Grad School Info

This page is a work in progress. Please check back regularly for more links to resources for preparing for psychology-related graduate programs. Please note, Dr. Burchett is not an expert in all of these career areas. The information and links are provided for broad informational purposes only, are not considered legal or career advice, and are not guaranteed to provide all necessary information for career planning success.

LINKS TO YOUTUBE CAREER VIDEOS & EVEN MORE CAREER VIDEOS

RESOURCES ABOUT CAREERS THAT DO vs DON’T REQUIRE POST-BA EDUCATION

UNDERGRADUATE DIVERSITY WEEKEND AND SUMMER RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES

COMMON TYPES OF GRADUATE PROGRAMS

Psychology Degrees that Prepare for Practice with a Professional License or Credential

Although this list of degrees can prepare individuals for careers in academic or research settings, they also prepare for career paths that involve direct intervention/evaluation. To practice independently, a license or credential is required.

Note: The California Board of Psychology reserves the term, “psychologist” for individuals with a doctorate degree who are licensed as psychologists. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences oversees the licensure of several master’s-level careers. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing oversees  the Pupil Personnel Services Credential. See their websites for specific information about requirements needed to obtain these professional credentials.

Other Graduate Degrees in Psychology (Not License-Eligible)

Individuals interested in pursuing careers focused on teaching and research may be interested in obtaining graduate degrees in one of these areas of psychology. Master’s level degrees may prepare you for lecturer or research positions. Doctoral level degrees are most likely to prepare you for tenure-track faculty positions and leadership roles in research organizations.

Other Careers Closely Related to Psychology

PH.D. VERSUS PSY.D.: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

  • Emphasis on Preparation for Research versus Clinical Practice Careers.
    • Vail  (Practitioner-Scholar) Model.
    • Boulder (Scientist Practitioner) Model.
    • Super-Boulder (Clinical Science) Model.
  • Assistantships, Tuition Waivers, and Cost.
  • Class Sizes.
  • Acceptance Rates.

STEPS IN THE APPLICATION PROCESS (More details to come)

  1. Check out several relevant resources.
  2. Decide on the type(s) of graduate programs that align with your experiences and career goals.
    • Check out the Psychology Grad School Wiki for a (non-comprehensive) list of mentors who are planning to take a student in the coming year
  3. Consider whether to make contact with potential mentors by email.
  4. Create an application budget.
    1. How to Become a Scientist While Poor
  5. Create an application timeline.
  6. Create a list of potential programs.
  7. Evaluate fit and rigor to narrow/alter your list of programs.
  8. Prepare for the Graduate Record Examination:
    • Most graduate schools require competitive scores on the GRE General Test, which includes verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing components.
    • Some schools also recommend or require the GRE Psychology Subject Test – which is only offered 3-4 times per year (typically in April, September, & October).
    • Students have told me they “enjoy” studying using the Magoosh app. There are free and paid modules.
    • Khan Academy offers free quantitative reasoning instructional videos.
    • Quizlet.com offers free vocabulary and math flashcards. Search “GRE” or “GRE math” for some options.
    • It is also a good idea to look at the free materials provided by the GRE test publisher, ETS.
    • Publishers, like Barrons, Kaplan, and ETS also offer great study tools like books, practice exams, and flashcards. Search “GRE” on Amazon or another retailer to see some options.
    • Study courses are often very expensive. If you can be self-motivated to read good study materials and give yourself time to practice, you’re likely to get as much from cheaper materials than a formal course. If you can afford it and want the forced structure of a course, that may be a useful resource for you.
  9. Request Letters of Recommendation.
  10. Prepare and revise your Curriculum Vitae.
  11. Prepare and revise your Personal Statement and supplemental essays.
  12. Aim to submit applications two weeks before they are due.
  13. Prepare for telephone and in-person interviews.
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