About me

I am a psychology professor and practicing psychologist. One of the most enjoyable parts of my academic job is to help students get into solid graduate programs.

My university job has two very different elements 1) teaching graduate students how to become effective psychotherapists and 2) developing my program of research, which focuses on motivation problems in various mental health disorders.

I have been working in both practice and research realms of academia for over 14 years. Over these years I have read hundreds of graduate applications,  for programs that are more applied and for programs that are more research-oriented. This has given me the opportunity to distill what application reviewers are looking for in a variety of programs.

I can be reached at davidegard AT gmail.com

 About this site

I developed this site to help students get into rigorous graduate programs. There are several common internal obstacles that many students face when they apply to grad school:

  • The impostor syndrome (“I’m not good enough to go to University X”)
  • How to be ‘humbly boastful’ (emphasizing achievements without narcissism)
  • Being genuine, yet professional
  • Procrastination or dreading the application process rather than embracing it (and even enjoying it)

One of the most important pieces of advice I can give is to make sure to be authentically yourself in your application. What I mean is that you need to be fully you, even if there is a strong pull to ‘say the right thing’ on an application. Saying what you think the application reviewer wants to hear (“The faculty at X University piques my interest because of the rigorous scholarship that they …. blah blah blah”) will usually come off as disingenuous. Your goal for your application – especially your statement of purpose – is to let the graduate program get to know you as a person and why you are an ideal fit for their program.

At the end of the day you want to be in a graduate program that knows you and values you as a person. If they don’t value you, your contribution, and specifically what makes you a unique applicant, then move on to a program that does.

If you have a specific question, just let me know.  I read every message.

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