Highly successful grad students
Set goals and make sure they’re challenging
and clear, such as publishing a study sometime
during their second year of the degree program.
Cultivate a deeper interest in psychology
by doing outside reading and discussing with
professors and classmates.
Try out different study strategies and
determine the ones that work best for them.
Form study and dissertation writing
groups where students set common deadlines
and keep one another on track.
Seek out feedback on their performance
from advisors, supervisors and mentors, and use
those critiques to grow and improve.
earned. The specific subject tests were even stronger indicators of
“I agree with many other scientists who think subject tests
are good predictors in part due to an overlap with interest,” says
University of Minnesota psychology professor Nathan Kuncel,
PhD, who studies predictors of academic success. “If you know
a huge amount about a wide range of psychological topics, you
probably are very interested in psychology. Therefore, you are
more likely to put in the time and effort to be a success.”
Researchers have also found that emotional intelligence — the
ability to discern others’ feelings through subtle cues — might have
predictive value for both academic performance and effectiveness
as a therapist. A study of 63 graduate students who completed
school psychology internships found that students with high
emotional intelligence had better graduate GPAs and more positive
ratings from supervisors (Psychology in the Schools, 2010).
The course work provided cutting- edge academic theories that made me exceptionally prepared to pursue my doctorate in clinical psychology.” —Arielle Schwartz MA, Somatic Counseling Psychology, 1999 Graduate School of Psychology Master’s degrees in: “
•Somatic Counseling Psychology
Concentrations in Body Psychotherapy and
• Transpersonal Counseling Psychology
Concentrations in Art Therapy, Counseling
Psychology, and Wilderness Therapy
Transform Yourself, Transform the World
Against the odds
If you’re rankled by research suggesting
immutable traits might determine your
success, then congratulations, you’re grad
school material, says Alison Miller, PhD,
author of the 2009 book “Finish Your
Dissertation Once and for All!” That means
you subscribe to what Stanford University
psychologist Carol Dweck, PhD, called the
“growth mindset of intelligence.”
“These students believe that intelligence is
malleable and that, through effort, persistence
and hard work, they can actually get smarter,”
Miller says. Such students tend to measure
achievements by their own accomplishments,
rather than comparing themselves to others.