Timetable for Choosing and Applying To Graduate Schools
1. Discuss your interest in graduate school with your psychology advisor and plan a schedule of courses.
2. If you are interested in the Ph.D. degree, select the B.S. degree option or plan to take more than the three math and science courses needed to meet the general studies requirement.
3. Take Quantitative and Research Methods (PSYC 204 & 205).
4. Consult Not for Seniors Only! or Getting In for information and advice about your plans.
1. If you are interested in a Master's degree program, arrange an Internship for the Spring Term. If you are interested in a Doctoral program, apply for Research Practicum for the Spring Term.
2. Consult the publication, Graduate Study in Psychology (available from the Department Chairperson) or see the Peterson's Guide to Graduate Studies at www.petersons.com/graduate for the schools which offer programs that interest you. Check the admission requirements of these schools (minimum GPA, GRE scores, and other tests that may be required).
3. Register for the aptitude Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Plan to take the GRE in the Spring or Summer before your senior year; this allows time in the senior year to take the exam a second time if your scores were low, and it enables you to eliminate graduate schools which have requirements higher than you can meet.
4. Prepare for the GRE by reviewing course work in math, by studying a vocabulary book, and working practice tests in Graduate Record Examination Aptitude Test (Arco Publishing Company). A copy is available in the Department Chair's office. Also see the GRE-ETS website for scheduling and practice/diagnostic tests.
5. Apply for student membership in the Association for Psychological Science and/or the American Psychological Association. Forms are available on the "For Psychology Majors" bulletin board in the hall.
6. Apply for membership in Psi Chi.
7. Discuss ideas for an Independent Study with a faculty member and prepare a proposal.
8. Submit a proposal for The Summer Scholar program.
Summer between the Junior and Senior Years
1. Take the GRE Aptitude Test (if you did not do so in the Spring).
2. Write to graduate schools that you are interested in and request brochures, catalogs, financial aid forms, and department application forms. Most of this information can now be found on the web.
3. Prepare for the GRE Advanced Test in Psychology by reviewing a recent comprehensive introductory psychology textbook and working practice tests in Psychology: Advanced Test for the GRE (Arco Publishing Company). Also see the GRE-ETS website for scheduling and practice/diagnostic tests.
4. Conduct Summer Scholar research, if you are selected. If not, be prepared to do the Independent Study in the Fall.
Beginning of Senior Year
1. Take the GRE Aptitude Test a second time if your first scores were low or if you did not take it in the Summer (note that schools will see all of your scores, high and low, so prepare well the first time).
2. Take other tests (such as GRE Advanced Test in Psychology) that are required by the schools to which you plan to apply.
November of Senior Year
1. Use the latest edition of Graduate Study in Psychology to determine whether your GRE scores and current GPA meet the minimum qualifications of schools in which you are interested. If necessary, revise your plans.
2. Make a final list of schools and collect application forms.
3. Check the application deadlines for each school on your final list. Deadlines for financial aid are earlier than for admission.
4. Request that GRE and other test scores be sent to all the schools on your final list.
5. Request a study copy of your transcript from each college you have attended. Check for errors.
6. Prepare a curriculum vitae (or resume) for inclusion in your application.
7. Using the Reference Letter Checklist, prepare a reference letter request for each faculty member from whom you are requesting a letter of recommendation. Be sure to include all forms, deadlines, and specific instructions. The faculty members may want to discuss your plans with you.
8. Begin writing your personal statements which are required for the applications. Consult Not for Seniors Only! or Getting In for advice.
December of the Senior Year
1. Submit your Independent Study or Practicum research to the Carolinas Conference on Undergraduate Research. If your paper is accepted, you can include the acceptance on your vita/resume.
2. Prepare final copies of application materials. Type them neatly. Include a photocopy of GRE scores, in case the official reports are late. Keep a photocopy of your applications. Mail your applications in time to meet the deadlines.
3. Request that official transcripts be sent to all schools to which you are applying.
4. Check on the status of your letters of recommendation.
5. Take GRE a second time if scores from the first time are low.
January - April of the Senior Year
1. If you receive your GRE scores from the December test, send a photocopy of the results immediately.
2. If you have applied to clinical or counseling programs, you may be asked to interview. Be prepared to interview at as many schools as financially feasible. Ask faculty members for advice about interviewing.
3. Offers are usually made before April 1st. You have until April 15th to accept or reject any offers.
Also see Dr. Buchholz's Timeline for Applying to Graduate School.