UNR Home - Quicklinks

navbutton navbutton navbutton navbutton


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


In the Department

You have many resources available to you within the Psychology Department when applying to graduate school. The department advisor is always available to assist you with the application process, and faculty members and graduate students in the department are also great people to talk to (ask them to review your vita or personal statement, or ask them what to expect during interviews!).

On Campus

There are some resources on campus which can be particularly helpful while applying to graduate school. One is the Pre-professional and Graduate Student Advising Office, which can provide information on graduate degree programs across the country, as well as current information about professional school admission requirements and applications for national testing. They are located in Room 106 of Thompson Student Services and their phone number is 784-4485.

Another resource is the Writing Center, which can provide assistance with any of the written components of graduate school applications (e.g., curriculum vitae, personal statement, cover letter).


The following books are useful resources for the graduate school application process. Many of these books can be found through the Knowledge Center, local libraries, bookstores or online retailers. A current copy of the first text listed can be checked out through the psychology department advisor.

Graduate Study in Psychology
Graduate Study in Psychology is the best source of information related to graduate programs in psychology and provides information related to approximately 600 graduate programs in psychology in the U.S. and Canada. Graduate Study in Psychology contains information about: number of applications received by a program, number of individuals accepted in each program, dates for applications and admission, types of information required for an application (GRE scores, letters of recommendation, documentation concerning volunteer or clinical experience, etc.), in-state and out-of-state tuition costs, availability of internships and scholarships, employment information of graduates, orientation and emphasis of departments and programs, plus other relevant information.

Insider’s guide to graduate programs in clinical and counseling psychology
The volume provides current data on 308 programs in the United States and Canada; descriptions of each program’s specializations or tracks; admission requirements and acceptance rates; crucial advice on financial assistance and loans; sample forms, personal statements, and curricula vitae; tips for acing the admissions interview; and planning and decision-making worksheets. Revised with the latest information, the 2010/2011 edition includes a new chapter on the crucial differences between PhD and PsyD programs.

Getting in: A step-by-step plan for gaining admission to graduate school in psychology
This handy, readable book simplifies the process for applicants and increases their chances of being accepted. Useful timelines, tips, and tools break the tasks into manageable steps and help readers define their goals, select programs, and navigate the application process. A monthly timetable and detailed worksheets for selecting the best program matches are included, and a resource section provides a list of publications and organizations that are useful in the various phases of applying. Readers will learn what criteria admissions committees use to evaluate applicants, how to improve their qualifications, and how to showcase their talents in personal essays, letters of recommendations, and pre-selection interviews.

The complete guide to graduate school admission
Students who are contemplating graduate training in psychology, counseling, and related fields are often apprehensive and confused about applying to graduate school, but this book takes the guesswork and anxiety out of the process. The tone and features (such as the Q&A format, timeline for application-related tasks and activities, and special advice for special populations) that made the first edition so successful are just as evident in this new edition. The book has been thoroughly updated to include coverage of new topics such as use of the internet and e-mail, as well as changing trends in the professions.

The handbook of psychology
This handbook is a valuable resource for psychology majors who are unsure of what they can do with their degree or how to go about getting into graduate school. It also provides great advice for students interested in graduate school and future careers in psychology.

On the Internet

Graduate School: The Application Process
A Guide to Getting into Graduate School
Peterson's Guide to Graduate & Professional Study

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