Many psychology majors go on to earn graduate degrees after their time at Lehigh. Attending graduate school can be an excellent option when your career interests are not offered at the undergraduate level or you aspire to gain further specialization in a particular field. However, we advise against going to graduate school simply because you are not sure what to do next!
Given the versatility of the psychology major and the broad range of potential career trajectories, there are many different graduate paths. Students pursue a range of different graduate degree types (e.g., MA, MS, PhD, PsyD). Students also pursue graduate education in a variety of different fields, including:
- Applied areas of psychology (e.g., clinical, counseling, industrial/organizational, and school psychology)
- Research or experimental psychology (e.g., cognitive, developmental, or social psychology, neuroscience)
- Fields outside of psychology (e.g., business, criminology, education, law, medicine, nursing, physical or occupational therapy, public policy, social work, speech language pathology)
Deciding which path is right for you requires exploring your interests, thinking carefully about your future plans, and educating yourself about the graduate school landscape. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisors to discuss their plans. Also consider the following resources:
APA’s Frequently Asked Questions about Graduate School in Psychology. American Psychological Association resource focusing on topics such as how to determine which graduate program is right for you, differences between Master’s, PhD, and PsyD programs, the application process, funding a graduate education, etc.
Dr. Mitch Prinstein’s Uncensored Advice for Applying to Graduate School in Clinical Psychology. Thorough resource providing specific practical advice about whether clinical psychology is right for you and, if so, how to successfully navigate the application process.
Applying to Graduate School: Tips, Timeline, and Tools of the Trade. General guidebook focused on applying to PhD programs. Written by the Committee on Institutional Cooperation.
What can I do now to prepare?
- If you are planning to apply to a PhD program, research experience is critical. Explore our undergraduate research opportunities, including PSYC 161: Supervised Research, PSYC 393: Independent Research, and the Honors Program in Psychology.
- PhD applicants are expected to have strong letters of recommendation from faculty. Think about how to build meaningful relationships with at least 1-2 faculty members.
- Get involved in the intellectual community of psychological science by joining Psychology Club or Psi Chi, and attending department-sponsored talks.