Application Materials and Procedures

Here at NIU, we provide a vibrant and exciting atmosphere in which to develop and train as a psychologist. The science of psychology is a rapidly evolving field that influences all aspects of society. Psychologists work in traditional and nontraditional settings, including schools, hospitals, businesses, government, mental health organizations, laboratories and nonprofit organizations.

We offer undergraduate programs for a B.A. or a B.S. degree and graduate study (primarily Ph.D.) in several specializations, including:

As you will see, we offer a wide array of courses that provide contemporary instruction in the major areas of the field. Whether you may choose to focus your program on a specific area, or sample more broadly among a wide variety of courses, you will graduate with a firm grasp of the field and a solid foundation for further education or a fulfilling career.

Important Notes Regarding Graduate Applications for Fall 2024

If you are applying to begin one of our six graduate training programs in fall 2024, please note the following:

  • The graduate record exam (GRE) is not required.
  • Some programs will hold virtual interviews with their top-ranked candidates. For more information on how your program of interest is planning to proceed, please visit their webpage.
  • We are committed to communicating clearly with you. If you have any questions, we recommend emailing the director of your program of interest. You can find their name and email address on the program page.

Complete an application

To receive full consideration, completed applications must be received by the Graduate School in advance of the deadline for the curricular area to which the student is applying. Students applying to the Clinical program will also need to complete a supplemental application. The NIU Graduate School application is sufficient for students applying to all other areas. A completed application will consist of:

  • The NIU Graduate School's application
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Career Goals
  • Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work. Unofficial or official transcripts are accepted when applying. Official transcripts are required once you are admitted to our program. The address for mailing transcripts by regular post is:

    The Graduate School, Northern Illinois University
    1425 West Lincoln Highway
    DeKalb, Illinois 60115

    and if you are using a courier (Fed Ex, UPS, etc.)

    The Graduate School, Northern Illinois University
    180 Stadium Drive
    DeKalb, IL 60115-2828 U.S.A.
  • Current TOEFL scores (if required by NIU Graduate School)

Points to keep in mind when completing the application:

  • All but one of the graduate training programs in Psychology are doctoral-only; the exception is the School Psychology training program, which offers both a terminal M.A. degree and a Ph.D. degree. That established, all graduate students enter their programs as M.A. students. This is because advancement to doctoral candidacy requires the successful completion of several milestones, including coursework, the masters thesis, and candidacy examination. This is why applicants are asked to indicate on the application form that the intended degree is the M.A. degree, even if the ultimate objective is the P.h.D. degree via one of the doctoral training programs.
  • Your statement of career goals often is an important aspect of the admissions decision. Because applicants are accepted into a specific training program, be sure to indicate which specialization of psychology you are interested in studying. Also make sure you emphasize any research experience, presentations, or publications that you may have. Faculty will be particularly interested to see how your research interests/accomplishments and career goals match the type of training that we offer. Most statements are between 250 and 750 words in length.
  • For applicants to the Clinical Psychology training program, be sure to complete the Supplemental Application, which is linked near the top of this page.
  • There is a separate application for graduate assistantships. This form is only required if you are admitted to the program and an original is required. This form should be sent to the Graduate Studies Assistant in the Department of Psychology.
Program Application Deadline
(admission for the following fall semester)
Clinical Psychology Dec. 1
Cognitive and Instructional Psychology Feb. 1
Developmental Psychology Feb. 1
Neuroscience and Behavior Jan. 15
School Psychology Dec. 1
Social-Industrial/ Organizational Psychology Jan. 15