Developmental Psychology Admissions

To apply for admission to our program in developmental psychology, be sure to have the following completed and turned in by February 1:

  • Complete the online application form and send your fee of $40.
  • Send three letters of recommendation. The Graduate School has forms for the individuals who write your letters to complete.
  • Send your official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work.
  • Send your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores to NIU. NIU's code is 1559.
  • Send a 1-2 page personal statement that includes your overall goals for graduate study, which psychology curricular area you are interested in (e.g., developmental psychology) and relevant prior academic and/or field experience.
  • On the Graduate School application, note that you are pursuing the M.A. degree even if you are interested in the Ph.D. You will work toward your M.A. first so that is the degree to indicate on the application.
  • All of the above materials should be sent to: The Graduate School, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115-2864.

For strongest consideration for admittance candidates typically:

  • Should complete and send in your application by February 1. Early application is strongly encouraged.
  • Have a B.A. or B.S. in psychology, although other related majors may be considered
  • Have earned a strong undergraduate GPA; typically above 3.30
  • Have strong GRE scores; typically 156 or higher for Verbal and 158 or higher for Quantitative
  • Have strong letters of recommendation from university faculty
  • Have relevant research experience
  • Note that the Department of Psychology admits only full-time students.

Admissions decisions are based on the strength of the entire application, including undergraduate GPA, GRE scores, the personal statement, letters of recommendation and research experience. Applicants whose research interests and career goals fit well with the training provided by the developmental psychology program will be stronger candidates for admission. 

Applicants with a GPA above 3.30, a verbal GRE score of 156 or higher and a quantitative GRE score of 158 also are stronger candidates for admission. 

Applicants with a verbal GRE score below 151 or a quantitative GRE score below 153 are unlikely to be considered for admission.  However, a low score on one scale of the GRE may be compensated for by strong qualifications in other areas, such as an exceptionally high GPA, etc.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to become familiar with the developmental faculty members’ research programs. Typically, the primary advisor for graduate students in developmental psychology will be one of the core faculty in the developmental psychology program. Therefore, the degree of fit between faculty research programs and graduate student’s research interests is an important consideration. Clearly focused personal statements that describe an applicant’s research interests and career goals are a central component in the admissions process.

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