- Make a schedule for completing the basic psychology requirements. Plan on finishing with introductory psychology, statistics and, experimental methods by the end of the sophomore year. Fit in a few of the standard psychology courses such as social, abnormal, or learning and memory.
- Plan to become acquainted with several faculty members in the department by taking research and seminar courses.
- Attend departmental colloquia and take brief notes as a reminder of who said what when.
- Join the Psychology Club.
- Try to complete most basic College and departmental course requirements.
- Get research experience. Take research courses, independent research, or offer to help with a faculty member's research.
- Take advantage of opportunities to do fieldwork if you are interested in clinical or counseling psychology.
- Think about sources for future letters of recommendation (for example, research and fieldwork supervisors, professors of small classes).
- Write a preliminary resume.
- Attend a conference; if you can, present a poster of your research.
- Consider Honors or an independent research course for the senior year.
- At the end of your junior year, you may be invited to apply for membership to Psi Chi (Psychology honor society) if you have an overall GPA of 3.0 and a psychology GPA of 3.2 or higher.
- Discuss your professional goals and graduate school plans with faculty.
- Get a copy of the APA book Getting In: A Step-by-Step Plan for Gaining Admission to Graduate School in Psychology which is also available at the Psychology Office.
Summer Between Junior and Senior Years
- Buy study guides for the GRE and work through sample exams.
- Redraft the preliminary resume.
- Begin to investigate prospective graduate programs (continue to consult with faculty and use library resources). The Psychology Department has the APA Graduate Study in Psychology book, the Career Center has books covering a wide range of programs.
Try to complete all degree requirements, research, and fieldwork by December.
- Check through the current issue of APA's Graduate Study in Psychology and write to additional prospective schools. Contact faculty whose research interests you about the possibility working with them.
- Register in September to take the October GRE.
- Begin requesting letters of recommendation.
- Take the GRE. If necessary, take the general test in October and put off the psychology test to December. If the GRE is not taken, register for the December test.
- Make the 6 or more final school selections after the GRE scores arrive.
- Decide if you should retake the GRE in December (if your October scores are weak).
- Have a faculty member review your final application list.
- Arrange for letters of recommendation and make sure faculty writing letters of recommendation have ample time before the Christmas break.
- Prepare a draft copy of a personal statement to go with your application.
- Take the GRE if you missed the October date.
- Finish applications with January deadlines so you can mail them with several weeks to spare.
- Check and double check that along with the application you have: a personal statement
- Application fee.
- Request for financial aid.
- January - April:
- Send off remaining (or new) applications.
- Check that all letters of recommendation have been sent and received.
- Call schools if necessary to confirm that they have received your application material.
- Upon receiving word of acceptances, make your final decision.