Help! Advice for applying to PhD programs in clinical Psychology…?

I am in my 5th year of a 5-year BA/MA program in general Psychology in a school that is not very well known. I have a 3.941 overall GPA and a 4.000 major GPA.My GRE scores however, are on the low sides (V:,570 Q:670 Essays: 4.5... so, total 1240). I have not taken the Psychology GREs yet, but my Kaplan diagnostic under timed conditions gave me a 700 before I started studying. I have been studying for about a month. My test is in October.I have considerable research experience but no publications. I have worked in about three labs during my time here as an undergrad. I was is in two of the labs for 6 months (one sleep lab and the other an attention lab). I have been in my thesis adviser's lab for about two years. I had 3 first author posters (one at a Psychology regional conference, one at a national Psychology conference, and the 3rd at an annual conference for my specialty) this last year. Again, unfortunately, I have no publications.I do have some clinical experience. I spent six months in a community health center for the severely and persistently mentally ill in an inner city neighborhood. I lead psychotherapeutic/psychoeducational groups, held individual sessions (I have no idea why I was allowed to do this), organized activities for clients and kept patient charts up to date.I have I am interested in studying the cognitive effects of sleep disturbances in those who have psychiatric illnesses (especially mood disorders).Unfortunately, I do not have a lot of experience with sleep.So, here are my questions.1. Should I apply this year? I don't know if my application is strong enough right now. If I were applying this year, the stats above are what the admissions people would see. If I wait, I will have an MA next year with a thesis I had to defend, and maybe a few more presentations. I don't see a publication in the next year as a possibility because of the way things are going. 2. I am still wavering between clinical psychology programs and cognitive psychology programs. If I get into a cognitive program, I know I could get certified to do clinical work as a postdoc if it is something I really, really want to do.

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2 Responses to “Help! Advice for applying to PhD programs in clinical Psychology…?”

  1. opportunistic says:

    The best thing you can do at this point is to get going on some kind of sleep research project or paper. Why didn’t you choose a thesis on that? Or does your thesis relate to it in some way, such as being about mood disorders?I don’t know how to judge your GREs, but the percentile should tell you how strong your scores are relative to others who took the test. If you hold off applying, when would you apply? I’d try applying to a few programs (make sure they are ones that have a sleep research center), maybe not your top choices, and if you get in, you’ll have them to fall back on. If you don’t get in, you can ask what they feel needs to be strengthened, and you’ll work on that.

  2. lawyerling says:

    I agree with Mavis about working on sleep lab, but I can tell you with psych programs that your GRE is just not high enough to be considered at most. Keep going with Kaplan and double the efforts you’re been putting in. You’ll want at least a 1500 on the GRE before you apply to be competitive. Report Abuse