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Recommended Timeline

(Assumes a January or February deadline. Adjust according for other timeframes)

Thinking Ahead: Tips for Sophomores and Juniors

It’s Never Too Early to…

  • Get involved! (volunteer work, internships, relevant job experience, RAs, TAs)
  • Think about your GPA (it will matter!!!)
  • Get to know your faculty (speak up in class, complete independent projects) and others who may write recommendations
  • Start looking at programs (deadlines, admission criteria, etc.)
  • Prepare for the GRE (it will matter, too!!!) Take GRE in spring/summer junior year.
  • Learn more about your field of interest and faculty at selected programs
  • Start saving money for the application process
  • Think about your schedule (e.g., think about doing research/internships in junior year – applications will only reflect work done through first semester of your senior year)
  • Investigate important department resources: (Psychology; Human Development)
  • Find out research interests of faculty at your school, read their articles, and make acquaintance with those whose work interests you.
  • Take a class or two with the professors identified above; ask if you can assist them with their research (i.e., be a research assistant with them).
  • Find out if you are qualified to join Psi Chi and decide whether to become a member.
  • Get research and other field-related experiences pertinent to areas of psychology in which you’re interested.
  • Peruse Graduate Study in Psychology and check out resources at Career Counseling Center.
  • Send away for information on GREs and MAT. Use study guides or attend a course to prepare. Take practice exams.

Summer Before Your Senior Year

  • Request application packet from programs that seem to be a good match with your interests, goals and credentials to obtain information about the program and about financial aid (Compile list of programs based on conversations with faculty and books such as Graduate Study in Psychology).
  • Calculate application fees and travel costs for interviews and make sure you have enough money to cover these costs.

Senior Year

  • September
    • Apply no later than first week of September to take GREs in October if haven’t taken them previously.
    • Request undergraduate transcript to give to those who will write letters of recommendation.
    • Prepare resume for letter writers.
  • October
    • Finalize list of schools to which you plan to apply (apply to range of schools).
    • Ask faculty for letters of recommendation.
    • Begin filling out application and financial aid forms.
    • Write first drafts of essays; ask others for feedback.
  • November
    • Request that undergraduate transcripts be sent to all institutions to which you are applying.
    • Finalize application and financial aid forms and essays.
    • Supply individuals who will write your letters of recommendation with the packet you prepared for them, including any forms sent by each school.
  • December
    • Carefully prepare each application for mailing. Keep photocopy of each.
  • January/February
    • Follow up to confirm that your completed applications and all letters of recommendation were received.
    • Thank those who wrote letters of recommendation.
    • Attend any preselection interviews to which you are invited.
  • March/April
    • Accept/decline offers.
    • Call or write people who wrote you letters of recommendation and inform them of the outcome.