Faculty of Arts

Applying for Graduate School Timeline

Second Year

  • Apply for research apprenticeship, or volunteer in a professor's lab
  • Join the Psychology Club
  • Look for appropriate literature regarding getting into graduate school
  • Maintain highest grades possible in ALL courses
  • Meet with advisors and declare major

Third Year

  • Be involved with faculty research (e.g., Directed Studies, Research Apprenticeships, Research Assistantships, UREAP, NSERC USRA)
  • Take PSYC 3610
  • Become familiar with graduate school admission criteria and degrees offered
  • Research area(s) of interest, institutions, and programs
  • Begin studying for Graduate Records Exams (G.R.E.) if necessary. Many programs no longer require G.R.E. scores for admission.
    • Study for the Psychology sub-test by reviewing a good Introductory Psychology textbook that includes statistics and methodology
  • Investigate scholarships, loans and fellowships
  • Obtain experience through volunteering if interested in Counselling or Clinical Psychology
  • Investigate summer jobs related to psychology
  • Apply for the Honours program in April


  • Write the G.R.E. (if necessary)
  • Search programs of interest and take note of application materials needed
  • Visit schools of interest if possible
  • Work on application essays (if applicable)
  • Check application deadlines
  • Begin to save money for application fees, resumes, and transcript costs
  • Start to consider individuals you would like to have write your letters of recommendation
  • If your program requires you to identify potential research supervisors, consider sending out cold emails in August. You could also reach out to potential supervisors regarding summer volunteer opportunities as early as April.

Fourth Year


  • Obtain letters of recommendation from professors and other reference people
  • Ask people to review/critique your application essay(s) (if possible)
  • Take graduate admission tests(s) if not taken earlier
  • Send in completed Graduate school application(s)
  • Send in completed financial aid application, complete with application for teaching assistantship or other graduate student support, available at almost all graduate schools
  • Check with all schools before the deadlines to make sure your file is complete (letter of recommendation is usually what, if anything, is missing)


  • Keep track of acceptances, wait lists, and rejections
  • Expect first choice offers to be made by April 1; however, vacancies may occur any time before September
  • Visit schools that accept you

April / May

  • Be sure to notify schools that have offered you a spot whether you accept their offer or not
  • Send thank you notes to your reference people
  • If you have not been accepted anywhere by April 15 you should:
    • Email every school you applied to and request that your application remain active
    • Job hunt and re-apply next year