Clinical Psychology Admission Process

Admission to our doctoral clinical psychology program is highly competitive (see admissions data). Most students who are admitted have a bachelor's degree in psychology, although we'll consider students with outstanding records who majored in other subjects.

Each year, we receive a large pool of applicants. We invite certain applicants to attend an open house and admit eight or fewer of those students to the program. We follow the policy for graduate school offers and admissions (PDF) outlined by the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology.

Applications are due Dec. 1. You'll be notified of our decision by April 15. If accepted, you'll begin the program in the fall. We make assistantship decisions after admission decisions. Our graduate assistantships include monthly stipends and tuition waivers.

Working With Faculty Members

We admit students to work with specific faculty members. When you apply, you'll indicate which faculty member(s) you're interested in working with. The following core clinical faculty members plan to admit students for admissions in fall, 2021:

You can also work with other department faculty, as well as Julie Crouch, director of the Center for the Study of Family Violence and Sexual Assault.

Please note: The ability to work with individuals outside of the core clinical faculty depends on funding and faculty interest. You can choose to work with another faculty member if the initial match isn't satisfactory.

Application Process

NIU Graduate School Application

You'll apply to the program through the NIU Graduate School. The online application includes a $60 fee and the following materials:

  • Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. Unofficial transcripts are accepted, but you'll need to submit official copies if you're admitted.
  • General GRE score. We don't consider the psychology subject GRE. Unofficial copies are accepted, but you'll need to submit official copies if you're admitted. For the 2020-2021 admissions cycle (i.e., fall 2021 matriculation), applicants will not be required to submit general GRE scores. Applicants who wish to submit GRE scores may still do so as part of their application submission.
  • TOEFL or IELTS score, if you received a degree outside the United States. Read more about international admissions.
  • Statement of purpose addressing your experience in the field, your research and clinical interests, your career goals, how you fit with our program, and which faculty member(s) you're interested in working with. It should be 250-750 words, though we recommend going over the minimum, which is likely too short to be thorough.
  • Names and email addresses of three people who agreed to write letters of recommendation (preferably psychology instructors). You'll trigger an email to be sent to them in the application system, instructing them how to upload their letter. Inform them of our deadline and submit your application with ample time for them to upload their letters.

Please note: If you only have a bachelor's degree, indicate on the application that you're pursuing a master's degree. If admitted, you'll work toward your master's degree and transition to the Ph.D. program.

Supplemental Application

In addition to the Graduate School application, complete the supplemental application survey indicating your specifically interested in the program. This is necessary for application review.

Though not required, we strongly encourage you to submit your CV and writing samples to While you can upload your CV to the admissions portal, submitting it directly helps our program's review of materials.

Virtual Open House

After we review applications, we select candidates to attend an open house, which includes interviews with clinical faculty members. The event gives applicants the opportunity to meet with faculty and students and learn more about campus and the local community. In anticipation of concerns about travel, this year we are transitioning to a virtual open house format.

We will send invitations in mid-January. Our virtual open house will include synchronous group sessions with faculty and students on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. Interviews with specific faculty will be scheduled from February 17–24, 2021

Contact Us

Department of Psychology
Psychology-Computer Science Building, room 400
815-753-8088 (fax) 

Director of Graduate Studies
Kevin Wu, Ph.D.

Director of Clinical Training
Laura Pittman, Ph.D.

Graduate Studies Assistant
Arielle Sherman