Tips for Applying to PhD Programs in Clinical Psychology
If you are thinking about applying to a Clinical PhD program, there are a lot of things you must consider. One issue concerns the number of applications. Right off the bat it is important to know that getting accepted to a PhD in clinical psychology is very difficult. We looked at data for acceptance and matriculation rates of PhD programs that are members of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology. You can see these rates for many PhD programs on their website under the link “Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data”. Our investigations found data for 100 programs, with the acceptance rate was most often 4%, and the matriculation rate (those who actually enrolled) was most often 2%.
With all of the above information, is there a way to know how many programs to apply to? Although there is no clear-cut answer to this question, there is some guidance from the Internet on determining how many programs an applicant should apply to. First, a number of sites discuss applications in terms of “fit” between a student’s credentials and the characteristics of a particular program--location, training emphasis, and potential mentor(s). Second, some sites discuss applying to different levels of programs. There are “Reach” programs (your credentials are lower than the program typically acceptsdata), “Match” programs (your credentials match who is typically accepted), and “Safety” programs (your credentials exceed those who are typically accepted). You might consider applying to two or three at each level. Third, there are sites that offer actual numbers--they range between 10-20 programs.
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