Psychology is a field that can broaden an individual’s horizons; on the personal as well as the professional front. Most jobs in psychology require applicants to have completed, at the least, graduate school. Since psychology fans out immensely, it is important for students to introspect and thoroughly research programs that colleges offer to find one that suits them the best. Most universities have ample information on their brochures or websites for students wanting to study psychology in the US, to assist in making the decision of which program is best suited for them. These resources typically state the most current and reliable information about the details of each program, admission requirements and application procedures. What international students applying to study psychology in the US find most helpful is the willing nature of student advisors and faculty members to promptly and accurately respond to queries that the student might have.
Taking psychology electives in high school or college, is a good start for international students seeking out a career in psychology. Students who have psychology as a subject in high school find that it gives them a general overview of the subject, making it easier for them to holistically see the intricate streams in the field further on in their careers.
Graduate schools have many considerations while making entrance decisions. These may include scores on certain tests, GPA, the student’s program of choice, recommendation letters and prior work experience.
Most graduate school programs require students to take the GRE and meet a minimum score requirement. In August 2011, ETS introduced a revised version on the GRE changing the scoring system and format of the examination. The scores attained now range from 130 to 170. Many international students wanting to study psychology in the US might have to take either a TOEFL examination or an IELTS examination. Specifications for international students wanting to study psychology in the US, who are exempt from taking this exam, vary from college to college. Most often, students from countries that have English as their second or third language are required to take this exam.
Many universities require international students to employ the assistance of a credible third party credential evaluator to translate their scores to English and to the four point American GPA. A mediocre GPA can be overpowered by a high GRE score and compelling letters of recommendation. Most universities typically ask for 3 letters of recommendation from students wanting to study psychology in the US. These letters may be from faculty of a previously attended educational institution, a prior employer or a credible mentor. Many universities also request personal essays which may also make a significant impact on the application process.