Top Master's Degree Program in Clinical Psychology - Chicago, IL

Students interested in studying clinical psychology at the master's level in Chicago have only a few schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

School and Ranking Information

There are few schools in the Chicago area that offer clinical psychology programs. The following schools are considered the top three based on rankings, degree levels available and program offerings:

  • Winner: Roosevelt University is the top overall pick because of its high rankings and the ample research opportunities it offers its students. RU offers master's degrees in clinical psychology and also awarded the most clinical psychology degrees out of these three schools in 2012.*
  • 1st Runner-up: Northwestern University is 1st runner-up since its clinical psychology program was ranked No. 37 by U.S. News & World Report in 2012. Northwestern University offers master's and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology.
  • 2nd Runner-up: DePaul University takes third place because it offers a doctorate program in clinical psychology, with a 2-year master's program at its core. DePaul also offers a 1-year internship as part of its doctoral program.

In the state of Illinois, clinical psychologists are required to obtain a doctorate in order to be eligible for professional licensure. At the master's degree level, prospective mental health specialists can pursue credentials such as the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). These professionals can seek the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) credential with two years of LPC experience.

School Comparison Table

Roosevelt University Northwestern University DePaul University
Ranking #164 in U.S. among clinical psychology programs (2012),
#77 in U.S. among Midwest regional universities (2014)*
#37 in U.S. among clinical psychology programs (2012),
#12 in U.S. among national universities (2014)*
#94 in U.S. among clinical psychology programs (2012),
#121 in U.S. among national universities (2014) *
Location Chicago, Illinois Evanston, Illinois (17.4 miles from downtown Chicago) Chicago, Illinois
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit
Tuition and Fees (2012-2013) $17,800 (graduate)** $43,692 (graduate)** $5,878 (graduate)**
Clinical Psychology Master's Degree Programs Offered Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology (with or without counseling practice emphasis),
Master of Arts in Clinical Professional Psychology
Master of Science/Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Clinical Psychology Master of Arts/Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Clinical Psychology Degrees Awarded in 2011-2012 60** 8** 6**
Noteworthy Stress Institute offers professional training in meditation and stress management Clinical internship accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) is part of the program Curriculum includes 1-year clinical internship

Sources: *US News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator

Winner: Roosevelt University

  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) eligibility through counseling practice program
  • Preparation for Ph.D. or Psy.D. programs
  • Has courses that meet Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) requirements

Opened as a private institution in 1945, Thomas Jefferson College was quickly renamed Roosevelt College following the death of the country's 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Through the College of Arts and Sciences, graduate students can pursue a Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Psychology through either the 39-40-hour professional program or the 60-hour counseling practice program designed to meet the requirements for state LPC licensure. Students may also choose to pursue the MA in Clinical Professional Psychology, a 48-hour program with courses that satisfy requirements for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential. A school counseling sequence is also available.

Students can use their master's degree to pursue either a Ph.D. or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) or seek counseling licensure with CACREP-applicable coursework in areas such as human development, group psychotherapy, chemical dependence and ethical issues.

Runner-Up #1: Northwestern University

  • APA-accredited program
  • Master's as Ph.D. preparation requirement for clinical licensure

Founded in 1850, Northwestern University is a private institution. Through the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, students can pursue a Master of Science (MS) as part of the requirement for the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program. Core program coursework covers clinical assessment, psychotherapy, personality theory and cognitive-behavior therapy. Students will complete a supervised project in their first year and be awarded the MS degree following their second year project leading to a publishable journal manuscript. Even if students are terminated from the doctoral program after receiving their master's, they'll still hold the MS. Other program coursework in clinical psychology covers biological, cognitive and social bases of behavior.

Runner-Up #2: DePaul University

  • Clinical program accredited by the APA
  • Master's program as part of clinical psychology doctoral program
  • Community psychology or child psychology track options

A private institution founded in 1898, DePaul University has grown into the largest Catholic university in the nation. The College of Science and Health was created in 2011 and houses the Department of Psychology, which has offered programs accredited through the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1976. As part of the 106-credit hour Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program, students can obtain an MA degree with course track options in community psychology or child psychology. Program courses cover social psychology, intelligence testing, clinical procedures and psychotherapy, as well as 9-credit hours of clinical practicum experience.

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