How to get into graduate school


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  • Translate into behaviors (Self-development interview)
  • The practitioner-scholar model in the training of psychologist: Focus is to build upon a broad base of scientific foundations of psychology a comprehensive and well-rounded course of study that prepares students to provide services and utilize practical skills, such as psychological testing, psychotherapy, consultation and clinical supervision. To distinguish this practitioner-focused model from the more academic and scientific model, professional schools of psychology typically award the Doctor of Psychology or Psy.D. Jobs in: private practice, hospitals, corporations, disaster relief centers, outpatient clinics, community mental health centers, schools, colleges
  • Behavior analyst, school psychologist, psychological hospital aid, research assistant, teacher in a junior college, or work industrial relations
  • Important Note: Some states require that students have a degree from an APA-accredited program Some agencies of the federal government only hire graduates of APA-accredited programs The Task Force established some working definitions of important terms: Accreditation was defined as a designation that a program of studies meets certain standards. Certification, in contrast, was identified as a designation bestowed on a person who has met certain standards of training or preparation. Licensure was identified as a legal entitlement often bestowed by states on individuals. This entitlement allows a person to engage in some business or occupation (e.g., psychology).
  • Verbal /Quantitative 1600 is the highest score on GRE; 0-6 for Analytical Writing Those considering repeating a test should be aware: score reports will include test results obtained within the past five-year period. You may take the General Test (computer-based and/or paper-based) only once per calendar month and no more than five times within any 12-month period even if you canceled your scores on a test taken previously. As part of your test fee, you may request that scores be sent to as many as 4 graduate institutions or fellowship sponsors at the test center. The score recipients you designated will get scores within 10 to 15 days after you take the test. You will be required to pay $15 per recipient to have scores sent at a later date.
  • Make it clear how you fit with the program where you’re applying. Doctoral program applications are usually due a month before master’s applications. Application should be neat and professional.
  • How to get into graduate school

    1. 1. How to Get Into Graduate School Tamina A. Stuber Western Michigan University Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan March 13-14, 2008
    2. 2. Desirable Characteristics of Applicants <ul><li>Motivated & hardworking </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarly & intellectual ability </li></ul><ul><li>Emotionally stable & mature </li></ul><ul><li>Research skills </li></ul><ul><li>Writing skills </li></ul><ul><li>Speaking skills </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching skills </li></ul><ul><li>Works well with others </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity & originality </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of area of study </li></ul>
    3. 3. Degree Status Work in settings similar to those with a Ph. D. Work in settings similar to those with a Psy. D. At least some minimal training in clinical settings Do some training in clinical settings Can be accredited by American Psychological Association (APA) Can be accredited by American Psychological Association (APA) stronger emphasis on practice stronger emphasis on research Degree used to train psychologists Degree used to train psychologists Psy. D. Ph. D.
    4. 4. Degree Status Can work in similar settings as those with pre-doctoral M.A. Can work in similar settings as those with terminal M.A. At least some minimal training in clinical settings Do some training in clinical settings Job-oriented; Continuing on to Ph. D. is optional Expectation of finishing a Ph. D. program stronger emphasis on practice or applied research stronger emphasis on research Degree program used to train practitioners Degree program used to train psychologists Terminal M.A. Pre-doctoral M.A.
    5. 5. Accreditation <ul><li>Provides notification that an </li></ul><ul><li>institution or program: </li></ul><ul><li>Meets rigorous standards of quality </li></ul><ul><li>Is committed to self-study and external review by professional community </li></ul><ul><li>Continuously seek to enhance quality of education and training </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    6. 6. Accreditation <ul><li>The American Psychological Association (APA) accredits: </li></ul><ul><li>Doctoral programs- </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clinical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Counseling school psychology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other psychology health service areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combinations of two or three of those areas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pre-doctoral internships </li></ul>
    7. 7. Accreditation <ul><li>Association of Behavior Analysis International accredits: </li></ul><ul><li>Doctoral & Masters programs in applied behavior analysis </li></ul><ul><li>The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) approves and certifies: </li></ul><ul><li>Doctoral & Masters curriculum in applied behavior analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals as BCBAs or BCABAs </li></ul>
    8. 8. Admissions Components <ul><li>Undergraduate psychology coursework </li></ul><ul><li>General Record Exam scores </li></ul><ul><li>Research experience </li></ul><ul><li>Practicum or other work experience </li></ul><ul><li>Extracurricular activities </li></ul><ul><li>Letters of recommendation </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Statement </li></ul><ul><li>Interview </li></ul>
    9. 9. Steps in the Process <ul><li>Obtain a range of experiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Practica </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tutoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extracurricular activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevant work experience </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Steps in the Process <ul><li>Collect information on graduate programs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search ABAI and APA websites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Request application materials and catalogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify potential major professors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Study for and take the GRE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take subject portion if necessary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Target score of 1000 to 1200 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Send scores to schools </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Steps in the Process <ul><li>Request letters of recommendation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Give at least 2-3 weeks notice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May need to provide supplemental materials </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Request transcripts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High volume periods: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>End of the semester </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Graduation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Holds on your school account </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Steps in the Process <ul><li>Write a Personal Statement to discuss: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interests in the field </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goals and ambitions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A population you desire to help </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiences that prepared you </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Complete and submit application </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deadlines typically 1/15 – 3/1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applications for department and graduate program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make copies of everything </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Fees & Expenses <ul><li>Application fees: 25.00 – 60.00 each </li></ul><ul><li>GRE exam: 140.00 + </li></ul><ul><li>Transcripts: 3.00 – 10.00 each </li></ul><ul><li>Postage </li></ul><ul><li>Photocopies </li></ul><ul><li>Travel expenses </li></ul><ul><li>** Fees may be waived for financial hardship! </li></ul>
    14. 14. Additional Considerations <ul><li>Financial Aid </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistantships & Fellowships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tuition waiver </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stipend </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tuition Reimbursement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Admission Periods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fall versus other semesters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Program Competitiveness </li></ul>
    15. 15. Internet Resources <ul><li>American Psychological Association </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Association of Behavior Analysis International START (Service to Apply, Recruit, & Train) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Behavior Analyst Certification Board </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Behavioral Academic and Career Counseling </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    16. 16. Literature Resources <ul><li>American Psychological Association. (2007). Graduate Study in Psychology (2007 Ed.). Washington DC: American Psychological Association. </li></ul><ul><li>Keith-Spiegel, P. & Wiederman, M.W. (2000). The Complete Guide to Graduate School Admission: Psychology, COuseling, and Related Professions (2nd Ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Eribaum Associates. </li></ul><ul><li>Norcross, J.C., Sayette, M.A., & Mayne, T.J. (2006). Insider’s Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology: Revised and Updated (2006-2007 Ed.). New York: Guilford Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Eye on Psi Chi has several short articles on the graduate school admission process available at: </li></ul><ul><li>(2003) The Behavior Therapist, 26 (2)—special issue on the graduate school experience and adjusting to graduate school. </li></ul>