Fall 2009
Volume 3, Issue 1
Eye on the Future Research Focus
The Path to Graduate School
By Paul J. Schroeder and Nicole J. Bies-Hernandez

Undergraduate students often feel uncertain or overwhelmed by the graduate school application process. Although many students may postpone seriously thinking about graduate school until their senior year, several simple steps may be taken during junior (or even sophomore) year of study that might alleviate some of the stress associated with the application process. Additionally, potential applicants may be unaware of other important resources and opportunities available to them that could greatly improve their chances for acceptance.

Here, we present an easy-to-follow diagram of the graduate school application process and a few helpful tips on improving your chances as a competitive applicant. This diagram is intended for students starting the application process prior to their senior year, however if you are a senior you should begin following these steps as soon as possible. Please note that the recommended steps in this diagram are applicable to both terminal degree and doctoral programs in Psychology.

References & Suggested Readings:

American Psychological Association. (2007). Getting in: a step-by-step plan for gaining admission to graduate school in psychology, second edition. Washington, D.C.: APA.

Darley, J.M., Zanna, M.P., Roediger, H.L. (Eds.). (2003). The compleat academic: a career guide, second edition. Washington, D.C.: APA.

Demir, M. (2009, Spring). Preparing, applying, and gaining admission into grad school. Undergraduate Update, 2(1). Retrieved on September 2, 2009 from http://www.psychologicalscience.org/apssc/uu/spring_2009/demir.cfm

Schroeder, P.J. (2008, Fall). The value of research experience. Undergraduate Update, 1(2). Retrieved on September 2, 2009 from http://www.psychologicalscience.org/apssc/uu/fall_2008/research_focus.cfm

Author Note:

Paul J. Schroeder, MA and Nicole J. Bies-Hernandez, MA are doctoral candidates in the experimental psychology program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. They wish to thank Jeremy A. Houska for his helpful comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.
Editor: Molly Petersen - Associate Editor: Peter M. Vernig