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Applying to Graduate School

While earning a Bachelor´s degree in psychology can provide you with a number of career opportunities, many of the most interesting careers in psychology require you to attend graduate school and earn an advanced degree (such as a Master´s degree, a Ph.D., a Psy.D., or an Ed.D.).

Getting through the graduate school application process can be complex and grueling. Some applications include clear and explicit instructions; others seem like an aptitude test in analytical reasoning. However, you are not alone! The psychology department advisor is available to help you with the application process, and faculty members are always happy to answer any questions you might have. Further, this web page contains information and links to numerous resources on the internet which can help you decide which graduate school to apply to, how to make yourself a competitive candidate, and how to get through the entire process in one piece!

How to Apply to Graduate School
Choosing an Area of Psychology
Making Yourself Competitive
Deciding Which Schools to Apply to
Applying Now vs. Later

Applying Now or Applying Later

Many students think that they should apply to graduate school immediately after they finish their undergraduate work. If you are the type of person who will lose steam (i.e., motivation) after taking a year or two off, then maybe you should apply right away. But it´s not critical that you apply immediately. If you take a year or two off to work, in order to make money for graduate school or to get some experience in psychology, that could look good in the eyes of the graduate program. They like motivated, determined people. But if you drift from job to job, or if you aren´t working at all and just amble about with no rhyme or reason, that might look bad.

Older students who have been working a number of years or raising a family sometimes think they are in a one down position. Again, this is not necessarily true. If there is evidence that you are a conscientious and motivated person, then those are points in your favor. Some counseling and clinical psychology programs prefer older students. They believe they are more mature, responsible people. Many counseling psychology programs are specifically designed for older people who may be working full time and/or have families.

University of Nevada, Reno - Department of Psychology/296
1664 N. Virginia Street Reno, Nevada 89557