Planning Your Future 13 Steps for Applying to Psych Grad School

13 Steps for Applying to Psych Grad School

These 13 steps are in chronological order for individuals who are applying to grad school in the Fall of before grad school (i.e., those who have only a few months left to apply). Any deadlines suggested are the LATEST a sane individual should be completing that step.

Those with more time can think about grad school, their area of interest and their topic of interest more, as well as build the experience, references, and GPA they need.

///\\ (@ @) +----oOO----(_)-----------+ | I Want | | to Go to | | Grad School | +-----------------oOO-----+ |__|__| || || ooO Ooo

The information contained here is a culmination of people's suggestions, in particular Naseem Al-Aidroos, and from the Getting In: A Step-by-Step plan for gaining admission to graduate school in psychology book, which I strongly recommend everyone read or at least flip through.

Take a look at the Other Websites section for some Great websites and articles on applying and career exploration!

13 Steps:

  1. Decide to Go to Grad School
  2. Scholarships
  3. GRE-General & GRE-Psych
  4. Decide on an Area
  5. Choose a Topic or Sub-Area
  6. Letters of Reference
  7. List of Potential Schools
  8. Decide on Graduate schools
  9. Contact Potential Supervisors
  10. Transcripts
  11. Filling out Applications
  12. Personal Statements
  13. When Invited to a School, Go! When phoned, Talk!

Step 1: Decide to Go to Grad School

Choosing Grad School means:

Step 2: Scholarships

You likely will need:


  1. Government (based on location of grad school or Your residence)

  2. Topic, Field and Background Specific Scholarships

Step 3: GRE-General & GRE-Psych


Step 4: Decide on an Area

3 Main Areas of psych:

Step 5: Choose a Topic or Sub-Area

What's meant by Topic or Sub-area?

Where's Help?

Step 6: Letters of Reference

What do I need to do?

Sending Letters Directly Vs. With Package:

Some Qs & As:

Step 7: List of Potential Schools

2 main ways:

    1) Search by Program to get a list of schools

    2) Search by Topic

Step 8: Decide on Graduate schools

Fill out the Applicant Worksheet from the Getting In: A Step-by-Step plan for gaining admission to Graduate School in Psychology to help put on paper your goals, needs, strengths and weaknesses

Narrow by:

  1. Specific program of interest
  2. End Result (e.g., accredited for clinical, PhD etc)
  3. Faculty listed within your interested area
  4. Focus of the program & Courses taught in the program
  5. Entrance Requirements (meet minimums and required courses?)

Narrow Further by:

  1. Requirements
  2. Financial considerations
  3. Faculty of interest is available and taking graduate students (ask via email)
  4. Entry stats listed in the APA graduate studies books

Step 9: Contact Potential Supervisors


Step 10: Transcripts

In General:

Ordering at UofT:

3 Types (and 3 pick-up locations at U of T):

  1. Pick up at _____ issued to student - means you pick up BUT not in a sealed envelop (not "official")
  2. Pick up at ____ in sealed envelop - means you pick up an "official" copy to include with application package, Do Not open envelop as opening it makes it "unofficial" and programs may not accept it
  3. UTTC mail out to recipient - means UofT Transcript centre sends it directly to the school, use for when programs ask for transcripts "to be sent by your institution" (Note: UTTC is on St. George Campus)

Ordering at Wilfrid Laurier University:

Planning Your Future
Where to start?
Before you Apply
Variety of Careers
13 Steps for Applying
Great & Helpful Books
Other Useful Websites