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How To Get Into Psychology Grad School

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Admission To Graduate School

How I got into my school psychology program

Getting Admitted

Getting into a Psychology Graduate Program may feel a little overwhelming, but there are some steps you can take to begin, which you can learn about here.

Once you have your programs, you will want to look at each program’s website for their admissions requirements you can see the UT requirements here.

Common requirements to look for are:

  • GRE scores– many schools will not require this for 2021 admissions*
  • Transcripts from all universities previously attended
  • 12-15 hours of Psychology coursework
  • Some programs have additional specific course requirements.

You may be asking, what can I do to help me chances of being admitted into a gradate program? While there is no way to guarantee your acceptance, there are things that will help your application stand out!

  • Keep grades high
  • Research Experience- as much as you can get! PSY 420M and PSY 357 are good places to begin.
  • Statistics courses- PSY 317L, 420M, PSY 458, etc.
  • Join Psychology organizations on campus, like TSPA, WIP, Psi Chi, etc.
  • For those wishing to practice, internships or volunteer experience in relevant areas are great.
  • Cultivate relationships with faculty/grad students in your area for recommendations/mentoring.
  • Begin your program research and corresponding with potential supervisors well ahead of time.

Information Resources

Admissions Deadlines

Financial Assistance

How Hard Is It To Get Into Grad School

Depending on your high school performance, declared major, and the schools you applied to, getting into your undergraduate institution may or may not have been hard for you. The same applies to grad schoolgetting in will be difficult for some and less challenging for others.

Consider the differences between applying to undergrad and applying to grad school. Excelling academically in college is much more difficult than excelling in high school. To illustrate, earning a 4.0 GPA in high school is impressive, but maintaining a 4.0 college GPA for four years is a near miracle.

Furthermore, graduate school admissions committees expect their applicants to have extensive extracurricular experiences relating to their subject field. For example, most pre-med students participate in research, shadow doctors, volunteer in medical settings, and engage in community service to improve their chances of getting into medical school. Becoming a competitive grad school applicant requires more effort than becoming a competitive undergrad applicant.

Another reason getting into grad school is difficult is because seats in graduate programs are limitedeither by funding, faculty availability, or restrictions of the program. Some grad programs will only accept ten new students each year. So even if only two hundred hopefuls apply, competition for those ten seats will be fierce.

Graduate Application Guide For Psychology Students

Learn about our editorial process.

Psychology.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Plan To Pay For School

Of course, getting into the program of your choice is just a part of the process. You also need to figure out how to pay for it. Thankfully, there are plenty of options to help you fund your education, including loans, grants, scholarships, fellowships, and work-study programs. The first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid , which will determine any need-based assistance you qualify for. Once you know what youll receive from the government, you can supplement that aid in other ways. There are countless scholarships, grants, and fellowships available through psychology associations and private organizations. Those who are pursuing their doctoral degrees might also receive full or part tuition remission for assisting with research or teaching. If youre working while going to school, your employer might offer contributions to your education.

If youve exhausted your options for free financial aid, loans can fill in the gaps. If you do end up needing loans, keep in mind that federal assistance often has advantages to loans from private banks, including potentially lower and fixed interest rates and the possibility for loan forgiveness.

Types Of Clinical Psychology Programs

Getting Into Graduate School: Your Roadmap for Success!

Becoming a clinical psychologist a psychologist that specializes in research and/or treatment of mental health involves a variety of graduate training routes. These can occur at the doctoral or masters levels . Here we overview several of the major routes for becoming a clinical psychologist.1

PhD in Clinical Psychology

The doctoral degree, earned over approximately 4-6 years , equips its recipient to conduct research, teach, and/or work as a practicing clinician. It is the most versatile of the degrees that can be earned in clinical psychology. PhD programs in clinical psychology are heavily research-focused and are typically designed around a scientist-practitioner model which idealizes the ability to both conduct research and practice. Among all graduate programs, clinical psychology doctoral programs are among the most difficult to get into admission rates are lower than that of law school, medical school, or other research-based graduate programs .1 Clinical psychology PhD programs typically provide funding to graduate students, however, thus making this route less financially burdensome.

PsyD in Clinical Psychology

Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, Counseling Psychology, or Social Work

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How Long Does It Take To Become A Clinical Psychologist

Assuming youve already completed your bachelors degree, you still have some steps to complete before you can become a clinical psychologist. Most clinical psychologist licenses require a doctorate.

Depending on whether you get a masters next or gain admittance directly to a doctoral degree program, you may still have some 4 to 7 years of academic programming to complete. In addition, any fieldwork, labs, or internship requirements may add to your time to completion.

Thesis, dissertation, or capstone project requirements can also extend your time in school. Becoming a clinical psychologist also requires state licensure. Licensing requirements for each state can vary, but they often include at least one licensing exam as well as additional supervised fieldwork.

Can You Switch To Psychology

So can you switch to a graduate degree in psychology if your undergraduate degree is in a completely different field? Yes, but there are a few important things you need to consider.

  • First, you might need to take some additional courses in order to meet the prerequisites before applying to a graduate program.
  • Next, you need to be sure that you have completed any tests that are required for admissions to the program, which may include the GRE and the psychology subject test.

Before you fully commit to a graduate program, you might want to consider starting with a few prerequisite psychology courses. This can not only get you up-to-speed on the subject matter, but it will also help give you a better idea of whether you really want to continue your studies in psychology.

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Masters Degrees: Master Of Arts Vs Master Of Science In Psychology

A masters degree in psychology can help you gain the credentials you need to work in a variety of psychology-related positions, and it can also be a stepping stone to a Ph.D. degree.

Most Masters of Science in Psychology programs put more emphasis on statistical reporting, research and experimentation techniques, and similar topics.

Counselors are among the many specialists with masters degrees in psychology and they can work as marital and family therapists, adolescent counselors, substance abuse counselors, career counselors, sports counselors, or vocational counselors.

If you want to be a school psychologist, you may have to get a masters in school psychology.

You can also be better qualified for administrative positions in people training and supervision or human resource management if you have a masters degree in Industrial and Organizational psychology.

Common Psych Degree Specializations

Grad School Interview Tips | Counselling and Clinical Psychology Programs

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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Is It Better To Get An Ma Or Ms In Psychology

In general, MA degrees in psychology place a stronger emphasis on advanced statistical analysis and research methodology, whereas MS degrees often focus more heavily on counseling and the behavioral sciences. Still there are exceptions to these general rules when it comes to masters degrees in psychology.

Strategies For Applying To Psychology Graduate School

Strategies for applying to psychology graduate school.

Applying to graduate school can be stressful and rife with questionseven when there isnt a pandemic! This presentation shows you how to strategically approach the graduate school application process and highlight APA resources to help you find and apply to the best program for your goals.

Two current psychology graduate faculty discuss how the current events, including the COVID-19 pandemic and closures of campuses, might impact the admission and application process and share some general advice on what to expect.

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Switching To Psychology For Graduate School

Many students who have completed an undergraduate degree in a non-psychology field might find that they would like to switch to psychology for graduate school. Is this even possible? Not everyone figures out where their passions and interests lie during the busy undergraduate years, but it’s really never too late to start. It really just depends on how much time, effort, and commitment you are willing to put into making the change. Let’s take a look at things you might want to consider before switching to pursue psychology in grad school.

Doctoral Degrees: Psyd Vs Phd In Psychology

Masters Program: Getting Into Psychology Masters Program

The main difference between a PsyD vs. a PhD in Psychology is that a Doctor of Psychology program is typically designed for professionals working in practical and applied psychology treatment services.

A Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology is typically more academically oriented, providing extensive training in research and research design. It is generally better oriented for people seeking a career in academia or research.

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What Kind Of Graduate Program Do You Want To Pursue

If you realize you enjoy research and want to continue doing it, the next major question to ask yourself is: What do you want to study? Based on your coursework, prior research, and other relevant life experiences, you will want to decide which discipline within the psychological science field you would like to pursue. That decision likely will be based on your specific interests, but you also might consider the type of training you would like to complete. The specific direction you decide to go in also may be influenced by a particular methodology or approach that you want to learn and use.

Applicant Qualifications Admissions Criteria And Acceptance Rates

What are the characteristics of successful applicants? Each program has its own set of requirements and standards some are publicly stated, some are not. For instance, this departments graduate program in experimental psychology provides a list of eligibility requirements, plus provides a with the average GPA and GRE scores of successful applicants. On this page we provide a general idea of what graduate programs may be seeking, plus admissions statistics by area of specialization in psychology.

Note: for the most definitive information on the characteristics of successful applicants, we recommend that you directly check with program websites, the programs themselves, and individuals at those programs .

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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.

Do I Need To Submit Gre Scores And How Do I Submit Them

Jobs that will get you into a school psychology program

*The submission of GRE scores is optional for Fall 2023 admission.* GRE scores are valid for five years from the test date. If you have personal score reports available from tests taken within the last five years, you can upload them to your online application for consideration by the admissions committee. However, you will still need to ensure that Educational Testing Service sends an official score report. Be sure to register for the tests well before administration dates and request that your scores be sent to Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences using code 3451 .

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What Does It Take To Get Into Graduate School In Clinical Psychology

Admission to PhD programs in clinical psychology is very competitive. Ratios of 300 applicants to 8 positions are common . Different programs emphasize different characteristics, but it is safe to say that in all programs GREs and GPAs are examined closely. Graduate students in Northwestern’s program have averaged over 1400 on the GRE , with an average GPA of over 3.5. There are respectable programs whose students score lower on these measures, but students who have lower than 1200 on the GRE or a GPA of less than 3.3 can expect to find it difficult to get into a top graduate program in clinical psychology without other special qualifications.

Some psychology students hope to do research that is outside the specific projects for which their faculty supervisors have funding. In addition, students who want to do research on campus during the summer may need to earn money for living expenses. Northwestern University, Weinberg College, and the psychology department all have funds available on a competitive basis to support student research. Guidelines for applying for the psychology departments Benton J. Underwood Summer Fellowship are always included in the winter edition of our undergraduate newsletter, Swift Thinking. See the Weinberg College webpage on funds for undergraduate research and the university page on Research Opportunities for Undergraduates for additional funding options.

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Get Organized Nowdon’t Be Late

Posted October 10, 2016

Its October and some readers, particularly college seniors, may be thinking about applying to graduate school in psychology. Many applications will be due soon, in the next two months or so. I am already getting requests from my students for letters of recommendation. So, if you are planning to go to graduate school in psychology next fall, now is the time to get cracking on your applications.

Here are some steps to take right away:

Dont apply just because you dont know what to do with your life if youre not in school of some kind. Thats not a good reason. Really think through why a graduate degree in psychology will help you in the career you anticipate wanting for your future. If you cannot articulate this clearly for yourself, then you shouldnt be applying to grad school in the first place.

Draw up a list of graduate programs that interest you. Go to their web sites, learn about what you need for their applications, and create a listincluding submission dates and deadlines.

Take the GRE and the Psychology GRE. Yes, you will likely need to take these two exams as part of your application package. Be sure to sign up soon for testing dates near you. It is also a good idea to review what each exam is like and how it is scored before you take either test. You can have your scores sent directly to your grad schools of choice or you can send them later.

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Degrees And Areas Of Psychology

So you want a career in Psychology….

First, you will need to determine what type of graduate degree will best fit your goals there are several different types of graduate degrees in Psychology.

A Doctorate may required for the independent practice of psychology and for college and university teaching jobs. A Master’s degree is needed for many industrial positions and for clinical or counseling positions in settings. An Medical Doctorate is necessary to become a Psychiatrist and prescribe medications.

Dr. Cindy Meston, Professor of Clinical Psychology

Area of Psychology

At the graduate level, you must decide on an area of specialization within psychology . Use the “Index of Programs by Area of Study Offered” in Graduate Study in Psychology and Associated Fields to find departments that offer training in your area of interest.

NOTE: There is often more than one name for an area: biopsychology programs can be called biopsychology, psychobiology, physiological, etc., and a cognitive program might be called cognition, cognitive, human experimental, etc.

Clinical or Counseling?

If you are wanting to practice , then you will be choosing between counseling, social work, and clinical psychology there are various Master’s degrees and Doctoral degrees for each of these areas. You will want to figure out which one is the right fit for you before you begin applying to graduate programs.

Aspiring Graduate Students Should Follow These Tips

Graduate School

Posted September 19, 2018

I applied to graduate school way back in 1969. That was the year Richard Nixon was sworn in as president, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon, Charles Mansons “family” brutally murdered several people in their upscale Los Angeles homes, Lieutenant William Calley ordered the soldiers in his platoon to gun down 400 women, children, and elderly villagers in the My Lai massacre, the Rolling Stones released the Let it Bleed album, and 400,000 people converged on a farm in Woodstock, New York to hear Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Janis Joplin, The Who, and the Jefferson Airplane. But I missed all that, since I was in the library reading psychology books and preparing for the GREs . I was not the greatest college student in history, and I was coming from a tiny school no one had ever heard of . It was not surprising that I was rejected from several of the schools to which I applied, but I did manage to score sufficiently well on the GREs to get into my first choice graduate schoolArizona State University, which was then known to psychologists as Fort Skinner in the Desert.

Here are some of their tips:

Choose the right program for you.

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