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Graduate School Preparation Timeline

In your sophomore year…

  • Get involved in research by identifying a faculty member who conducts research in an area of interest to you.
  • Consider joining Psi Chi or another psychology-related organization.
  • Attend our "Applying to Graduate School" workshop in the spring.
  • Start taking courses within the major. Any courses you take after you apply to graduate school won't help you get in, so plan ahead.
  • Get to know your professors.

In your junior year…

  • Continue to form professional relationships with faculty members.
  • Obtain additional research experience.
  • Get involved with volunteering opportunities if you are looking at graduate programs in clinical and counseling psychology.
  • Look into summer jobs or internships that fit your interests.
  • Prepare and register for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • Begin gathering information on graduate programs. The APA publication Graduate Studies in Psychology is a great resource.
  • Over the summer, write to the programs to request application materials, but be sure to check their websites first since most information can be found there.
  • Find out if the programs to which you are applying require the GRE Subject Test in Psychology. If so, begin your preparation. The tests are usually given in October. Apply one month ahead.
  • Write a resume or curriculum vitae
  • Start to save $$$! You'll have application fees, transcript costs, and interviewing expenses to cover.

In autumn semester of your senior year…

  • Ask faculty members for letters of recommendation. Be sure that they are able to write you a STRONG letter. Give them any necessary forms, addresses, deadlines, and other information that might be helpful. Be sure to tell them how the program would like the letters to be sent in and provide stamped envelopes if needed.
  • Fill out your applications in full.
  • Write and revise your personal statement. 
  • Request that your GRE scores and official transcripts be sent to all the programs to which you are applying.
  • Be sure to write thank-you notes to those who wrote your letters of recommendation.
  • After you have sent in your application packet, verify that all of your materials were received.