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Psychology majors who desire to work in the field of psychology generally understand that the Bachelor's degree is just the first step to a career in the domain. However, students are often underprepared for the daunting challenges presented to them during the graduate school application process.
Whether you are a freshman or a senior, it is never too soon or too late to start preparing yourself for the application process for Psychology graduate programs. It is important for students to understand two seemingly incompatible realities exist in the admission process. This first reality is that a good academic GPA is frequently not enough for admission into competitive psychology graduate programs. The second: a poor overall GPA does not necessarily preclude you from completing the application and admission process. In both instances, the right academic, work, and research experiences (plus a great GRE score) may factor more heavily into admission decisions than the GPA.
Below is a brief list of things to consider when starting the application process. This list is not exhaustive and is a basic "To-Do" in preparation for the graduate application process:
1. Identify the degree, area and/or specialty in Psychology which will be studied in graduate school.
2. Cultivate relationships with professional mentors, work supervisors and faculty to ensure strong letters of recommendation.
3. Engage in academic enhancement activities which will bolster the curriculum vitae (this includes academic, work, and community service activities).
4. Overall academic performance in courses required in the major should be kept at the highest level of achievement.
5. Determine whether or not your desired schools and programs require GRE scores. If so, begin GRE preparation as soon as possible.
6. Determine the financial cost of the application process (such as application fees or transcript requests) well in advance of application deadlines.
7. Talk to other students who have successfully completed the graduate admission process.
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