If You're Thinking about
Graduate School in Psychology:
Tips for Students


Table of Contents


I) Undergraduate Preparation for Applying to Graduate Schools

(Of course, don't be a burden to professors by taking up their limited time for no good reason.)


NOTE: Realize that other faculty in the university, who are not psychology faculty, may be doing research with a psychology focus. Biology, Sociology, and Women's and Gender Studies are three areas that overlap with psychology very nicely. However, graduate schools usually want at least two of the three letters of reference to be from psychology faculty.

2) How Research Can Help You 

a) Graduate schools place a huge amount of importance on research experience. Without such experience, your chance of getting into graduate school is very slim (even if your grade point average and test scores are high).
b) The faculty member supervising you can write you a letter of reference that truly addresses the qualities you have that are needed for graduate school.
c) Often these research experiences will lead to presentations at local or national conferences in psychology and related fields. Sometimes there are awards for excellence, too.
d) Less likely, but still possible, these research experiences can lead to publications in academic journals.
3) Funding For Research 
a) Sometimes faculty members have funding for their research and can pay you for your help. You have to check with individual faculty members to find out if this is the case.
b) The University of Michigan-Dearborn has Student Research Grants that provide up to $500 for student research projects. There is no deadline for applications. These projects must be supervised by a faculty member and must be related to psychology. This funding is only for equipment, xeroxing, postage, or other such items needed for one's research project. For more information contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, 1055 AB. The phone number is 593-5468.


Being a member of Psi Chi is an honor, looks good on your graduate school applications, and opens up opportunities for awards and grants. The registration fee is $35 and is the only payment ever made to the organization. For more information see the Psi Chi Web site at http://www.psichi.org/


NOTE: If you are presenting at a conference, make sure that faculty look over your poster or paper beforehand to give you feedback. Get assistance whenever you can.


II) Learning about Graduate Programs





III) Preparing for the Graduate Record Examinations (GREs)

NOTE: You need to get information early so you don't miss deadlines. The GRE registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Allow time for taking the tests a second time, also.





IV) Applying to Graduate Schools




V) Other Sources of Information about Applying to Graduate Schools

1) Dr. Linda Walsh compiled a wonderful list of links related to graduate school in psychology. Visit this great web page at:  http://www.uni.edu/walsh/linda2.html.

2) The American Psychological Association (APA) has an excellent Web site that gives lots of information to students about graduate school and job opportunities. Look under Student Information at http://www.apa.org.

3) See http://www.psywww.com/tipsheet for tips about getting into graduate school in psychology. For more about psychology careers visit http://www.psychwww.com/careers/websites.htm.

4) Another good source of information is http://gradpsych.apags.org.

5) See http://www.socialpsychology.org/career.htm for several helpful links.

6) Lots of information is on http://www.gradschools.com

7) Explore the links found at http://psychcentral.com/resources/Psychology/.

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Web page created by
Jane P. Sheldon, Ph.D
(last updated 8/20/09)