Admissions Process

Applications are due December 15.

When completing the Graduate School application, be sure to select "Psychology - School (MA)" (not "Educational Psychology"), and remember to submit ALL required materials by the December 15 deadline. Attention Ph.D. applicants: the Graduate School requires that you indicate "MA" since you complete the MA on the way to the Ph.D.

Our application process is competitive and we receive many more applications that we can accept each year. Please note the Department of Psychology and our School Psychology program admits only full-time students. We strive to provide assistantship support to all of our students, with priority given to students pursuing a Ph.D. We encourage students with cultural and individual diversity to apply to the program.

Thanks to a grant from the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Ethnic Minority Recruitment, Retention, and Training Task Force, our program is actively recruiting diverse individuals to attend our school psychology program at NIU by offering Interview Day incentives to students of ethnic minority status during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 application seasons. Specifically, eligible applicants will receive a $250 stipend as an incentive to attend Interview Day in February. If you apply to our program and meet criteria (ethnic minority status and meet all criteria for being invited to interview), this incentive will be available to you. The first 10 eligible applicants to respond positively to our invitation to interview will be given the stipend. The stipends will be distributed after interview day and attending interview day is a requirement to receive the stipend. 

Note: The Department of Psychology admits only full-time students

Our school psychology program is a full-time degree and certification program.  We do NOT offer "certification only". We take 7 or 8 students each year who will be engaged in all aspects of the program full-time (with most classes and practicum during the day) in pursuit of their M.A. + 30 credits or Ph.D.  If someone is admitted into our program who has a degree in psychology other than school psychology, likely only a few courses would transfer in. The program would still be full-time and in almost all cases, students will be full-time for the full three years (if pursuing the M.A. + 30/Specialist program).  Also note that because of the full-time commitment, commuting is not recommended. In addition to class time, our students are required to participate in other activities that have a significant demand on their time, such as assistantships, practicum, extra curricular activities, volunteer experiences, and other valuable training opportunities. Please consider these significant demands before applying to the program.

Application Procedure

Have the following completed and turned in to the Graduate School by December 15:

  • Complete the online application form and send the applicable fee. 
  • Send three letters of recommendation. 
  • Send your official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work.
  • Send your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores to NIU.
  • A statement of your career goals is required and can be uploaded during the online application; please indicate either M.A. or Ph.D. track
  • 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
  • Send all materials to:

Graduate School
Northern Illinois University
Dekalb, IL 60115

For strongest consideration for admittance into NIU's program in school psychology (both M.A./specialist-level and Ph. D. track) candidates typically:

  • Send your application by December 15
  • Have a B.A. or B.S. in psychology, although other related majors may be considered
  • Have earned a strong undergraduate GPA; typically above 3.40
  • Have strong GRE scores, with Writing scores in the 4.0 to 6.0 range
  • Have strong letters of recommendation
  • Have relevant research or applied experiences

Out of our applicant pool, approximately 20 students with strong credentials (GRE, GPA, letters of recommendation) are invited to interview on our interview day. We admit 7 or 8 students from that group who interview. Students are notified of our admissions decisions as they are made. Assistantship decisions are made following admissions decisions, with preference given to those pursuing a doctoral degree.