University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Applying to Graduate School


stack of textbooksIs graduate school really for me?

This is the most important question to ask yourself as you are thinking about applying. Graduate school is a time-consuming and expensive commitment. Make sure you talk to a lot of people and do a lot of internet research so that you know what you're getting into before you decide to apply. Graduate school can be extremely rewarding, but only if you are passionately interested in whatever it is that you are studying.

Although employment in research, teaching, and human service positions are possible for those with a master's degree in psychology, the doctoral degree is generally considered the entry-level degree in psychology for the independent, licensed practice of psychology as a profession. Increasingly, it is the preferred degree for college and university faculty and has long been a requirement for faculty positions in research universities.

Three Keys to Graduate School Acceptance

Listed below are the three keys to graduate school acceptance, as defined by the American Psychological Association (APA). After carefully considering each of the steps below, you will have a better idea if graduate school is a path in life you want to pursue.

Decide the areas of psychology in which you are interested
  • Discuss career options/interests with your advisor and professors of psychology at your undergraduate institution.
  • Review Graduate Study in Psychology for information about over 500 graduate programs in psychology, including degrees offered, requirements for admission, application information, deadlines, and other student information.
Determine the type of degree you wish to pursue: master's or doctoral
  • Consider recommendations for the field of psychology you have selected.
  • Estimate time and money needed to complete each degree.
Submit an application for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), planning to take the exam sometime during the Fall prior to your expected admission to a program
  • Ask your career counseling center or local colleges about GRE Preparatory classes that are available.
  • Pay close attention to deadlines!

When you have narrowed your program list, secured strong letters of recommendation, and taken the GRE, you are ready to apply.

Last modified September 23 2014 11:20 AM