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Graduate School Check out undergraduate advising :

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1 Graduate School Check out undergraduate advising :
Larry Pruitt: address: Call Ext 0 to set up an appointment How to apply How to apply to graduate school (Hayes & Hayes) Why go into graduate school? BA/BS in psychology is a foundation Broad introduction to psychology as a science Entry-level jobs in human services & business/industry Advanced training What are the next steps after undergraduate training? Identify your interests Work opportunities Graduate training

Behavior Analysis/ Therapy Behavioral Medicine Behavioral Neuroscience Behavioral Pharmacology Clinical Psychology Cognitive Psychology Community Psychology Counseling Psychology Developmental Psychology Educational Psychology Experimental Psychology Industrial/ Organizational Psychology Marriage & Family Therapy Mental Retardation Psychiatry (Medical School) Psychobiology Rehabilitation School Psychology Sensation & Perception Social Psychology Social Work (clinical) Sports Psychology Visit the APA Divisions website at Take a look at the book Graduate Study in Psychology published by the American Psychological Association.

3 APA Accreditation An accredited graduate program has been judged as having met minimum standards of quality for education in psychology. The APA only accredits doctoral programs in four specialty areas: clinical, counseling, school psychology, and combined professional-scientific psychology. The APA book Graduate Study in Psychology will tell you if a program is approved or not. It is much more difficult to get into these programs. Masters programs are not accredited by the APA.

4 APA Accreditation A degree from an institute that isn't accredited may not recognized by licensing boards, certifying organizations, or insurance companies. Students from APA-accredited programs are generally more competitive in the marketplace. Internships in clinical and counseling psychology also will be APA approved or not. Usually APA approved internships prefer students from APA approved graduate programs. Jobs in the mental health field sometimes require that a person have an APA approved internship.

5 Accreditation Other professional organizations, such as the Association for Behavior Analysis (ABA) may also accredit graduate programs in Psychology, including masters programs. At graduation undergraduates will have completed the necessary coursework to apply to take the Board Certified Associate Behavior Analyst (BCABA) exam Students will also need to supply additional documentation regarding supervised applied experience and proof of BS degree.

6 What are the graduate degrees?
Masters Program (terminal) Usually require 2 years to complete (36 credits or so) Admission standards generally lower than PhD programs People with masters degrees usually work in group counseling practices, clinics, program for specific populations (developmental disabilities, drug abusers, battered wives, chronic psychiatric patients, etc.), and employee assistance programs, etc. In many states people with masters degrees CANNOT have their own private practice. You can sometimes get a masters degree and then transfer to a Ph.D program. You might lose credits.

7 Doctoral program (PhD):
A PhD is a Doctor of Philosophy PhD programs encompass many areas - from neuroscience to counseling.  As a PhD student, you typically complete your Masters and PhD in the same program. The average length of a doctoral program is 5 to 6 years and require the completion of a thesis, prelim, and dissertation. Weight is placed upon the development of research competencies and expanding the science. Application (clinical work can also be stressed) PhD programs are almost exclusively located in graduate programs of universities.

8 PsyD A PsyD is a Doctor of Psychology.
PsyD programs are almost exclusively clinically oriented with little of the research and quantitative training that is characteristic of clinical PhD programs May be within a psychology department, or within an independent psychology school Often PsyD programs are easier to gain admissions to but are more expensive. People with PsyDs typically find themselves working in clinics, private practice and hospitals. With a PsyD you will not be qualified for a professorship at a university. 

9 Main requirements of a Ph.D.
Course work How challenging? Research MA thesis Doctoral dissertation Examination (Prelims) Applied work (clinical practice)

10 What are schools looking for?
Academic/research potential Analytical skills Creativity Organizational skills Communication skills (oral & written) Interest, enthusiasm, commitment Ability to fit with their learning community

11 Graduate Schools are unique..
For example, some departments: Offer expert training in many areas of psychology & provide breadth of opportunities Others are more niche schools offering depth in a few areas but less breadth All have some similarities but also important differences. Look for the best fit for you…

12 What is grad school like?
Hard work Exposure to new and challenging ideas Interesting & varied colleagues Detailed & honest feedback from expert mentors Productive community of high achievers Can be competitive & stressful Very stimulating Your introduction to a professional career in psychology

13 What is their review process?
Who reviews application files? Individual faculty look at applicants Potential fit to research program Faculty confer with their colleagues Potential fit to program specialty (e.g., I/O, clinical, etc.) Admissions often made by collective approval of all members of the department Fit to Department and University standards

1. GPA Graduate schools take GPA seriously Competitive programs may look for GPAs at 3.5 or higher. Maintain a good GPA, including retaking courses (particularly courses in psychology that you may have earned a low grade in). Methodology courses (300, 330) are important

15 2. Letters of Recommendation
Graduate schools weigh letters very highly Strong letters of recommendation can compensate for weak GPAs and GREs Talk to the faculty. The better they know you, the more likely they can write a good letter. Only ask for letters from people who will write a positive letter. Usually need 3 letters. Give professors at least 1 month before the deadline to complete the letter Follow up one week before each deadline with a thank-you note (a "friendly" reminder to ensure that your information has been sent).

16 2. Letters of Recommendation
Create a table that states the name of the school when the letters are due if they are suppose to mail the letter to you or to the school if the professor is required to use the provided form Provide the each professor with a copy of your vita and your statement of purpose Type your name and other required information on each form Make sure you have envelopes with postage for each letter that needs to be mailed separately Enclose postcards (with postage) addressed to you in each of the envelopes. 

17 2. Letters of Recommendation
Provide your letter writer with useful information. What classes you took from them and the grade(s) you earned your overall GPA a list of PSY courses you have taken and grades earned your minor if you have one the titles/abstracts of any research papers you have written honor societies to which you belong awards that you have won activities in which you have participated (and any offices held) work experience and volunteer work your professional goals

18 3. Research With Faculty Research experience will score big points with admission committees If you have less than stellar grades and/or GRE scores, make sure your research experience is strong At UNR, you have the unique opportunity to work closely with professors on research projects. Take advantage of this! Ask professors about research opportunities & teaching assistantships. Find out if there are faculty who will be your advisor on an Independent Research and Study project. In the past students have presented papers at conferences or published articles with the faculty based on such projects. Many graduate programs will be impressed by this!

19 GREs Most graduate schools will require you to take the Graduate Record Exam. The GREs consist of three sections: verbal, math (quantitative), and analytic (which measures abstract thinking). Some schools will also require you to take the “subject" portion of the test (psychology). A new numerical/scoring system will be implemented as of Fall 2007 The verbal and the quantitative tests each yield a separate score between It is essential that you do well--at least 550 on each test (600+ is even better)--to get into most doctoral programs.

20 GREs Master's programs are less competitive, so lower scores ( on each of the tests) are less of a problem. You will probably have trouble being admitted into any program with scores less than 450 on one of the tests. Usually programs will use a cut off. If you don't get above a certain score, they may not even look at your application. Prepare for the GRE!! Books Courses

21 5. Your Personal Statement
Answer: Why did you initially pursue psychology.  Address any shortcomings - low GPA, low GRE scores If you received  poor grades for the first couple semesters/years emphasize the recent work you've done Explain what you did to remedy the situation If you have a high GPA for your last two years or for your psychology classes, be sure to mention this Unless you're applying to a PsyD program the review committee will want to see research, research, research Describe your computer experience Include something in each statement regarding the faculty that you are interested in working with

22 5. Your Personal Statement
Prepare a well thought out letter that articulates your interests Avoid general statements like "I'm really interested in psychology“, “I’m a people-person”… Keep it professional TAILOR your letter for each program you apply to. In many ways, you are applying to work in individual labs – know what the faculty members are researching. Keep the letter short - maybe two pages, TYPED. Proof read & fix all typos Ask professors for comments on what you have written.

23 Currriculum vita An academic resume – it summarizes your academic and employment history as it pertains to your career in psychology Topics included: educational history relevant coursework research & teaching experience honors and awards memberships in professional organizations, publications & presentations Clinical experiences, such as practicum experience and volunteer experience GPA or GRE scores Make it looks professional Include this with your applications

24 Going for a Visit and Interviewing
Many programs may also ask you for a pre-admission interview. Here you both get a chance to look each other over. Ask them about their program How do faculty support students? How many students make it through? What special benefits do students gain (mentoring, research opportunities, publications, presentations, internships, funding, etc.) during their stay? What is the intellectual community like? Talk with current students. They will ask about: Your interests, experiences, influences Your research interests Your goals

25 $$ MONEY$$ Many programs may offer you some financial support
Some programs will support students with "stipends." Others may offer a "Research Assistantship" For a "Teaching Assistantship" you would help a professor teach a course, or perhaps teach a section yourself Some universities may waive tuition Find out as much as you can before you decide to go to a program.

26 TIME-TABLE Freshman and Sophomore years
Learn about research projects with faculty in your department. Attend psychology-related seminars and colloquiums Consider joining Psi Chi Join professional psychological organizations Find out what psychology meetings are held in your region Talk to graduate students Keep your grades up: Maintain a grade of "B" or better in all psychology courses Become computer literate Read textbooks

27 Junior Year Become involved in research & attend conferences
Explore particular requirements of schools that you are interested in Prepare a curriculum vita Investigate summer jobs, volunteer work, or educational/research opportunities related to psychology. Find out the research interests of faculty at the schools you would like to attend. Start reviewing for the GRE Save money for graduate school application fees, resumes, and transcript costs Read original source material

28 Summer between junior and senior years
Prepare for your GREs and the application process Send out requests for applications to those programs you are interested in applying to Work on your vita and statement of purpose Sign up to take the GREs. Conduct literature searches (e.g., PsycInfo) on the faculty members at each of the schools you'll be applying to Read research publications/journals

29 Fall semester of your senior year
Ask your advisor/faculty members about the graduate programs of interest to you Make your final list of schools you will apply to Take the GRE (Aug/Sept) Sign up for the General GRE Request the GRE scores be sent to all schools Request that transcripts be mailed to all schools - allow ample time. Near the end of the semester, ask professors to write letters of recommendation Check before Christmas to be certain all materials, especially recommendations, have been sent.

30 Spring semester of your Senior Year:
Send your application. Include a vita, transcripts and test scores, and names of those sending recommendations. Deadlines may be in Jan, Feb, or March If possible, visit the schools Obtain info on fellowships, scholarships, assistantships, loans Check with all schools before the deadline to make sure your file is complete. Expect first choice offers to be made by April 1 Visit institutions that accept you. Notify other colleges that you will not be attending so they may admit students on their waiting list. Send thank-you notes to people who wrote your recommendation letters

31 TIPS Start early! Get involved in research, read & pursue your interests. Do your own research to find the programs & professors that are right for you Apply to at least several programs – be selective Talk with the UNR faculty & advisors about your interests and consider their suggestions Try to make contact with potential professors you are interested in working with as a graduate student. Request more information about their research and if they will be taking graduate students in the upcoming year. Attend a professional conference in which they are presenting and introduce yourself

32 Shaping your future Follow your curiosity & interests
Discuss your ideas with others Set short & long-term goals & high standards for yourself Be realistic & flexible Seek opportunities Read and think critically Actively engage with learning opportunities Know your own reinforcers and seek environments that offer them. Celebrate your accomplishments.

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