Diversity in School Psychology

NIU is a multicultural community that cultivates, promotes and celebrates diversity. Approximately one quarter of NIU students come from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The Graduate School webpage provides information about the success of graduate students from diverse backgrounds at NIU. Below are some ways that the School Psychology Program supports students from diverse backgrounds.


Visit our YouTube channel to see a series of videos about choosing a graduate program in psychology, how to apply, how to interview and more about diversity in the field of psychology!

Financial Support for Minority Graduate Students

Several mechanisms are also available to provide financial support to minority graduate students in addition to those available to all graduate students. These include:

  • Rhoten Smith Assistantships: The Graduate School provides funds on a matching basis with the department. These assistantships carry stipend levels and duties consistent with other assistantships in the department. Because of this program, minority students often receive summer graduate assistantships through the psychology department, which typically are quite limited in number.
  • Jeffrey T. Lunsford Fellowships: Students who are working on their M.A. degree are eligible for these half-time fellowships. Students in our clinical psychology program have been very competitive for these fellowships.
  • The Carter G. Woodson Scholars Program (CGWSP) is funded locally by NIU and is reserved for doctoral level students with expressed interest in academic careers. The maximum length of tenure for the CGWSP is two years. Again students from our clinical psychology program have been successful in competing for this fellowship.
  • The DFI (Diversifying Higher Educational Faculty in Illinois) is a state-supported program that provides one year of support that can be renewed for up to three years. It is designed for students who are committed to applying for academic positions within the state of Illinois.

More information can be found at the Graduate School website.

Resources on Campus for Underrepresented Populations

To support those on campus from diverse backgrounds multiple resources are available including:

  • Asian American Center: The Asian American Center provides student-centered services, student learning opportunities, leadership development, student organizational advisement and educational/cultural programs in order to enhance the quality of college life for Asian American students as they reach their academic goals.
  • Center for Black Studies: The Center for Black Studies is a place where students can go to for advisement, information to academic and professional resources and networking. The Center also researches, collects and analyzes data on all aspects of the African experience on the Continent and in the Diaspora. CBS also serves as an interdisciplinary academic program that offers courses relating to African and African-American life and history.
  • Latino Resource Center: The Latino Resource Center (LRC) focuses on student-centered service by developing partnerships focused on student learning while establishing an inclusive community that builds collaborative relationships across campus and surrounding community. The Center offers various services including mentoring and tutoring programs as well as a computer lab, study/library area, student lounge and wireless internet connection.
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center: The LGBT Resource Center is a place where LGBTQ individuals can find a sense of community and everyone can learn about LGBTQ identity and culture. The center provides support services, educational programs, advocacy and opportunities for leadership develop.
  • Women's Resource Center: The Women's Resource Center is a place for all students and is dedicated to gender equity and enhancement of the campus climate for women through advocacy, personal and professional development and social justice programming. The WRC offers short-term counseling to individuals about their academic progress, careers, personal development and other special concerns as well as support groups, information and referral, issues regarding workplace disputes and issues involving sexual harassment.
  • The Office of Affirmative Action and Diversity Resources, Human Resource Services. Any student who experiences and/or witnesses possible acts of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation has the right to report this activity to the Office of Affirmative Action and Diversity Resources. All complaints and/or allegations of discrimination will be examined in a reasonable, objective, confidential and expedient manner and in accordance with applicable federal and state employment laws. This office also offers alternatives to filing a complaint: Mediation and Confidential Counseling.