"At WIU, I learned what the field of school psychology actually was, its history, ethics and professional standards, and developed entry-level professional skills and the professional dispositions necessary for effective practice. I also was exposed to my first professional role models, one of whom, Dr. Tom Fagan has served as a lifelong mentor and adviser." - Dr. Mark Swerdlik, MA, School Psychology, 1976 and recent recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
“The rigorous schedule challenges each student to begin using techniques and theories immediately after learning the material. I felt head and shoulders above my colleagues in preparedness and understanding of such important topics as assessment, diagnostics, and ethics.” – Lindsay Harms, MS, LCPC
- Master's Degree
Specialist Degree in School Psychology
Note: Each year the deadline for priority review of application materials for fall admission is February 1 .
The Psychology Department offers work leading to a Master of Science degree in the areas of clinical/community mental health and general experimental psychology, and a Specialist degree in school psychology.
Why Psychology at WIU?
WIU’s Department of Psychology has 24 full-time faculty, all with doctoral degrees from major universities, ensuring that every course is taught by someone who has extensive training in psychology. Psychology faculty also maintain active research programs in their disciplines. Their specializations and research interests cover such varied topics as personality, social and cognitive psychology, school and clinical psychology, and neuroscience. Much of this research is carried out with student collaboration. At any given time there are approximately 50 graduate students in the department.
Specialist Degree in School Psychology
The School Psychology Program has full approval from the National Association of School Psychologists. This approval allows students to sit for the Praxis exam to obtain the Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential with a passing exam score. Our current curriculum meets the requirements for certification as a School Psychologist through the Illinois State Board of Education. Students can sit for the Illinois Professional Certification Exam (Type 73), which leads to this certification at the conclusion of the School Psychology Program.Students from the program have a perfect (100%) passing rate.
Four of the Department’s faculty have primary affiliation with the School Psychology Program and include certified school psychologists who have a wealth of experience. These faculty members provide extensive supervision for students in their coursework and through the practicum experiences spread over the first two years. Faculty also monitor completion of internships for students.
The Department houses the Psycho-Educational Clinic that provides assessment services to children at a nominal fee. Graduate students receive supervision as they complete challenging assessment cases. The assessment services include an initial meeting, assessment of the referral concerns, a concluding meeting, and a professionally prepared assessment report.
What do our students like about the School Psychology program?
- National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) accreditation
- Practicum experiences in local schools during the first and second year
- Paid internships during the third year
- 100% employment rate for graduates
The School Psychology program prepares students for entry-level school psychology positions in a wide variety of school districts, special education cooperatives, and area education associations.
Master's Degree in Clinical/Community Mental Health
Established in 1972, the Clinical/Community Mental Health (C/CMH) program’s mission is to provide students with the knowledge and intellectual and clinical skills that will enable them to provide quality mental health services in a variety of treatment settings and to continue to develop professionally. Through its combination of challenging, stimulating coursework and intensive, supervised clinical experience, the C/CMH program reflects the richness of the field our graduates enter.
What do our students like about the Clinical/Community Mental Health program?
- Participating in psychotherapy sessions from day one in the program
- Hour-for-hour faculty contact and counseling supervision
- Experience managing clinical services by carrying students' own case loads
The Clinical/Community Mental Health program prepares students for a wide variety of careers in counseling and other social services.
Master's Degree in General Experimental Psychology
The General Experimental Psychology program is designed to provide graduate education in the content areas of experimental psychology in order to prepare for doctoral work or for Master’s level careers. The program is designed for students interested in pursuing academic careers as well as those seeking careers in applied and research settings.
What do our students like about the General Experimental program?
- Easy access to and many opportunities for working directly with faculty
- Rich diversity of research interests among experimental faculty
- Instant immersion with cohort of friends, collaborators and future colleagues
The General Experimental Psychology program prepares students for a variety of research and teaching careers, including institutional research, laboratory technician, human resources and assessment, sponsored projects and IRB administration, and instructors at colleges and universities. In addition, approximately one-half of graduates from the General Experimental Psychology program pursue doctoral degrees after graduating from WIU.
- Degrees Available:
- Specialist in School Psychology
- Required GPA:
- Cumulative: 2.75 or
- Last 2 years: N/A
- Admission Requirements:
- Goals Statement
- Three Letters of Recommendation
- Interesting Facts: Fall 2014
- Currently enrolled: 60
- International: 4
- Minority: 5
- Male: 17
- Female: 43
- Students with Assistantships: 38
- Department Contact Information
Waggoner Hall 100