Graduate and Postdoctoral Education

Graduate and Postdoctoral Education
Advanced degrees in psychology prepare students for careers as researchers, academics or licensed clinical psychologists, among many possibilities. For students, choosing a graduate program that's a good fit is the first step toward a career in psychology or a related field. Changes in the academic and professional landscape require an understanding of career trends in academia, doctoral internship supply and demand, postdoctoral requirements and nontraditional career paths.

Topics in Graduate and Postgraduate Education

Academic Career Guidance

If your heart is set on academia, non-tenure-track and part-time positions may be part of the route to a tenure-track job. In some cases, they may even be the ideal academic position. So beef up your resume, get published and be flexible in today’s changing academic landscape.


The APA Commission on Accreditation (APA-CoA) is recognized by both the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, as the national accrediting authority for professional education and training in psychology. Accordingly, APA-CoA’s accreditation policies, procedures and guidelines are intended to be consistent with national recognized purposes and values of accreditation, as articulated by governmental and nongovernmental groups with an interest in accreditation.

Applying to Grad School

Graduate programs differ in the students admitted, faculty composition and available financial resources. Programs may focus on training clinicians or preparing students for academia or applied research. Programs that are great for some are poor fits for others. Focus on finding the right fit for you.

Becoming a Practitioner

For the graduating practitioner, a new world of licensure, liability and record keeping awaits. Finding a clinical job or starting your own practice can be daunting tasks, but help is out there.

Career Development

Whether it's writing a curriculum vitae or changing your specialty, learn about life after grad school. New areas are opening up all the time, including psychopharmacology and research fields.

Dissertations and Research

Writing a dissertation or thesis is a key component of every psychology graduate student's education. But when and how do you begin? And how can you stay on track to finish on time?

Diversity Issues

Recruitment and retention of diverse grad student bodies and faculty requires thoughtful planning. Understanding and appreciating diversity goes beyond a consideration of gender and ethnicity to include issues such as sexual orientation, culture, socioeconomic background, and disability status.

Doctoral Internships

Internships are required to become a licensed psychologist and can give students an invaluable experience. Accredited internships provide high-quality training in clinical practice and specialties. Focus on submitting fewer applications that target the best internship fit.

Innovative Careers

A psychology doctorate doesn’t have to limit your career options. Instead, it can be an open door to fields such as technical writing, human factors research, management, criminal justice or even interior design.

Mentoring and Self-Care

Balancing the demands of work and life make you healthier, happier and a better student or psychologist. Getting enough sleep, exercising, eating right and taking breaks can make your work and school time more productive.

Postdoctoral Fellowships

A postdoctoral fellowship is a temporary period of mentored or supervised training to acquire the skills necessary for your chosen career path. For careers in licensed practice, many states require a supervised postdoc. For careers in research settings, a postdoc can help establish your independence.

Sources of Funding

Funding for dissertations, grad school and research can come from many sources, such as APA, state psychological associations, private foundations and the National Institutes of Health.