What Graduate Schools Look For
Many studies have been conducted that survey directors of graduate programs and what they look for in applicants. While these studies are constructed to assess Ph.D. programs, they serve as a good indicator of what graduate faculty value. In a recent survey, Alexander et. al. (1989) listed, in order of importance, factors that graduate school faculty reported as important criteria for candidates. The factors include:
- Ethnic minority
- Several published articles
- One published article
- GRE Quantitative and Verbal score of 1200 or over
- Interested in counseling diverse populations
- GPA of 3.80 or above
- Evidence of research experience.
In another study, Descnutrer and Thelen (1989) asked students and faculty of clinical psychology programs what they thought were important for students in their programs. People relating skills were highly regarded, as was research. One can see that graduate schools value students who have a proven research record.
Thus, if you plan to apply to Ph.D. programs, carry out research activities during your time at Concordia.
Masters programs are usually not as competitive as doctoral programs and the need for a research background varies with these programs. Most require psychology course work, but expectations vary widely beyond that. The "Graduate Guide" can assist you in assessing the goals of the MA programs. Generally, if the program requires a thesis, undergraduate research will help your application.