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Switching from Psychology to History


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Hello all! I am considering (for several reasons) switching disciplines from clinical psychology to history and wanted to know what people thought my biggest hurdles would as a result be?

My background: double majored as an undergraduate in History and Psychology, decided to pursue a clinical psychology PhD and have worked for the last 3+ years in various psychology research labs. After having failed to get accepted (twice!) to Clinical Psychology PhD programs I'm having serious reservations about putting all that time, effort, and money into a third run. Largely I think the field is oversaturated as *I think* my grades are good (GPA 3.5, GRE V:164, Q:158), I have a lot of experience, presentations, etc and still only managed to get a single interview and no offers. Ultimately I want to become an academic and while the two fields are very different I could see myself becoming engrossed in either. 

I have a fairly good idea of what I'd pursue in terms of research, as well as undergraduate papers as writing samples, not entirely sure what might be expected in terms of professional output pre-graduate school for History.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

Edited by orphee
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You do not need to have papers published before you begin grad school. The most important things are your research interests and being able to define those, your sample, and your recommendation letters.

It is worth stressing, however, that if psychology is oversaturated then history is overflowing. In my family I have a psychology PhD and another relative beginning graduate school in the discipline: the job market in history is incomparably worse than that in psychology. I cannot say "don't pursue a history graduate degree," as I obviously have chosen to, but if you reasoning is that it seems to be the easier path to an academic career, know that it is not. 

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Honestly, I have a hard time believing that the psych field is oversaturated-- including clinical- given so much need on college campuses and centers scrambling to expand their staffing.

Honestly, what brings you to history?  What kind of other careers can you see yourself doing?  

Also, if you're serious about research and academia, you might want to spend plenty of time.... researching... on this board as there have been numerous threads with similar questions as yours in the last ...oh... 8 years or so I've been on here :) the general advice for switching disciplines/fields remain the same.

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@orphee I might suggest applying for MA programs if you want to switch. That will give you some grad school experience to show PhD programs and to decide if history is really what you want to do. It will also give you chance to bring up the GPA (and 3.5 isn't bad, but it isn't great, either, and PhD programs are notoriously competitive).

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