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Psychology

Graduate School Resources and Information

Why would you want to go to graduate school?

Students typically choose to go on to graduate school because their career goals require them to. There are some professions that require additional schooling. For example, those students who would like to go into counseling or a related field, social work, law, or to be college professors would need additional schooling. As you’ll note from the interactive infographic, many of our students go on to graduate school in a variety of areas (e.g., counseling, clinical, social work, law, marriage and family therapy).

The Basics of Applying to Graduate School

  • Graduate or professional school permits you to earn a master's (about 2 years) or doctoral degree (4-6 years) after completing your undergraduate degree. You do not necessarily have to earn a master's degree before pursuing a doctoral degree. You may be able to enter a Ph.D. program immediately after finishing college.
  • You do not go to graduate school and then select a major or field of study the way you do in college and you can't just "change your major" or program after admission. Instead, you actually have to apply to the specific program you want to attend at a specific university.
  • You do not have to have a bachelor's degree in the same field for which you attend graduate school. However, graduate programs may have pre-requisite coursework that does necessitate a specific major or at least a minor. For instance, it often takes longer for those without a bachelor's in social work (two years instead of one) to complete a master's in social work because they have to take foundational classes that BSW students took in college.
  • Graduate school admission is highly competitive. Even if programs list minimum requirements on their websites, meeting those minimums does not necessarily tell you anything about your chances of acceptance. Most programs receive many more applications than they can accommodate, so they can be as selective with those applications as they choose.
  • Many, if not the majority, of graduate programs do not have spring admissions, so students can only begin their studies in the fall semester of an academic year.

Maximizing Grad School Readiness

The criteria for admission to graduate school are different from institution to institution and program to program. However, most programs tend to consider (not necessarily in this order): GPA, standardized test scores (e.g., the GRE, if required), letters of recommendation from faculty, relevant research experience, relevant applied experience, and the applicant's personal statement (a formal admission essay).

To be competitive, students should:

Practical Graduate Student Resources

There are a variety of University, Program, and External Resources to help students successfully get into graduate school.

UWGB Graduate School Resources

Although you will probably work more closely with your faculty advisor when it comes to questions about graduate school and the application process, Career Services also provides information on Applying to Graduate School. They will also provide feedback on personal statements, and the more people you can have review that document, the better!

Psychology Program Resources

  • Your Psychology Program Advisor: Your psychology advisor is an important resource for you when it comes to making decisions about where and how to apply. You should go to him or her when you have graduate school questions or concerns.
  • Graduate School Show: We have a YouTube show, Psyched for Graduate School, that provides ideas, resources, and tips on how to get in to graduate school.
  • The CWing Library: In the MAC Hall CWing, outside MAC C318, there is a bookshelf with books on topics related to graduate school, taking the GRE, and more. You are welcome to come sit down and look through them whenever the offices are open.
  • Graduate School Presentation: Drs. Burns and Martin put on a graduate school presentation that they made available online. You can watch it here: Graduate School Presentation.
  • The Student Orgs: Both the Psychology and Human Development Club (PHD Club) and Psi Chi put on graduate school-related programming throughout the school year. To learn more about upcoming events, see the Events Page of The Psych Report or download the UWGB Psychology App for your iPhone or Droid .

External Resources

There are a number of resources outside of UW-Green Bay as well. While this is not an exhaustive list, here are a few really important resources for you.

  • Occupational Outlook Handbook: This is a searchable guide, put out by the United States Department of Labor, to career information about hundreds of occupations. It provides information for particular jobs about salary, entry level education, work environment, and more, and will help you determine whether or not the career you are interested in requires graduate training or not.
  • American Psychology Association (APA): Here, there is a portal for students in psychology of all levels. Of particular interest is the Psychology as a Career page which provides insight on careers in psychology, how to get a job with a psychology degree, and whether or not graduate school is right for you.
  • Careers in Psychology: A massive collection of information about careers in psychology. It includes information about careers, graduate programs, licensing requirements, and more.
  • Graduate School in Counseling and Related Fields: For those who are interested in a career a counseling-related field, Dr. Vespia has a wonderful resource with a lot of information on different types of careers, how to search for graduate school, and more.