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Applying to Graduate School

GUIDES FROM APA AND THE COUNCIL OF UNIVERSITY DIRECTORS IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY (CUDCP)

  1. APA Resource page
  2. Doctoral programs
    1. Application tips
    2. Application tools
    3. Considering a graduate program in Clinical Psychology?
  3. Master’s programs
    1. i. INFORMATION COMING SOON

Costs of Graduate Training

The cost of graduate school is determined by many factors. Individuals attending graduate school must pay tuition, fees, and the costs of books and related supplies. Most individuals attending graduate school live in apartments off campus and must pay for rent, food, and transportation to and from classes. Some schools require that graduate students also have health insurance. Thus, the cost of graduate school can be more than just yearly tuition. Many programs provide information on the cost of living, or will put you in touch with current students willing to answer questions about rent, transportation, and other costs. When looking for programs, ask about the types of assistance available to graduate students (including federal loans, grants, scholarships, fellowships, teaching and/or research assistantships, and tuition remission).

According to a 2016 APA survey of individuals who completed master’s or doctoral degrees in psychology in the past 10 years, 76% reported debt from graduate training, with a mean debt of $99,000. See summary data below or view the article at http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/features/tep-tep0000112.pdf. There can be wide differences across PhD and PsyD programs, as well as university-based and free-standing programs. Make sure to look specifically at each program’s website which is required to include data on the costs for that specific program. Note that debt includes costs of living as well as tuition.

  1. Mean debt upon graduation is $99,023 (median $80,000):
    1. Master’s only: $59,550
    2. Ph.D.: $78,526
    3. PsyD: $146,251
  2. Mean debt by subfield (clinical doctorates):
    1. Clinical Psychology: $113,598
    2. Clinical Neuropsychology: $108,916
    3. Health Psychology: $98,300
    4. Child Clinical: $90,919
    5. Counseling: $87,389
  3. Mean debt by subfield (non-clinical doctorates)
    1. General: $75,400
    2. Industrial/Organizational: $71,733
    3. Educational: $68,062
    4. Social: $60,200
    5. Developmental: $51,750

Financial Resources While in Graduate School

Many graduate programs offer assistance to help cover the costs of graduate school. These usually come in the form of teaching assistantships (TAs) and research assistantships (RAs). TAs provide funds in return for teaching services. RAs provide funds for working on a research project, usually in the lab of one of the program’s faculty; the length of promised funding can also depend on the research grant funding a specific student. Finally, TAs and RAs often come with tuition remission — which means the department or programs pays for your tuition. When researching programs, you should ask about the types of assistance available to graduate students, how much funding they provide, and whether there is tuition remission. Please see below for possible sources of additional funding for graduate research.

Research Awards: National Institutes of Health

1. Individual Fellowships:
https://researchtraining.nih.gov/programs/fellowships
The purpose of this Kirschstein-NRSA program is to enable promising predoctoral students with potential to develop into productive, independent research scientists, and to obtain mentored research training while conducting dissertation research. The F31 is also used to enhance workforce diversity though a separate program.

2. Mental Health Research Dissertation Grant to Increase Diversity (R36)
https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR- 12-103.html
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), issued by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), is to increase the diversity of the mental health research workforce by providing dissertation awards in all areas of research within the strategic priorities of the NIMH to individuals from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in mental health research to support the completion of the doctoral research project.

Research Awards: Ford Foundation

1. Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs:
http://sites.nationalacademies.org/pga/fordfellowships/index.htm
Through its Fellowship Programs, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

Research Awards: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

1. Health Policy Research Scholars:
http://healthpolicyresearch-scholars.org/
This is a national leadership development program for first-or- second-year doctoral students in any academic discipline who want to apply their research to help build healthier and more equitable communities.

Research Awards: Autism Speaks

1. Autism Speaks Weatherstone Fellowships:
https://www.autismspeaks.org/science/grants-program
Autism Speaks supports global biomedical research into the diagnosis, causes, prevention, and treatment of autism or its disabling symptoms. Our mission is to improve the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In support of that mission we provide funding along the entire research continuum – from discovery to development to dissemination – for innovative projects that hold considerable promise for significantly improving the lives of those affected by autism.

Research Awards: American Psychological Association

1. APA-Graduate Students (APAGS) Basic Psychological Science Research Grant:
http://www.apa.org/about/awards/apags-science.aspx
The intent of this grant is to fund innovative psychological science research projects. Students in all fields of psychology and neuroscience and are APAGS members are eligible to apply. Funds for this $1,000 grant must be used to support the proposed research. This grant may be used for thesis, dissertation or other research.

2. Janet Hyde Graduate Student Research Grant:
http://www.apadivisions.org/division-35/awards/hyde.aspx
The Hyde Grant Committee welcomes proposals for the Hyde Graduate Student Research Grants. These grants, each up to $500, are awarded to doctoral psychology students to support feminist research. The grants are made possible through the generosity of Janet Shibley Hyde, Ph.D. Past recipients of Hyde Graduate Student Research Grants are not eligible to apply. Because the purpose of this award is to facilitate research that otherwise might not be possible, projects that are beyond the data analysis stage are not eligible.

3. Distinguished Scientific Contribution:
http://www.apadivisions.org/division-44/awards/scientific.aspx
Division 44 offers this award for distinguished theoretical or empirical contributions to lesbian, gay or bisexual psychological issues. The winners of this award have made far-reaching and visionary contributions to the development of a science of LGBT psychology and have provided the science base for practice, education and the development of public policy. Many of these award winners are pioneers who first asked affirmative research questions about the lives of LGBT people, their families and their communities.

4. Distinguished Student Contribution:
http://www.apadivisions.org/division-44/awards/student.aspx?tab=1
Division 44 offers this award to a graduate student in psychology who has made a distinguished contribution to research or practice, or who has performed exceptional service to the division.

5. Bisexual Foundation Award:
http://www.apadivisions.org/division-44/awards/bisexual.aspx
The Bisexual Foundation Scholarship is an annual fund awarding up to $1000 per award to selected graduate students to advance research on the psychology of bisexuality.

6. Evelyn Hooker Award for Distinguished Contribution by an Ally:
http://www.apadivisions.org/division-44/awards/hooker.aspx
Division 44 offers this award for distinguished contribution by an ally in the areas of research, clinical practice, education and training, public advocacy, mentorship, and/or leadership.

7. Malyon Smith Scholarship Research Award:
http://www.apadivisions.org/division-44/awards/malyon-smith.aspx
Graduate students in psychology are honored for research into psychological issues important to gay, lesbian, or bisexual individuals, groups, or communities.

8. International Research Award for Graduate Students in Psychology:
https://div52.org/index.php/13-awards/d52- awards/12-student- international-research-award

9. Henry P. David Grants for Research and International Travel in Human Reproductive
Behavior and Population Studies
:
http://www.apa.org/apf/funding/david.aspx
$1,500 for work in the behavioral aspects of human reproductive behavior or an area related to population concerns.

10. Scott Mesh Honorary Grant for Research in Psychology:
http://www.apa.org/about/awards/apags-mesh.aspx
This grant is intended to support dissertation research leading to a doctoral degree in psychology.

Research Awards: American Psychological Foundation

1. Kenneth B. and Mamie P. Clark Fund:
http://www.apa.org/apf/funding/clark-fund.aspx
$10,000 grant supports research to increase understanding of personal factors, social arrangements, social institutions and physical factors affecting the well-being of disesteemed or disadvantaged persons.

2. Randy Gerson Memorial Grant:
http://www.apa.org/apf/funding/gerson.aspx
$6,000 for work in the systemic understanding of couple and/or family dynamics and/or multigenerational processes.

3. Roy Scrivner Memorial Research Grants:
http://www.apa.org/apf/funding/scrivner.aspx
$15,000 grant for empirical and applied research focused on lesbian, gay and bisexual family psychology and lesbian, gay and bisexual family therapy.

4. The Drs. Rosalee G. and Raymond A. Weiss Research and Program Innovation Grant:
http://www.apa.org/apf/funding/weiss.aspx
Provides up to $1,000 to support research, education, and intervention projects and programs that use psychology to solve social problems in one of APF’s four priority areas.

5. Wayne F. Placek Grants:
http://www.apa.org/apf/funding/placek.aspx
$15,000 to support empirical research from all fields of the behavioral and social sciences on any topic related to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender issues.

6. The Visionary Fund:
http://www.apa.org/apf/funding/visionary.aspx
Provides grants of up to $20,000 to support research, education, and intervention projects and programs that use psychology to solve social problems in the following priority areas:

  1. Understanding and fostering the connection between behavior and physical health to
    ensure well-being.
  2. Reducing stigma and prejudice to promote unity and harmony.
  3. Understanding and preventing violence to create a safer, more humane world.
  4.  Supporting programs that address the long-term psychological needs of individuals
    and communities in the aftermath of disaster.

7. The David H. and Beverly A. Barlow Grant:
http://www.apa.org/apf/funding/barlow.aspx
Provides up to $9,000 to support innovative research, education, and intervention efforts that advance psychological knowledge and application in understanding and fostering the connection between behavior and health.

8. The Bruce and Jane Walsh Grant in Memory of John Holland:
http://www.apa.org/apf/funding/walsh.aspx
Provides up to $13,000 to support scientific, scholarly, or applied research and/or educational activities investigating how personality, culture, and environmental inference work behavior and health (mental and physical).

9. Lizette Peterson-Homer Injury Prevention Grant Award:
http://www.apa.org/apf/funding/peterson-homer.aspx
$5,000 for research on the prevention of injuries in children and adolescents through accidents, violence, abuse or suicide.

10. Clarity Award:
http://www.apadivisions.org/division-44/awards/clarity.aspx
This award recognizes leaders advancing the rights of LGBT people, engage others within our profession to extend recognition and respect for LGBT people, and advocate for equality for LGBT people.

Other awards/scholarships/Fellowships

1. American Fellowships (for women):
http://www.aauw.org/what-we- do/educational-funding-and-awards/american- fellowships/
American Fellowships support women scholars who are completing dissertations, planning research leave from accredited institutions, or preparing research for publication. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of scholarly excellence; quality and originality of project design; and active commitment to helping women and girls through service in their communities, professions, or fields of research.

2. National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship Program:
https://naeducation.org/naedspencer-dissertation- fellowship-program/
The Dissertation Fellowship Program seeks to encourage a new generation of scholars from a wide range of disciplines and professional fields to undertake research relevant to the improvement of education. These $27,500 fellowships support individuals whose dissertations show potential for bringing fresh and constructive perspectives to the history, theory, analysis, or practice of formal or informal education anywhere in the world.

3. The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans:
https://www.pdsoros.org/apply
Selection criteria focuses on accomplishments that show creativity, originality, and initiative in light of the challenges and opportunities that have been part of the applicant’s immigration experience. The application is open to college seniors, students in the early stages of their graduate career, and those in the workforce who are seeking graduate training.

Travel Awards:

1. The Ungerleider/Zimbardo Travel Scholarship:
http://www.apa.org/apf/funding/ungerleider-zimbardo.aspx
Provide seven graduate students with $300 travel awards to present their papers at the APA Annual Convention.

2. The Paul E. Henkin School Psychology Travel Grants:
http://www.apa.org/apf/funding/henkin.aspx
Provide two $1,000 grants to defer the costs of registration, lodging, and travel for student members of APA Division 16 to attend the APA Annual Convention.

3. APA Grants for International Psychologists and Psychology Students to Attend the APA
Annual Convention
:
http://www.apa.org/about/awards/convention-international-travel.aspx?tab=1
This award provides up to $500 to psychologists and psychology students based outside the U.S. and Canada, to be applied toward costs related to the APA convention (e.g., travel expenses or registration fees).

4. Dr. Richard A. Rodriguez Division 44 Student Travel Award:
http://www.apadivisions.org/division-44/awards/rodriguez.aspx
The purpose of the Dr. Richard A. Rodriguez Division 44 Student Travel Award is to encourage greater participation in Division 44 annual convention activities by LGBT students of color.

Applying for Pre-Doctoral Internships