Selection Process Overview

Each candidate's application materials to the Ph.D. Program in Clinical-Community Psychology with Rural, Indigenous Emphasis are independently evaluated and quantitatively rated by members of the Ph.D. Admissions Committee.  This committee consists of core faculty members and a student representative.  Faculty reviewers follow written guidelines for evaluating application materials. Each application is initially screened on the following dimensions:

  1. Undergraduate and graduate grade point average (meeting the minimum GPA required)
  2. Degree and major (completion of bachelor’s degree and relevance of major)
  3. Coursework (completion of prerequisite coursework)
  4. Letter of intent (interests and professional goals, goodness of fit with program)
  5. Professional vita (documentation of academic, research, and professional experience)
  6. Letters of recommendation
  7. Graduate Record Exam scores - optional

All applications that pass this initial screening process are reviewed in greater detail by Ph.D. Admissions Committee members. This comprehensive review process follows written guidelines for evaluating materials and provides quantitative ratings on the following dimensions:

  1. Academic potential (e.g., demonstrated ability to learn; has performed well academically; capable of mathematical reasoning; works consistently toward academic goals; appropriate breadth of academic preparation; GPA and any optional GRE scores)
  2. Research potential (e.g., demonstrated ability and interest in doing research; interest in faculty research; evidences of presentations, publications, or grants; evidence of other creative works)
  3. Therapeutic potential (e.g., relevant clinical experiences; ability to form and maintain relationships; appears to understand others, cares about others; ability to intervene effectively; reportedly hears and uses feedback)
  4. Community potential (e.g., relevant community experiences; ability to work proactively; appears to understand community dynamics; ability to intervene effectively; commitment/interest in community-based work)
  5. Relevant personal characteristics (e.g., appropriately self-disclosing, demonstrates self-reflection, interest and motivation sufficient to succeed in the program; demonstrates interpersonal skills)
  6. Writing and communication skills (personal statement demonstrates ability to organize and clearly communicate written ideas; materials overall reflect good basic grammar, punctuation, and style)
  7. Strength of references (e.g., potential for success, verbal communication skills, ability to relate to others, personal qualities, interest and motivation in learning, capacity for critical evaluation, capacity for integration)
  8. Match with program (e.g., familiarity with the training mission [practitioner-scientist] and focus of program; committed to rural, diversity, and community service issues)
  9. Contribution to diversity (e.g., demonstrates an appreciation for ethnic diversity, religious/spiritual diversity; sexual orientation; disabilities; other demonstrated contribution or sensitivity to diversity)
  10. Commitment to Alaska (e.g., wants to practice in Alaska, especially the rural areas of the state; committed to remaining in the state after graduation)

The ratings from all Ph.D. Admissions Committee members are combined to provide each candidate with one overall score. The highest scoring applicants will be invited to visit the campus for a series of personal interviews with faculty.  

In-person interviews will take place the first Wednesday in March.   Inviting all applicants for one day of interviews allows them the opportunity to meet informally with each other, as well as with the faculty.  The personal interview is an important and required part of the admissions selection process.  Applicant finalists are typically given about a two-week notice of this interview invitation. Failure to attend the in-person interviews constitutes a withdrawal from the admissions process and the application will not be considered further.  Alternate arrangements may be made under exceptional circumstances only.

After completion of the interviews, the Ph.D. Admissions Committee will make final selections. Candidates are selected on the basis of their final scores and the degree of "fit" or match between applicants' interests and strengths and the faculty's research and clinical interests, as well as match with mission of the Ph.D. Program in Clinical-Community Psychology with Rural, Indigenous Emphasis.