One of the most important things about applying to graduate school is picking which programs to apply to. It is essential that you apply to programs where there is a research fit, as it will be unlikely that you will get into programs where there is not much of a fit (and you would probably be very unhappy at one of these programs if you were to get in). You also want to consider whether you would be happy going to the program in general (based on whether it is an APA accredited program, the location of the program, etc).
There are many strategies that I used when looking for programs to apply to, some that have worked well include:
- Looking for programs using this book
- Going down the US News Psychology Rankings, and checking out whether specific programs had faculty who do research in an area I was interested in. At the same time, keep in mind that the US News Psychology Guide is not very good at ranking programs and that program rankings in Psychology are not as important as they are for undergrad.
- Looking at literature in my area, and figuring what schools the researchers in my interest area where at (and whether they were in Clinical Psychology departments)
- Although many advice against this, I looked at schools in cities I was interested in living in, and checked out the faculty at those schools. I ended up at a school I found using this strategy!
- Going through the list of APA accredited programs, and checking out whether specific programs had faculty who do research in the area I was interested in
- Emailing graduate students I knew personally who applied to programs in my interest area and asking them what schools they applied to
- I looked into programs with high APA internship match rates, and checked out whether they had faculty I would like to work with
- I also looked at program admission rates, and found a few programs that weren’t crazy selective (but that I would still be happy going to) and I applied to them as “safety” options
- Once I have picked a list of programs, I narrowed it down based on several things I was looking for in a Clinical Psychology Graduate Program