Confused Future Psychologist

By Julie Hanks, LCSW

What should I focus more on in my 10 year journey to get my doctors in psych?

A: First of all, how great that you know which direction you’d like to study in graduate school while you’re still an undergraduate student. Here are a few bits of advice that may help you on your educational journey.

Volunteer or work in the field. Volunteer or get a job in the social service field to learn more about what areas of psychology you most enjoy.  Experience will also be a great addition to your graduate school applications.

Keep a high GPA.  A high GPA will help you will help you to have more options when applying to graduate schools.

Take a variety of courses. As an undergraduate student, take a variety of psychology and social science courses to give you a broad overview of the field.

Work as a research assistant. Getting firsthand exposure to the research projects will help you understand and get comfortable with the research aspect of your doctoral studies.

Get into therapy. If you haven’t already done so, experiencing being on the patient/client end of the therapeutic relationship is the best training you’ll have. It will better prepare you for the emotions that will inevitably come as part of working in the mental health field.

Good luck in your studies!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Sep 2011

APA Reference
Hanks, J. (2011). Confused Future Psychologist. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/09/08/confused-future-psychologist/