In Case You Missed It: Grad School Panel

On March 22nd, 2017, the Psychology and Human Development Departments put on an event featuring a short talk from both Dr. Martin and Dr. Burns, and a panel discussion with three current students who were accepted to graduate programs. Here are a few things we learned and talked about!

Credit to:


What is grad school like?

  • Masters Programs
    • Typically 2 to 3 years
    • Depending on the program, you may have to fund your education
      • Sometimes, there is funding available through TA or RA positions
  • Doctoral Programs
    • Typically 4 to 6 years
    • Most of the time, you can receive funding for your education through TA or RA positions.
    • These programs are highly competitive and harder to get into.
  • Fewer classes, which can be intensive, but less structured than undergraduate classes
  • As a student, it is your responsibility to organize and prioritize your assignments. There may not be deadlines for assignments, but they need to get done.

How do you decide where to go to graduate school?

  • Look for programs that match your goals, research interests, and faculty you see yourself being able to work with.
  • Make sure you are willing to live where the graduate school is located. If you know you don’t want to live somewhere, don’t apply to schools in that area.
  • Look for numbers of students accepted, internship placement rates, retention rates, licensure of the school, etc. to make an educated choice.
  • Grad School Panel Students say: Research the school! It will help you decide, and it will help you if you need to interview for questions, etc.

The Application Process:

  • Applications will typically include: a form, transcripts to all institutions (read directions for each school carefully), resume/curriculum vitae, writing sample, GRE/MAT or others, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation.
  • More specifically…
    • The Personal Statement: usually an essay describing (sometimes there is a prompt) your goals, why you want to go to graduate school/that specific school, and how that school will help you meet your goals.
    • Make sure to have others read your personal statement. It is extremely important to double check for spelling or grammatical errors.
    • Grad Panel Students say: Write, revise, fix again, edit, and continue. Start your personal statements early! Have Career Services and your advisor read over it and make sure to revise. You will also need to write different personal statements for each school. Most of the time, they ask unique and specific questions.
  • The Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
    • The GRE is a standardized test, much like the ACT, for graduate admissions.
      • Most students will only need to take the GRE, but some may be asked to take the Psychology Subject Test as well.
    • There is a fee associated with taking the exam, so plan for that.
    • Some schools require different tests, like the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
    • Grad Panel Students say: Plan early! Also, plan financially because the test does cost money, and it can cost money to send scores. You can send up to four scores at the time of the exam, but you will have to pay afterwards to send to more schools. Also, make sure to study!
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • Most of the time, you will be asked to have between 2 to 3 letters from faculty.
    • The people that you ask to write you letters should know you well enough to write you a strong letter.
  • The Cost of Applying
    • The fees associated with applying to graduate school are usually the application form, the standardized test you may be required to take, getting your official transcripts sent to each school, and if you need to travel for interviews or visits.
    • On average, students will spend around $700 on everything. However, some students spend more, and some students spend less.
Credit to:


We hope this helps! Good luck on your search for schools and applying! Remember, the faculty in the Psychology and Human Development are always willing to help! They are amazing resources to use, so make sure to ask questions when you have them. Want to learn more? Click the links below!


Featured Student: Zachary Scheuren


1. When will you graduate? My projected graduation date is Spring 2018.
2. What are your career plans? My career plan is to earn my MD in psychiatry.
3. Why did you major in psychology? I entered college already knowing that psychology was a field of study that I needed to pursue. I had a phenomenal experience with AP Psychology in high school, and I believe that primed me into continuing the science. Plus, I’ve always been intrigued with how individuals respond emotionally in specific situations, the thought processes that human beings have on a daily basis, and physiologically how the brain works.
4. What do you do for fun? For fun, you can find me either reading a book, playing video games, working out (or mustering up the motivation to work out), and being around my friends.
5. What academic experience or accomplishment are you most proud of? An academic achievement that made me feel quite proud is being inducted into the Psi Chi Honor Society. I always hoped that one day I would be part of a collegiate honor society, especially one that prides themselves in advancing psychological research. I am also quite proud of my Psychology GPA.
6. What’s your favorite movie, book, and TV show related to psychology? My favorite book would probably be “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath. I also really enjoy the TV show “Brain Games”.
7. What single thing do you hope to accomplish at UWGB before graduating? I will continue to seize any opportunity that comes my way within the Psychology department, continue my involvement in research, and hopefully take part in an internship.
8. What else do you want people to know about you? I dream big, but that’s the only way to dream in my mind. With hard work and dedication, I know that there is nothing that can stand in the way of my dreams.

Featured Alumni: Andrea Schachtner


  1. When did you graduate? I graduated in December 2009 with a B.S. in psychology.
  2. What do you do now? I am now a United States Probation Officer working in the federal probation office in Milwaukee. After finishing my undergraduate degree at UWGB, I received my M.S. degree in counseling from University of Southern Maine and worked for a few years as a mental health and substance abuse therapist. I worked primarily with the state and federal drug courts as their clinical consultant and the appointed counselor for the clients in the program. This is where I grew my passion for folks with co-occurring disorders in the criminal justice system. After five years in Maine, I returned to my home state of Wisconsin and after a brief stint at a non-profit, I started my career in the federal system. However, I maintain my LPC and CSAC licenses here in Wisconsin in the event I use them again in a clinical role down the road.
  3. Why did you major in psychology? I have always been interested in human behavior and human interaction. I’m interested in knowing why people are the way they are. I really had no clue what I wanted to do with a psychology major at the time I chose it, but I knew the concept was interesting to me. It certainly has led to amazing opportunities and now I’m in a career that I love.
  4.  What do you do for fun? I am a new mom to our first daughter, Ruby, so my new idea of fun is watching her sneeze, getting a chance to sneak a shower in, dabbling in photography when I get the chance, and spending as much time as possible with friends and family.
  5. What academic experience or accomplishment are you most proud of? I am thankful for my experiences at UWGB being able to have teaching and research assistantships as well as having the opportunity to present at conferences. I really learned how to write and review research there which helped me tremendously in graduate school. I was honored to be able to be invited back to my grad school to speak to current classes about the relationship between addiction and criminality.
  6. What’s your favorite movie, book, and TV show, related to psychology? My favorite book related to psychology is In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Dr. Gabor Mate – it’s wonderful in so many ways!
  7. What an important goal or accomplishment you are currently working on? Right now, my goal is to establish and maintain work/life balance. I’m very interested in assisting people who are reintegrating into society after a period of incarceration, especially those that struggle with substance use disorders. I’m passionate about the work I get to do with folks.  And yet, I want to be present for my family, continue to grow in my faith, and continue to create an identity that is separate from my work.

Featured Student: Danielle Zahn


1. When will you graduate? I graduate in Spring 2018.
2. What are your career plans? I want to become a high school counselor or an athletic director while being a JV or Freshman softball coach.
3. Why did you major in psychology? When I was in high school my best friend went through a span of time where she was contemplating suicide, and I spent various sleepless nights talking her from that decision. I realized after this, that studying psychology and becoming a school counselor gives me the opportunity to help other kids at a critical point in their lives as well.
4. What do you do for fun? I love to read, eat watermelon, watch Hulu, eat cake, coach and umpire softball, long board, sing in the shower, spend time with my friends and family, playing with my corgi puppy Ace, and watch baseball.
5. What academic experience or accomplishment are you most proud of? I am most proud of my GPA and getting on the highest honors list for the past few semesters.
6. What’s your favorite movie, book, and TV show related to psychology? My favorite TV shows are Elementary and Scrubs, my favorite books are the Infernal Devices, and favorite movie is point break. I love how these stories pull readers and watchers psychologically into the world they have created.
7. What single thing do you hope to accomplish at UWGB before graduating? I hope to become more active in the Psychology department and it’s events and organizations!

Featured Student: Tanner Ross


  1. When will you graduate? I will graduate in May 2017.
  2. What are your career plans? I want to work in the corporate setting in the areas of worker well-being and worker safety. Another possible area of interest would be leadership development to choose the best possible person to promote in the company.
  3. Why did you major in psychology? It was the first entity I found a passion for other than basketball. Once I had that feeling, I knew I had the possibility of making a difference in the world and accomplishing my goals.
  4. What do you do for fun? I like to play basketball, and hang out with friends.
  5. What academic experience or accomplishment are you most proud of? I use to never really care about school or good grades but once I started Psychology I did not have to try to care, it just happened. I am most proud of earning semester highest honors and getting involved with research with the amazing faculty here at UWGB.
  6. What’s your favorite movie, book, and TV show related to psychology? My favorite book about psychology is Sports Mind (thanks Allee). My favorite movie/documentary would be The Imposter.
  7. What single thing do you hope to accomplish at UWGB before graduating?  I hope to continue building relationships with my professors and participating in research on campus. I hope to make a difference and be remembered by the faculty I worked with as a hardworking dedicated individual.
  8. What else do you want people to know about you? I am an open book and always love to help people, if anyone ever has any questions about the psych program or anything in general I will try my best to answer that question for you or find someone who can.