Psychology - Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences
The Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences graduate sequence emphasizes study in basic research content areas (e.g., behavioral neuropsychology, conditioning, perception, learning, memory, psycholinguistics, and cognitive development) and the development of quantitative and methodological skills. The sequence focuses on three content areas: behavioral, neuroscience, and cognitive science, which provide a critical foundation for advanced graduate study and can facilitate entry into research-related careers in non-academic settings. The objectives of this sequence include building a solid foundation of basic psychological research, which will help students understand and explain behavior.
The master's degree can be completed with two years of full-time enrollment on campus.
Point of Pride
Illinois State's Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences (CBS) Colloquium Series welcomes several scholars from around the world to campus each semester to present research colloquia, interact with our students and faculty, and share ideas related to the field of cognitive science.
University Admission Requirements
A student applying to a master's 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 Admissions@IllinoisState.edu 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 and deadlines by visiting the Office of Admissions.
Additional Program Admission Requirements
A student applying to this sequence must:
- Submit a complete application by January 1
- 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 curriculum. Any missing courses must be completed during the first year of graduate study.
A complete application requires:
- Official GRE General Test scores (use institution code 1319)
- A curriculum vitae or resume that includes the following information, if applicable:
- Any experiences (paid, unpaid, internship, volunteer, etc.) including dates, employer or organization, business addresses, and the nature of the experiences that are relevant to admission to this graduate sequence.
- Any academic honors and awards including the year it was received and, if not evident from the title, briefly explain what the honor or award recognizes.
- Any research experiences, skills, and accomplishments.
- A writing sample (scholarly work approximately 5-15 pages long)
- A personal statement (approximately 2-3 pages, double-spaced) that addresses the following:
- Professional and career goals
- Research interests and experiences
- Qualifications for admission to this graduate sequence
- How your interests and goals fit with this graduate sequence
- Three recommendations (see application instructions about providing names and email addresses; recommendations must be uploaded to the application)
Applicant Interview Day: March 9, 2018 (Friday)
Some applicants may be invited to visit the department during the spring semester. The Applicant Interview Day schedule includes meeting with current graduate students and other invited applicants, interviews with faculty members, lunch, and a late afternoon social. Invited applicants will be contacted by the graduate coordinator.
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 March. 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.
- Fall (August) Term — January 1
- Spring (January) Term — No spring admission
- Summer (May/June) Term — No summer admission
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.
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.