Admission Requirements Degree Requirements

Mailing Address:
Department of Psychology (MC 285)
1007 West Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60607-7137

Campus Location: 1066 BSB
Program Codes: 20FS0338MA (MA); 20FS0338PHD (PhD)
Telephone: (312) 996-2434
Web Site:
Chairperson of the Department: Gary Raney
Director of Graduate Studies: Larry Grimm

The Department of Psychology offers work leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Psychology, with the Master of Arts degree earned as part of this program. The department’s goal is to produce scholars and researchers who will contribute to the growth of psychological knowledge whether they work in academic or applied settings. Students must major in one of five divisions (Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive, Community and Prevention Research, and Social and Personality). All students must satisfy the requirements of their major division as well as an approved minor area. In addition to the major divisions, there are training opportunities in quantitative psychology, psychology and law, health psychology, preventive intervention and urban children’s mental health, cognitive science, and childhood disorders. Interdepartmental concentrations in Neuroscience, Gender and Women’s Studies, and Violence Studies are available to graduate students in the department. The framework of a student’s program is determined by the major/minor combination that is selected. Within that framework, students in consultation with their advisors construct programs individually tailored to their research interests and career goals. The department also offers course work in instructional psychology and practicum opportunities to develop college-level teaching skills.

Admission Requirements

The department accepts only applicants who wish to be candidates for the PhD. Applicants are not admitted as candidates for the MA as a terminal degree. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy

  • Baccalaureate Field No restrictions. Prior academic work must include the equivalent of 18 semester hours in psychology, including statistics and a laboratory course in experimental psychology; one year of college mathematics; and one year of laboratory courses in physical and/or biological sciences.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.20/4.00 for the last 60 semester (90 quarter) hours of undergraduate work.
  • Tests Required GRE General. GRE Subject Test in Psychology is recommended, but not required.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 550 (paper-based); 213 (computer-based); 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Internet-based), OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three required from faculty members, preferably psychologists, who are familiar with the applicant’s training and ability. Information concerning an applicant’s research experience and ability is especially pertinent.
  • Personal Statement Required.
  • Other Requirements Applicants must complete all forms contained in the department’s online application.
  • Nondegree Applicants Rarely accepted. Nondegree applicants must submit all credentials and meet the same admission requirements as degree applicants. The department only accepts nondegree applicants who have exceptional credentials and who desire to take a few specific courses for professional purposes. Nondegree students may not take practicum or individual study courses. Nondegree students will not be admitted to the degree program at a later time.
  • Deadlines Students may start the program only in the fall semester. Complete applications must be received by January 1 (December 15 preferred).

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 32.
  • Course Work At least 9 semester hours must be in one of the five divisions. The exact program will be established by the division.
  • Required Courses: PSCH 543, 545, and 5 hours of PSCH 591.
  • Comprehensive Examination None.
  • Thesis, Project, or Course-Work-Only Options Thesis required. No other options are available.

Doctor of Philosophy

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 96 from the baccalaureate.
  • Course Work The specific distribution of courses will depend on the student’s area of interest; students must complete the major in one of the five divisions as well as a minor requirement.
  • Required Courses: PSCH 505, 543, and 545.
  • Preliminary Examination Required; the examination depends on the major and minor.
  • Dissertation Required.

Interdepartmental Concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in a concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies after consulting with their graduate advisor. See Gender and Women’s Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section for more information.

Interdepartmental Concentration in Neuroscience

Doctoral students may pursue the Interdepartmental Concentration in Neuroscience. Refer to Interdepartmental Concentration in Neuroscience in the Graduate College section for more information.

Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration in Violence Studies

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in a concentration in Violence Studies after consulting with their graduate advisor. See Violence Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section or the Jane Addams College of Social Work section for more information.