Dr. Sanderson’s talk about applying to grad school at the last Psych Club meeting seems to have inspired a lot of questions about the process.
I put together a handout with an overview of my advice to help you weigh the pros and cons of grad school, and what the application process is like. You can find a pdf of it here: novak-gradschooladvice
Of course, different people will give you different perspectives, so it’s a good idea to ask around after you’ve started your search. During the semester, you can set up an appointment with your faculty advisor or visit professors you’ve had during office hours to get their valuable input, too.
In addition, Dr. Miller sent me a link to an excellent website created by a professor at another university. The writer covers a lot of the same ground as I do, but it’s still worth a look: http://users.rider.edu/~suler/gradschl.html. What is even more valuable about his site is that he succinctly describes the different types of degrees and graduate programs related to psychology: http://users.rider.edu/~suler/gradschl.html#counseling
These links are just a starting point. Graduate admissions can be extremely competitive, but you’ll have the best shot possible by learning about the process and becoming the best candiate you can be for the kind of program that interests you. Decisions about grad school are tough ones to make, and it’s a good idea to invest time reading up on graduate training options generally, and individual program requirements specifically. Putting the time and effort in now will help you to avoid wasting even more much time and money on a program that’s a poor fit for you.
There are some helpful links on the right of the blog for the APA, APS, and other major psychology organizations for help with general information, and then you can search for individual program’s websites to get the details for each one. Also, the APA publishes a guidebook called Graduate Study in Psychology that lists all the programs in North America and has an index that categorizes all of the programs by topic (e.g., school psychology, forensic psychology).