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Surviving the grad school application process

Tips on applying to graduate school from a veteran of the process.

By Shaynna Herrera

Don’t worry about the popularity of the schools to which you’re applying. General university rankings have little to do with the success of doctoral-level psychology programs. The fit is more important than the name.

  • If you have a theoretical orientation, try to find a school that fits that. If you don’t have one yet, don’t worry. Many people don’t develop one until (or even change while in) grad school.
  • Take a look at the other students already in the program. Every program has a different personality.
  • Your application is to get you in the door. The interview is where you really will be evaluated and the final determination will be made. Make sure to be honest and emotionally engaged while still being professional in your interview.
  • Be prepared to constantly be reading, studying, and working at your externship/practicum. The good news: If you are truly doing what you love, becoming a psychologist won’t seem like work.