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University of Rhode Island — Psychology
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Finding Programs
Where should I begin my search?

The American Psychological Association (APA) is a national organization that accredits graduate programs in psychology. In the student section of its website, it answers the common questions of students searching for the graduate program best suited to their needs. Each year, the APA also publishes a guide to Graduate Study in Psychology, which many cite as a "must-have resource" when selecting a psychology graduate program. Similarly, there are guides for specific program types, such as the Insider’s Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology.

Conversations with current graduate students and your undergraduate faculty members can be invaluable for learning more about the opportunities that are available in graduate school. Remember, they too went through this process to get to where they are now! At URI, undergraduates can contact faculty and graduate student mentors for advice about anything related to psychology—graduate school included! Many undergraduate programs, including those at URI, offer workshops and listserv discussions on topics related to graduate school and careers in the field of psychology. You can also search online for psychology graduate programs, using search engines such as Grad Schools and Psych Grad, or by looking up individual programs. Additionally, the office of Career Services can help you narrow down your search.

Before mailing your applications, you may wish to contact faculty and/or current students at the programs you are considering. This will help you to get a sense of the "fit" between the program and your specific interests and will give you more information than Websites/books alone can provide. Many programs, including those at URI, have Websites that list faculty names, professional interests, and contact information. While some programs will include an interview as part of the application process, you may want to arrange an informal visit prior to applying or if an interview is not required. Most importantly, remember that there is no "best" program for everyone; instead, ask yourself, "Which graduate programs are best suited for me?"

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