Indiana University

Select Graduate Schools

What will you take into consideration when selecting graduate schools to which you will submit applications? Your career goal! If you haven't yet decided on a career and degree then searching for graduate schools isn't a very good investment of time.

Before you start searching directories we encourage you to spend some time thinking about what this decision-making process is going to involve:

  • READ Getting In: Finding Your Fit in a Graduate Program (Eye on Psi Chi: Summer 2008)

  • READ Some Pointers for Students Interested in Applying to Graduate Programs in Clinical Psychology (Eye on Psi Chi: Winter 2002)

  • Drew University offers Factors to Consider in Evaluating a Graduate Program - scroll down the page to find it and encourages you to think about how you'll eventually narrow down your list.

  • Will you be attending a research-oriented graduate program in preparation for a career as a psychological scientist or as a practioner? Important - read this!

    If you are applying to a research-oriented graduate program in psychology or neuroscience, keep in mind that your biggest task in graduate school will be to complete research projects and publish your results. You aren't just applying to a graduate program, you are applying to work with one particular faculty member who will be your research advisor for the next 4-6 years.

    If you plan to attend a research-oriented graduate program, your graduate school selection process may begin by conducting a literature search to find scientists whose research fascinates you. Ideally, you will find a graduate program with more than one faculty member whose research interests you so that you have the choice to collaborate with more than one mentor while you are a graduate student.

    Once you've identified a list of schools with potential graduate mentors that match your research interests then you'll take all of the other criteria by which graduate programs are measured into consideration (such as program emphasis, accreditation status, ranking, admission requirements, practica and special resources, tuition and financial aid, location).

    P.S. Why would someone who is interested in becoming a practitioner plan to attend a research-oriented graduate program? The eventual career goal of students who want to go into practice is to work with clients to help solve personal problems, improve school performance, navigate the legal system and so forth. Why would they consider attending a research-oriented graduate program? If you want to keep a foot in both worlds -- to teach at a college or university and practice then you'll want to investigate research-oriented graduate programs. Also, most research-oriented graduate programs provide their students with substantial financial support in the form of research or teaching assistantships and grants.

More information about selecting graduate programs for Behavioral & Mental Health Care Careers.

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