Psychology - Specialist in School Psychology
The specialist program in School Psychology is 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. We provide our students with comprehensive curriculum, high quality training, and properly supervised field experiences that are consistent with the NASP 2020 Professional Standards. The mission of the specialist program, which emphasizes the scientist-practitioner model of training, is to develop entry-level competencies in our graduates so they can function as school psychologists in public and private schools. The specialist degree can be completed in three years with full time enrollment on campus for two years and a 9-month internship.
For more information regarding our graduation rates, cost of instruction, and the median loan debts of students who complete the program, please review the gainful employment disclosures.
Point of Pride
The Specialist in School Psychology graduate program is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists, the Council for Accreditation for Educator Preparation, and the Illinois State Board of Education.
Discover what life as an Illinois State graduate student is like.
University Admission Requirements
A student applying to a specialist 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 by visiting the Office of Admissions.
Additional Program Admission Requirements
Complete your application by January 1.
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.
To be considered for this program, you must meet the following requirements.
You must have a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework or 3.0 GPA for 9 hours of graduate coursework.
You must have completed at least 21 hours of undergraduate psychology courses, including:
- General Psychology
- Experimental Psychology or Research Methods
- Psychological Statistics
You’ll also need to have a proficiency in math. This includes any one of the following:
- Passing grade in Finite Math or Pre-Calculus (MAT 120, 144, or equivalent)
- B grade or better in Psychological Statistics (PSY 340 or equivalent)
- Score of 144 or higher on the Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE General Test
If you have not completed the required undergraduate courses, you may still be admitted. Missing courses will be added to your curriculum and must be completed during your first year of graduate study.
The GRE is not required for Fall 2022 applicants and will not be used to evaluate applicants. The GRE may be submitted to establish math proficiency. If you wish to submit GRE scores, use institution code 1319
Submit a sample of your scholarly work (5-15 pages long).
Upload a personal statement that addresses the following:
- Your professional and career goals
- Factors that influenced your decision to enter a helping profession
- Your expectations for professional training in school psychology
- How your identities, background, and lived experiences have influenced your decision to pursue school psychology
- Why you selected the specialist program in School Psychology
- Why you should be admitted to the specialist program
Recommendation Contact Information
Provide the names and email addresses for three individuals who will write a letter of recommendation for you.
The application process requires campus interviews which will be conducted via Zoom. Selected applicants will be notified about the interview schedule.
When applying to the Specialist in School Psychology program, be sure to select the Student Type as “Certificate/Specialist” as the level of study on the application for 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
- 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 contiguous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.