So You’re Thinking About Graduate School in Psychology:
Taking the GRE
- GRE website
- Do I need to take the general GRE and/or the psychology subject test? Probably just the general GRE; however, check the listed requirements for programs that you are considering applying to.
- When should I take the test? I would say at least one semester before you plan to apply to graduate programs. Official scores are posted 10-15 days after the test date if you take the computer-delivered test. You will want time to get your scores and assess if you want to take the exam again.
- How many times can I retake the test? You can take the test up to 5 times within a yearlong span (each test must be taken at least 21 days apart).
- STUDY. ACTUALLY STUDY. Use study books, vocabulary flash cards, and find GRE workshops at SLU through Career Services or the Peterson Quantitative Resource Center.
- Also, go into the test with a list of up to 4 schools you want to potentially apply to. They will offer to send your scores, for free, to up to 4 schools immediately after you finish taking the exam. Otherwise, you have to pay $27 per school.
- Don’t let low GRE scores undermine your graduate school goals.
Choosing a Program
- Types of psychology practice degrees (e.g. clinical, counseling)
- PhD vs PsyD
- Do you really want to be a Clinical Psychologist? Mitch’s Uncensored Advice for Applying to Graduate School in Clinical Psychology
- Choosing a Graduate School (regardless of interest)
- NOTE: if you are going to graduate school for something other than clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or school psychology – your program will not go through the process of APA-accreditation. If you are going for one of those three programs, make sure you choose a school with an accredited program.
- Check out the APA Graduate Study in Psychology book (an older version is probably fine for getting the general idea of available programs and school requirements) – this book lists programs by state and lets you know the requirements to get in, number of people who apply to each program, number of people accepted into each program, application dates, tuition cost, availability of scholarships & other funding, etc. (We have some older versions at SLU! They are currently in the old majors room).
- Browse some online guides to graduate programs.
- Always check out the website of the program you are interested in.
- In many psychology programs, you will have to select a person within the department that you want to work with. I suggest looking at the faculty list and emailing the person/people you are interested in working with PRIOR to applying (they may not be taking new students, and thus you will be rejected regardless of how good your application is).
- MAKE A SPREADSHEET. You will likely be applying to multiple schools. A spreadsheet will help you keep track of what you need for each program, what all you’ve sent to each program, costs, etc.
- What you will need for most programs: a curriculum vitae (aka CV), a personal statement, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and an application form specific to the University. Other things may be required, so make sure to check each program’s website.
- Be nice to the executive aide in the department if you have contact with them.