Department of Psychology at Illinois State University
Welcome to the Department of Psychology at Illinois State University! We are very proud of both our Undergraduate and Graduate Programs. At many large universities, courses are often taught by graduate students, and faculty spend most of their time working on research or teaching only graduate courses. But not at Illinois State. There are approximately 35 full-time faculty members who teach psychology courses. Our faculty hold doctorate degrees from some of the finest universities in the country. The specialty areas for teaching and research of our faculty are as diverse as their educational experiences.
PSY 111 Introduction to Psychology is reserved for freshman psychology majors. The classes are limited to only 30 students. This class size is comparable to virtually any course at a private college, which makes Illinois State's Undergraduate Program in Psychology unique in the state of Illinois. Even though Illinois State is a large university, PSY 111 gives students a greater opportunity to get to know each other and meet many of the psychology professors.
PSY 111 is four hours of credit rather than the standard three hours. During the fourth hour, freshmen psychology majors meet as a group for special demonstrations, presentations by psychology faculty, and for group discussions. PSY 111 is also taught by full-time tenure-track faculty, not graduate students. Many public universities assign graduate students to teach some of its courses, especially introductory or 100-level courses. In the Department of Psychology, psychology courses required for the Major are taught by full-time faculty.
The Major in Psychology requires a capstone experience, which provides students with challenging opportunities to apply their knowledge of psychology to research, teaching, or practice endeavors. Students can work with faculty in the classroom or their research labs, or study specific topics of the student's interest. The department has also established an extensive internship program that gives students opportunities to apply their knowledge in a work setting in the local community. The Research Apprenticeship Program, Undergraduate Teaching Assistantship Program, and Internship Program are designed to give students practical experiences beyond their academic coursework.
The Undergraduate Program in Psychology gives students the opportunity to learn from full-time faculty who frequently publish in top-rated journals in diverse areas of psychology. In our upper division 300-level content courses, students study with psychologists who are experts in the specific area covered in the course. Thus, a course in psycholinguistics (PSY 369) is taught by a faculty member whose area is psycholinguistics. PSY 351 Clinical Applications of Psychology is taught by faculty members with experience in a variety of clinical settings. Each year, our faculty supervise over 200 students working on research projects.
Our Graduate Programs in School Psychology have the accreditations and approvals recommended for higher quality training, comprehensive curricular content, and properly supervised field experiences. Our doctoral program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association, and approved by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Our specialist program in School Psychology is approved by NCATE and NASP. Both graduate programs are approved by the Illinois State Board of Education. For more information, see Frequently Asked Questions about School Psychology or A Career That Makes a Difference.
The Clinical-Counseling Psychology Program has faculty who have been trained in clinical psychology or counseling psychology. Students who complete the program are eligible to sit for both the Illinois Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor examinations. Many of our graduates have entered doctoral training programs or developed professional practices.
The graduate sequence in Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences emphasizes study in basic research content areas (e.g., behavioral neuropsychology, conditioning, perception, learning, memory, psycholinguistics, and cognitive development) and the development of quantitative and methodological skills. The sequence supports two emphases: one in Behavioral Neuroscience and in Cognitive Science. Commensurate with faculty expertise, the sequence focuses on three main content areas: Behavioral, Neuroscience, and Cognitive Science. The sequence provides critical foundation preparation for advanced graduate study and can facilitate entry into research-related careers in non-academic settings.
The graduate sequence in Developmental Psychology provides preparation in lifespan development using a distinctly ecological and interdisciplinary approach. The curriculum offers in-depth exposure to developmental theories, methodologies, and applications within each of the following age sectors: infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and aging. Students may also complete professional practice experiences in the community.
The graduate sequence in Industrial/Organizational-Social Psychology has an I/O and Social emphasis that are designed to meet the educational needs of two types of students; those who plan to enter doctoral degree programs or students seeking employment in such areas as human resources management, personnel administration, or organization development. Thesis research can be of an applied nature, combining fundamental research skills with practical skill development.
The graduate sequence in Quantitative Psychology provides preparation in the use of quantitative methods in the solution of problems in theoretical and applied psychology. The sequence focuses on critical foundation preparation for advanced graduate study and can facilitate entry into careers in community college teaching and a variety of careers in the business-industrial sector.