Graduate School

If you are considering graduate school you should speak to your advisor about how you can increase your odds of being accepted into a program. Here are some guidelines regarding what to aim for as an undergraduate student:

-GPA of 3.5 or higher

-High GRE verbal+quantitative score (approximately 320 or higher)

-At least 1-3 years of research experience

-Conference presentation and/or research publication

-Senior honors thesis

-Internship

-Letters of recommendation from faculty (get to know faculty members)

Most graduate programs in psychology will require you to submit GRE general test scores as part of your application. You should give yourself time to prepare for this test. Some programs additionally require applicants to take the psychology subject test. Unlike the general test, this test is only given 3 times a year---this means you will have plan ahead to make sure you will get your scores back in time to meet application deadlines.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

Also see our handout regarding what you can do with a graduate degree in psychology.

 

Clinical Degrees
If you are interested in clinical work, you should know that there are different graduate degree options.

Ph.D. in clinical psychology
-Greater focus on psychopathology than wellness
-Trained as a both a researcher and a clinician
-Programs are extremely difficult to be accepted into, but usually provide tuition remission and a stipend
-Programs take at least 4 years plus 1 year of internship to complete
-General requirements for program acceptance: very high GPA and GRE scores, lots of research experience, relevant experience working in clinical setting

Ph.D. in counseling psychology
-Focus on the wellness of the individual rather than psychopathology
-General requirements for program acceptance: high GPA and GRE scores, relevant experience working with people, and research experience

Psy.D.
-Doctoral degree in clinical psychology
-Less research focused compared to clinical Ph.D.
-Tuition remission/stipends are uncommon
-General requirements for program acceptance: high GPA and GRE scores, relevant experience working with people, and research experience

M.A. in clinical psychology
-Clinical training
-Does not lead to a licensure, but may be a stepping stone to doctoral program
-General requirements for program acceptance: moderately high GPA and GRE scores, relevant experience working with people, and some research experience

M.A. in counseling
-Counseling training
-Leads to licensure; in NJ need to complete 60 credit master's program accredited by CACREP and practicum hours to be eligible to become a LPC (licensed professional counselor); in NY the license is the LMHC (licensed mental health counselor)
-Allows one to have a private practice
-May also help one get into a doctoral program
-General requirements for program acceptance: moderately high GPA and GRE scores, relevant experience working with people, and some research experience

M.S.W. (masters in social work)
-Counseling training, may help clients find social services
-Focus less on psychopathology and diagnosis, don't do psychological testing
-More agencies are familiar with MSW; slightly better chance of finding a job compared to LPC
-General requirements for program acceptance: moderately high GPA and GRE scores, relevant experience working with people