My first time writing! Actually, my first livejournal post, ever... I came across this blog and think it's awesome. I am currently a senior Psychology major and Spanish minor at a small liberal arts school, applying to APA-accredited Clinical Psychology PhD programs this fall. A lot of the pages I've been reading have discussed the upside of waiting a few years, but I'm applying anyways in the chance that things work out (fingers crossed). I really, really don't want to take time off if I don't have to. I guess I'm basically your average overachiever that is frantically worrying that what I've done thus far as an undergrad is not nearly enough for admission to a highly competitive grad program (although I've practically killed myself to get ahead after declaring Psychology late). But anyways... I truthfully don't know if I have a shot, so that's why I'm here. Can anyone shed some light on this based on your own experiences, and from looking at my stats and experience thus far below? Would taking time off be beneficial for me before applying next year? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
So here's my stats as of right now. I have a cum. GPA of 3.73, a Psychology GPA of 3.88, am in Psi Chi (International Honor Society in Psych), and am currently doing an Independent Study (IS) with one of my professors. I'm also the editor for my school's Psych department newsletter. I've done four volunteer placements/internships this year alone- varying between research internships and clinical volunteerism in inpatient units and hospitals. I did two at the same time this summer. Beyond my IS I've also done two other research studies with other students, and am planning to publish my IS this spring (hopefully). That would be my first publication.
My GRE scores are, eh,... 53% verbal and 57% quantitative I believe with a 4.5 in writing. Not great, and I'm not happy about them, but frankly I don't have the money or the time to take them again. In terms of applying, I have several schools in mind and am planning to email the faculty members I'm interested in to start building rapport ASAP. I'm also in the process of my personal statements- I'm trying to incorporate in the theme of 'taking initiative' as my token, basically since I've pushed myself like crazy and tried hard to make myself a suitable candidate despite declaring pretty much halfway through undergraduate (advice on this idea for a statement is appreciated as well).
I guess it sounds like I have a lot going on when I finally start putting it into words, but I'm still wary to think that my application will even be competitive, since I really don't know what kinds of applicants I'm up against. The programs I'm looking at generally take 10 people, and receive roughly 300 applications >:(. Any advice based on past Clinical Psych PhD experiences? Critiques? Help? Would all be greatly appreciated :) Thanks!