Clinical Behavioral Program Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

What do the GPA and GRE scores of admitted students look like?

 Measure
Average
GPA
3.53 [SD = 0.3; IQR = 3.35 to 3.77, range = 2.75 to 4.0]
GRE Quantitative percentile
44 [IQR = 29 to 56, range = 6 to 99]
GRE Verbal percentile
58 [IQR = 47 to 74, range = 2 to 98]
GRE Analytic Writing percentile
66 [IQR = 56 to 81, range = 7 to 98]

 

How are applicants' files evaluated?

Applicants to the EMU Clinical Behavioral Master’s Program are evaluated in terms of GPA, GRE, clinical experience, research experience, letters of recommendation, and program fit. We review all applications and review candidates based on their total profile. We do not have any cut-off scores for metrics like the GRE or GPA.

We typically get between 60 and 100 applications and admit about 12 students each year. Thus, there generally is an "arms race" regarding the GRE and GPA scores among the most competitive applicants. 

  • Individuals with low GRE scores, particularly quantitative reasoning, should make sure to provide additional information in the application process regarding their readiness for a graduate course in statistics (e.g., this is addressed in one of your letters of recommendation). The graduate statistics course is taken in the second year of the program and is required for graduation. Failure is an option, and we do not want to set prospective students up for failure. The program looks at previous quantitative course work grades, GRE quantitative reasoning scores, and letters of recommendation to identify indicators that a prospective student is likely to be successful in our graduate stats course.
  • For clinical experience, you should have some experience working clinically with one or more populations. The big function this serves it to let the admissions committee know that you have worked with clinical or otherwise vulnerable populations, have a tangible sense of what operating as a psychologist means and that when you get placed in your clinical practicum the second year of the program you will not have buyers remorse because you discover that working clinically is definitely not what you want to do. It is ok if your clinical experiences are rather modest in their duties or scope. The idea is to demonstrate that you have had adequate exposure to make an informed career decision.
  • Research experience is not required because Michigan is a terminal master’s state for applied practice as a Limited License Psychologist or Licensed Behavior Analyst. That said, research experience is looked upon favorably especially if that research supports your fit with the training goals of the clinical behavioral program.
  • For program fit, your personal statement will be where you will describe your career aspirations and how the training goals of the program fit with these. If there is a bad fit, you are less competitive as a candidate.
  • Finally, you will want strong letters of recommendation from individuals with graduate degrees who can speak to your academic and clinical aptitude. Letters from research mentors are also appropriate. Letters from non-professionals or other types of character references do not carry any weight.

Help me understand the differences between the Clinical Behavioral MS program and the General Clinical MS program

Both programs:

  • Prepare students for the LLP credential in the state of Michigan.
  • Support student involvement in research: you can be involved in the research labs of any faculty regardless of program affiliation.
  • Have program graduates that go on to practice in diverse areas.
  • Have program graduates that go on to doctoral programs in psychology.

Key differences

  • Clinical Behavioral program: concepts and principles grounded in behavioral science serve as the foundation for the program’s curriculum and underlie the rationale for the program’s assessment and treatment courses. The program’s course requirements are designed to give students a solid foundation for lifelong learning as scientist-practitioners.
    • The program’s course sequence meets the course content requirements for the BCBA credential. Eligibility for the BCBA credential is dependent upon meeting that credential’s practicum (supervised experience) requirements. Students of the Clinical Behavioral program are trained in the foundational competencies for working as behavior analysts.
    • The majority of the empirically supported treatments evaluated by the American Psychological Association’s Division 12, Society of Clinical Psychology are behavioral and cognitive-behavioral treatments. Students of the Clinical Behavioral program are trained in the foundational competencies for CBT practice.

 

  • General Clinical program: this program requires two courses that focus on personality (one theory, another assessment) and has room in its curriculum for about four elective courses. The elective credits provide students in the program with more flexibility in the courses they take, but this comes with the challenge that not all elective courses are offered regularly. Contact the General Clinical program coordinator ([email protected]) to find out if the elective courses you are interested in are likely to be offered during the time you aim to be in the program. The program does not require courses that are foundational for understanding evidence-based cognitive-behavioral therapies. The program coordinator will also be able to describe to you other strengths of the program.

Comparison of required courses:

 
Clinical Behavioral MS
General Clinical MS
Conceptual foundations
PSY 623 Concepts and principles of behavior

PSY 646 Personality

 

Required therapy courses

PSY 625 Clinical behavior analysis

PSY 627 Behavioral and other evidence-based therapies

PSY 751 Interpersonal processes in psychotherapy (required)

and

PSY 720 Evidence-based therapies for children and adolescents

or

PSY 752 Evidence-based psychodynamic therapy

 

Assessment

PSY 619 Behavioral Assessment

PSY 770 Self-report assessment of personality

or

PSY 771 Performance-based assessment of personality

 

Advanced

PSY 615 Design and analysis in small-n research

PSY 620 Theoretical foundations of behavioral science

PSY 701 Supervision and management in service settings

 

(take electives)

Electives

3 credits

13-14 credits

 

Courses required for both programs

PSY 600 Psychological statistics I

PSY 670 Scientific and professional ethics

PSY 683/684 Field practicum with seminar

PSY 743 Psychopathology

PSY 762 Cognitive assessment

 

Other FAQ regarding choosing one program or the other: