Advice for students going to graduate school in the social sciences

- By Dr. Di

If grad school in one of the social sciences–psychology, sociology, anthropology, or archaeology—is for you, here are a few things to consider to get ready for your future studies.  Master’s programs in the social sciences prepare you for some kind of professional career—counseling, social work, HR, forensics, etc.  Jessica Costello, writing for the Association for Psychological Science newsletter, suggests that you’ll need to show that you’ve had success in practicums, labs, and internships to be accepted into most master’s programs.  At the doctoral level, grad schools want to be sure that you’ll be able to do the original research that is necessary to get the degree and to become a researcher in a teaching or research environment.

So, be sure to take courses or get involved in activities at the Bachelor’s level that will give you these experiences.  Notice which professors are best positioned to give you the kind of advice and help that will get you where you want to go—advice on  where to intern or work as a counselor when you’ve completed the master’s degree or what research area to pursue while working toward your doctoral degree.  Of course, top grades and good entrance exam scores are really important; but the right mentors in your undergraduate work will make sure you’re on the right track.