Department of Psychology

University of Mississippi

Interested in graduate school?

Preparation for graduate school in psychology


Major Types of Graduate Training Programs in Psychology

Just as there are multiple different subfields within psychology, there are multiple different types of graduate training programs in (and related to) psychology. Your first step in determining which type of graduate school you should be applying to is to determine what career you would like to have (you can explore potential careers at Careers in Psych . Once you determine which career path you would like to pursue, then you will be able to determine whether you need a graduate degree to pursue that career. If you do need a graduate degree, you will also be able to explore which degree will help you meet your goal best and then you can begin exploring which programs offer that degree, which programs you would like to go to, and finally, you can apply to those programs.

Major Pathways for Graduate Training in Psychology. This video is advice from Elise Elligett and Heather Bliss regarding two of the major pathways for graduate school in psychology (Clinical and Experimental) presented at the 4th Annual UM Conference on Psychological Science.


Information on different pathways if interested in clinical (i.e., Ph.D, Psy.D., MSW, MFT, LPC)

 Is a doctorate in clinical right for you?     

 Social Work

 Marriage and Family Therapy

 Licensed Professional Counselor 

 Masters in School Psychology

 Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis

Behavior Analyst Certification Board 

Interview with Dr. Karen Kate Kellum about ABA

What do faculty in these programs prefer you to do to prepare for their programs?

 APA approved psychology programs for Clinical, Counseling, School, and Combined Doctoral Programs This website provides information on clinical, counseling, school, and combined doctoral programs which have been accredited by the American Psychological Association. It also provides a searchable database of such programs.


Information on how to get into a Clinical Ph.D. program

Advice from Mitch Prinstein

 Getting in, Getting out, and Getting on with Your Life: The Complete Cynics’ Series to and through Graduate Education in Clinical Psychology Book 1 – Getting In (Volume 1) by Dr. John Young


Not quite ready? Postbaccalaureate research assistant job opportunities


How to prepare for a graduate school:

              As a freshman 

             As a sophomore

             As a junior 

             As a senior


Video series on preparing for graduate school: This is a free 12 module video program with PowerPoint slides and handouts accompanying it by Drs. John Norcross and Tom Hogan provided by the APA that provides step-by-step information about each step of the process to prepare for and apply to graduate school in psychology and related professions.


Preparing for your Application

Most graduate school applications will require you to submit a Curriculum Vitae, Personal Statement, Transcripts, GRE Scores, and Letters of Recommendation.


Overview of applying to Grad School. This website provides assistance choosing a program and applying to graduate school.

Overview of preparation. This website  provides an excellent overview and links to multiple useful resources for those interested in going to graduate school.


A Letter to the Graduate Applicant 


Surpassing Milestones: Important Information to Know Before Going to Graduate School by Trask & Swartz, 1999


Preparing your documents. This video is advice from Anandi Ehman regarding how to best complete the required paperwork for graduate school applications presented at the 4th Annual UM Conference on Psychological Science.


Curriculum Vitae (CV):

Writing your CV: CV Writing Guide  and  Hayes&Hayes, 1989-Writing Your CV

Do’s and Don’ts

Examples Example 1 and Example 2

Personal Statement:

Advice for writing your personal statement Link 1 and Link 2


Letters of Recommendation:

Asking for Letters of Recommendation. Obtaining strong letters of recommendation will not only make your application stronger, they are essential for setting yourself apart from other applicants. Please see these documents with excellent advice for who and how to ask for letters of recommendation. Here is a link on Information for Students Seeking Letters of Recommendation. You should be prepared to provide your letter writers with at least a month to write the letters. You should also be prepared to  provide them with your CV (or Resumé); your unofficial transcript; the list of schools you are applying to, what program you are applying to at each school, deadlines for letters, and how to submit the letter, as well as any other relevant information; and your personal statement. In order to obtain an Unofficial Transcript: 1) Log on to myOleMiss, 2) Select Student, 3) Select Academics, 4) Select Request a Transcript.

        Obtaining Transcripts:

Preparing for the GRE.

The GRE is one of the main metrics upon which your application will be judged for many graduate programs. Thus, you should prepare by studying. The GRE is created and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). Therefore, I recommend visiting the ETS website to help you get started. I especially recommend you check out their information about the GRE  and their tips for how to prepare for it, including free test preparation materials.