Should I take the MAT or the GRE?
If you are applying with a psychology undergraduate degree from a major university within the state of Wisconsin and have a strong 3.00 plus GPA (on 4.00 scale), the answer is probably "either will do." We use the information from these instruments to help guide our judgements and understanding, particularly with students from programs with which we are unfamiliar. We know and respect the various psychology departments from our state, and see the undergraduate grade point average as a better predictor of success. In such cases, the MAT will do nicely. If you are from out of state, or you have been out of school for a lengthy period, or you believe that a strong GRE score might help a less than outstanding grade point average, then we recommend the GRE. In either case, we do not have firm cut-off scores.
Whom should I get to write a letter of recommendation and what should they say?
The letter of recommendation is essentially an endorsement of you as someone who has the intellectual, motivational, academic, moral-ethical, and social attributes to be a mental health professional in the schools. Choose people who can address a variety of these qualities. College professors who really know your ability -- who have worked closely with you on a major project, who know you as a person as well as a student -- make excellent writers. Avoid professors who don't really remember you well or know you only as a "face" who turned in good work. Try to be certain to have at least one college professor. In addition, your work supervisors (particularly any work that involved children or youth) can write about your maturity level, how well you work with others, ability to be independent, and/or other work-related characteristics. As a general rule, select writers who have recent knowledge of you -- that your high school English teacher still remembers you is nice, but...
Is there a form for the letters?
No. Have your writers use their business letterhead or personal stationary, and send the letter to: Dr. Christine Neddenriep, Coordinator, School Psychology Program, Department of Psychology, UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, WI 53190. Do NOT send it to the Graduate School.
What do you want me say in my Autobiographical Statement?
Address any experiential background that you think is relevant to your choice to pursue school psychology. How and why did you come to this decision? Who or what were your influences? Why do you think you will be happy as a school psychologist? Additionally, remember that this may be the only sample of your writing that the Admissions Committee will see, so write it with that in mind.
Do most people go full time?
Yes. Most of our students choose to finish their course work, practica, and internship in three years. Some, however, choose to complete their master's degree in two years, then switch to full-time. Either is quite acceptable.
Is the third year Internship paid?
In the vast majority of cases, it is fully reimbursed at the rate of a starting school psychologist.
Do many people apply, and what are my chances?
We keep our enrollments low so as to allow for a close faculty-student relationship. We have many more applicants than we have spaces available. Your chances are enhanced by the following (not in any order): Strong grade point average; experience with children in a work setting or as an undergraduate intern; evidence that school psychology is not a last minute choice; excellent writing skills on your autobiographical statement; professional and mature appearance at your interview.
What if I have additional questions?
Many people do. You may reach the Graduate Assistant assigned to the School Psychology Program via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 262-472-5413 Mon. - Thurs. between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.. If this person cannot help you, he or she will pass your name and number along to one of the faculty members who will be happy to call you back.