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  Hi! You have probably found this web page because you are planning on applying to a Ph.D. program in Psychology. I remember when I applied to graduate schools, and it can feel overwhelming -- writing the personal statement, contacting schools and potential advisors, getting letters of recommendation, and ordering all the transcripts and GREs. Yikes!

Well, now I'm on the other end of it. I served as the Chair of Graduate Admissions for the Psychology Department at the University of California at Riverside for eight years. I've read through hundreds of applications to our Ph.D. programs, and there are some clear regularities that are present in the credentials of successful applicants. Since trying to find out all of this information can be challenging, we have developed the PsychGrad Portal to help you.

We have found many useful sources of information for the various tasks involved in applying to graduate school. What this site contains are links to important resources that have been developed by others and links to books that I personally feel will be useful to you. We prepared this webguide to address many of the common questions that I have been asked by prospective graduate students. Our goal is to present the most informative and complete content sources -- not to have an exhaustive list. I hope you find this site helpful. If you are interested in applying to the Ph.D. program here at the University of California, Riverside, please consult the UCR Psychology Department web page. I wish I could answer all your questions; however, I need to limit my personal advice to prospective students who are considering applying to our department. You may want to consider using the Portal's message board for posting questions.

Although we have considerable information on this site, my advice is that you should consult the following books. First, get a copy of the APA's Graduate Study in Psychology. It lists all programs and requirements, and it provides a starting point for considering which schools to apply to. There is a directory in this book that categorizes programs by specialty area which should save you a ton of work! [click here for psychgrad.org's categorized listing!]. Of course, you should also get the advice of your academic advisor at your institution. The other two books provide substantial guidance on the actual application process and what graduate programs look for. Both are excellent. However, in general, I recommend Dr. Patricia Keith-Spiegel's The Complete Guide to Graduate School Admission. It has rich detail about more facets of the application process than the Getting In book. These books will be an excellent investment for you. I've discovered that students who consult these guides tend to produce better graduate school applications.

We feel good about the content we have compiled about applying to graduate school. However, we plan to take a developmental perspective with this information Portal. We are in the process of building the other three sections that involve student growth called Doing Well as an Undergraduate, Doing Well in Graduate School, and Life After Graduate School.

Many people have helped with the PsychGrad Portal Project -- the About Us page will tell you who! The Portal is a work in progress. If, in your web travels, you find links that you think we should have here or have other ideas, please let us know!

My best wishes to you, and the best of luck in finding the right graduate school home for you!

  Curt Burgess, Ph.D.


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