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How To Apply To Grad School For Psychology

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Clinical Phd Versus Psyd


If you are interested in Clinical Psychology, you will have to decide whether to pursue a PhD or PsyD degree. Other areas of psychology only have PhD programs. Sometimes you will find that PhD programs are often referred to as “scientifically-oriented” whereas PsyD programs are “professionally-oriented.” Generally speaking, the PhD program provides training in both clinical research and practice, but may be more heavily weighted toward research. The Psy.D. programs are more oriented toward training students for practice in clinical and other applied professional settings and research is often less emphasized.

Do I Need A Bachelor’s Degree In Psychology To Earn A Psychology Graduate Degree

A bachelor’s degree in psychology makes it easier to transition to a graduate program in psychology given the student’s familiarity with the subject. Some graduate schools do give preference to students with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. But many others allow non-psychology students to take prerequisite psychology courses that will give exposure to necessary foundational theories, research methods, and psychology statistics. Naturally, some undergraduate degrees facilitate an easier transition to a graduate program in psychology than others a student with a bachelor’s degree in sociology studies human nature and the inherent psychological theories this entails. Conversely, a math major has the mathematical skills necessary for the research aspect of psychology, but may not have requisite knowledge of psychological science itself.

How To Apply To Our Graduate Programs

The department offers two graduate degrees: the Ph.D. in Psychology, with tracks in Clinical Psychology, Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Behavioral and Brain Sciences and the M.A. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, or I/O Professional Masters Program.

This webpage provides instruction for applying to the Ph.D. in Psychology.

  • Applicants to the MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Gwinnett should visit the IOMP website for admissions and application information.

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Or Take Time After Graduating To Adequately Prepare

Another option that many grad students successfully take is to spend some time between their undergraduate and graduate careers. Rather than applying during their senior undergrad year or directly after graduating, it can be helpful to take a year or more to get additional research experience, adequately prepare for the GRE and achieve a satisfactory score, write a winning statement of purpose, and more.

Additionally, taking time away from academic life after graduating can be useful for students to think more deeply about their career goals, whether they want to pursue graduate studies and, if so, what type of graduate program they want to apply to. In some cases, students apply for graduate school as the “next logical step” when in fact they have not fully considered whether academic studies is the path that they genuinely want to take.Finally, it is possible to get additional job experience, clinical experience, and/or volunteering experience after graduating and before potentially applying to graduate school. These can be important for a number of different graduate programs.

Is Grad School For Psychology Worth It

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Yes, grad school for psychology is worth it for many professionals. Getting a masters degree or doctoral degree is often a required step in qualifying for careers in the field of psychology.

Common careers in the field include psychologist, postsecondary teacher, and substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 3% job growth for psychologists and 25% job growth for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors.

There are many branches of psychology to choose from and various levels of graduate degrees to pursue, such as a masters, specialist degree, or doctorate.

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Writing A Statement Of Purpose

Your statement of purpose is a short essay that should tie together the rest of your application. Aim to give the admissions committee a clear idea of why youll be a good fit for the program and your motivations for applying.

Make sure to carefully read the instructions for your statement of purpose. Some programs provide prompts that you have to respond to in your essay. If youre applying to multiple programs, tailor your statement to each one.

A strong statement of purpose should include:

  • A introduction to your academic and personal background
  • Your experience and accomplishments
  • Your motivations for applying to this particular program
  • Your academic goals for the program, including specific topics youd like to explore
  • Your career objectives for after the end of the program

The statement of purpose should not just be your resume in paragraph form. Add value by describing how you personally contributed to any projects or learned from classes that might be listed on your resume.

Finally, make sure your statement reads well and is free of language errors. Have a friend look it over, and dont be afraid to use a professional proofreader if youd like another set of eyes.

Here Are Some Of The Areas Your Vita Should Cover:

Personal History: This includes your name and relevant addresses . You may consider providing such optional information as birth date, marital status, number of children, etc.

Educational History: List degree earned or state when your degree is expected to be completed. List all institutions of higher education you have attended. Include major, minor, and titles of honors or master’s theses .

Honors and Awards: Especially include academic honors, but others may be included as well.

Memberships in Honor Societies: List memberships in such organizations as Psi Chi, Phi Kappa Phi, etc., and the year inducted.

Memberships in Professional Organizations: List memberships in such organizations as APA, OPA, APS, etc., and the year joined.

Papers Presented at Professional Meetings: List these in APA format.

Work History: From most recent to least recent, include a short description of job duties.

Papers Published : List these in APA format.

Teaching Experience: Include courses in which you assisted in teaching or in laboratory instruction.

Research Experience: List research projects you have conducted or that you have been involved.

Related Professional Experience: List volunteer work not listed in the Work History section. This includes any related work or committee experience and any skill or organizational ability that may be viewed as useful in professional psychology.

List of References: Include their addresses .

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Planning Your Application Timeline

The most important tip for applying to graduate school is to start early! No matter which type of program youre applying to, you should start considering your plans around 18 months before beginning your program.

Most programs have strict deadlinesusually 69 months before the start date. Others have what are called rolling deadlines, meaning that the earlier you send in an application, the earlier you get a decision. Either way, you should usually aim to get in all your applications before the new year for a start date the following September or October.

Make sure to carefully plan out your timeline for applying. Each step will take longer than you think it will, so leave plenty of extra time! Below is a table giving an idea of how much time youll need for the essential application tasks.


Common Psych Degree Specializations

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Its beneficial to discover which branch of psychology you want to specialize in. Some branches cover very different topics and can lead to distinct career paths and work settings.

The field of psychology has many pathways and branches, and each specialization offers a range of meaningful career options.

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Choosing Programs To Apply To

Choosing a program is the first step of the process. Start by talking to alumni and current students of the programs youre interested in, as well as individuals in the career field that youre hoping to pursue afterwards. Ask them questions like the following:

  • Do I need a graduate degree at all? It might be possible to pursue this field using the experience and education that you already have.
  • How important is school prestige in this field? In fields like law, prestige is extremely important, whereas it matters very little in many medical careers, like nursing or physical therapy.
  • Do the faculty and staff of this institution make adequate time for their students? Especially in research, the quality of supervision and teaching determines how much you get out of a program.
  • Do I have a realistic shot of getting into this program? Aim high, but dont waste application fees on schools out of reach, and make sure you have a few backup programs youre pretty sure you can get into.
  • How much will the program cost? Many graduate programs offer some sort of financial aid, but others expect most students to front the whole cost through loans and other forms of financing.
  • What is the job market like for alumni of this program? Many programs list the career outcomes of their graduates on their websites. If one doesnt, you should feel free to contact an administrator of the program and ask for it.

Meet Or Exceed The Admission Requirements

Once youve narrowed down your top-choice schools, youll need to make sure you meet their admission requirements. Different programs require different things, but there are generally some standard benchmarks to meet:

Other requirements will vary depending on the program, as well as your educational background. For example, if your bachelors degree wasnt in psychology, you might need to take a semester or two of undergrad prerequisites such as statistics, biology, and social sciences.

Step 5

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Transcripts Of All Credits

Transcripts are required from each undergraduate school attended. Please submit your transcripts through GradCAS by uploading copies of all transcripts. Please only upload UNOFFICIAL COPIES for the application. Official transcripts will be required upon matriculation into the graduate studies program. Please do not email any transcripts to the Psychology Department as you must contact GradCAS directly for any assistance with uploads. See contact information at #9 below.

How Hard Is It To Get Into Grad School For Psychology

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Home » How Hard Is It to Get into Grad School for Psychology?

How hard is it to get into grad school for psychology?

Graduate school programs in popular fields like psychology can often be crowded with applicants, so it can sometimes be difficult to get in.

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When pursuing grad school, it can help to know whats expected of applicants. This article will offer some insights and tips that might help you improve your chances of acceptance.

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What Is The Average Gpa For Psychology Graduate School

When applicants have an above-average GPA, admissions offers tend to see that as an indicator of an applicants study habits and overall academic readiness.

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For masters degree programs, admissions officers generally want to see a minimum GPA of 3.0 or 3.5. How much GPA matters can vary from school to school, though. For most programs, your GPA is likely to be one factor among many, but not all graduate schools list an explicit minimum GPA requirement.

Applying To Grad School

It is never too early to start thinking about when and where you intend to apply to graduate school. Applications for PhD and PsyD programs are generally due in December and Masters program applications are due in March. Generally speaking, psychology PhD programs accept applications from students who have completed a Bachelors degree. You will earn the MA as part of the PhD program. Most PhD programs work on a mentorship model where applicants are connected to specific faculty/research labs. An important step in identifying programs of interest is learning about faculty research programs and noting who is doing work that aligns with your interests.

For PhD programs, the most important part of your preparation is the research experience you accumulate. The more the better. Most PhD programs want to see at least one year of serious involvement in research. Research oriented clinical psychology PhD programs may expect to see 2 or more years of research experience for their successful applicants. If you are preparing to apply to Clinical Psych programs, be sure to consult with the Psychology Department Pre-Clinical Advisor as you plan your application process. All PhD, PsyD and Masters programs will expect that you will have completed coursework including statistics and research methods. See the admission criteria for the specific programs you are interested in for details about specific course requirements.

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Submit A George Mason University Graduate Application

  • Follow the instructions on the College of Humanities and Social Sciences admissions page.
  • Submit your application by the deadlines listed on the Admissions website.
  • Please note there different deadline dates depending on the program. International student deadlines are typically one month earlier than posted deadlines. Find out more about international applicants’ resources.
  • Forward any official transcripts to the Office of Admissions as stated in the application. DO NOT forward transcripts to the psychology office as this will delay the university review of your application and an admission decision.
  • How Do You Apply To Graduate School

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    Begin the application as early as possible. Start researching schools in May and take the free GRE practice test. The results show you where you stand and whether a GRE prep course might prove necessary. Sign up for the GRE in June so that you leave enough time to study before taking the test in August or early September. Contact and request information from the schools and programs that interest you in July. In August, begin your essay or personal statement.

    In September, familiarize yourself with the professors with whom you wish to work with. Also, request official transcripts by October. In late November or December, submit all of your application materials. This should cost between $50 and $100 on average. Research whether your school’s admissions office offers waivers for applications. Given that application guidelines vary by school, carefully review each school’s requirements. After sending your materials, you should receive some kind of confirmation from the school that your application is now under review.

    Some applicants choose a college admissions service company that many schools sign up for to simplify the process. While CommonApp serves undergraduates, Liaison International’s GradCAS stands as the leader in graduate admissions services. Through GradCAS, students use a single application to apply to multiple graduate schools for psychology.

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    Specialist Degrees: Educational Specialist Vs Psychology Specialist

    Specialist degrees provide masters-level training with additional specialized courses. Educational specialist training focuses on research-informed school leadership practices and instructional methods.

    Educational specialists might use their skills in school leadership roles to improve teacher supervision programs. They might also work as curriculum specialists or instructional coaches or trainers. A psychology specialist degree, on the other hand, provides advanced training for jobs in school psychology.

    With this kind of training, you can learn best practices for supporting special needs learners. You can also learn how to collaborate effectively with larger support networks, including other school personnel, student advocates, and family members.

    A psychology specialist might also help schools develop or improve systems, policies, and procedures for identifying, assessing, or supporting students with learning challenges.

    Roadmap To Graduate School

    Part 1: Tips for Getting Started and Making Good Use of the Summer

    • An overview of masters, PhD, and PsyD graduate programs in psychology
    • Information on how to apply to these programs
    • Explanation of the Graduate Record Examinations
    • Tips on preparing for applications.

    Part 2: Acing Your Application

    • Actionable tips for students considering graduate school
    • Materials that are typically submitted with applications
    • Writing strong statements of purpose

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    Suggested Timeline To Prepare For Graduate School

    In order to assist you in the graduate application process, a yearly and a month-by-month check list of essential dates and procedures is included. To encourage students to stay ahead of their program application chores, this check list represents a suggested schedule for you to follow under the assumption that you have started the process early in your undergraduate career. However, if you find yourself in mid-October of your senior year wanting to apply to graduate school, there should be time to catch up. Since this check list is geared toward fall admissions, students seeking January placement should make the appropriate adjustments in sequencing.

    Essays And Personal Statements

    Sample Letter Of Intent For Graduate School Psychology ...

    Admissions committees review information from piles of applicants before they make a decision. Your job remains to stand out in the crowded field, a task facilitated by a personal statement or essay. Some people get confused about the difference between a statement of purpose and an essay or personal statement. A statement of purpose answers specific questions about why you chose psychology, your interest in the particular program, your proposed plan of study, and your short-term and long-term career goals. An essay outlines your experience and qualifications in the field, as well as how you fit in the program.

    Always submit an essay even if it’s optional essays allow you to personalize your application in a way that other materials in the package cannot. Think about the essay as a marketing tool. Before you start writing, think about the main takeaways. Why should they choose me? Why do I fit into this department? What will I accomplish with this degree from this department? In your preliminary notes, structure the essay with a dynamic and coherent theme or narrative, and begin the essay with a hook that grabs the attention of the reader. Highlight your strengths, give specific examples of coursework or research, and succinctly discuss your relationships with faculty mentors. Keep the essay to the established length. Use as many credible resources as you can find to complete a winning essay.

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