2 Tonight’s Agenda Introduction – Dr. Jeff Farrar Step 1. Decide what you want – Cat SimmsStep 2. Prepare for what you want – Danielle DavisStep 3. Get what you want – Kim Smith
3 Step 1: Developing Interests and Locating Programs
4 Hey, you! Yeah, you. What are you interested in? Because this is a graduate school workshop when I say, “What are you interested in?” what I mean is:“What areas of psychology do you find most fascinating?”“In what areas do you think you might want to pursue an advanced degree and/or a career?”
5 General Areas in Psychology SchoolCognitiveDevelopmentalExperimentalSocialClinicalCounselingClinical NeuroscienceNeurosciencePhysiologicalSportIndustrial OrganizationalForensicMilitaryGeriatricMarriage and Family
6 Applied v. ResearchIn the field of psychology we can distinguish between careers that are:Applied (meaning they involve the consumption and application of psychological science in ways that serve people)Research oriented (meaning they involve the generation and dissemination of psychological science)Many careers involve both practice and research!
7 Some areas related to practice: Psychiatric NursingMarriage and Family TherapyMental Health CounselingPsychology and LawPsychiatryHuman Service (e.g. student guidance, art therapy, occupational therapy)ClinicalCounselingApplied Behavior AnalysisSchoolCommunityClinical Social WorkExplain diff between clinical and counseling
8 Some areas related to research: Industrial/OrganizationalBehavioral NeuroscienceDevelopmentalCognitiveExperimentalSportsMedicineClinicalCounselingApplied Behavior AnalysisSocial
9 Some of you may be thinking, “Yeah, but I don’t! How do I get there?!” Maybe you already know that some of these areas interest you.Some of you may be thinking, “Yeah, but I don’t! How do I get there?!”The answer is by expanding your search process and building new knowledge and experience.If you do know, it’s probably because of prior knowledge, experience, or your personal search process! So guess what the next steps are?
10 Things that expand your search and build knowledge and experience: Visit the UF Career Resource CenterTake a variety of courseworkJoin Psi Chi and the Psychology ClubBecome involved in researchPublish or present your researchVolunteer in the communityGo to departmental presentationsAssume leadership positionsGo to office hours and develop relationships with professors and professionals in the fieldThe ideal time to start exploring is as early as possible (i.e. freshman or sophomore year). Doing these things has the added benefit of helping you to develop strong qualifications and essential contacts. This will be VERY important for the next steps in your graduate school preparation/application process…
11 Programs that fit your career interests and goals (Duh.) Identified areas of interest. Next Step: Explore the programs and schools in these areas.You should search different universities and programs based on the following:Programs that fit your career interests and goals (Duh.)Faculty (SUPER IMPORTANT FOR DOCTORAL APPLICANTS.)Available Funding & Tuition/Fees ($$$!!)Location, Size, and/or Facilities (Be flexible.)Application Requirements (fees, exams, etc.)How do I find this stuff??? school.phds.org/find/programs/psychologyStart exploring programs and schools as soon as you have a good idea of your interests, ideally around your junior year.
12 Master’s v. Doctorate Master’s level programs Typically require 2-3 years to complete, may include research training (but sometimes not), provide less funding but allow you to get into the workforce faster (or continue toward a doctorate).Doctoral level programsTypically require approximately 4-6 years, involve a strong emphasis on research training, provide more funding, and can prepare you for higher level positions.You’ll notice pretty quickly that there are a variety of program types. For most of you there will be a choice to be made about getting a Master’s Degree (M.A., M.S., M.S.W., etc.) or a Doctoral Degree (Ph.D, Psy.D, Ed.D, etc.) at this point in your educational career. You can certainly always target multiple types of programs and degrees!
13 Types of Degrees in Psychology M.A.Master of ArtsM.S.Master of ScienceM.EdMaster of EducationPh.DDoctor of PhilosophyEd.DDoctor of EducationPsy.DDoctor of PsychologyYou’ll notice pretty quickly that there are a variety of program types. For most of you there will be a choice to be made about getting a Master’s Degree (M.A., M.S., M.S.W., etc.) or a Doctoral Degree (Ph.D, Psy.D, Ed.D, etc.) at this point in your educational career. You can certainly always target multiple types of programs and degrees!
15 Preparing to Apply Coursework Research Internships and Volunteer Work What courses are you taking and when?What classes are appealing to you?ResearchGet involved EARLY!!!!!!!Presentations and PublicationsInternships and Volunteer WorkStudying for the GREGeneral TestPsychology Subject TestOftentimes, graduate programs will post their requirements online .GOOGLE IT! “psychology research at <university/area of your choice >”
16 Coursework“Undergraduate preparation should include at least one course in experimental psychology and one course in statistics. Minimum preparation for graduate admission also includes courses in at least three of the following areas - cognition, development, learning, personality, physiological-comparative, sensory, and social.” – UF Graduate Admissions, PsychologyOnce you have an idea of what areas you like, try to explore and plan your course work accordinglyProgram requirements often onlineDo your best to keep your grades as high as you can in all major coursework (and overall, as much as possible).Oftentimes, graduate programs will post their requirements online .GOOGLE IT! “psychology research at <university/area of your choice >”
17 Getting Involved Research!!! Preferably, something related to your grad school preferences (just for practical reasons)If you can’t find research to be involved in that perfectly matches your grad school area of study, don’t worry! Any research experience is good.
18 Getting Involved (cont.) Community WorkBest if you can find an opportunity with relevance to your chosen grad school areaHelpful in exploring different work settings or areas that you may be interested in.Good for clinical/counseling programsTake advantage of PSY4949!
19 Taking a Year OffAlso good to decide if you would rather try to apply right after completing undergrad or take some time to gain experience, work, and take a break from school.It’s really okay to take a year off! A lot of times it’s actually preferred.Ex: UF Grad School in Psychology WebsiteRemember that you will be going up against applicants with advanced degreesMake sure you will be financially stable (Do your programs award graduate stipends? )
20 Get in Touch with Potential Mentors Show you are worth investing in!Connect with common interests.You will have to work with someone when you get there!Will they be taking grad students?It would stink if you applied and they were on sabbatical!Things we shouldn’t have to say, but we will anyway:Make sure your address is appropriateWHAT DOES YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE SAY???The first time a mentor sees your name should NOT be when you turn in your application for admission.Read recent publications.I would HIGHLY recommend that you quadruple check your before sending it. Look up online how to write a professional , even if you think you know how. There is a generation shift into what is considered appropriate, and you do not want to give the wrong impression.FACEBOOK – Don’t forget, mentors are humans, too. Don’t put it past them to Google your name, so you better make sure that your facebook page isn’t telling them anything you don’t want them to know!
21 Grad students can offer a WEALTH of insight! Get in Touch with Graduate StudentsGrad students can offer a WEALTH of insight!Also note that graduate students are double-agents. In addition to providing you with information, graduate students often report their thoughts back to their mentor, so this is a great way to make a good impression.
23 Curriculum Vitae (similar to a resume) What to includeContact infoEducation (GPAs, credentials, major/minor, awards, & relevant courses)Research, relevant work,clinical experience, community serviceOrganizations, conferences, skillsReferencesGet permission BEFORE listing someone!Formatting is keyConsider “ink < paper ratio” “An ‘ability to smell fear’ is a quality I’ve never seen listed on a resume before.”Don’t use fancy formats or bullets b/c they are distracting. Cut to the chase.“Show, don’t tell”Remember that research and community service are valued over other types of jobs (i.e., cashier)Examples online are not necessarily ti way to go.
24 Personal StatementExpand upon CV info in 3 sectionsPast: How you got where you are;why you are in YOUR psychology nichePresent: How you are preparing for grad school; courses that inspired you; activities outside the classroomFuture: How you fit in THIS program; How you will contribute to your field (in the program and future)Be assertive & cut unnecessary words!FUTURE: What can you offer? What is your 5- and 10- yr professional plan/goal?Try to avoid overly-personal messages that can decrease the quality of your work (i.e., I was in counseling, and therefore want to go into counseling). Don’t forget that the people reading these are not unbiased machines, so if you say something that is off-putting or makes you sound unstable, they might unconsciously transfer those feelings into their decision.
25 CV & Personal Statement GET LOTS of FEEDBACKOrganizeProof readEditSee how big this font is? That is how big of a deal this part is!!!!! =)Complementary vs. repetitive informationNo fluff! Keep it tight!
26 Letters of Recommendation Generally, need 3 people2 months prior to school deadlinee.g., academic, research, clinical or jobPrepare a polished packet about yourselfBRIEF Thank you cover letterA list of information you are providingList of schools you are applying to; due dates; mode of letters“Thank you” for your timeLETTERS FROM PHD are preferred….start thinking about this as you get involved in labs and take your classes: need to make an impression on your professors (potential letter writers). In LAB and Community Service = Be dependable, Go to meetings, Follow directions, Go the extra mile.Another note – make sure to tell your letter writers the date it should be submitted, not when it is due. The last thing you want is for your letter-writers to turn it in late or forget to do it. At least if they are running late past the deadline you gave them, you can always follow up with a bit of buffer time.
27 Letters of Recommendation (cont.) (Suggested) Information to provideCVPersonal statementWriting sampleFacts about you: Transcripts, GRE score, description of work that you completedMaterials necessary for letterPaper, stamped & addressed envelope, websiteLetter writers will use this information to help them confirm and expand upon what they already know about you.
28 GREStart planning ASAP!Study for a few monthsTake GRE for the 1st time at least 2-3 months before application is dueAllow for one month between test dates if retakingScores are good for 5 yr, but some schools prefer within 3 yrAllow for 6 wk for scores to be sent to schoolsNew “ScoreSelect” options for what scores are sent… more on this soon
29 GREMeasures your: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skillsGeneral test percentage distribution of scores within broad graduate major field: Scores for seniors and graduated studentsaug 2011-aug 2012: Health and medical sciences: average score for applicants 150 verbal; 149 quantitative; analytical writing 3.8If no questions are answered for a specific measure (e.g., Verbal Reasoning), then you will receive a No Score (NS) for that measure.
30 GRERange of scores:Verbal/Quantitative reasoning: 130 – 170 pt; 1 pt incrementsAnalytical writing: 0 – 6; 0.5 pt incrementsUnderstanding new scoresIn Google, search “GRE concordance table”Often a cut-off score for admissionsFor example, UF Ph.D. min is:153 on verbal reasoning144 in quantitative reasoningCould affect fellowship attainmentSubject GRE? Depends on schoolMeasures your: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skillsGeneral test percentage distribution of scores within broad graduate major field: Scores for seniors and graduated studentsaug 2011-aug 2012: Health and medical sciences: average score for applicants 150 verbal; 149 quantitative; analytical writing 3.8If no questions are answered for a specific measure (e.g., Verbal Reasoning), then you will receive a No Score (NS) for that measure.
31 GRE Scores SelectScore options: On test day… You can choose NOT to send your scores at this time ORYou can select either option below for each of your four FREE score reports:Most Recent option: Send scores from your current test administration.All option: Send scores from all General Test administrations in the last five years.After test day… for a fee you canSend your scores from your most recent test administration.Send your scores from all test administrations in the last five years.Send your scores from one OR as many test administrations as you like from the last five years.No matter which option you choose, you will select by specific test dates, so your scores are all from the same testing session. The schools you designate will only see the scores that you selected to send them. There will be no special indication if you have taken additional GRE tests.
32 GRE Scores But what is a ‘good ‘ score?! Average scores (seniors/graduated students)VERBALQUANTITATIVEANALYTICAL WRITINGARTS & HUMANITIES1571504.1BUSINESS1533.6EDUCATION1511483.8ENGINEERING1603.5LIFE SCIENCESPHYSICAL SCIENCES152159SOCIAL SCIENCES3.9OTHER154OVERALL AVERAGE151.4153.53.7Minimum UF Psychology153.0144.0After completing the computer-based GRE revised General Test, you will be given the opportunity to Report or Cancel your scores. BUT - if you cancel your scores, neither you nor any schools will ever see them. If you select to report your scores, you will view your unofficial scores on the screen and the score will become a part of your reportable history. If you choose Report Scores, you will see your unofficial scores for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures at the test center. Because of the Analytical Writing essay scoring process, you will not be able to view your Analytical Writing score at the testing center.You will still have the option to NOT send your scores after you see them. Your official scores will be available in your My GRE Account and sent to your score recipients approximately 10–15 days after your test date
33 Finishing Touches Transcripts Use unofficial for immediate access Order official transcripts from ISIS & sendApplication formsApplication fee - make it official!Confirm everything is in…make friends with office staff =)- The most important thing it to make sure everything is in
34 You WILL survive the application process! Take a deep breath…You WILL survive the application process!