General Information on Admissions

Most students who are admitted have completed a B.A. or B.S. in psychology, although persons with outstanding records who have majored in other subjects will be considered. Similarly, individuals who have an M.A. degree in psychology from another university will be considered when their credentials are unusually strong.

The competition for admission is keen, with eight or fewer students selected each year from a large pool of applicants (see Student Characteristics table below). Grades (especially the last two years of undergraduate study), GRE scores, and letters of recommendation (preferably from psychology instructors) are used to select the most promising students among the applicants. Flexible admission criteria are used in an attempt to select those students with the best potential for success in our program.

We admit students to work with specific faculty members, although students may choose to work with another faculty member if the initial match is not satisfactory. The following lists the core clinical faculty and indicates who plans to admit students for next year:

Plans to admit a student to matriculate in Fall, 2019

Does not plan to admit a student to matriculate in Fall, 2019

Students may also indicate interest in doing research with other department faculty or Julie Crouch, Ph.D. (the Director of the Center for the Study of Family Violence and Sexual Assault); admission to work with individuals outside of the core clinical faculty is dependent on funding and faculty interest. Students should make their research interests clear in their applications including which faculty member(s) they would like to consider them for admission.

Clinical admissions are for the fall semester. In order to insure full consideration for admission, applications to the clinical area should be completed by December 1st. Students are notified of our admissions decisions by April 15th. Our program follows the policy for Graduate School Offers and Admissions outlined by the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP).

Assistantship decisions are made following admissions decisions. Historically, all incoming students are offered a graduate assistantship for the academic year which includes a monthly stipend and a tuition waiver.

Application Procedure

All materials must be received by December 1st to receive consideration. The following outlines our procedures:

  • Complete the online application form with the Graduate School and pay your fee of $60. As part of the online application you will be expected to upload the following:
    • Copies of transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. Unofficial copies will be accepted, but official copies will need to be submitted if admitted to the program
    • Your copy of your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. The General GRE is required. We do not consider the Psychology Subject GRE. Again, if you are admitted, you will need to have these test scores submitted directly from the testing agency.
    • If you received a degree outside the United States, you will need to also submit copies of your TOEFL or IELTS scores.
    • A Statement of Purpose. This statement should indicate your previous experiences in the field, your research and clinical interests in graduate school, your career goals, and your fit with our program. You must indicate which faculty member(s) you are interested in working with to be considered for our program as we admit students to work with specific faculty members. The Graduate School webpage suggests that the length should be between 250 and 750 words.  While we appreciate a succinct, but thorough, personal statement and 250 words is likely too short. 
    • Names and email addresses of three people who have agreed to write you letters of recommendation. These letter writers will receive an email from CollegeNet (the online application company) asking them to upload your letter to the system. Letter writers will not receive this request until you submit your application. Thus, you should notify the letter writers of our deadline and submit your application with ample time allowed for them to complete and upload their letter. Communication with your letter writers about the deadline is important to allow your application to be given full consideration.
  • While we only consider applicants who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology (i.e., we do not consider students interested in a terminal master’s degree), if you only have a bachelor’s degree, you should indicate on the application you are pursuing the M.A. degree. Students who are admitted to the program will first work toward their M.A. and then will seamlessly transition to the Ph.D. program if they have made adequate and timely progress in the program. They will not need to reapply.
  • In addition to the application to the Graduate School, applicants should complete the supplemental application form and email it to While not required, we strongly encourage students to submit CVs and writing samples to this email address. While you can upload your CV to the admissions portal, submitting it with your supplemental application helps our program’s review of materials. 

Open House

Each year the clinical program holds an Open House for selected applicants, which includes interviews with clinical faculty members. The Open House provides an opportunity for applicants to meet with faculty and students in the clinical program and learn more about the training environment, the campus, and the local community. Attendance at the Open House is strongly encouraged although phone interviews are acceptable. The Open House is by invitation only. More information will be sent when the invitations are made in mid-January. For students applying for admission for the 2019-2020 academic year, the Open House will be held on February 25 and 26, 2019.

Contact Us

Northern Illinois University
Department of Psychology
Psychology-Computer Science Building, Room 400
DeKalb, IL  60115

815-753-8088 (fax) 

Director of Graduate Studies
Dr. Kevin Wu

Graduate Studies Assistant
Marj Holliday