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Questions about applying to US Clinical Psychology PhD programs as a Canadian student


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Hi everyone!

I am a Canadian student interested in applying to Clinical Psychology graduate schools in the States and have a few questions about the process and schools. Any help would be greatly appreciated :) 

1. I read that each school provides different levels of funding for their students. Is this funding generally for U.S. citizens? Or does it vary by school? Does anyone know any schools that provide good funding for international students?

2. Is there a big difference between PhD programs in private universities vs. non-private? Is one better than the other or are they generally the same?

3. There are so many APA-accredited schools, any advice on how to narrow the selection down? Other than location and faculty accepting students.

4. How much weight do schools put on the GRE? I have a really strong background in research with a few publications in the works as well as a strong GPA. However, my GRE scores are not that great (155V, 155Q, 5W) - will this significantly lower my chances?

Any other advice would be great!



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1. I'm not an international student so I don't know if they'd used tier funding but for domestic candidates usually the base funding is the same and the department can elect students for additional fellowships/scholarships but you really need to comb through the financial aid/funding at each school to get a better picture. I only applied to fully funded schools so this may differ for other people.

2. Not really. Some of the best PhD programs in the US are public (UNCs, UCLAs, UConn etc) but that doesn't mean that private schools aren't fantastic as well (Harvard, NYU etc). Most people are more concerned about the program fit and program/PI productivity/R1 vs. R2 or 3 status. The biggest difference I think is in tuition if the program isn't fully funded. A private school will be far, far more expensive.

3. Match your interests to the PI and honestly rank schools that are dream, fit, and 'safety' (P.S I rarely thing safety schools exist in this field but I needed a name for the last category). The process is too competitive to not be careful with this.

4. Your GRE may or may not be problematic based on the school. A good one won't get you in but a bad one can sometimes keep you out; especially so for international students because of how many apply to US schools. Most people advise to aim for a 315-320 but if all other parts of your app are fine you should be good

Edited by 8BitJourney
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