Admissions Process

Applications are due December 1.

Our school psychology program is a full-time degree and licensure program. There is no licensure-only option. We encourage students from diverse cultural backgrounds to apply.

The admissions process is competitive. Each year, we receive more applications than we can accept. After reviewing applications, we select students to attend an interview. We then notify applicants of admission decisions as they are made. Finally, we make assistantship decisions, giving priority to those pursuing doctoral degrees.

Before You Apply

Before you apply, you should be aware that the program requires a full-time commitment for three years (if pursuing the master's degree plus 30 credits/specialist program). In addition to class time, you'll be required to participate in assistantships, practicum experiences, extracurricular activities, volunteer experiences and other training opportunities. Most classes and practicum experiences take place during the day. Due to the time commitment, we don't recommend commuting.

You should also be aware of the qualifications typically held by students accepted into the program:

  • Bachelor's degree in psychology (other related majors may be considered).
  • Undergraduate GPA above 3.40.
  • Strong GRE scores, with writing scores ranging from 4.0 to 6.0.
  • Strong letters of recommendation.
  • Relevant research or applied experiences.

Please note: If you hold a degree in an area of psychology other than school psychology, it's likely that only a few classes would transfer in. It would most likely take you three full-time years to complete the master's degree plus 30 credits/specialist program.

Application Materials

You'll apply to the program through the NIU Graduate School. Your application materials will include the following:

  • Graduate School application. Be sure to select Psychology - School (M.A.), not Educational Psychology. Select M.A. even if you're a Ph.D. applicant, since you'll complete a master's degree first.
  • Statement of career goals (indicate if you're on the master's degree or Ph.D. track).
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work.
  • GRE scores.


After reviewing all the applications, we select approximately 20 individuals with strong qualifications to attend an interview. We admit seven or eight of these students to the program.