School Psychology

Application deadline is December 15. Interview Day will be Thursday, February 14, 2019 for those invited. See Admissions.

Project Prevent and Address Bullying (PPAB) Website

Learn all about our program on our YouTube channel and via our online brochure.

Program Overview

Welcome! Our 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. 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.

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

Diversifying Psychology—Please visit this webpage for more information about diversity in the field of psychology and NIU School Psychology's commitment to training diverse practitioners.


  • Thanks to a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the next generation of graduates from NIU’s master’s-level School Psychology Program will enter the workforce better equipped to protect vulnerable students from bullying.
  • Our program emphasizes a focused effort to promote diversity within our student population and within the field of school psychology overall. 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. Admissions requirements can be found here.
  • 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 was recently the Chair of the Executive Committee of the Council of Directors of School Psychology Programs. Dr. Julia Ogg is the Conference Program Chair-elect of APA Division 16 (School Psychology). All current faculty are engaged on a national, regional, and local level in research and the field of school psychology

We are 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

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