Finding the Right Program
There are many factors to consider when choosing the program that is right for you. Here are some – the order of importance is up to you.
- Preparation (pre-requisite courses)
- Size (institution, classes)
- Community (university, surrounding)
- Format (online, residential, hybrid)
- Tuition reimbursement/waivers
- Other personal factors
- Type of degree offered (Master’s, Ph.D. Psy.D, etc.)
- Location (geographically, online)
- Support (academically, student resources)
- Financial considerations (tuition, plane tickets)
- Publications and Faculty Profiles/Research
- Requirements (capstone project, exams)
- Experiential Learning (teaching assistant, clinical rotation, graduate assistantship)
When considering attending graduate school, there are many in-person and online resources available to you. Consider conducting an informational interview with someone currently in the field you desire to pursue.
Informational interviews provide you with in-person insight and advice, which is extremely beneficial when paired with your own individual research. Utilize the resources below to help you identify graduate programs that meet your needs.
- UF Graduate and Professional Schools Fair (https://career.ufl.edu/events-and-programs/career-fairs/graduate-and-professional-schools-fair/)
- UF Career Center Events and Programs (https://career.ufl.edu/events/)
- Grad Schools (www.gradschools.com)
- Student Doc (www.studentdoc.com)
- Petersons (https://www.petersons.com/)
- US News (https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools)
Application & Admission Process
Ensure that you check with each individual program to meet specific requirements. Speak with an admissions representative! They are there to help. How many schools you choose to apply to is a decision based on various factors such as personal finances, competitiveness of the programs, timelines for the schools, types of programs, and career outcomes. It could be beneficial to keep a spreadsheet for each program you are researching. Not all programs require the same items, but here are some you may need to consider:
- Separate university and program application
- Application deadlines – rolling admissions
- Standardized test scores (GRE, MCAT, GMAT, TOEFL)
- Prerequisite courses
- Research/Teaching Statement
- Supplemental information
- Official transcripts
- Personal statement/letter of intent
- References/letters of recommendation
- Contact information for department
- Hands on Experience
- Shadowing, patient contact hours
Letters of Recommendation
Ask faculty, staff, and supervisors who you feel can best vouch for your skills, personality and talents. Notify those you are requesting the recommendation from at least a month in advance to give them time to write it. Remind them of the deadline and steps they need to take. Give them a copy of your resume, personal statement draft and any other documents that may help them.
Connect with the Campus
Reach out and connect to students that already attend or have attended your desired to school to find out information such as:
- What are the classes like (ask about program details)?
- What is the teaching style of the program?
- What kinds of jobs are graduates working in now?
- How accessible are faculty advisors?
- How long does it take to complete the program?
- How is the atmosphere of the department?
- How are graduates supported (wellness, post-graduation goals)?
- Determine your comfort level of the environment.
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