Department of Psychology at Illinois State University

Specialist Program Application

Application Deadline for FALL 2015: December 1
Applications for the Specialist Program in School Psychology will be accepted after September 15, 2014.

Admission is offered only for the fall semester and is very competitive. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the specialist program in School Psychology. Only applicants who intend to enroll full time will be considered for admission. Individuals who have been convicted of a felony are not eligible to complete an internship (a specialist program requirement) and are not eligible for licensure as a school psychologist in Illinois. Applicants who are convicted felons will not be considered for admission to the specialist program in School Psychology. A complete specialist program application includes the following:

  • online University application that includes the department's supplemental questions
  • official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores
  • official transcripts from every institution where higher education credit was received (Illinois State students and alumni should not submit an ISU transcript.)
  • three Applicant Recommendations
  • a writing sample

All application materials must be received by the University and department by December 1. Incomplete applications may not be reviewed by the department's Admissions Committee.

Program Requirements: Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) for the last 60 hours of coursework and a bachelor's degree conferred before the start of the fall semester. Applicants should have completed at least 21 hours of undergraduate psychology courses that include general psychology or an equivalent course, experimental psychology or research methods or equivalent, and psychological or equivalent. Applicants should have a proficiency in math, which may be demonstrated by completion of finite math or precalculus (MAT 120 or 144 or equivalent) , a grade of B or higher in psychological statistics (PSY 340 or equivalent) or a score of 144 or higher on the Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE General Test. Applicants who have not completed required courses may be admitted, but will have the missing course(s) added to the specialist program degree requirements. Any missing courses must be completed during the first year of graduate study.

Financial Assistance: Applicants are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The application deadline is March 1. This application is for a federal work study award. Work study awards assist the department in reducing the cost of graduate assistantships, which provides more financial assistance for graduate students. See the Graduate Programs Application Information website for more information about financial assistance.

Graduate Application

Applicants must complete the online University application and the department's supplemental questions. Click on the link to below access the appropriate website.

  • Graduate Application
  • International Student Application
    International student applications require additional time to process. International applicants are advised to have all application materials sublimated to the University at least four weeks prior to the application deadline (by November 1).

Official Transcripts

Applicants must have every institution where they received higher education credit send an official transcript to Illinois State. Copies of transcripts will not be accepted. TRANSCRIPTS MUST BE SENT TO:
Illinois State University
Campus Box 2200
Normal, IL 61790-2200

GRE General Test Scores

Applicants must take the GRE General Test and have their scores reported to the University by Educational Testing Service. The GRE General Test includes Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Applicants should use the school code 1319 to have official test scores reported to Illinois State.

Writing Sample

A writing sample must be uploaded in the online application. The writing sample should be scholarly work (i.e., a research paper, an independent study project, a literature review, etc.) and approximately 5-15 pages long.

Required Recommendations

Three Applicant Recommendations are required. The recommender may also submit a separate letter of recommendation with the completed Applicant Recommendation. The letter of recommendation should be printed on letterhead and signed by the recommender. At least one recommendation should be from an individual who is familiar with the applicant's research experiences. The Applicant Recommendation may be mailed to the department. The Applicant Recommendation (and letter of recommendation, if applicable) must be placed in a sealed envelope that includes the recommender's signature across the envelope flap.

The recommender may also choose to send the Applicant Recommendation to the department's Graduate Programs Office as an e-mail attachment. The Applicant Recommendation should be saved as a PDF. If a separate letter of recommendation will also be provided, the letter should be printed on letterhead, signed by the recommender, and scanned as a PDF. The Applicant Recommendation and letter of recommendation should be sent as attachments in the same e-mail.

Addresses for Recommendations

Department address:
Illinois State University
Department of Psychology
Graduate Programs Office
Campus Box 4620
Normal, IL 61790-4620
Graduate Programs Office
e-mail address:


Processing Complete Applications

Once an application is submitted, it is not immediately available for review by the department. It takes the University approximately 3-4 days to process an application after all of the application materials have been received. This processing time might increase during the two weeks before the application deadline.

Is Your Application Complete?

Applicants are responsible for verifying that their application is complete. Applicants should log in to Welcome2ISU to check the status of their applications. Applicants may contact the Graduate Programs Office by e-mail to verify receipt of the three Applicant Recommendations.

Invitation to Interview

Some applicants may be invited to visit the department during the spring semester. The School Psychology graduate coordinator will notify the applicants of the two-day interview program. Our Specialist Interview program includes meeting with current graduate students and other invited applicants, interviews with faculty members, and lunch. Specialist interviews will be on scheduled in February.
Specialist Interview Days: To be determined

Admission Offers

The department generally notifies specialist applicants of its admission offers during March. The American Psychological Association stipulates that applicants have until April 15 to respond to the admission offer. The department's admission offer will include information about any deficiencies in undergraduate coursework and a graduate assistantship or tuition waiver, if available.

Contacting the Department

Applicants who accept admission at another college or university should notify the School Psychology graduate coordinator that they will not be attending Illinois State.

Applicants may contact the Graduate Programs Office by e-mail to inquire about their admission status, if they have not received an admission offer by April 30. Some admission offers may be delayed until applicants notify the department that they are not accepting our admission offers or they will be attending other institutions. We will continue to offer admission until we have a full class admitted for the fall semester.

Admission to the University

The University will notify applicants about admission to a graduate degree program. Notices are generally distributed from March to May.

Graduate Assistantships

The department routinely awards graduate assistantships to applicants who accept admission to Illinois State. The availability of graduate assistantships are subject to the following factors:

  • receipt of anticipated funding from the state of Illinois
  • verification of employment eligibility based on U.S. immigration laws
  • University employment policies that may require a criminal background check with fingerprinting
  • eligibility requirements as stated in the Graduate Assistant Handbook
  • specific needs of the department

Students who accept graduate assistantships at Illinois State are employees of the University and the state of Illinois. State employees are required to complete the Mandatory Governmental Ethics Online Training under the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act (5 ILCS 430/5-10). The ethics training must be completed each year of an assistantship.

Admission Statistics

Statistical data are available for applicants who were admitted to our graduate programs. The information is based on grade point averages and GRE General Test scores.