good potential route. I'm wondering, though, if you guys could provide any information about whether it really IS a good route. I've received mixed feedback about applying to PhD programs with a Master's. Some professors have implied to me that it is actually a small mark against you, but I'm not sure that's true, given the sheer volume of applicants I met at PhD interviews who had MAs and MSs. Other professors have told me that it's fine to get a Master's before entering a PhD program. So, which is true? Could it improve my chances? If it could improve my chances, what are some programs I should consider? Counseling psych? General psych? Are there other, more specialized programs out there that I don't know about? Endgame: I would be applying primarily to clinical health psych PhD programs, and my dream career would (hopefully) fuse sexual health education and promotion with research and *perhaps* practice. I'm open to any suggestions or advice you all can offer. Thanks in advance, and I am sorry this post is kind of long! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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