SUGGESTIONS FOR APPLICATION FOR GRADUATE STUDY IN PSYCHOLOGY
James Diehl and Mark Sullivan
(Both successfully admitted to clinical psychology programs)
Read general information about graduate study in psychology from the Hanover College Library during your Junior Year.
Get registration forms for the GRE and AGRE during the summer after your Junior year and register to take both in October of your Senior year. Any other time is too late. Get the forms from the Registrar's Office immediately upon your return to campus senior year. (Sometimes the deadline for application is right around Labor Day.)
Begin writing to graduate schools during the summer for information in order to find the programs to which you would like to apply. When writing to request information, ask for the following: (a) description of graduate program; (b) application forms; (c) financial aid forms; (d) description of any program of special interest (clinical, experimental, industrial, etc.).
When selecting programs to apply to, take into account areas of emphasis within the program, percentage of applicants accepted, and geographical location of the school. Remember, if accepted, you'll be spending several years of your life there.
When applying, send more than is asked for. Send more than the required number of recommendations. Also send a copy of your I.S., I.S. Proposal, or any other work you've done. The more information they have on you, the better.
Make sure you send everything that is requested and be sure everything is sent to the proper place (Graduate Office, Psychology Dept.,etc.). Your file will not even be looked at until it is complete. If you have not received word from the program by three weeks after application, call to be sure they received everything and that your file is complete.
When filling out applications, TYPE EVERYTHING!
When obtaining recommendations, give the person a stamped, addressed envelope with the recommendation form. Get it to them early and check to be sure it gets in on time.
Most recommendation forms will give you the opportunity to waive your right to read the completed recommendation. SIGN IT! If you don't, persons reviewing your file may feel that you sent in only the good recommendations or that whoever wrote the recommendation was influenced by the fact that he knew you would read it.
Stress your capabilities! What do you have to offer to the department? Always state that you are interested in research and have at least some general areas of interest.
Find out about the faculty members of any program in which you are particularly interested. Know about their research and express an interest in those areas. You might want to choose an I.S. topic in related areas. Any faculty member doing research would certainly be interested in applicants who have done work in the same area. You can make yourself a valuable asset to him and his work.