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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Psychology

academic advising

Career or Graduate School Planning

There are many different types of graduate programs in psychology. We recommend you make an appointment with an academic adviser, and attend Graduate School and Career Night (usually early in spring quarter) as soon as possible for more detailed information about careers and graduate school.

Even students in their first and second years will benefit from talking with advisers and faculty members about graduate school.

For students planning to attend graduate school
Admission to professional and graduate programs in psychology and related fields is affected by:

  • letters of recommendation from faculty who know you well in laboratory, and/or field work and classroom settings;
  • your grade point average;
  • your standardized test scores (e.g., GRE);
  • your overall academic record, including rigor of course selection;
  • any research and/or clinical/field experience;
  • the match between your goals, needs and skills and what the graduate program offers; and
  • extraneous factors over which you have little or no control, such as the availability of fellowship money, government regulations and competition of the applicant pool.

We've selected coursework for psychology majors that prepares them for what most graduate programs require. Departmental academic advisers can also recommend specific electives in psychology that can be useful for each person's specific goals.

If you are interested in graduate school in clinical psychology, read useful information from the Council of Directors of Clinical Psychology (PDF).

For Students Not Planning to Attend Graduate School
Nationwide, only 25 percent of psychology majors pursue a graduate degree. Our bachelor's curriculum provides a strong academic foundation for many careers. An undergraduate degree in psychology provides training in skills employers are looking for, including:

  • communication skills
  • teamwork
  • interpersonal skills
  • problem solving
  • ability to analyze information

Example career areas include:

  • communications/public relations
  • education
  • journalism
  • human-computer interaction
  • human resources
  • law enforcement
  • management
  • marketing

We recommend that students not going to graduate school talk with an adviser and visit the Career Center to create a plan of study that supports their interests and goals.