Matters to a Degree

The American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) is the professional home within APA for psychology graduate students. APAGS members receive countless benefits and access to information that is essential for students to make the most of their graduate school experience. Nationwide, APAGS advocates for quality education and training, and excellent career preparation. Here are just some of the ways APAGS empowers students.

  • An advocate for students' needs. APAGS offers a resource guide, "Succeeding in Practicum," to help students understand the purpose of practicum and plot a course for their clinical training. Similarly, because internship can be a stressful and daunting process, APAGS offers workshops and a companion book "Internships in Psychology: The APAGS Workbook for Writing Successful Applications and Finding the Right Match" (APA, 2005), which helps students navigate the internship preparation, application, interview and selection process. APAGS also monitors supply and demand issues through a close working relationship with the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers and actively advocates for appropriate pay for interns through legislative advocacy such as the Campus Care and Counseling Act.

APAGS played a central role in changing APA's licensure policy, which supports licensure eligibility upon completion of the doctoral degree in psychology. APAGS is now using its grassroots network of students--the Advocacy Coordinating Team--to encourage state, provincial and territorial psychological associations to work with licensure boards and state legislatures to change licensing laws or regulations so that supervised postdoctoral hours are no longer required for licensure.

Career resources such as PsycCareers.com allow students to post their résumé and search for jobs.

  • A commitment to diversity. APAGS maintains a women's listserv and publishes "Women Mentoring Women: A Model for Psychology" to address the importance of mentoring relationships. APAGS offers convention programs to facilitate mentoring between APAGS and eminent psychologists and advocates for equity in pay, part-time internships and family-friendly tenure tracks.

The APAGS Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Concerns works to eliminate homophobia in training, education and employment environments, and advocates for quality training in LGBT research and practice. The "APAGS Resource Guide for LGBT Students in Psychology" addresses the unique experiences and obstacles encountered by LGBT students.

The APAGS Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs promotes cultural competency, develops resources and advocates for multicultural issues. In addition to its "Ethnic Minority Survival Guide for Graduate Students," the committee administers a peer-mentoring program and offers small grants for students who organize local multicultural trainings.

APAGS works with the APA Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology and provides the "Resource Guide for Psychology Graduate Students with Disabilities" to help readers understand how to ask for, obtain and take advantage of reasonable accommodations.

  • Convention programming and networking. Each year, the APAGS Convention Committee and staff develop a large student-centered convention program. APAGS members receive nearly 75 percent off the regular member convention registration fee. Unlike many divisions, APAGS allows students to chair substantive convention programming.

  • Member benefits. APAGS offers a diverse range of annual scholarships and awards for its members. Quarterly, APAGS members receive this magazine, where they can find information about innovative psychology careers; financial issues; training and supervision; graduate student lifestyle issues; and emerging trends in the field. APAGS members also receive a monthly subscription to APA's magazine, the Monitor on Psychology, and APA's flagship journal, the American Psychologist. APAGS members may also subscribe to other APA journals and buy APA books at a discounted rate. Even more, APAGS produces numerous graduate student publications, most of which are free or steeply discounted.

APAGS offers listservs that cover a variety of student interests such as dissertations, internship and ethnic-minority, disability, LGBT and international student issues.

Being a member of APAGS provides psychology graduate and undergraduate students with access to many more opportunities, advocacy services and benefits. When you join APA as a graduate student affiliate, you automatically become a member of APAGS. Visit www.apa.org/apags for more information.