Tracking Graduate and Medical School

ARE YOU A PRE-MED PSYCHOLOGY MAJOR?

Visit the Canisius College Pre-Med Website to make sure you are on track for your recommended Pre-Med courses. 

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN GRADUATE SCHOOL IN PSYCHOLOGY?

For more information on graduate school in psychology please see:

FRESHMEN YEAR AND FIRST SEMESTER SOPHOMORE YEAR

  • Take PSY 101, PSY 102, PSY 201
  • Be aware of required courses and when they are offered—MAP IT OUT!!
  • Learn how to use all of the resources in the Canisius Library and the Library at UB, including computers, ERIC, databases, and the PsycLit program
  • Be aware of the availability and importance of advisers and the Griff Center
  • Start building resumes through:
  1. jobs that are psychology-related 
  2. joining the Psychology Club and/or the Zoological Society
  3. spending time volunteering
  • Do not shy away from Math and Science Courses
  • Save all term papers and try to save all of the books in your major (good for GRE study, for future papers, for references, and for information on academic background in an application essay)
  • Save the course syllabi and course descriptions—grad schools may want to know if you have completed certain requirements that only the course descriptions will show

 

SECOND SEMESTER SOPHOMORE YEAR

  • Take PSY 202
  • Take an upper division CORE psychology course
  • If not already involved, students should seek out various activities and volunteer experience (resume building!!)
  • Do research in a field associated with psychology

 

FIRST SEMESTER JUNIOR YEAR

  • Explore all opportunities available to you after your graduation, especially if you are not at all certain about what you want to do. See what is out there for you!
  • Do not save all of the “hard” courses for senior year
  • Take an “impressive” course in another area
  • Be aware of the research opportunities
  • Become familiar with graduate programs and requirement courses (where to get GRE books, when to fill them out, deadlines, etc.)
  • Learn about the application process from seniors who are currently going through this process
  • Get to know other psychology professors, if you have not already, and begin to consider which professors you would like to request recommendations from (check their sabbatical schedules!!). Learn how to approach these professors for recommendations.  Go to the Griff Center to obtain a booklet on how to ask for recommendations.

 

SECOND TERM JUNIOR YEAR

  • Continue with the CORE...Select another “impressive” course in another area
  • Focus interests in a particular area of psychology
  • Register for an internship, if relevant
  • Discuss with a faculty member opportunities for research to be conducted during senior year
  • Create drafts of your resume
  • Check with Registrar to assure that you are on the right path to graduate; also request an unofficial, student copy of your transcript and check for errors
  • Check into Psi Chi, Tri Beta, etc. (the national honor societies)
  • Investigate national scholarship

 

SUMMER BETWEEN JUNIOR AND SENIOR YEAR

  • Early in the summer write to the schools that interest you to request catalogs and application materials.  Be sure to request information about financial aid, if this is not routinely sent with application materials.  Also, if you are interested, inquire about assistantships and ask that an application for assistantship be sent to you, in case it is not provided.
  • When the materials arrive, use the rest of the summer to review the information. The number of schools to which you should apply will depend on the graduate program you are considering.  If you are applying for a doctorate program, then the number of programs to apply for should be greater.  See your advisor.
  • Once you know the schools to which you will apply, prepare a set of index cards or a chart with: information on all of the schools, application materials required, financial aid application information, and all relevant deadlines.  Use the cards/chart to help you meet the deadlines.
  • Prepare a draft of your autobiographical statement.  Most schools require a statement about your personal and educational backgrounds, and also about your goals.  Be honest, objective, and as brief as possible. Call schools to better understand their requirements for their statements if not directly explained in the programs sent to you.
  • Use the summer months to prepare for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), depending on which you need to take.
  • Register for the GRE, computer-based, as soon as possible—it may be difficult to schedule an appointment.  Schedule the date you would like as soon as possible.
  • Be sure to take the GRE or other exams far enough in advance to ensure that the scores will have adequate time to be sent to the universities to which you are applying.
  • Start saving money for the application fees (about $50 per application).

 

SENIOR YEAR

SEPTEMBER

  • If possible, take a research course in the Fall and submit your paper to an undergraduate research conference.  Listing such a course and participation in a research conference will enhance your application.
  • Contact faculty members to write letters of recommendation for you.  Ask the professor you want to write for you if he/she is willing and able to do so.  Be sure to see the booklet on how to ask for letters of recommendation found at the Career Center.
  • Work on your autobiographical statement.

OCTOBER

  • Take the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE.
  • Ask a faculty member to review the draft of your autobiographical statement. Make revisions as necessary.

NOVEMBER

  • Give the recommendation forms to faculty (or other people) who will be writing the recommendations for you.  Provide a pre-addressed, stamped envelope for each recommendation.  Also, supply a résumé, a typed list of graduate schools and dates, and a typed statement of how the person who is recommending you knows you (work you have done or classes you have taken).
  • Complete the applications with December deadline dates and mail them with several weeks to spare.  Be sure to type all of the application materials, proofread all materials for grammatical error any misspellings, and Xerox copy all materials before you send them.

DECEMBER

  • Take the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE if you have not done so.
  • Request that transcripts be sent to programs or to you (depending on the school requirements) from all colleges attended.
  • Complete applications with January deadlines.

JANUARY-APRIL

  • File a FAFSA for graduate school.
  • Call the department to which you have applied to be sure that they have received all your materials.  Most schools will not consider incomplete applications.
  • Upon receiving notification of your acceptance(s), consult with faculty in making your final decision.  Once you have notified this school, be sure to tell the other schools you will not be coming so they can offer your place to another student.
  • Visit the institutions that accept you.
  • If all of your applications are rejected, do not despair—consult with faculty about your options.  You may want to work for a year, prepare for the GRE, and re-apply to psychology programs; enter a Master’s program, re-take the GRE, and re-apply to doctoral programs; or apply to degree programs in similar fields to the field you have chosen.
  • Send thank you notes to people who wrote your recommendation letters, informing them of your success.