How to get into graduate school

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  • 1. How to Get Into Graduate School Tamina A. Stuber Western Michigan University Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan March 13-14, 2008

2. Desirable Characteristics of Applicants

  • Motivated & hardworking
  • Scholarly & intellectual ability
  • Emotionally stable & mature
  • Research skills
  • Writing skills
  • Speaking skills
  • Teaching skills
  • Works well with others
  • Creativity & originality
  • Knowledge of area of study

3. Degree Status Work in settings similar to those with a Ph. D.Work in settings similar to those with a Psy. D. At least some minimaltraining in clinical settings Dosometraining in clinical settings Can be accredited by American Psychological Association (APA) Can be accredited by American Psychological Association (APA) stronger emphasis on practice stronger emphasis on research Degree used to train psychologists Degree used to train psychologists Psy. D. Ph. D. 4. Degree Status Can work in similar settings as those with pre-doctoral M.A. Can work in similar settings as those with terminal M.A.At least some minimaltraining in clinical settings Dosometraining in clinical settings Job-oriented; Continuing on to Ph. D. is optionalExpectation offinishing a Ph. D. programstronger emphasis on practice or applied researchstronger emphasis on research Degree program used to train practitioners Degree program used to train psychologists Terminal M.A. Pre-doctoral M.A. 5. Accreditation

  • Provides notification that an
  • institution or program:
  • Meets rigorous standards of quality
  • Is committed to self-study and external review by professional community
  • Continuously seek to enhance quality of education and training

6. Accreditation

  • The American Psychological Association (APA) accredits:
  • Doctoral programs-
    • Clinical
    • Counseling school psychology
    • Other psychology health service areas
    • Combinations of two or three of those areas
  • Pre-doctoral internships

7. Accreditation

  • Association of Behavior Analysis International accredits:
  • Doctoral & Masters programs in applied behavior analysis
  • The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) approves and certifies:
  • Doctoral & Masters curriculum in applied behavior analysis
  • Individuals as BCBAs or BCABAs

8. Admissions Components

  • Undergraduate psychology coursework
  • General Record Exam scores
  • Research experience
  • Practicum or other work experience
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal Statement
  • Interview

9. Steps in the Process

  • Obtain a range of experiences
    • Practica
    • Research participation
    • Teaching assistance
    • Tutoring
    • Extracurricular activities
    • Relevant work experience

10. Steps in the Process

  • Collect information on graduate programs
    • Search ABAI and APA websites
    • Request application materials and catalogs
    • Identify potential major professors
  • Study for and take the GRE
    • Take subject portion if necessary
    • Target score of 1000 to 1200
    • Send scores to schools

11. Steps in the Process

  • Request letters of recommendation
    • Give at least 2-3 weeks notice
    • May need to provide supplemental materials
  • Request transcripts
    • High volume periods:
      • End of the semester
      • Graduation
    • Holds on your school account

12. Steps in the Process

  • Write a Personal Statement to discuss:
    • Interests in the field
    • Goals and ambitions
    • A population you desire to help
    • Experiences that prepared you
  • Complete and submit application
    • Deadlines typically 1/15 3/1
    • Applications for department and graduate program
    • Make copies of everything

13. Fees & Expenses

  • Application fees: 25.00 60.00 each
  • GRE exam: 140.00 +
  • Transcripts: 3.00 10.00 each
  • Postage
  • Photocopies
  • Travel expenses
  • ** Fees may be waived for financial hardship!

14. Additional Considerations

  • Financial Aid
    • Assistantships & Fellowships
      • Tuition waiver
      • Stipend
    • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Admission Periods
    • Fall versus other semesters
  • Program Competitiveness

15. Internet Resources

  • American Psychological Association
  • Association of Behavior Analysis International START (Service to Apply, Recruit, & Train)
  • Behavior Analyst Certification Board
  • Behavioral Academic and Career Counseling

16. Literature Resources

  • American Psychological Association. (2007).Graduate Study in Psychology (2007 Ed.).Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Keith-Spiegel, P. & Wiederman, M.W. (2000).The Complete Guide to Graduate School Admission: Psychology, COuseling, and Related Professions (2nd Ed.).Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Eribaum Associates.
  • Norcross, J.C., Sayette, M.A., & Mayne, T.J. (2006).Insiders Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology: Revisedand Updated (2006-2007 Ed.).New York: Guilford Press.
  • Eye on Psi Chihas several short articles on the graduate school admission process available
  • (2003)The Behavior Therapist, 26(2)special issue on the graduate school experience and adjusting to graduate school.


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