Admissions Resources

Graduate Admissions in Psychology - Links

Prepared by Dr. Foster-Clark

The following articles and the summaries I've extracted all come from recent issues of Eye on Psi Chi, the journal of the National Honor Society in Psychology, and are available from their website ( by following the links provided.

General References

The following general references may also be useful:

American Psychological Association (2005). Graduate study in psychology 2006. Washington, DC: Author.

Sayette, M. A., Mayne, T. J., & Norcross, J. C. (2004). Insider's guide to graduate programs in clinical and counseling psychology: 2004/2005 edition. New York: The Guilford Press.

Social Psychology Network (1997). Ranking of clinical psychology programs in the U.S. and Canada. Retrieved July 14, 2005, from

U.S. News & World Report (2004). America's best graduate schools 2006: Health: Clinical psychology (doctorate). Retrieved July 14, 2005, from

Applying to Graduate School in Clinical Psychology:

Advice for the Aspiring Applicant

by Katherine A. Schoeneman and Thomas J. Schoeneman - University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Schoeneman, K.); Lewis & Clark College (Schoeneman, T.)


Applying to doctoral programs in clinical psychology is a time-intensive and often mystifying process. This article outlines the steps involved in successful applications: gaining necessary experience, choosing programs, submitting applications, and following up on submitted materials. Prior to the application process, students should focus on coursework and grades as well as research and work experiences. The application process should begin about 18 months before the date of enrollment. Several sources and strategies are given that are helpful in selecting programs to apply to. We also describe strategies for collecting the relevant application materials, including application forms, GRE scores, undergraduate transcripts, a vita, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation. Following-up to be sure that all materials have arrived is essential.

Citation: Norcross, J. C., Kohout, J.L., & Wicherski, M. (2006, Winter). Graduate admissions in psychology: I. The application process. Eye on Psi Chi, 10(2), 28-29, 42-43.

Graduate Admissions in Psychology:

I. The Application Process

by John C. Norcross, Jessica L. Kohout, and Marlene Wicherski - University of Scranton (Norcross); American Psychological Association (Kohout); Cambridge, MA (Wicherski)


This article summarizes select characteristics of graduate programs and departments in psychology across the United States and Canada in an effort to assist students and their advisors to make informed, evidence-based decisions about graduate admissions. The data are drawn from the 2005 edition of Graduate Study in Psychology and are based on 495 institutions, 601 departments, and 1,970 programs. Here, in Part I, we focus on the application process, specifically student enrollment, application methods and fees, application deadlines, admission criteria, Graduate Record Examinations (GREs), and grade point averages (GPAs). Part II will appear in the Spring 2006 issue of Eye on Psi Chi and will focus on acceptance rates, tuition costs, and financial assistance.

Citation: Norcross, J. C., Kohout, J.L., & Wicherski, M. (2006, Winter). Graduate admissions in psychology: I. The application process. Eye on Psi Chi, 10(2), 28-29, 42-43.

Clinical Versus Counseling Psychology: What's the Diff?

by John C. Norcross - University of Scranton


The majority of psychology students applying to graduate school are interested in clinical work, and approximately half of all graduate degrees in psychology are awarded in the subfields of clinical and counseling psychology (Mayne, Norcross, & Sayette, 2000). But deciding on a health care specialization in psychology gets complicated. The urgent question facing each student--and the question frequently posed to academic advisors--is "What are the differences between clinical psychology and counseling psychology?" Or, as I am asked in graduate school workshops, "What's the diff?"

Citation: Norcross, J. C. (2000, Fall). Clinical versus counseling psychology: What's the diff? Eye on Psi Chi, 5(1), 20-22.

The Curriculum Vita: A Student's Guide to Preparation

by R. Eric Landrum - Boise State University


Citation: Landrum, R. E. (2005, Winter). The curriculum vita: A student's guide to preparation. Eye on Psi Chi, 9(2), 28-29, 42.

Getting a Good Letter of Recommendation

by Kirsten Rewey - Saint Mary's University of Minnesota


According to a recent survey of graduate school admission committees, the three most important graduate school admission criteria are one's GPA, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, and letters of recommendation (Keith-Spiegel, 1991; Norcross, Hanych, & Terranova, 1996). While many students understand the importance of letters of recommendation, many don't realize how to get a good letter of recommendation. Let me give you four tips that should help: make a face-to-face request for the letter of recommendation, give faculty enough time to write the letter, provide lots of information, and be organized.

Citation: Rewey, K. (2000, Fall). Getting a good letter of recommendation. Eye on Psi Chi, 5(1), 27-29.

Applying to Graduate School:

Writing a Compelling Personal Statement

by Bette L. Bottoms and Kari L. Nysse - University of Pennsylvania


Your first step toward a graduate degree in psychology is to apply to graduate programs that are right for you. Your goal is to do everything possible to ensure admission to at least one, and hopefully more, programs. The typical psychology graduate school application package includes four crucial elements: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, official undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement from the applicant.

Citation: Bottoms, B. L., & Nysse, K. L. (1999, Fall). Applying to graduate school: Writing a compelling personal statement. Eye on Psi Chi, 4(1), 20-22.