Gap year or two years before PhD grad school

Im graduating soon with a bachelors degree in psychology and I do not want to go straight into grad school (I plan to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology). I may become a buddhist monk for 6 months to a year and travel the world. How long can I take before taking the GRE and applying to grad school after graduating my undergrad? What is the longest I can “gap” before doing school again?

You can gap as long as you want. (Interestingly, I know someone who became a Buddhist monk and later went to grad school.)

wow that’s really interesting! I would love to do that. So my undergrad credits don’t expire if I’m not in school?

No…Some science classes expire, but otherwise, no. Psychology should be fine (not that that isn’t a science, but…)

My understanding is that you could probably “gap” for quite a while without it being a problem.

One daughter is close to the end of a three year gap. She will be starting her doctorate in September, but a DVM and not a PhD. What she did during the gap almost certainly helped her applications.

If you take the GRE after a gap, then you might be rusty on some of the things that you learned as an undergraduate student. I am not sure how long the GRE results are good for before they expect you to take it again. I am pretty sure that my daughter took the GRE towards the end of her gap, and did some preparation to “catch up” on any details that might have been rusty in her memory.

You can do research in the field (for instance at a hospital-affiliated clinic) or work in the field (I have seen jobs as varied as hospice, eating disorder clinic or school for autism that require only a BA, including running groups). You may clarify or even change your direction.

1 Like