Dr. Lynn Friedman: Clinical Psychologist

Work Life (Career Columns) Psychology Life Therapy Life School Life  

Home
Undergraduates
Graduate Students
Professionals
About Dr. Friedman
Copyright
Courses
Links
Links for Students
Internships and Jobs
Organizations


Do you need research experience to get into graduate school in clinical psychology?
When straight A's are not enough

Getting straight A's, having high GRE's, tons of clinical and extracurricular experience is not enough. In order to get into Ph.D. programs in clinical psychology, you musthave clinical research experience.

Students in small but excellent colleges may find themselves in a bit of a bind. Despite outstanding faculty, they may not have research opportunities. Yet, research experience is essential. I had a colleague who had a 4.00 average, 1600's on her boards and ten years of clinical experience and she wasn't not admitted! She was rejected because she had no research experience. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do about this.

Contact the National Science Foundation. Often they have prestigious summer research programs. If accepted, you will have the opportunity to work with faculty on their research. Note, their programs are highly competitive. Also, typically, they do not admit more than one student per school. Therefore, you need to have a plan B.

Is there a local medical school near your university? If so, you should find out whether faculty in the Department of Psychiatry are engaged in ongoing research. Summers are a good time to obtain experience. Surf the web and obtain a listing of National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) grants. Is there any interesting research going on locally? Is there any interesting research near your summer digs? If so, apply for a summer job. Or, arrange with your university to do a research internship for academic credit.

In fact, if money is not an issue, you may want to contact your favorite researcher and ask him/her if he will accept you as a summer intern. If you have done well and if you have solid grades and excellent course exposure, and if, you write well. I see no reason why many researchers would not be glad to have the free labor. If money is a concern, perhaps your university or its alumni might be willing to support a well-conceived proposal.

For many years, at Carnegie Mellon, I taught a summer course, Research internship in Clinical Psychology. Students were placed in clinical research settings at the local psychiatric hospital. Course work was devoted to helping students to communicate research findings both verbally and in writing and to helping students become familiar with all aspects of the graduate school application process. Every year students come from small schools in order to obtain research opportunities that are not available at their host institutions. I suspect that there are probably other courses like this elsewhere. If you can not obtain a paying position, or you want the academic credit, this kind of course may be something for you to consider.

Here's an article on how to apply for research positions. Finally, to do this you will need to put together a resume and a cover letter. Here's a sample cover letter for a research assistant position

Psychology departments, Psi Chi Chapters and Psychology Clubs may republish these articles

This material is copyrighted. However, Psychology Departments, Psi Chi Chapters, Psychology Clubs and University and College Career Centers may republish any of the columns from www.drlynnfriedman.com/psychologylife.html free-of-charge as long as each column is reprinted in its entirety and without alteration. Also, along with any column, copyright and and the following byline must be attached: Dr. Lynn Friedman is a clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst and executive coach in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She is on the associate faculty in the Organizational Development/Human Resource Management Program at Johns Hopkins University. Web site: www.drlynnfriedman.com. She can be reached at: (301) 656-9650.

Psychology majors who read this article also found these articles helpful:
  • Getting to know faculty
  • Participating in class
  • Asking faculty for references for graduate school
  • Getting into graduate school
  • Taking GRE courses
  • Addressing deficits in your academic record
  • For psychologists and psychologists-in-the-making
  • Advice for Graduate Students
  • Career Development for Professionals
  • The Analyst's Advocate -- Outreach suggestions for Psychoanalysts
  • Connect with Dr. Lynn Friedman
    Dr. Lynn Friedman works with professionals and professionals-in-the-making to help them to achieve their work-life goals.
  • To learn more about psychoanalytically-informed, career assessment, Download Dr. Lynn Friedman's pdf file on this interesting tool.
  • If you'd like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lynn Friedman, feel free to give her a call at: 301-656-9650
  • Subscribe to Dr. Lynn Friedman's work-life ezine
  • Corporations on the Couch Read Dr. Lynn Friedman's monthly, Washington Business Journal, column on understanding workplace dynamics.
  • For your questions about relationships, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, check out Dr. Lynn Friedman's new website, The Washington Psychoanalyst.
  • Write Dr. Lynn Friedman Subscribe to worklife columns Subscribe to psychology columns


    Work Life |  Psychology Life |  Therapy Life |  School Life |  Site Map

    Home |  About Dr. Friedman |  Copyright Info |  Links

    Undergraduates |  Graduate Students |  Professionals

    ©   1998 Lynn Friedman, PhD.

    This service is available, free-of-charge. Feel free to forward these columns to anyone who you think might be interested. You are free to share these columns with your friends, your parents and your friends' parents, so long as it is exclusively for personal use. However, I ask that you adhere to copyright laws by providing, along with any column, all attached copyright information. Also, it is a violation of copyright law to copy this column for commercial use and/or financial gain, to cut-and-paste this column or to use it without appropriate citation. I'll be glad to send these columns to anyone else who sends me email asking to be added to the dlist.

    Page designed by: Cristina Garza