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Books on Graduate School for Psychology Majors

[Updated June 23, 2008] Here are some helpful books for learning about graduate programs in psychology. You might find them in a psychology department library, main campus library, or career center. The books published by the American Psychological Association (APA) can be purchased online, at the APA Books web site.

Career Paths in Psychology

Sternberg, R. J. (Ed.). (2006). Career Paths in Psychology: Where Your Degree Can Take You. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

This book describes what it is like to work in 19 different areas in psychology. Although it is directed toward graduate students, it will also be helpful to undergraduates who are trying to narrow their interests in the many sub-fields of psychology.

The Complete Guide to Graduate School Admission: Psychology and Related Fields

Keith-Spiegel, P. (2000). The complete guide to graduate school admission: Psychology and related fields. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.

This excellent book offers essential information on practically any topic related to graduate school--e.g., what graduate schools look for in applicants, ways to enhance your chances of being accepted, what to do if you're not accepted, etc. You should definitely read this book if you are considering graduate school.

Directory of Graduate Programs in Applied Sport Psychology

Sachs, M. L., Burke, K. L., & Schrader, D. C. (Eds.) (latest). Directory of graduate programs in applied sport psychology. Morgantown, WF: Fitness Information Technology, Inc. Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology.

This publication of the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology briefly discusses careers in sport psychology, types of graduate programs in sport psychology, and certification requirements. The bulk of the Directory contains practical information about graduate programs in sport psychology in the US and Canada. (Order from

Getting In: A Step-by-Step Plan for Gaining Admission to Graduate School in Psychology

American Psychological Association (2007). Getting in: A step-by-step plan for gaining admission to graduate school in psychology. Washington, D.C.: Author.

This book provides information to help you clarify your goals and know what to look for in graduate programs. It also addresses topics such as the criteria admissions committees use to evaluate applications, how to improve your qualifications for graduate school, how to prepare a personal statement, pre-selection interviews, accepting and declining offers, and what to do if you're not accepted.

Graduate Study in Psychology

American Psychological Association. (Updated annually) Graduate study in psychology. Washington, D.C.: Author.

This publication provides essential information on over 600 graduate programs (both master's- and doctoral-level): number of faculty, programs and degrees offered, APA accreditation status (for clinical, counseling, school psychology, or combined professional-scientific psychology programs), number of applications received and number of applicants actually accepted, admissions requirements, tuition costs and financial aid information, internships, orientation and emphasis of the department, student employment after graduation, housing facilities, etc.

Insider's Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology

Norcross, J. C., Sayette, M. A., & Mayne, T. J. (2008). Insider's guide to graduate programs in clinical and counseling psychology. NY: Guilford Press.

The authors provide comprehensive information on nearly 300 accredited clinical and counseling programs in the U.S. to help you match your interests and strengths to the many available programs. They also offer valuable information and concrete advice on key issues such as deciding between the PhD and PsyD degree, preparing application materials and personal statements, obtaining strong letters of recommendation, doing your best in interviews, and obtaining financial assistance.

Preparing for Graduate Study in Psychology: 101 Questions and Answers

Buskist, W., & Burke, C. (2006). Preparing for Graduate Study in Psychology: 101 Questions and Answers. Boston: Wiley-Blackwell.

This practical book includes a lot of useful information about graduate school, put in the form of questions and answers. General topics include choosing a program, the GRE, the application process, interviewing, getting in and not getting in to a graduate program, surviving the first year of graduate school. There are also a number of useful appendices including a timetable for preparing for admission to graduate school, a worksheet for comparing graduate programs, and so forth.

Psychology Licensure and Certification: What Students Need to Know

Vaughn, T. J. (Ed.) (2006). Psychology Licensure and Certification: What Students Need to Know. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Although this book will be especially useful to psychology graduate students, it will also shed light on the arcane topics of licensure and certification for undergraduates who are considering clinical or counseling psychology.

Studying Psychology in the United States: Expert Guidance for International Students

Hasan, N. T., Fouad, N. A., & Williams-Nickelson, C. (Eds.). (2008). Studying Psychology in the United States: Expert Guidance for International Students. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

International students who are considering graduate study in psychology in the U.S. will really appreciate this book. It provides helpful information on topics such as the pros and cons of studying in the U.S., cultural issues, funding resources, handling visa and work permits, relating to peers and faculty, internships and post-doctoral study, and whether to seek employment in the U.S. or abroad.

APA-style reference for this page:

Lloyd, M. A. and Dewey, R. A. (1997, August 12). Books on graduate school for psychology majors. [Online]. Available: http://www/

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