Graduate Programs


The Department of Psychology normally accepts new graduate students in the fall semester only. Applicants for graduate study in psychology must indicate which area of specialization they are interested in studying. Applications are evaluated by the departmental faculty comprising that curricular area. Each curricular area has different deadlines and will independently evaluate applications to their area. The curricular areas and their deadlines are:

  • Clinical Psychology: December 1st
  • School Psychology: December 15th
  • Social and Industrial/Organizational Psychology: January 15th
  • Cognitive/Instructional Psychology: February 1st
  • Developmental Psychology: February 1st
  • Neuroscience and Behavior: January 15th

To receive full consideration, completed applications must be received by the Graduate School in advance of the deadline for the curricular area to which the student is applying.

To be considered for admission to a graduate program at Northern Illinois University, an applicant must have at least a 3.00 undergraduate grade point average (GPA) based on a 4.00 scale or have completed 15 or more semester hours of graduate work at an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.20 or better. Admission to the Psychology Department is very competitive, however, and admitted students typically have grades higher than the Graduate School minimum. Each year, a limited number of students are accepted from among the qualified applicants on the basis of the relative strength of their application credentials, space limitations within the particular curricular area, and the funds available for support.

To provide an idea of likelihood of admission, we normally receive approximately 300 applications for admission. Applicants are encouraged to examine the specific admissions information for the curricular area to which they are applying.

Post-master's applicants to the Ph.D. program must have completed an M.A. degree in psychology with an acceptable thesis, have at least a 3.2 GPA in graduate course work, and be accepted for admission by the appropriate curricular area.

A Reminder to Prospective Graduate Students:

Please note that all areas of graduate study in psychology require a full academic load of at least 12 credit hours per semester.  There are no part-time study programs, online and night classes are not available, and all courses meet on NIU's main DeKalb campus.  Except for School Psychology, there are no terminal M.A.'s, and all students are expected to pursue a full Ph.D