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Psychology - School Psychology

The doctoral program in School Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the Council for Accreditation of Teacher Educator Preparation (CAEP), and the Illinois State Board of Education. APA accreditation and approval by NASP and CAEP provide recognition for graduate programs meeting national standards for the education of professional service providers in school psychology. Program accreditation and approval suggests comprehensive curriculum, high quality training, and properly supervised field experiences.

The doctorate degree can be completed in five years with full-time enrollment on campus for four years and a 12-month internship.

University Admission Requirements

A student applying to this program must:

  • Have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university prior to fall admission
  • Send official transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State where graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. Transcripts should be emailed from the school to or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Office of Admissions, Campus Box 2200, Normal, IL 61790-2200

International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.

Additional Program Admission Requirements

A student applying to this program must:

  • Submit a complete application by November 15
  • Have a cumulative 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for either the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework or at least a 3.0 GPA for 9 hours of graduate coursework
  • Have completed at least 21 hours of undergraduate psychology courses that include general psychology, experimental psychology or research methods, and psychological statistics. Applicants should have a proficiency in math, based on a passing grade in finite math or Precalculus (MAT 120 or 144 or equivalent), a grade of B or better in psychological statistics (PSY 340 or equivalent) or a score of 144 or higher on the Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE General Test. Applicants who have not completed the required undergraduate courses may be admitted, but the missing course(s) will be added to the doctoral program's curriculum. Any missing courses must be completed during the first year of graduate study.

Applicants who have completed master's degrees in psychology must have a 3.5 graduate GPA or higher (on a 4.0 scale). Applicants with master's degrees (not in psychology) who have been employed as school psychologists are eligible for admission if academically qualified to pursue doctoral study and can demonstrate research competency (i.e., a master's thesis and research courses). Credit for master's-level courses will be determined on an individual basis. If the master's degree did not require an empirical master's thesis, applicants must complete a research apprenticeship as part of the doctoral program's curriculum.

A complete application requires:

  • Official GRE General Test scores (use institution code 1319)
  • A curriculum vitae or resume
  • A writing sample (scholarly work approximately 5-15 pages long)
  • A personal statement that addresses the following:
    • Your strengths and weaknesses (e.g., problems or aspects of your background that may negatively affect your performance in a doctoral program)
    • Research interests
    • Professional goals
    • Why did you select the doctoral program in School Psychology?
    • Why should you be admitted to the doctoral program?
    • What are your expectations for professional training in school psychology?
  • Three recommendations (see application instructions about providing names and email addresses; recommendation must be uploaded to the application)

Doctoral Interviews: January 25-26, 2018 (Thursday evening and Friday)
The application process requires campus interviews. Selected applicants will be notified about the two-day schedule. Applicants must attend both days. Travel and lodging expenses are the responsibility of the applicant. Skype interviews may be possible, in some circumstances, with the program coordinator's approval.

Admission is offered only for the fall semester and is very competitive. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Admission offers are sent in February. The Council for Graduate Schools stipulates that an applicant has until April 15 to accept or decline an admission offer. Some admission offers may be delayed until applicants notify the department that they are declining admission.

Admission Dates and Deadlines

Term Application Deadline
Fall (August)  November 15 
Spring (January)  No Spring admission 
Summer (May/June)  No Summer admission 

Graduate Assistantship Information

The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.


To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally:

  • be admitted as a degree-seeking student to a graduate program
  • be in good-standing
  • be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 graduate credits) during the fall or spring semesters


Graduate assistants receive:

  • monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
  • a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
  • a waiver for up to 12 credits of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment

The department awards graduate assistantships to applicants who accept admission. Graduate assistantships are subject to verification of employment eligibility under U.S. immigration laws and the receipt of anticipated state funding by the University.

Cost & Funding

See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from continuous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.

Graduate Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Mark Swerdlik  DeGarmo 422  (309) 438-5720 
Adena Meyers  DeGarmo 455  (309) 438-8069 
2016-08-30T13:46:29.206-05:00 2016