Applying to Graduate School in Psychology provides prospective graduate students with the insider knowledge needed to bolster their confidence and gain a competitive edge. This comprehensive resource shares personal accounts from both peer and expert perspectives to fully illustrate the ins and outs of applying and preparing for the graduate school experience. As future professionals in psychology, readers will greatly benefit from the straightforward and personal guidance offered by the student and psychologist contributors.

Potential applicants learn the commonalities and differences among diverse student experiences from a variety of academic institutions and programs. This student-to-student format offers familiarity and identification with those who have successfully enrolled in graduate programs across the country. Each chapter presents practical advice, key information, and encouragement, while describing the dos and don'ts of applying. In the psychologist-written essays, renowned professionals share their academic and career development stories and provide meaningful insight into the rewards and challenges of the field. The contributors' infectious passion for psychology will inspire readers to further their education and narrow down their program of choice.

Table of Contents


—Virginia Andreoli Mathie


—Amanda C. Kracen and Ian J. Wallace

1. An Overview of the Field of Psychology
—Héctor Y. Adamés

Essay 1—A Snapshot of Psychology: The Personal and Professional Benefits I've Enjoyed
—Gerald P. Koocher

2. Life as a Psychology Graduate Student
—Hayal Z. Kackar

Essay 2—Graduate School: Advice for All Times
—Elizabeth F. Loftus

3. Financial Considerations of Pursuing a Graduate Degree in Psychology
—Ian J. Wallace

Essay 3—My Financial Considerations: The Varied Hats I've Worn
—Melba J. T. Vasquez

4. Finding a Fit
—Alison B. Breland

Essay 4—What to Look for in a Graduate Mentor: Ten Qualities to Find a Fit
—Robert J. Sternberg

5. The Application Process
—Kristine M. Molina

Essay 5—The Application Process From a Faculty Member's Perspective: How I Evaluate Applications
—Clara E. Hill

6. Bolstering an Application
—Sangeet S. Khemlani

Essay 6—Bolstering a Career: The Supports and Satisfactions of Networking
—David G. Myers

7. Campus Visits and Interviewing
—Darby E. Saxbe

Essay 7—Admissions Interviews From a Faculty Member's Perspective: The Challenge of Honest Self-Presentation
—Hector F. Myers

8. Fielding Offers and Making a Final Decision
—Amanda C. Kracen

Essay 8—Making Decisions: My Reflections on Graduate School and Career Choices
—Roy F. Baumeister

9. What Happens If…: Alternatives for Unsuccessful Applicants
—Frank J. Corigliano

Essay 9—My Journey Overcoming Barriers: Identifying Alternatives and Pursuing Passions
—James O. Prochaska

Recommended Resources

—Christina M. Grange


About the Editors

Editor Bios

Amanda C. Kracen, MS, is a 5th-year doctoral student in counseling psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and specializes in health psychology and behavioral medicine. Prior to graduate school, Ms. Kracen earned a BA from Brown University and worked as a researcher at Trinity College, Dublin, in Ireland. Her clinical work and research focus on the health and well-being of health care professionals and how these factors affect patient care. She is an active member of Divisions 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology), 38 (Health Psychology), and 52 (International Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA). She has won awards for her research and service, including the Award for Extraordinary Service from APA Division 52 in 2006.

Ian J. Wallace, MA, MS, is a 5th-year doctoral student in counseling psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, specializing in health psychology and sport psychology. Mr. Wallace earned a BA in psychology from The College of New Jersey and an MA in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University, while working full-time as a case manager at an inpatient psychiatric facility. His research focuses on the mechanisms of health behavior change in youth and adolescents; he served as the data manager for a grant-funded, multisite community intervention study that promoted preventive behavior among teenagers. As a clinician, he most enjoys working with athletes and couples.