Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Applying for Graduate School Timeline

Second Year

  • Attend psychological seminars or 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

  • Discuss possibility of becoming involved with faculty research
  • Become familiar with graduate school admission criteria and degrees offered 
  • Research area(s) of interest, institutions and programs
  • Register and prepare for appropriate graduate admission test(s) (e.g. G.R.E.)
  • Investigate scholarships, loans and fellowships
  • Obtain experience through volunteering if interested in counselling or clinical psychology
  • Investigate summer jobs related to psychology
  • Begin studying for Graduate Records Exams (G.R.E.); study for the Psychology sub-test by reviewing a good Introductory Psychology textbook that includes statistics and methodology

Summer

  • Decide whether to attend graduate school immediately or to postpone it
  • Take required graduate admission test
  • Write to specific schools for application materials
  • Visit schools of interest if possible
  • Work on application essay (if applicable)
  • Check application deadlines
  • Begin to save money for application fees, resumes, transcript costs
  • Start to consider individuals you would like to have write your letters of recommendation

Fourth Year

Fall

  • Obtain letters of recommendation from professors and other reference people
  • Have application essay critiques (if possible)
  • Take graduate admission tests(s) if not taken earlier
  • Send in completed Graduate school application
  • 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)

Spring

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

April/May

  • Be sure to notify schools that accept you of your decision (to accept or not)
  • Send thank you notes to your reference people.
  • If you have not been accepted anywhere by April 15 you should:
    • Call every school you applied to and request that your application remain active
    • Job hunt and re-apply next year