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Hopeful IO masters student- How can I maximize my chances?


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Hello! This is my first post here, but I've been reading through the forums for quite some time. I'm interested in pursuing a masters degree in Industrial Organizational psychology, but am curious about what other users here think could help me maximize my chances of acceptance the most.

Some information:

-I am interested primarily in masters programs because of their length, and because my goals lie in application and consulting, rather than academics.

-I am currently a junior double majoring in Sociology and Psychology.

-Overall GPA: 3.94

-Sociology/Psychology GPAs: both 4.0

-Currently working in a Social Psych lab which I plan to continue through the year/possibly next year.

-Also currently a TA for a sociology class

-I haven't yet taken the GRE, and I know this is a huge factor, but I plan to study rigorously.

-My LOR will come from the professor I TA for, the director of the Social Psych lab, andddd ????

:) still working on that last one.

I am interested in the programs at NYU, Columbia (Teacher's College), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a few others. I have had a hard time finding rankings for these programs (SIOP is about all I've come across so far) I am interested in these schools because of post-graduation employment options and location.

My main question is what I should do for the remainder of my degree... I have a few options

1. I could graduate a semester early.

2. I could add on a minor in Human Resources. (Looked for a stats minor, but my university does not offer one) Or some other minor if anyone here has other relevant suggestions!

3. I could continue in the Social Psych lab through the rest of my undergraduate career, and work in another lab simultaneously for my senior year.

4. I could pursue an honors thesis in sociology (doing an independent research project) I would do this in the psych department but their rules about sequencing are more strict and therefore I could not do it there and graduate on time.

5. I could not do any of these, and take underwater basket weaving, chess, and bowling my spring semester senior year :)

Basically I just don't know what will look the best to admissions for these programs. I know research experience is a big factor for Phd programs, but I'm not sure how much masters programs will focus on this. Especially since the thesis would be in sociology rather than psychology. (This would also be the more work-intensive option so I don't want to do it unless the pay off will be substantial)

I appreciate any input or suggestions of ANYTHING I could/should be doing in the next year or two to be the best possible applicant :)

Thanks so much! There is no IO focus at my school whatsoever so finding information has been a bit tough :(

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Thanks for the reply! I know a lot of programs only take a rare few applicants straight out of undergrad. I would prefer to go straight through school, but obviously if don't get accepted anywhere i'll try to find a relevant job and get some experience and apply again a few years later.

Thanks again!

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My experience is that a lot of schools do take people straight out of undergrad as most of the grad students I contacted when I went through the application cycle last year were 1st years out of undergrad. That said, the most important thing for grad school is research interests/experience/fit. Do your research interests align well with a professor in the program? Even if your focusing mauinly on going applied after graduation, this will still be a large factor, especially if the school offers assistantships. Also, having research experience (doesn't really matter in what field) is always a plus.

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Thanks! I won't be applying until next year, so I am just starting to look into which professors I might want to work with now. I will definitely try to get as much research experience as possible.

Thanks again for the input!

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