Making Yourself a Competitive Candidate

Gaining Research/Fieldwork Experience

Aside from volunteering your time in a psychology laboratory or applied setting, UCLA offers some wonderful opportunities to earn course credit. Research assistantships and internships can help show that you value learning inside and outside of the classroom.

Conferences: Present Your Research

  • UCLA Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference (PURC) – Held at UCLA each May. Present your research conducted in the field of Psychology such as Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive, Cross-Cultural, Developmental, Forensic, Health, Measurement, Personality, Social Psychology, or other related Behavioral Sciences in paper or poster sessions.
  • UCLA Undergraduate Research Week – Held at UCLA each May.

Journals: Publish Your Research

  • UCLA Undergraduate Research Journal of Psychology – The Undergraduate Research Journal of Psychology (URJP) is an online refereed journal published by undergraduate Psychology students. They are particularly interested in publishing new departures and cross-disciplinary psychological research.
  • UCLA Undergraduate Science Journal – Provides an opportunity for undergraduates to present and publish research findings.

Letters of Recommendation

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and Other Tests

Some graduate schools require certain entrance examinations. Although the most widely used test is the GRE, please refer to each school for specific requirements.


  • GRE – Information on both the General exam and the Subject Test in Psychology.
  • Miller Analogies Test – Check with each school (not widely required).

Exam Preparation Assistance:

Statement of Purpose

The best assistance and feedback on your personal statement for graduate school comes from your current faculty advisor or graduate student mentor. If you are assisting in a research lab or doing fieldwork, ask your supervisor to proofread and comment on your personal statement.

Low GPA/GRE: Prove Yourself in Other Ways