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Applying to Graduate School in Psychology

There are many things you may choose to do with your Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (for some options see the Careers Page). 

About 15-25% of our students opt to apply to some sort of graduate education. The most common areas include health science, law school, medical school, or some sort of graduate program within psychology. 

If you decide to go to graduate school, there are several questions you need to ask yourself, and the sooner you start, the better.

  1. Why do I want to go to graduate school? Take some time to really think abot this question. Graduate school can take up to 7 years or more, depending on the type of degree you are seeking. This is not a decision to be made lightly. Feel free to approach one of our advisors or faculty to discuss your career options.
  2. What kind of degree do I want to pursue? 

Our students typically go in one of two career directions: professional (i.e., nurse, doctor, lawyer, counselor) or academic/research (i.e., most of your professors in the Department of Psychological Science). A master’s degree usually requires 2 to 3 years of course work after the bachelor’s degree and a PhD will take 5 to 7 years (or more) beyond the bachelor’s. The selection of a graduate degree (i.e., MA/MS, PA-C, PhD, JD) should be based on your interest in either professional practice or academia/research and on your time, ability to move, and commitment level.

Here are more resources for you to explore:

Please note that a graduate-level degree is required for a career as a counselor/therapist, psychiatrist, medical doctor, attorney, and other advanced specializations. In many cases, licensure and/or certification will be required to become a practitioner with your advanced degree.

We highly recommend that you meet with an advisor or one of our faculty members who teach classes in the area in which you want to specialize as soon as you think you might want to pursue graduate education. That way, we can better guide you as you prepare for graduate school.

Graduate school: A guide for psychology majors [101 manual for undergraduates]

This resource provides answers to frequently asked questions such as “Is graduate school right for me?”, presents a freshman to senior year preparation timeline, and provides a step-by-step graduate school application guide.  This original resource was created by student enrolled in PSYC 487 Capstone Perspectives during the Fall 2018 semester under the supervision of Dr. April Masarik.  For full credits, see the last page of the PDF document.

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