Psychology Graduate Programs in Illinois

Psychology is a broad field, and schools in Illinois provide students with graduate degree options in numerous specializations. Learn about the different levels and types of degree programs available and some of their common admission requirements.

Illinois is home to a wide range of master's and doctoral degree programs in various areas of psychology. Often, these programs include hands-on learning through practicum and internship experiences and may require a final project, such as a capstone, thesis or dissertation. Here we provide a brief overview of some of the available programs at a handful of Illinois institutions.

Schools in Illinois with Graduate Degree Programs in Psychology

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign awards students a Master of Science (MS) in Psychological Science or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology. The 2-year MS program offers focus areas in applied/general or data analysis/research. The PhD program allows students to specialize their research in a wide range of areas, including cognitive, social-personality, clinical-community, industrial-organizational and developmental psychology. Doctoral students must complete a master's and PhD thesis, comprehensive exams and 96 credit hours of coursework.

Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University in Macomb has an MS in General Experimental Psychology, an MS in Clinical/Community Mental Health and a specialist program in school psychology (SSP). The experimental psychology MS program takes 2 years to complete, provides students with a variety of research opportunities and does offer some graduate assistantships. The MS in Clinical/Community Mental Health program requires 2 years of coursework on-campus and hands-on experience in the community Psychology Clinic, followed by an internship experience that may take 9 to 12 months to complete and prepares students for state licensure. The SSP program also includes practicum experiences and a 3rd year internship experience.

Roosevelt University

At their Chicago location, Roosevelt University offers 2 Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Psychology programs and a Doctor of Clinical Psychology (PsyD) program as well as an MA, dual MA/Master of Business Administration (MBA) and PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. One of the MA in Clinical Psychology programs prepares students for state licensure and is 60 semester hours, while the other is a more general degree intended for working professionals that is only 39 to 40 semester hours. The PsyD program requires a doctoral project and pre-doctoral clinical internship experience. The MA and PhD programs in industrial and organizational psychology include research opportunities and projects. The dual MA/MBA program in industrial and organizational psychology requires an internship or thesis.

Eastern Illinois University

Charleston's Eastern Illinois University has an MA in Clinical Psychology as well as an MS and SSP in School Psychology. The MA in Clinical Psychology program prepares students for doctoral study or clinical practice and requires comprehensive exams, a thesis and a clinical internship. The MS in School Psychology program requires a minimum of only 35 semester hours, while the SSP requires at least 66 semester hours, which can include the 35 earned in the MS program. The MS program does require a field practicum, while the SSP also requires a thesis and internship to prepare for state licensure.

Illinois State University

Illinois State University in Normal offers an MA or MS in Clinical-Counseling Psychology, an MA or MS in Psychology, and an SSP or PhD in School Psychology. The clinical counseling programs require a capstone project or thesis and a practicum. The SSP also requires a thesis and practicum, while the PhD program requires a dissertation. The MA and MS in Psychology programs allow students to choose from a concentration in quantitative psychology, cognitive and behavioral sciences, industrial and organizational-social psychology or developmental psychology.

Common Entrance Requirements

Entrance requirements for graduate programs in psychology in Illinois may vary slightly based on the institution, degree level and area of specialization. Most of these programs do require GRE test scores, and it is fairly common for applicants to have to meet a minimum GPA requirement. Typically, psychology graduate programs in the state request official transcripts, letters of recommendation and a personal statement with the application. Some programs also ask for a resume or CV.

Students can pursue MA, MS, PhD, PsyD or specialist degrees in a variety of areas within psychology from schools throughout Illinois. Many of these programs qualify students for state licensure and require hands-on learning experiences.

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