Psychology: What about Graduate School?
If I'm not a senior should I be thinking about this now?
Absolutely! You need to take the right courses and get involved in activities that will make your graduate school application stronger. You need to start the application process about 1 year before you want to go to graduate school.
Where do I find which graduate schools offer the degree I want?
The best resource is a book the APA publishes titled Graduate Studies in Psychology. We keep a current copy in the psychology department office and the library has a copy in the reference section. In the back of this reference book you will find a listing of all graduate programs in the United States listed by specialty. Once you have chosen several schools to explore, then turn to the main section of the book which has profiles of all the graduate programs.
(Note: if you want to purchase your own copy of Graduate Studies in Psychology you can order it from APA Books.) You can also find a great deal of information on the internet. The APA student section and the Psi Chi website are good places to start.
What is involved in applying for graduate school?
The specifics parts of the application will depend upon the type of degree you want and the requirements of the particular program you are applying to. Generally the process involves filling out several forms, having your GRE scores and your BU transcripts sent to the school, an essay explaining what you want to do in the future, and 3 letters of recommendation. You may be invited to visit a graduate program for an interview. Click here for some common interview questions you can anticipate.
What is the GRE?
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a test that students from many different majors often have to take to get into graduate school. It is similar to the SATs. The GRE website is very informative. There are also numerous study books you can buy to accelerate your preparation.
How will I pay for graduate school?
Most graduate programs will provide funding for graduate school through Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, Fellowships, and Scholarships. Depending on your personal situation, it may be better to apply for graduate school as a full-time student with funding rather than trying to find an employer who will pay for graduate education.
What is the best piece of advice?
Talk to your advisor about your graduate school plans early in your program! Your advisor can give you advice based on your particular situation. For those interested in a clinical or counseling program, also see Pathways to the Helping Professions: A Guide to Graduate Study written by James Dalton and Bret Beck, professors of psychology.