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Preparing for Life after Graduation

Preparing for Life after Graduation

Students should begin preparing for life after graduation as soon as they have determined their major. Ideally, the choice of a major is based on what the student imagines doing in the future. Students should get to know faculty and graduate students who may act as mentors and role models. Additionally, students should work with their advisor and WVU Career Services Center to develop and refine their goals and skills.

Here is a suggested 4-year plan for progressing in the major AND preparing for life after graduation:


In addition to meeting Benchmarks in Psychology, take courses that interest you and may build the foundation of possible minors or additional majors.

Take the Focus2 free vocational assessment  


Focus on your GPA, volunteer, get involved in clubs and service activities, and get to know your faculty.

Once you have completed PSYC 204, request to participate in a faculty research lab.

Develop your Resume, Attend Career Fairs, and seek a summer job or volunteer within your career field.


Continue to get to know faculty, focus on your GPA, and develop your cover letter or personal statement. Consider taking PSYC 315 – Professional Development or taking one of the Career Development courses offered by the Career Services Center .

Seek positions of leadership within student organizations and clubs.

Participate in mock interviews with WVU Career Services Center.

Join (through WVU Career Services) and other job search and networking sites.

Determine if your career goals require a graduate degree.

Register for the GRE or other exams required for graduate programs.

Summer before Senior Year:

Look up graduate schools and/or employers.

Take the GRE or other entrance exam if required.

Get another job related to your career field.


Continue to get to know faculty, focus on your GPA, and update your resume and revise your cover letter or personal statement.

Ask faculty to serve as references or request letters of recommendation (don’t wait until the last minute).

Starting in September, expect to spend at least 3 hours a week working on either job searches or graduate school applications.

Deadlines for graduate school applications are usually in the fall for admission in the following academic year. Interviews are generally in February – April.


If you are seeking a good entry-level job after graduation, start applying in earnest at least 6-9 months in advance.

Work with a WVU Career Counselor on your resume and interview skills.

Update your presence on job-related online networks.

Watch for emails from your advisors concerning recruiting ads for jobs and graduate programs.