Online Masters to Brick and Mortar PhD, is it possible?

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by ANDames, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. ANDames

    ANDames New Member

    Hi i'm new...

    Is it difficult to get into a traditional brick and mortar University like University of Miami or University of Florida for a Phd after obtaining an online Masters degree from a for-profit University like Walden University or University of Phoenix?

    The Masters would be in Psychology.

    Additional Info About Me:
    PhD's Programs I'm Looking at
    All of the schools are in Florida:
    -Barry University
    -Nova Southeastern University
    -University of Miami
    -Florida International University

    Were did you get your undergrad:
    Acadia University; (Canada)-- Biology Major
    What was your GPA: 2.46
    Do you have GRE scores yet: 480-V; 330-Q, 3.5-AW
    Do you have any experience in counseling, research, or teaching?: No; Only Biological research at Acadia
  2. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    It's possible but could be more difficult. That said, I'd be more concerned about your GRE score and GPA. Those are a little low to be competitive in good PhD programs. Is that your undergrad GPA? If so, I'd bust out the best possible GPA you can in a masters program (close to a 4.0) to fix that issue. I'd also retake the GRE to get somewhere above a 1200 (on the old scale).
  3. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    The field also matters. What subfield of psychology do you plan to study?

    If clinical, you are probably wasting your time. Clinical programs are usually the most competitive.

    Social psychology or something similar might be possible if your GRE scores were higher and you did well in an MS in Psych program.

    I would stay away from online-only and for-profit schools.

    What would be best is an online program offered by a B&M school, but you are going to run into trouble with the 2.4 GPA and those low GRE scores.

    Why do you want to pursue a PhD in psychology anyway?
  4. ANDames

    ANDames New Member

    Yes that's undergrad. The grad program would be at Walden or Capella. Also, are you able to tell me which is better between the two?
    I intend to get a 4.0 in Grad school...I'm pretty sure I can achieve it. My psych (minor) was well above a 3 point average. It's Chemistry and many of my Bio grades that caused the overall deficit. I will also retake the GRE. I didn't study well for it. I thought I could use a calculator but I was unfortunately mistaken on the day of the exam.
  5. ANDames

    ANDames New Member

    Yes, clinical psychology. I intend to do well in the M.S. Clinical Psych program as well as retake the GRE. I have been denied admission to all of the brick and mortar schools that I have tried thus far (10 of them in Florida)..I'm just waiting to hear from the last one this week *crossing my fingers*. My father wont allow me to apply to a community college in Florida so this is really my best option if i'm not accepted into a traditional institution.

    I want to pursue a PhD in Psychology so that I can obtain a license as a Clinical Psychologist and practice in the Bahamas. Ultimately (several years from now), i'm hoping to do well in grad school and the psychology profession so that I can retake my MCATS and try to get into med school. I am still young by the way (22).
  6. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    The better question is why would you get the master's at all? A traditional PhD program doesn't require one for admissions, I'd skip it and apply directly.
  7. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    Why? The OP's GPA and GRE are far too low for PhD admissions at present.

    A PhD program will promptly place a 2.46 GPA application in the circular file.

    The MS would be necessary to overcome the low undergrad GPA.
  8. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I intend to win the lottery too.

    All kidding aside, best of luck.
  9. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    Maybe, but I'd rather study my axx off and retake the GRE. Collect kicking letters of rec and apply anyway. IF you get shelved, then maybe, but as a starting point? I'd also ask how long ago the GPA was, because you can spin poor GPA as a youth-issue if it's been several years ago.
    The cost of a masters at a for-profit is a fortune. FORTUNE. Id try a few things first, because you're going to carry that debt a long time, and we all know that the psych fields pay much less than the STEM fields. Just my two cents. None of us are on the adcom, so it's all speculation anyway.
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Good points by you.
  11. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    A Master's degree with a good GPA can "cancel out" the poor undergad GPA. When I was getting ready to graduate from MSSP, a staff member confided in me that the deal breaker for me in getting accepted (it's a competitive school) was my M.A. from UMass-Lowell. I had a very good undergrad GPA, but minimum coursework in Psychology, and my GRE score wasn't that great (I took it cold with no preparation and I stink at math). I had a great GPA at UML, and that pushed me over the top to get admitted at MSPP.
  12. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    I didn't mean to seem contradictory. I'm just pointing out the OP route of earning an expensive MA at a for profit without even first trying to gain admission seems...well, it's not something I would do, that's all. There are a lot of traditional B&M PhD programs out there- up near 2000 if I recall. Seems to me that applying to at least 1 of them is in order.

    So, if it's NOT possible to get a better GRE, that might be a problem (anyway). If it's NOT possible to find 2-3 former profs to say good things about you, that might be a problem (anyway). Maybe some volunteer or paid work/ shadow can lead to a few more gold stars on your application. "Having a masters" in something hasn't even happened yet, so you can't talk like it's in the bank. Respectfully, maybe the OP can't pull a 3.0 in grad school either.

    Also, it's worth pointing out that not everyone gets into the college they choose.

    The word of the day is: resourcefulness.
  13. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    A variant on this would be to get into a master's program at a bricks and mortar school that also has a Ph.D.; do well and you could also be a candidate to transfer ahead internally.
  14. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    Less than a 2.5 GPA? The university grad school might not even allow the admission committee to let them in.

    A 2.46 GPA, regardless of field, is a marginal GPA at best. For competitive graduate school admission, it's a complete non-starter.

    And with a poor academic background, whence cometh the letters of rec?

    For example, at the University of Florida (mentioned by the OP)...


    2.46 and 810 combined score? No chance. If the GRE were re-taken and blown out of the water (think 1500+ on the old scale), then the GPA would still have to be overcome. I would expect that the OP would need stellar letters of rec (which are unlikely due to the GPA) and a good amount of research experience in psychology (which the OP does not have).

    For the University of Miami...

    University of Miami, Psychology

    The OP wouldn't be competitive here either.

    Even the University of Phoenix's PhD in I/O Psych wouldn't let the OP in under normal admissions...

    Admissions Requirements - University of Phoenix

    The OP would also have trouble getting into an MS in Psych at UOP...

    I wonder why the OP wants a PhD in psychology anyway.

    IMO, realistically, the only chance the OP has is to go to a lower-tier school for the MS on conditional admission. After that, the OP might be able to get into a lower-tier PhD program.

    Top-tier programs like UFL and UMiami are simply not going to happen apart from winning a Nobel prize or something similar.
  15. ANDames

    ANDames New Member

    Please note what I said earlier:

    I have been denied admission to all of the brick and mortar schools that I have tried thus far (10 of them in Florida)..

    I have NO DOUBT that I can achieve a 4.0 or if not very close to one at Walden pursuing a Masters. I have looked at the curriculum and it will be no sweat for me with just Psychology courses. All of my Psych courses at Acadia were difficult and I only got a B if I didn't study at all.

    Also, It's really not that expensive...i wont need financial aid.
  16. ANDames

    ANDames New Member

    So far I have been accepted into both University of Phoenix & Walden University for the MS Psychology programs. This is why I want to attend one of them to obtain the Masters. Hence, my reason for asking the original question, "Is it difficult to get into a traditional brick and mortar University like University of Miami or University of Florida for a Phd after obtaining an online Masters degree from a for-profit University like Walden University or University of Phoenix ?"
  17. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    Why do you think you can achieve the 4.0? Especially on appeal, that's what universities would want to know. And I don't think, "Psh, psychology is easy" would be convincing. Graduate study in psychology is not the same as undergraduate study. It's not a matter of whether you "study" or not. It will boil down to your research skills.

    I don't want this to come across as being harsh, but admissions committees are rejecting you for a reason. The 2.46 tells the committee that you are either lazy or not smart enough to be in a PhD program. Why is this? Well, if you are not successful in your major but are smart enough to do a PhD program in ANY field, you should have changed your major as an undergrad to a field in which you could have been more successful. Also, a committee would likely think that if you truly had the capacity for PhD level research, you would have done whatever it took to be more successful in your biology and chemistry courses. A 3.4 GPA is understandable with a hard major. A 2.46 GPA is inexcusable for PhD admissions.

    I really don't think the for-profit route is the best route to counter the assumptions above. So what if you end up with a 4.0 at Walden? Just imagine what an admissions committee will say...."Ok, so he had a 2.46 GPA in his BS, but he ended up with a 4.0 from a for-profit, online university. Walden must be too easy." At this point, you really need a degree from a B&M school.

    If you are truly dedicated to the field, you may want to consider going back to obtain a B.S. in Psych from a local university. If you did that and did well, then you might be able to get into some of the B&M campuses for an M.S., and this could propel you into a PhD. It would be a long, expensive, route, but if you don't think for-profit MS programs are expensive, you might just have the cash.
  18. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Doctoral-level clinical or counseling psychology is going to be a long, hard slog for almost anyone.

    Have you thought about other allied health fields, other human service fields, qualifying as a K-12 teacher, and/or, medical school being your biggest eventual goal, really drilling down on and rocking the MCATs, and/or "special master's" programs or other programs for promising potential medical school applicants with academic deficiencies, and/or taking your chances with a revenue-driven international medical school?
  19. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    I agree with this. I know you've been denied at 10 B&M schools in Florida but I'd look at online programs elsewhere, as long as it's a school with a B&M presence. Finishing a M.S. with a high GPA from a well known school (even online) would be better for your application package.
  20. Cyber

    Cyber New Member

    Don't even try it. No matter what rationalization you hear (from those with monetary stake/benefit from online-only schools) in this forum as to how possible it is to use a degree from an online-only school for admission into doctoral program at a "good" B & M school, the truth is that a degree from an online-only school will be discriminated against big time by majority of the B & M schools that you apply to, except that traditional school is a for-profit school interested in your cash. In addition to the shame of mentioning where I received my "internet MS degree" from, I learned the hard way; in fact, I've stopped listing my internet degree (from TUI or Trident - God knows what they will name it next) if I'm applying for anything serious (after being rejected by a few state schools for doctoral admission).

    Take online classes from a traditional school with a physical campus if attending in person is not possible. Again, stay away from online-only schools if you intend to use that degree to apply for doctoral study at a B & M school otherwise, your options for doctorate degree will be limited to online/for-profit schools only. I'm doing a second master degree now (I call it the "real master degree") from a real school with a physical campus, and if I tell you that the setback (from inability to use my internet master degree) has derailed my plans seriously (for 2yrs, and that may increase), it is an understatement. Goodluck!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2011

Share This Page