Resources for Students

You may find quick, useful information in the links provided here.  However, the best source of information is our dedicated faculty and staff.  Please contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your success.

Letter of Recommendation (LOR)

Letters of recommendation (LORs) are one of the most important documents you submit with your graduate school or job applications. They serve as a professional assessment of your potential to complete graduate school or perform successfully on the job. Therefore, it is important to develop relationships with your instructors.  Take advantage of your faculty mentor's invitation to meet whether you are on campus or online. Speak with your instructors outside of class (e.g.; discuss topics from class you'd like to learn more about, learn more about their research, get career advice). Get involved! Below are tips and resources to help you reach out to faculty members and successfully ask them to write you a strong letter.

Which faculty member should I ask for a LOR?

Faculty with whom you have taken at least one or two courses. Preferably, you would have done very well in these courses, and made a connection with / stood out favorably to your instructor. Ask yourself if you have made a great impression on this faculty. Ask yourself if they see you as hard-working, professional, polished, and mature. Then, ask them if they can write you a strong LOR for graduate school or a job you are applying for.

Do not assume a faculty will agree to write you a letter even if you did well in their course(s).

Not all requests for a LOR will be accepted. Do not be offended if they say no. The most common reasons faculty might decline your request include:

  • They do not know you / your work well enough, so they are not in a position to offer a professional assessment.

    • Weak or uninformative LORs decrease your chances of getting into the program or job you desire.
  • Timing or workload issues. This is why you should ask well in advance.

When should I ask for a LOR?

  • You should ask for a LOR at least 6 weeks before the first application is due.
  • Last minute requests often get rejected because of timing or workload issues.

What should I include in my request for a LOR?

  • A polite introduction and overview of your request.
  • The course(s) you took with them and the grade(s) you earned there. 
  • The semester(s) and year(s) you took the course(s).
  • Your graduation date (actual or planned).
  • Any research activity in and/or outside of required coursework, with the faculty member or with others.
  • Any presentations of your coursework or research.
  • A current resume/CV
  • The statement of purpose you will be sending with your application.
  • An unofficial copy of your transcript.
  • GRE scores if applicable.
  • Sample coursework from your course(s) with that faculty member.
  • Organizational or leadership activities.
  • Any other experiences outside the university such as employment, volunteer work, or internships related to your field of study.
  • Honors and awards you have received (e.g., Psi Chi membership)
  • Information about the program you are applying to (name of school, department, program, and focus of study to the best of your knowledge).
  • A specific address (physical or electronic) that the LOR should be sent to.
    • If any physical paperwork needs to be sent, provide the physical paperwork along with an addressed and stamped envelope.
    • If the LOR is to be submitted via an online form, list the faculty member on the website that will send them an automated request (but only after the faculty has agreed to write your letter).
  • The deadline for the LOR (this is usually the deadline for the application).
  • If the graduate school has a specific form that needs to be filled out by the faculty member, provide a copy of the form.
  • If you are requesting LORs for multiple programs, provide an organized list that includes the information mentioned above for each program. The nearest deadlines should be listed first in the list.
  • Double check that all the information you are sending is correct and up to date. If anything changes, let the faculty member know ASAP.
  • Faculty members may have additional requirements, so ask them if there is anything else they would like to have before writing your LOR.

What should I do after a faculty has agreed to write my LOR?

  • Waive your right to access/review the LOR in your application.
  • If you change your mind about one or more of your applications, let the faculty member know ASAP that they no longer need to submit this LOR.
  • Follow up with the faculty member 2-3 weeks before the deadline to ask if they need any other materials from you and gently remind them of the upcoming deadline.
  • If you do not receive notification that they submitted your LOR, follow up again 1 week before the deadline.
  • After you have submitted your materials, keep the faculty updated on any decisions you get – they are rooting for you and would love to hear from you.
  • It is professional and courteous to write a thank-you note or letter (email is fine) to your faculty for spending the time and effort to write you a strong LOR.

Additional resources:

Letters of Recommendation for Graduate School: Purpose, Preparation, and Procedure

How to Properly Request Letters of Recommendation From Your Professors: Ask, Don't Tell

Psychology Club Presents: Psychology of Fear by Dr. McKibbin

In this fascinating lecture titled "Fear and Loathing in the EEA," Dr. McKibbin discusses the evolutionary psychology of fear.

Watch the video here

Student Success Series: Success in Online Courses

This workshop included a round table discussion with Psychology faculty Dr. Yael Sela and Dr. William McKibben, along with current psychology students. Discussion highlighted concrete ways students can improve their success in online courses, including: attendance and etiquette, time-management and organization, studying strategies, test-taking, and utilizing Gmail Suite. 

Watch the video here

Kisses of Death--What to Avoid When Applying to Graduate School

Student Success Series: Kisses of Death--What to Avoid When Applying to Graduate School

As part of the Psychology Department's Student Success Series, Dr. Jeannette Stein and Amanda Taylor, MS, discussed what to avoid in the graduate school application process.  The principles may be applied to job applications and interviews as well. Contact a faculty mentor to learn more.

Powerpoint Presentation

Handout: Quick Tips

Frequently Asked Questions about Graduate School

Student Success Series: GRE preparation

Now available on YouTube!

Learn more about preparing for the GRE. Presented by lecturer, Jason Jarvis,  as part of the Psychology Department's Student Success Series . If you'd like more information about this workshop or any other departmental events, feel free to contact us. We'd love to hear from you!

Student Success Series: Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Dr. Allen Bellamy and Dr. Karen Bedell discuss the field of Industrial/Organizational Psychology:  Learn more about this exciting field, required education and career options.

Watch on YouTube

Faculty Presentation: Minds of Murderers

Evolutionary Psychologist Dr. Bill McKibbin and Legal Psychologist Dr.Pete Molinaro discuss the minds of murderers.

Watch on YouTube

Psychology Department Policy on Academic Dishonesty

Plagiarism is defined in the University of Michigan—Flint catalog as: taking credit for someone else’s work or ideas, submitting a piece of work (for example, an essay, research paper, assignment, laboratory report) which in part or in whole is not entirely the student’s own work without fully and accurately attributing those same portions to their correct source. This includes purchasing papers from various sources, submitting very similar answers as someone who you have worked with, as well as resubmitting the same paper, in part or in whole, for multiple classes. In order to deter and detect plagiarism, students’ written work in psychology courses must be submitted through SafeAssign, a plagiarism detection software, through Blackboard. SafeAssign checks written documents for overlap with other source materials including published web content, journals, books, papers previously submitted in courses at the University of Michigan-Flint, and papers submitted to other universities.

Should plagiarism be detected, faculty will inform the student and follow course policies regarding consequences. In addition, students’ names and the nature of the plagiarism will be maintained in a database in the department of Psychology which is accessible to faculty when there is a legitimate educational need to know. Plagiarism, once reported, may have significant consequences beyond the course. For example, faculty may decide not to serve as a reference or write letters of recommendation on behalf of a student or alumni, may refuse to hire the student as an instructional or research assistant, or may choose not to work with the student on a UROP project. Further, such behavior would likely lead to disqualification for scholarships or nomination for Psi Chi, the Maize and Blue Award or other honors, which are deliberated by department faculty.

Questions regarding written work and the possibility of plagiarism should be directed to the instructor BEFORE the submission of the assignment or exam.

Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology

Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, was founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology. Membership is open to graduate and undergraduate men and women who are making the study of psychology one of their major interests, and who meet the minimum qualifications. Psi Chi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Psychological Society (APS). Psi Chi's sister honor society is Psi Beta the national honor society in psychology for community and junior colleges.

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Psi Chi is an international honor society whose purpose shall be to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual members in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology.

The mission of Psi Chi is to produce a well-educated, ethical, and socially responsible member committed to contributing to the science and profession of psychology and to society in general.

Subends for accomplishing above mission:

  • Advance science and the profession of psychology
  • Promote an educational experience consistent with the mission
  • Promote ethical and socially responsible members and leaders
  • Define and establish an organizational structure that promotes our mission
  • Recognize and foster the contributions that diversity makes to the science and practice of psychology



Minimum qualifications for active student membership in Psi Chi:

  • Completion of at least 3 semesters of college.
  • Completion of 9 semester hours of psychology. 
  • Registration for major or minor standing in psychology or for a program psychological in nature which is equivalent to such standings. 
  • Undergraduates who are elected to Psi Chi must rank in the upper 35% of their class in general scholarship, and demonstrate superior scholarship in psychology, earning a minimum GPA in psychology courses of 3.0.



Membership drives are held during the Winter semester, right before the induction in the spring; this is when students meeting the criteria for membership are contacted via email and are invited to join Psi Chi. 

To inquire about Psi Chi membership or our upcoming meetings and events, please contact Faculty Advisor, Thomas Wrobel, Ph.D. (

The Psychology Club

The Psychology Club at the University of Michigan - Flint is a student run organization for Psychology majors, minors and students with a general interest in Psychology. The Psychology Club aims to gather Psychology majors, minors, and enthusiasts alike in order to pass along knowledge of the Psychology field, while generating friendships and connections within the department and community. We discuss possible career paths, graduate school, what's new in Psychology worldwide. 

Click here to read more about what APA Psychology Clubs are all about.


The purpose of the UM - Flint Psychology Club is to strengthen the sense of community among those students with an interest in the field of Psychology, aiding in academic and professional development, and providing opportunities for service to the community and university.


Any student at the University of Michigan-Flint in good academic standing as defined by the University is eligible for membership. Students apply for membership through the Engage portal and, once accepted, become official members of the Psychology Club. Psychology Club members are expected to participate in virtual and/or in-person club activities, meetings, and/or functions.


President: Noel Massoud

Vice President: David Kassel

Secretary: Brandon Sleva

Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Hillary Heinze

Meetings take place virtually every other Monday at 5:30p.m. on Zoom.

Please contact Noel Massoud for additional club and meeting information and/or to be added to the psychology club mailing list    

Student Success Series: Getting Into Graduate School

Psychology faculty Peter Molinaro (PhD) and Amanda Smith (M.A., L.L.P.) present: Getting Into Graduate School (click to view)

The presentation highlights data about graduate school admission/acceptance rates, importance of various application materials, and a suggested timeline for preparing to get into graduate school.