Department of Psychology

Psychology Graduate Programs - How to Apply

Eligibility & Admissions Information

GPA requirements for admission:

  • Full admission status – a minimum of 3.0 GPA overall for four years or a 3.0 GPA for the last two years (required to be eligible for a graduate assistantship)
  • Probationary admission status – a minimum GPA of 2.75. Probationary students will earn full admission status after completion of nine graduate hours with a minimum GPA of 3.0.


All applications for graduate study in psychology must include the following:

  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Resume/vita  emphasizing academic, nonacademic, and employment experiences relevant to the degree program selected 
  • Personal  statement
    • Clinical/Community Mental Health:  biographical statement that details the basis of the applicant’s interest in psychology, his/her experiences in human service settings, including any volunteer work, and career objectives
    • General Experimental Psychology:  applicants should describe a) how a degree in general experimental psychology would contribute to their career goals, b) their experience and/or aspirations to do independent research, and c) their area of interest in psychology and specific faculty with whom they are interested in working
    • School Psychology: a well-written statement that describes the applicant's interest in school psychology, experience working with children and/or adolescents both formally and informally, and how they expect their training in the school psychology program to fit into their future plans.
  • For the School Psychology program only: A personal interview 

 Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are waived for 2021 admissions 


Prerequisites for admission:

  • A minimum of 15 hours in psychology from an accredited institution
  • Successful completion of the following courses: introductory psychology and at least one of the following courses: statistics or research methods
  • For the Clinical/Community Mental Health program only: Successful completion of courses in abnormal psychology, personality, and learning/cognitive psychology.
  • For the School Psychology program only: Successful completion of courses in the psychology of exceptional children and behavior modification.

Persons lacking one of more of these courses will be required to pass the appropriate undergraduate course(s) before being admitted to candidacy for a graduate degree in psychology. Courses taken to make up undergraduate deficiencies cannot be applied to the credit requirements for graduate degrees.


Application Process & Timetable

Admission decisions are a two stage process, with admission to the Graduate School being determined separately from admission to the degree program in the Department of Psychology. Applications received by the Graduate School by February 1 will be given priority consideration. Screening of applications typically begins around March 1 and continues until all positions in the programs are filled.

At the time of application, potential graduate students must indicate whether they intend to concentrate in clinical/community mental health, general experimental psychology, or school psychology. Admission is into a specific program.

Application materials can be be submitted electronically by going to Western Illinois University's School of Graduate Studies website.


English fluency requirements:

All applicants should be aware that the graduate programs in psychology require significant reading, writing, listening, and speaking ability in English. International students whose native language is not English must meet the minimum TOEFL admission score required by the School of Graduate Studies or must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university within the USA with at least four years in residence at the awarding institution(s) within two years of enrolling at WIU.