Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Grad School Rankings

How much do they matter? Who ranks schools reliably? What are typical criteria used to compare programs?

I have the APA publication Graduate Study in Psychology, but even with that it's hard to know where to apply. The schools I'm looking at (for a Social Psychology Ph.D. program) are Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, University of Connecticut, and Claremont Graduate University. Stanford is probably just wishful thinking. I'm thinking that I need to select a couple more (non so highly ranked) programs to apply to to maximize my chances of getting in somewhere.

For those of you already in grad school, do you have any advice to offer? Should I look at programs strictly based on the research interests of their faculty, or should I take the prestige of the university into account? I'm looking for a career in applied social psychology, not a professorship, but still. How much does rank matter?

1 comment:

Psychgrad said...

I'm not the best person to advise on this...but I think the program's ranking may be important when it comes to academic positions. For myself, though, my priority was the supervisor -- finding a match with a researcher whose area was interesting to me. I believe the systems maybe different in Canada vs. USA. In Canada, I think it is more common for students to be accepted into a program to work under a supervisor. Whereas, the impression I get is that in the states, the acceptance into a program comes before working with a specific person in the program. I could be wrong.

With regards to the general GRE, I called a local prometric location to book my test. Since the general is computer-based, it can be taken at any time when there is an available computer.

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