Be sure to check out my Grad School Advice YouTube playlist for videos about getting in and thriving in grad school.
Getting in to Graduate School
Here are some resources I recommend that will help you think about whether or not pursuing graduate education in psychology is a good choice for you, how you can best prepare yourself to be a competitive applicant to master’s and doctoral programs, and other important advice. Some of this advice is tailored to applying to counseling, clinical, and school psychology programs, but much of it remains relevant to applying to other types of psychology and allied mental health (e.g., social work, counseling) graduate programs.
- How to Apply to Psychology Graduate School (In this 2-hour webinar, Dr. Hammer shares essential information about applying to psychology graduate school. Topics include how to decide what profession, specialty, and programs fit you best; things to think about when comparing programs; how to be a competitive applicant; a recommended application timelines; how to request letters of recommendation; and advice for the personal statement, CV, and on-site interview.)
- How to Get Into a Counseling Psychology PhD Program Video Series (In this comprehensive video series, Dr. Joseph H. Hammer provides students with step-by-step instructions on how they can prepare themselves to be strong applicants to Counseling Psychology PhD Programs. The entire series is also available as a downloadable 4-hour MP3.)
- Tips for a Successful APA Convention (In this 2.5-hour webinar, Dr. Hammer gives an in-depth overview of how students can make the most of attending the American Psychological Association’s Annual Convention each August. Attending the Convention provides an opportunity to network with faculty and doctoral students who are at programs where an undergraduate or master’s student may want to apply in the future.)
- Top 10 Tips for Prospective PhD Students Attending the APA Convention (In this 15-minute video, Dr. Hammer shares his top 10 tips for how students hoping to apply for psychology doctoral programs can maximize their chances of successfully networking with doctoral program faculty at the APA Convention.)
- Using the APA Annual Convention Smartphone App (In this 8-minute video, Dr. Hammer explains how to find and use the APA App to help identify and save sessions that you may want to attend at the convention.)
- Undergrad Research Assistant: How To Pick the Right Research Lab (In this 55-minute video, Dr. Hammer provides a systematic framework for determining what research labs will help you build the skills you need to be a strong graduate school or job applicant)
- How to get Strong Letters of Recommendations for Psych Grad School (In this 23-minute video, Dr. Hammer provides tips on how to get strong letters of recommendation when applying to counseling psychology graduate school programs.)
- How to Build Relationships with Psych Professors (list of tips for building good relationships with psych professors who can connect you with important professional development opportunities and eventually write you letters of recommendation for graduate school)
- 3 Qualities in Strong Letters of Recommendation for Psych Grad School (In this 12-minute video, Dr. Hammer talks about 3 personal/professional qualities that you want your letter writers to be able to say about you when they write their letters of recommendation for your doctoral psychology program applications).
- Should I Email the Professor Before Applying for the PhD? (In this 17-minute video, Dr. Hammer gives advice on whether or not to email the professor that they are interested in working with before submitting their application, as well as how to word your email if you do decide to email them.)
- Should I take a Gap Year before Applying to Psych Graduate School? (In this 4-minute video, Dr. Hammer gives advice on how to decide whether or not to take a gap year between your undergraduate degree and your psychology graduate degree.)
- Top 10 Tips for Interviewing Well (In this 14-minute video, Dr. Hammer shares his top 10 tips for how to bring your best self to your on-site interviews with doctoral counseling psychology programs.)
- Interviewing for Doctoral Programs in Counseling Psychology (In this 80-minute video, representatives from the Society of Counseling Psychology’s student group provide tips on doing well on interviews.)
- International Students, ESL, Applying to U.S. Counseling Psych Grad Programs (In this 5-minute video, Dr. Hammer talks about the potential challenges associated with completing a counseling psychology graduate program if you are learning English as a second language.)
- What does the “ideal” doctoral applicant look like? (concrete criteria that students can use to guide their professional development so that they will be strong applicants by the time they apply for doctoral programs.)
- What’s the difference between counseling psychology and clinical psychology (summary of the similarities and differences between the two psychology specialties, using data from published sources)
- Career Interviews with Clinical and Counseling Psychologists (a series of 5 to 15-minute video interviews with counseling psychologists and clinical psychologists who work in a variety of settings [universities, mental health agencies] doing a variety of work tasks [research, teaching, clinical supervision, therapy, assessment, advocacy] to help you think more about which of these two psychology specialties might be a good fit for you).
- Comparing Counseling Psych, Clinical Psych, School Psych, Clinical Social Work, and Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Mental Health Professions Grad Student Panel (In this 52-minute video, grad students from various mental health professions talk about why they chose their particular mental health field and what prospective students should know about their profession)
- Best doctoral programs in counseling psychology (in-depth information about the characteristics that define the best counseling psychology programs)
- List of Master’s Programs in Counseling (master’s programs that can help prepare students to become strong applicants for doctoral programs)
- Society for Counseling Psychology, Division 17 of the American Psychological Association (the premier source for all things counseling psychology)
- Psychology Graduate School website (excellent guide on how to choose between types of programs)
- APA Graduate School Website and APAGS Resources for Students Website (collection of resources on topics such as finding, applying to, and affording graduate school, including the 80 minute webinar on Finding and Affording the Right Psych Grad Program For You and the 75-minute podcast on Students of Color Applying to Doctoral Programs)
- Breaching the Tower: Applying to Grad School – great episode from the Black and EMPOWERed Podcast on getting into graduate school in psychology that provides advice based on the experiences of Black women who’ve gone through the process.
- A4BL Grad School Chats: Applying to Counseling and Clinical Psychology PhD and PsyD Programs – Join Academics for Black Lives panel about applying to counseling and clinical psychology programs. During this panel, participants will hear from panelists about their experience applying to grad school, advice for prospective students, and their experiences so far.
- APA’s Applying to Graduate School webpage (how to apply, stand out as an applicant, and fund your education)
- Insider’s Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology and Graduate Study in Psychology (a new edition of these inexpensive books is published each year with updated information about all of the counseling and clinical psych programs you can apply to as well as general advice on applying.)
- Kisses of Death in the Graduate School Application Process (PowerPoint presentation telling students what to avoid when crafting their graduate school personal statement and getting letters of recommendation)
- Strategies for Applying to Graduate School, Even During a Pandemic (APA Education Directorate hosted a panel with two psychology graduate faculty members about how the COVID-19 Pandemic may affect the admission and application process)
- And here are some helpful resources related to getting into clinical psychology programs, a process similar to getting into counseling psychology programs: Mitch’s Uncensored Advice for Applying to Graduate School in Clinical Psych (2017), Getting Into Clinical Psych Grad School by CUDCP, The Portable Mentor
- Student Doctor Network and Grad Cafe are two popular forums for Q&A about applying. Just be warned that the advice given is not always accurate and has the potential to needlessly increase anxiety.
- Psychology Grad School Wiki – some professors in counseling and clinical use this website to indicate when they will be taking a graduate student for next year.
- For UK Psychology Undergraduates: PSY 399 / 499 Internship with Dr. Hammer (Opportunity to help out with a graduate-level courses in counseling theories and techniques)
Thriving in Graduate School
- How to Relate to Counseling Psych Faculty (In this 28-minute video, Drs. Brewster and Hammer give advice to graduate students on how to connect with counseling psychology professors, especially their faculty adviser.)
- International Students in Counseling Psychology Graduate School: Applying & Thriving (In this 47-minute video, Cheryl Kwok, counseling psychology doctoral candidate at UK, joins Dr. Hammer for a chat about issues some international students may need to think about when they are applying to or navigating graduate school in counseling psychology (PhD programs in particular).
- Research Interest Shift & Dealing with Research Frustrations (In this 29-minute video, Dr. Hammer talks about how his research interests have shifted over time and how to cope with the inevitable frustrations and intimidation that comes with doing independent research.)
- Dr. Hammer Answers 9 Questions about Grad School Success (In this 20-minute video, Dr. Hammer answers UK counseling psychology graduate students’ questions about grad student success, mentoring, time management, etc.)
- Using Google Scholar Alerts & PsychAlerts (In this 13-minute video, Dr. Hammer explains how to use Google Scholar Alerts, PsychAlerts, and other scholarly publication alert systems to keep tabs on new scholarship being published in your research interest areas and in the academic journals you care about.)
- List of Helpful Statistics, SPSS, and MPlus Tutorial Videos (List of helpful tutorial videos on a variety of statistical and research method topics, with an emphasis on step-by-step instructions for conducting statistical analyses using popular computer programs.)
- List of Research Skill Development Resources (List of resources related to developing your skills with social scientific research. These resources will primarily focus on those skills used to conduct social science research using large-sample survey designs.)
- List of Counseling and Psychotherapy Demonstration Videos (List of videos featuring a variety of mental health professionals using various theories and techniques to help clients with an array of presenting concerns and mental illnesses)
- Imagine PhD (Free, online career exploration and planning tool designed specifically for Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scholars in humanities and social sciences. Helps students assess career-related skills, interests, values; explore career paths appropriate to their discipline; create self-defined goals; and map out the next steps of their career.) Similarly, UKentucky graduate students have access to two resources: Aurora is an online platform to assist doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars with preparing for careers within and beyond academia and The Versatile PhD is focused on careers beyond academia.
- APPIC Psychology Internship CV Checklist (a list of tips for formatting one’s CV when applying for pre-doctoral psychology internship, which builds on APAGS’ Internships in Psychology workbook.
After Graduation: Taking the Next Step
- Applying for Psychologist Licensure in Kentucky (advice on navigating the application process)
- Counseling Psychology University Faculty Job Openings (list of counseling psychology programs hiring faculty now and in past years)