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Graduate Studies in Psychology

At Northwestern and elsewhere, only a minority of psychology majors go on to become psychologists. Those who do must earn graduate degrees; only people with graduate training in psychology, typically at the doctoral level, are referred to as psychologists. Some students pursue advanced psychology training in applied areas such as clinical, counseling, and industrial/organizational psychology. Others prepare for careers in research and/or college-level teaching.

An important point: You don’t have to major in psychology as an undergraduate in order to attend graduate school in psychology. Many graduate programs require specific courses in psychology as a prerequisite, and advanced courses in psychology or related fields are definitely a plus. However, depending on what area of specialization you choose, coursework in other areas – mathematics or biology, for example – might be seen as just as valuable. Relevant research experience may be as important as relevant coursework for entry to many graduate programs.

Extensive information on graduate study in psychology is available from the American Psychological Association.