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Getting started in Psychology
Tips To Prepare For Applying To Psychology Graduate Programs
Psychology is a growing field which offers a variety of options to work with people of varying stages of life and with different degrees of mental disorders and challenges. Although there is work available for those with a bachelors degree in psychology, to effectively work in the field of psychology requires completing a graduate program in psychology to earn a Masters degree, a PhD or a PsyD.
Earning a graduate degree in psychology can be done at either a brick and mortar university or through an online school that offers graduate programs in psychology. Before applying, you will need to be prepared by knowing what type of psychology degree you are seeking, either a masters or a doctorate. It is also beneficial to know what type of psychology you are interested in, as the programs vary for each field.
Once you have determined if rather you want to study through one of the psychology graduate programs online or at a traditional university, it is important to go to the schools website and review the program requirements. Most graduate schools require a specific GPA, submission of GRE scores, letters of recommendation and an essay as part of the application process. You may also be required to write a statement of purpose in order to justify the candidature, for example this would explain what you would like to study at the particular school, why you want to study at that school and why you have chosen the particular program you are applying for.
Financial aid is also an important factor you will need to take into consideration. If you are applying for student aid including a grant or a loan, the school you are applying to must be an accredited facility in order to be eligible for application. Enrolling in psychology graduate programs to earn a masters degree will typically take about two years and doctorate programs in psychology take between four and six years to complete. There are two doctorate programs in psychology, a PhD or a PsyD. The PhD program requires an interest in research while the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D) is for those interesting in clinical fields. Psychology graduate schools offering a PsyD program typically have a tougher admission process and the program is more expensive.
There are several different fields of psychology to choose from and the school you choose should have a program that offers the classes and clinical training specific to the field. Some of the options include social counseling, organizational behavior, clinical psychology, criminal psychology, research and teaching as well as several other options.
Psychology graduate programs are extremely selective in choosing the applicants and the admission rate in a school with a leading graduate program may be extremely competitive. When applying for psychology graduate programs it is recommended that you apply to about five schools for your first choice and another five schools as your second choice. Before applying it is best if you have all funding information ready as well. Be prepared by having all of your previous university transcripts, financial aid, letters of recommendation, essay and preferred course of study ready when applying.