Psychology

http://www.psychology.illinois.edu

Head of the Department: Wendy Heller
Director of Graduate Studies: Ranxiao Wang
Admissions Information: Ashley Ramm
309 Psychology Building
603 East Daniel Street
Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 333-2169
E-mail: psych-gradstdy@illinois.edu

Major: Psychology
Degrees offered:  M.A., M.S., Ph.D.
Graduate Concentration: Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education (Ph.D. only)

Medical Scholars Program: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology and Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) through the Medical Scholars Program

Graduate Degree Programs

The Department of Psychology offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy. Doctor of Philosophy programs are offered in the following areas of psychology:

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical/Community
  • Cognitive
  • Developmental
  • Quantitative
  • Social-Personality
  • Industrial-Organizational
  • Visual Cognition and Human Performance

A Master of Arts degree is awarded to students in the doctoral program as an intermediate degree. Master of Science programs are offered as terminal degrees in only two areas: personnel psychology and measurement psychology.

Admission

The Graduate College admission requirements apply for all programs. All candidates for admission must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (or B) on a 4.0 scale in courses representing the last 60 hours of work completed for the bachelor’s degree. The candidate for admission to the graduate program should ordinarily have the following preparation: a minimum of 15 semester hours in psychology, a laboratory research methods course in psychology, and a course in statistics. Departmental committees also consider Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and letters of recommendation. Preference is given to students who have taken mathematics beyond college algebra and to those who have some research experience. Applications for admission to part-time study are usually not approved. Students are accepted only for fall admission. The application deadline is December 10.

In addition to the aforementioned criteria, applicants are evaluated on their supporting documents, career goals, career promise, and research interests. Substantial additional weight is given to the quality and extent of prior research and other relevant experience.

All applicants whose native language is not English or who are from any country other than the US, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand (even if they are native English speakers) are required by the University to submit the results of an English language proficiency test. The university will accept the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to determine admission eligibility.

  • The minimum total TOEFL iBT score for admission (including all four sections): 79
  • Minimum total TOEFL iBT score for exemption from the English as a Second Language Placement Test (EPT) for admission (including all four sections): 103
  • Minimum total IELTS score for admission: 6.5, including a minimum subscore of 6 on all four modules. Students receiving scores below 7 will be required to take the EPT for placement in English as Second Language courses.

In addition to the general requirement for English proficiency testing described above, the University of Illinois is also required by state law and University policy to give teaching appointments only to international graduate students who have more specifically passed an English language SPEAKING proficiency test. Applicants have the following options to satisfy this requirement:

  • Minimum score of 24 on the speaking section of the TOEFL iBT
  • Minimum score of 8 on the speaking section of the IELTS
  • Minimum score of 50 on the TSE
  • Minimum score of 5 on the EPI (English Proficiency Interview) test.

International applicants must present documentation for one of the above-listed tests of spoken English at the time of application to the Psychology Department.

Refer to www.psychology.illinois.edu (Graduate Program) for additional information about the Department of Psychology's admission requirements.

Medical Scholars Program

The Medical Scholars Program permits highly qualified students to integrate the study of medicine with study for a graduate degree in a second discipline, including Psychology. Students may apply to the Medical Scholars Program prior to beginning graduate school or while in the graduate program. Applicants to the Medical Scholars Program must meet the admissions standards for and be accepted into both the Department of Psychology and the College of Medicine. Students in the combined program must meet the specific requirements for both the medical and graduate degrees. On average, students take eight years to complete both degrees. Further information on this program is available by contacting the Medical Scholars Program, 125 Medical Sciences Building, (217) 333-8146 or at www.med.illinois.edu/mdphd.

Graduate Teaching Experience

The department requires Ph.D. candidates to gain teaching experience as part of their academic work. Such experience is considered a vital part of the graduate program and usually takes the form of a teaching assistantship. Students have the option of teaching two class sections (50% TA) for one semester or one class section (25% TA) for two semesters in order to meet the requirement.

Faculty Research Interests

The program is designed to prepare students for academic and research-oriented careers. Students become actively involved in research during their first semester, devoting an increasing percent of time toward independent research throughout their graduate careers.

For the most part, we view graduate education as an apprenticeship. Our task is to provide an environment where mature young scholars can gain experience in research as they collaborate with faculty and with other graduate students. The program encourages interdisciplinary study both within psychology and between psychology and other fields. Faculty research interests can be reviewed here.

Facilities and Resources

Students have everything they need, including personal office space and full access to research, library, and computing services, as well as to a large pool of research participants. The excellent cooperation between divisions in the department and with other units in the University provides access to expertise and methodology in a variety of areas including but not limited to:

  • the Psychological Services Center
  • the Counseling Center
  • the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
  • the Center for the Study of Reading
  • the Institute of Communications Research
  • the School of Labor and Employee Relations
  • the Family Resiliency Program
  • the Neuroscience Program
  • the Institute for Genomic Biology
  • the Departments of Computer Science
  • Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology and Statistics
  • the Colleges of Law and Medicine

Financial Aid

Students generally complete the doctoral degree in 4-6 years, and the Psychology Department makes financial support available to all Ph.D. students in good standing for up to 6 years.  The University application form and supplemental application materials provide all the information that is required by the committees administering various funding sources, which include teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships.

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded to candidates who complete an approved program in their area of specialization and meet departmental and Graduate College requirements for the degree. These must include at least 64 or 96 graduate hours of graduate work; satisfactory performance in courses or examinations dealing with quantitative methods and chosen areas of specialization; a master's thesis or equivalent; appropriate advanced courses and seminars in the area of specialization and in related and supporting areas; satisfactory performance on a doctoral qualifying examination; satisfactory performance on an oral preliminary examination; completion of an acceptable Ph.D. thesis; and satisfactory performance on an oral examination in defense of the thesis.

Entering with approved M.S./M.A. degree

Completion of Divisional "core courses" and departmental requirements
PSYC 406
PSYC 407
Statistical Methods I
and Statistical Methods II (or an approved equivalent quantitative course sequence)
8
At least two different psychology seminar courses, taken for at least 2 hours each (4 min)4
Approved minor courses12-16
Distribution courses: general graduate survey courses in at least two other Divisions.0-4
PSYC 599Thesis Research (min/max applied toward degree)0-24
Total Hours64

Other Requirements1

Other requirements may overlap
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall:24
Teaching experience is required:Yes
A master's thesis or a master's-level research report is required:Yes
Qualifying Exam Required:Yes
Preliminary Exam Required:Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required:Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required:Yes
Minimum GPA:2.75
1

For additional details and requirements refer to the department's graduate handbook and the Graduate College Handbook 

Entering with approved B.S./B.A. degree

Master’s level equivalent course work32
Completion of Divisional "core courses" and departmental requirements
PSYC 406
PSYC 407
Statistical Methods I
and Statistical Methods II (or an approved equivalent quantitative course sequence)
8
At least two different psychology seminar courses, taken for at least 2 hours each (4 min)4
Approved minor courses12-16
Distribution courses: general graduate survey courses in at least two other Divisions.0-4
PSYC 599Thesis Research (min/max applied toward degree)0-24
Total Hours96

Other Requirements1

Other requirements may overlap
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall:24
Teaching experience is required:Yes
A master's thesis or a master's-level research report is required:Yes
Qualifying Exam Required:Yes
Preliminary Exam Required:Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required:Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required:Yes
Minimum GPA:2.75
1

For additional details and requirements refer to the department's graduate handbook and the Graduate College Handbook