Appendix G: Timeline for Clinical/Counseling Master's Program Applicants

Applying in 2 Years (typically fall of Sophomore Year)


  • Seek out professors with whom you can conduct research.
  • Look through the Pre-Health Handbook and choose courses very carefully to meet psychology requirements.
  • Become involved in the local chapter of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology.


  • Begin to plan summer experiences. Look for research or clinical internships that match the type of master's program in which you are interested.


  • Meet at least once with your advisor. Discuss summer plans such as research, internships, volunteer work, and classes.
  • Actively arrange summer experiences early in the semester before the mid-term crunch.


  • Complete summer experiences, either research or clinical experiences, as these will increase your chances of being accepted into graduate programs.

Applying in 1 Year (typically fall of Junior Year)


  • Touch base with your advisor to bring him or her up to date on your plans. If you have any questions regarding course selection, contact your advisor early. Make sure all prerequisites are completed.


  • Look at the current Pre-Health Handbook to check for changes that may affect you.


  • Make plans for when you will study for and take the GRE. There are available online courses as well as printed materials that will assist your preparation for the GRE.
  • Register to take the GRE.
  • Plan summer experiences.
  • Begin studying for the GRE using the study materials you have obtained or the online course in which you have enrolled.


  • Make a tentative list of the programs to which you are interested in applying.
  • Update your resume.
  • Approach trusted professors for letters of recommendation. Make sure that all of your letter writers have a current copy of your resume and any other information that will assist them in writing their letters.


  • Take the GRE now to ensure the best scores.
  • Begin summer clinical or research experiences.

In the Year of Application 


  • Draw up a flow grid or neat checklists to chart the process of each of your applications from initial contact through interviews. Create a folder for each school.
  • Submit transcript request forms to the CSA office to have your transcripts sent to the schools of your choice.


  • Ask professors for letters of recommendation. Be sure to provide them with an update resume to assist them in writing your letters. This resume or curriculum vitae should provide a summary of your research and clinical experiences as well as information about the programs to which you are applying.
  • Make sure you have taken the GRE by this point so that you have the scores back before you apply.
  • Finalize the list of schools to which you want to apply in view of your GRE scores and seek out graduate school professors whose interests align with your own.
  • Begin calling schools to ensure that applications are complete.


  • Make sure all remaining transcripts and applications are submitted before the deadline.
  • Prepare for interview season by practicing interview skills with your major advisor or pre-health advisor.
  • Speak with your advisors before heading off for interviews to review strengths and weaknesses in your application and how to deal with them.


  • This is interview season.
  • Interviews continue into the spring semester. But if you do not receive any interviews, alternate plans should be considered. Talk to a pre-health advisor before re-applying.


  • Acceptances sent!
  • Things to consider when choosing your school include quality, location, and financial aid package.
  • If you did not receive an offer to a master's program, discuss employment options with your pre-health advisor that will increase your chances to being accepted to a graduate program in the future.


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