-The Basics-

Graduate school involves a lot of:
Reading
Writing
Research
*Be sure you're comfortable with the three "R's" before pursuing graduate study.

Applying to graduate school usually requires you to supply the following:
Application for admission to program (department) - must be typed
Application for admission to graduate school (university) - sometimes a separate form
Letters of recommendation - usually 3
Official transcript - usually 2 copies
Score reports - GRE Verbal & Quantitative, GRE Subject Test, (possibly) Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
Resume/CV - allows you to highlight areas not covered on the application
Personal statement - this is where you tie in your interests to the program's focus and interests of the faculty members
Financial aid forms - often are due before you are accepted to the program, so pay attention to guidelines
Envelopes, stamps, self-addressed postcards

Importance of various non-objective criteria in gaining acceptance to graduate school:
(listed from most to least important)
Letters of recommendation - high
Research experience - high
Interview - high
Clinically-related public service - medium
Field-related work experience - medium
Extracurricular activities - low

Scientist-Practitioner Model vs. Professional Model
Scientist Practitioner
Research-oriented
Usually offer a Ph.D. program
Involves completing a dissertation
Professional Model
More focused on practice and practical application
Often Psy.D. rather than Ph.D.
May involve an academic project rather than a dissertation

Accreditation:
Only clinical, counseling, and school psychology programs
Find out if a program is accredited by looking in Graduate Study in Psychology or online at http://www.apa.org/ed/doctoral.html
Accredited programs must meet certain standards
If a program is not accredited, it could mean that it is not as good of a program or it could mean that the program is so new that it has not had the opportunity to be accredited yet
Accredited programs have more rigorous admissions standards than non-accredited programs
If you go to a graduate school that is not accredited, you may have trouble down the road with getting licensed, having your degree recognized by APA, or getting a job in an academic setting
Don't worry, just research the programs carefully and ask the advice of your professors


How to Select Suitable Graduate Programs

Selection Factors
Characteristics of the applicant
Characteristics of the program

First, make a self report card
GPA overall
Courses Taken
Non-objective Criteria (research, work, clinical-related service, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation
GRE Verbal and Quantitative (Math)
Psychology GPA
Financial Resources

Then, compare yourself to the programs you're applying to

Do you meet their GPA requirements?
High > 3.5
Medium 3.2 - 3.5
Low < 3.2

Have you taken the core psychology courses? (Statistics, Experimental (Research Methods), Abnormal, Social Psychology, Personality, Physiological (Biological Psychology)
High - all 6
Medium - 4 including Statistics and Experimental
Low - less than 4

Do you meet the GRE requirements?
High GRE-V: 530-620 GRE-Q: 535-635
Medium GRE-V: 510-530 GRE-Q: 515-535
Low GRE-V: <510 GRE-Q: <515

Do you meet the Psychology GPA requirements?
High > 3.65
Medium 3.35 - 3.65
Low < 3.3


The following information was collected from various sources, including past "Getting Into Grad School" programs and the following two (extremely useful) books, Graduate Study in Psychology and Getting In: A Step-by-Step Plan for Gaining Admission to Graduate School in Psychology.