Graduate Programs

School Psychology

Program Director: Dr. Christine Malecki 

Application deadline is December 15. See Admissions.

The NIU Department of Psychology is pleased to announce that the Ph.D. program in school psychology has been granted full accreditation by the American Psychological Association (APA) . APA accreditation is the culmination of a rigorous process of program development, self-study, and on-site review by program reviewers. It represents the highest standard of accreditation in school psychology and places the NIU program at the forefront of school psychology programs in the nation. Please contact the APA Commission on Accreditation with any questions.

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC  20002-4242

Phone: 202-336-5979
TDD/TTY: 202-336-6123
Fax: 202-336-5978

Program Overview

Welcome! The School Psychology Program offers a 60-hour, full-time M.A. degree (leading to Specialist-level certification) and a 90-hour, full-time Ph.D. program that provides comprehensive training in general psychology as well as specialized training in the applied area of school psychology.

Instituted in 1978, the NIU school psychology certification program received full approval from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in 1992 and has maintained this status. Our Ph.D. program has recently received American Psychological Association (APA) accreditation.   Please contact the APA Commission on Accreditation with any questions.

The primary goal of the program is to train professional psychologists to work in schools, state agencies, clinical practice, and university settings. Coursework and practica experiences provide a synthesis of essential theoretical and applied approaches across developmental, cognitive, social, and behavioral areas. Graduates of the program are prepared to function in multiple practitioner roles including treatment, assessment, and consultative modalities, as well as teaching and research roles.

We have developed a number of short videos to showcase what our program has to offer. These videos are posted throughout our webpages, but to view them all (and to see new videos we continue to add), please go to our YouTube channel at

To learn more about what a career in school psychology might involve, please check out the NASP website page "Who are School Psychologists?"

Watch video of faculty talking about their research and teaching:


  • Specialist-level program fully approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  • PhD program APA  accredited and approved by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards and the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology (ASPPB/NR)
  • Small cohorts of less than 8 students each year
  • Training focused around innovative, research-based multi-tiered services and support
  • Strong track record for funding Ph.D. students (GA/TA support and tuition waiver)
  • At times, funding is available for specialist-level students as well
  • Practicum experiences in the schools begin in the spring of the first year
  • Extensive, productive research experiences embedded throughout the program
  • Being housed within the Cognitive-Instructional, Developmental and School Psychology (CIDS) curricular area allows for exciting multidisciplinary collaboration and learning
  • Active student organization (the School Psychology Student Organization, SPSO) provides a great deal of support for our students
  • Excellent placement rate for practicum and internship assignments and employment opportunities in very innovative sites
  • Our location (within 60 miles of downtown Chicago) allows for access to all Chicago and the surrounding area has to offer
  • Faculty are active researchers and engaged in the field. For example, Dr. Michelle Demaray is currently Editor of the Journal of School Psychology and Dr. Christine Malecki is the Chair of the Executive Board of the Council of Directors of School Psychology Programs. Dr. Greg Waas is a former Associate Editor of School Psychology Review.  All current faculty are engaged on a national, regional, and local level in research and the field of school psychology.

For general questions about our program, contact the Program Assistant, Arielle Sherman, at