Faculty Advising and How to Prepare for Meeting with Faculty

General administrative questions can be answered by the Psychology Student Affairs Office, e.g., degree checks and planning of the curriculum for the major or minor. For questions regarding careers or graduate schools, see our faculty. All psychology faculty contact information can be found here. You will want to choose an advisor in your field of interest.

Take a moment to prepare some precise questions, perhaps even in writing. Students should take, if possible, a transcript along to demonstrate academic standing and psychology courses taken as well as relevant courses from other departments.

When asking for a Letter of Recommendation briefly describe your goal and your preparation for it (e.g., internships, etc.). Take a short vita, any research papers written, or other valuable reminders for the referee, stamped/addressed envelopes, and a statement of purpose. It would be helpful to leave a written statement of purpose with the faculty member, since he/she will not write the letter on the spot.

Letters of recommendation contain detailed information about the student who is the subject of the letter. This information may include such information as scores on specific exams, grades and in other class performances, grades earned from other faculty in the department, upper division GPA in the major, grades in related departments, and standardized test scores, among other things.

If you would like a letter of recommendation from an instructor in our Department, please e-mail the faculty and lecturers a link to this web page and the following statement:

“I consent to the release of personal and educational information about me in the letter of recommendation that I have requested from you. This authorization allows you to release all information about me, within the University’s possession, to [fill in details (e.g., any other educational institution, any centralized application processing services (list by name if possible), both, etc.]. This authorization shall remain valid unless and until it is rescinded in writing.”

Don't be afraid to ask the professor for letters of reference. You need at least three letters of reference when applying for graduate school or employment. They can be very influential in the way your application is viewed. Your professors are happy to do this for you. Choose the faculty member who knows you best, preferably one with whom you have done research, e.g., 199 and/or 194ABC - since it is this that graduate schools are most interested in. In a Letter of Recommendation the referee will focus on the following information generally looked for by graduate schools or employers: General ability, creativity, motivation, emotional maturity, research ability and potential, command of major subject, written and oral English. The letter will state whether the writer will recommend you for the Ph.D. Program or the M.S. Program.

For further information, please visit our requesting letters of recommendation page.