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Pursuing a graduate education can be a good option to gain additional specialize skills, expand your personal growth, and to increase job prospects and earning potential. Preparing for graduate school requires time and effort by the prospective student in researching schools and programs and determining their own interests and career goals.
This website and its content was developed to help students become competitive graduate school applicants by making the most of that time and effort by providing them with valuable resources, useful information, and real world advice.
Note: The resources and information found on this page are targeted towards prospective Psychology graduate students. However, the content is not singular to psychology and can apply to a spectrum of other social science graduate programs. We encourage you to meet with a Psychology Advisor, Opportunity Hub Coach, or Career Center Advisor to discuss your options.
It’s never too early to start preparing for graduate school! If you are planning to apply for a psychology PhD program, research experience is expected. Graduate programs will also look for a depth of experience that may include service learning, internships, and leadership and participation in student organizations. It's also important to start networking and build meaningful relationships, such as with faculty members who are in or related to the field of your graduate program.
What you'll find here: timeline, characteristics of a competitive applicant, research experience, assess interests, research experience, post-baccalaureate job, internships, gap year, mentorship, professional development, career outcomes
- An informative video from the Psychology STAR Scholars graduate students
- A roadmap about getting into graduate school, and how to break the process down into clear, logical, and manageable steps
Timeline to plan for graduate school during your undergrad - University of California
- Simple timeline by year to help stay on track during undergrad
- PDF of advice, tips, and tricks from UNC professor and former Director of Clinical Psychology, Mitch Prinstein
- YouTube video of different careers in psychology, degree options, the application process for doctoral programs in psychology, and tips for getting admitted
- A guide book for prospective graduate students in psychology revisied for 2022/2023 with all-new data on more than 300 doctoral programs
- A student-led organization committed to working to shrink the socioeconomic gap in graduate school with over 800 mentors for application help and networking
- YouTube webinar that provides a comprehensive overview of the postbaccalaureate experience including what it is and why you might want to do it
To make sure that you’re applying to programs that are the “good fit”, you'll want to explore different programs and their qualifications and attributes. This includes a long list of subjective criteria such as your academic interests, research opportunities, location, cost and financial aid, and career outcomes. Not all programs are created equal, and not all programs will fit what each student is looking for, so it’s important for prospective students to consider all their options.
What you'll find here: program comparison, program search spreadsheet template, school considerations, information sessions, diversity recruitment, open houses, alumni networking, acceptance rates
Exploring Careers in Mental Health - LSA Psychology
- A video of UM Psychology Professor, Dr. Ashley Gearhardt, discussing the various careers within the field of mental health and the pathways to get there
Life of a doctor - but not that kind! - LSA Psychology
- A video from the Psychology STAR Scholars program discussing what kinds of careers you can find with research experience in psychology, besides being a professor – and what is being a professor really like, anyways?
- A webinar series that breaks down the graduate program application process into clear, logical and manageable steps
- A database with detailed information on programs offered, application details and deadlines, tuition, etc.
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Criteria for Choosing Graduate Programs of Interest - UC San Diego
- An outline of different ways to find programs and different types of considerations that may be a factor when applying
College Search Spreadsheet template - CollegeExpress.com
- Downloadable Google Sheets template to help stay organized when researching programs
Info sessions & opens houses for Psychology programs - Yale Psychology Dept.
- A living document updated frequently with Psychology info sessions and open houses
- An online mentoring and networking platform exclusively for LSA students and alums
- See how each subfield of Psychology breaks down in terms of amount of applications and acceptance rates
- Website created by UM alumni and clinical psychologist Dr. Travis Pashak to help students explore various degrees and career options within the field
You've compared programs, weighed your options, and identified a few schools which you'd like to attend. Now, it’s time to apply! Let’s look at the materials you’ll need to submit to apply to graduate school and ways to keep you organized, as well as what might happen after you press the submit button.
What you'll find here: timeline, process, required materials, organization spreadseet, personal essay, statement of purpose, research statement, letters of recommendation, interviews
The Graduate School Application Process: Start Now! - LSA Psychology
- A video from the Psychology STAR Scholars program. Topics include: how to find the right programs, how to structure your personal statement and get strong recommendation letters, do you have to take the GRE – and what if you don’t score as well as you’d like? This video also includes Q&A from a panel of graduate students, including those who have recently served on admissions committees.
Essential Grad School Application Timeline - CollegeExpress.com
- A blog entry about how to prepare for an application cycle for up to 12 months before the final deadline
- Check out this free GRE resource through the UM Library.
- Video presentation and panel from Project SHORT for prospective grad school applicants on setting timelines and how to stay organized in the process
- An extensive collection of tips for applying to research-focused PhD programs in psychology from a clinical psychology PhD student
- PPT of a survey of psychology graduate admissions committee chairs who revealed 5 categories of mistakes applicants make that diminish their probability of acceptance
Reaching out to potential PhD advisors - PsychologyToday.com
- A blog post covering why emailing a potential advisor is important and how best to do it
- A blog exploring some of the best tips for requesting a graduate school recommendation letter
- A volunteer-driven initiative to help PhD applicants get closer to writing a strong application statement by providing fast, constructive feedback and editing support
- Downloadable Google Document listing questions an applicant might want to ask during their interview for or visit to a potential graduate program