Psychology Schools in Illinois

Illinois is home to some of the nation’s top universities, which may make deciding which psychology program is best for your academic and career goals seem daunting. The following guide to psychology schools in Illinois is designed to provide you with crucial information about the undergraduate and graduate programs in the state so that you can make an informed decision about which program best meets your needs. Illinois’s colleges and universities feature a full range of undergraduate and graduate psychology programs with concentrations in such areas as general psychology and clinical psychology, among many others. If you need a more flexible, convenient option for earning a psychology degree, consider one of the many universities that offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in psychology online.

Psychology Program Stats

  • There are 57 not-for-profit colleges and universities with psychology degree programs in Illinois.1
  • No schools offer an associate’s degree in psychology.1
  • 52 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in psychology.1
  • 33 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in psychology.1
  • 1 school ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2017: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (#16 in-state, #20 out-of-state).2
  • 2 schools ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Psychology Majors for 2018: DePaul University, Loyola University of Chicago.3

Institution-Wide Facts

  • Highest graduation rate*: Northwestern University 94%, University of Chicago 94%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Hebrew Theological College 51%.1
  • Highest net price*: Loyola University Chicago $34,934.1
  • Lowest net price*: Saint Augustine College $6,889.1

*For not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities with psychology degree programs.

Continue reading to learn more about graduate and undergraduate psychology programs in Illinois and online.

Schools in Illinois with Psychology Programs

Traditional Undergraduate Programs

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Northern Illinois University

Undergraduate students interested in pursuing a degree in psychology have two options at Northern Illinois University: the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology or the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology. Both programs require students to complete seven elective psychology courses in addition to general college and major requirements. Students may also complete an independent study or participate in the undergraduate research apprenticeship program, which places students with senior faculty members to assist the professors with current research. Psychology majors may also join the Student Psychological Association and the campus chapter of Psi Chi, the national honor society for psychology students.

Northeastern Illinois University

Northeastern Illinois University confers the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology to students who successfully complete the four-year program. Psychology majors must complete 31 credits, both required and elective, in psychology to fulfill degree requirements. Required courses focus on such topics as general psychology, research and statistics, and laboratory research methods. Students may choose a laboratory research method course based on a specific area of interest, such as tests and measurements, child development, personality, social psychology, and perception and cognition. All psychology students must also complete a capstone project in the senior year. The undergraduate program prepares students to continue on to graduate study.

Traditional Graduate Programs

Western Illinois University

Graduate students at Western Illinois University (WIU) may choose from one of two psychology graduate programs: the Master of Science (MS) in General Experimental Psychology or the MS in Clinical Psychology/Community Mental Health. The MS in General Experimental Psychology program allows students to concentrate in one of five areas, including neuroscience, developmental psychology, or social personality theory. Students must successfully complete 32 credits to fulfill degree requirements. The MS in Clinical Psychology/Community Mental Health is comprised of 54 semester hours of study and typically requires two years of on-campus coursework plus a student-selected internship that takes between nine and 12 months to complete. WIU features a psychology clinic that provides graduate students with the opportunity to gain real-world experience with clients. Scholarships may be available to qualified students to help fund their studies and a limited number of assistantships are awarded to psychology graduate students each year.

Illinois State University

Illinois State University allows students to earn a master’s degree in Clinical-Counseling Psychology upon successful completion of its two-year program. In addition to a full range of psychology courses encompassing such topics as theories of personality and advanced behavior modification, graduate students may opt to complete a thesis or a clinical competency project, which is similar to a thesis in that students must choose a written project, research the topic, complete the project, and defend it to earn a grade. Students work with a faculty mentor throughout the process. Psychology students at Illinois State also have the opportunity to gain real-world experience by completing a practicum at partner facilities, such as the Center for Human Services of McLean County and Heritage Behavioral Health Center.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A global leader in teaching, research, and public engagement, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was first established in 1867 and is distinguished by its broad academic excellence, breadth of programs, and internationally renowned faculty. For more than a century, the Psychology Department at the University of Illinois has been innovating in the field of psychology. With an environment of both independent and collaborative research, outstanding scholarship, and a tradition of excellence, the graduate program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is consistently ranked in the top five in the nation. With nine separate divisions of study within the Department of Psychology, students can study Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical/Community Psych, Brain and Cognition Psych, Cognitive Psych, Developmental Psych, Social-Personality Psych, Quantitative Psych, Industrial-Organizational Psych, Visual Cognition, and Human Performance. An additional Counseling Psychology program is offered by the Department of Educational Psychology.

Online Psychology Programs

Judson University

Judson University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology that can be completed online. Core courses in the curriculum included Principles of Adult Learning; Research Design and Analysis; Organizational Behavior and Development; and Applied Social Psychology. Students also complete an applied field experience, a learning outcomes portfolio, and a capstone research project. Classes are offered through a cohort model, which encourages peer interactions and networking. The instructors who lead the online psychology courses have advanced degrees in their fields along with work and research experience. To be considered for admission, prospective students must have two years of full-time work experience and 40 credit hours completed at an accredited college or university with an overall GPA of 2.0 or above.

National Louis University

National Louis University (NLU) maintains an online Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology program that prepares graduates for careers in the fast-growing field of applying the principles of psychological science to the workplace. Students enrolled in the program learn methods of finding, interpreting, and critiquing published research and applying that research to organizational problems; how to evaluate work motivation, job attitudes, and human resources processes; and theories of leadership, organizational development, and change. The accelerated 20-month curriculum requires 36 to 42 credit hours to complete. Courses offered include Performance Analysis and Measurement; Research Methodology and Writing; Research Design; and Organizational Effectiveness and Development. Students must also complete a three-credit hour capstone course. The professionally-focused online master’s in psychology at NLU is taught by experienced faculty who have broad backgrounds in academia, research, and practice. Program graduates are prepared for careers in organizational development and management as well as for doctoral study.

EPPP Pass Rate and Accreditation Information for Psychology Programs in Illinois

The table below is designed to help you compare not-for-profit psychology schools in Illinois on a variety of factors. Clicking on the arrows in the top row allows you to sort the table. In addition to factors such as focus areas offered and tuition costs, accreditation is an important consideration when researching psychology programs. Depending on the type of program and the ultimate career path you are considering, accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Education Programs (CACREP), or the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS) can make it easier to become licensed in your desired area of practice. For more information on these accreditations, see our overview of accreditation for psychology programs. You should also ensure that the program you are considering will meet the licensure requirements in the state where you wish to practice. The Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP), a licensing exam administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), is required in most US states in order to qualify for psychologist licensure. The EPPP results shown below are provided are for the exam period from February 1, 2015 to March 21, 2016.6 Only results from APA-accredited or ASPPB-designated doctoral programs with at least four test-takers during the exam period are included.6

SchoolBA/BS ProgramGraduate ProgramOnline Psych ProgramNational Accred.*Grad Rate**EPPP Pass Rate6Number Taking6College Factual Under-
grad Rank4
US News Grad Rank5Net Price
Adler UniversityNoYesMaster’sAPA, CACREPN/A76%46N/A
Augustana CollegeYesNoNo77%$23,542
Aurora UniversityYesYesNo58%$18,329
Benedictine UniversityYesYesNo51%$20,017
Blackburn CollegeYesNoNo42%$13,529
Bradley UniversityYesNoNoCACREP74%$26,773
Chicago School of Professional Psychology at ChicagoNoYesMaster’sAPA, NASPN/A77%83N/A
Chicago State UniversityYesYesNoCACREP16%$11,293
Concordia University-ChicagoYesYesNoCACREP48%$19,980
DePaul UniversityYesYesMaster’s, PhDAPA73%100%9131^$32,084
Dominican UniversityYesNoNo62%$18,219
Eastern Illinois UniversityYesYesBachelor’sCACREP, NASP57%$14,788
Elmhurst CollegeYesYesNo69%$18,825
Eureka CollegeYesNoNo52%$18,420
Governors State UniversityYesYesNoCACREPN/A$16,143
Greenville CollegeYesNoBachelor’s47%$18,356
Hebrew Theological CollegeYesNoNo5%$30,909
Illinois CollegeYesNoNo68%$18,318
Illinois Institute of TechnologyYesYesNoAPA, CACREP71%88%8148^$25,847
Illinois State UniversityYesYesNoAPA, NASP72%181^$18,415
Illinois Wesleyan UniversityYesNoNo81%122$31,227
Institute for Clinical Social WorkNoYesPhDN/AN/A
Judson UniversityYesNoBachelor’s64%$24,671
Knox CollegeYesNoNo77%$23,301
Lake Forest CollegeYesNoNo70%$24,478
Lewis UniversityYesYesNo62%$20,232
Lincoln Christian UniversityYesYesBachelor’sCACREP61%$20,123
Loyola University ChicagoYesYesBachelor’sAPA, NASP75%100%6199131^$34,934
MacMurray CollegeYesNoNo23%$19,845
McKendree UniversityYesYesBachelor’s52%$19,694
Midwestern University-Downers GroveNoYesNoAPAN/A83%17N/A
Millikin UniversityYesNoNo60%$21,935
Monmouth CollegeYesNoNo56%$18,612
National Louis UniversityYesYesMaster’sCACREP, NASP30%$13,650
North Central CollegeYesNoNo69%$24,236
North Park UniversityYesNoNo53%$20,076
Northeastern Illinois UniversityYesNoNoCACREP24%86%7$15,432
Northern Illinois UniversityYesYesNoAPA, CACREP, NASP47%167^$19,782
Northwestern UniversityYesYesNoAPA, CACREP94%100%5317^$29,326
Olivet Nazarene UniversityYesYesNo57%$20,302
Quincy UniversityYesNoNoCACREP51%$18,949
Rockford UniversityYesNoNo49%$23,289
Roosevelt UniversityYesYesBachelor’sAPA, CACREP40%100%10$27,418
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and ScienceNoYesNoAPAN/A100%698^N/A
Saint Augustine CollegeYesNoNo39%$6,889
Saint Xavier UniversityYesNoNo51%$15,448
Southern Illinois University-CarbondaleYesYesNoAPA, CACREP44%100%8181^$17,149
Southern Illinois University-EdwardsvilleYesYesNoNASP48%$15,360
Trinity Christian CollegeYesYesNo58%$22,733
Trinity International University-IllinoisYesNoBachelor’sCACREP58%$20,514
University of ChicagoYesYesNo94%17^$31,068
University of Illinois at ChicagoYesYesNoAPA58%83%693$11,571
University of Illinois at SpringfieldYesYesBachelor’sCACREP50%$11,444
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignYesYesNoAPA85%427^$16,683
University of St. FrancisYesNoNo63%$17,968
Western Illinois UniversityYesYesNoCACREP, NASP53%$16,463
Wheaton CollegeYesYesNoAPA, CACREP91%80%15196$27,840

Schools marked with a caret (^) in US News Best Graduate Psychology Programs ranked in a tie with other programs in their respective positions.
*See our guide to psychology program accreditation for more information on these accrediting bodies.
**The graduation rate is for first-time, full-time undergraduate degree- or certificate-seeking students in cohort years 2008 to 2010 and is calculated based on the percentage of students earning their degree or certificate within 150% of the normal time for program completion.1

Schools with Psychology Degree Programs in Illinois

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Adler University
17 N Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 662-4000

Student Review: “The Adler School of Professional Psychology was a decent experience for me. I made a lot of friends and I felt comfortable with all of the students and staff whenever I had questions or issues. However, the school was very disorganized, and it sometimes felt like we weren’t being adequately prepared for life outside of school. We weren’t told about how hard it would be to finally get a job. We were also told to ask for a starting salary of $50,000, but most jobs we see have very low pay, and if you ask for even $35,000, usually employers cannot accommodate your request. Now, even after graduation, I have personally had a hard time figuring out how to fill out all the paperwork for my licensed professional counselor license. I also think the cost to attend Adler is way too much for the experience you receive.” – Student at Adler University

Benedictine University
5700 College Rd
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 829-6000

Student Review: “My experience attending Benedictine University was great because I felt as though it fit my needs, such as small class sizes to make me feel comfortable. The psychology and other social science courses I took were challenging but the content that I learned outweighs any of the essays and long hours spent studying. My favorite part of the psychology program was my senior year when it was mandatory to enroll in an internship program or take another lecture class. I chose the internship program in which I applied for an internship at a psychology office in the area. The experience was very in-depth because I was a part of the therapy process with clients, acting as a “ghost” in the room. After the session, the therapist and I had a discussion regarding the techniques that were used and how the individual could improve in future sessions. Although my experience was overall great, I do dislike the fact that some classes I was interested in were very difficult to register due to certain prerequisites. Additionally, I would have preferred more experience-related tasks in some classes rather than just lectures.” – Student at Governors State University

Governors State University
1 University Pkwy
University Park, IL 60484
(708) 534-5000

Student Review: “Governors State’s psychology curriculum a pretty good program. I transferred here from Moraine Valley and will soon complete my undergrad in psychology here. The classes are great and the teachers are mostly good. For the most part, they make the material interesting and provide the feedback I need. Most of the classes are in the evening, which might be annoying to some people, but it’s been great for me. My real problem isn’t actually with the school, but with the offices. Most of them, from the loan offices to the academic advisers, seem to do really poor work and take a long time to do it. Other than that, Governors State was pretty good.” – Student at Governors State University

Kennedy-King College
6301 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60621
(773) 602-5000

Student Review: “The psychology program and Kennedy King is insightful and attentive. Not only are my professors well informed and educated, they also posses the ability to connect case-studies to real life situations. Most of my professors are professionals with experience. Through their connections, I have been getting recommendations for a paid internship with my desired employer. I was and am overwhelmed to the extent these teachers will go for their students. This has truly been a valuable experience.” – Student at Kennedy-King College

Lincoln Christian University
100 Campus View Dr
Lincoln, IL 62656
(217) 732-3168

Student Review: “The psychology program at Lincoln Christian University taught me to apply the principles of psychology through the lens of a Christian worldview. The program has a strong grounding in biblical principles and classes focusing on theology and ministry are an essential part of the program, as they are in every field of study at Lincoln Christian University. The field-specific (psychology) classes are what you would get at pretty much any university, but what made them different is the small student to teacher ratio and the experience and openness of the faculty. In fact, in some classes, the class was invited to the professor’s house for a meal as part of the class. Many of the more focused classes are taught by adjunct faculty too, which some might view as a disadvantage, but in reality, I gained a great deal of practical knowledge as a result and it also provided a great source for networking after graduation and in finding a place for my internship. Also, the faculty were always willing to help and made themselves very available outside of classroom hours. My main disappointment with the program was that there was not a great variety of psychology electives in my course of study. Overall, I think the program prepared me well for graduate school as well as for the workplace. I would not recommend it for someone who is not a Christian simply because there is a great deal of ministry and theological focus, but for someone looking for a Christian perspective and a practical knowledge of psychology it is a great choice.” – Student at Lincoln Christian University

Loyola University Chicago
1032 W Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 274-3000

Student Review: “The psychology program at Loyola University has been very influential in my decision to attend grad school. I came to Loyola not sure what to do, but the program has a diverse course selection and I was able to try out different aspects of the psychology field to figure out what I really enjoyed doing. My faculty advisor has been very supportive, and the psychology professors I have are published and have accommodating office hours to make sure I get the attention and assistance needed.” – Student at Loyola University Chicago

MacMurray College
447 E College Ave
Jacksonville, IL 62650
(217) 479-7056

Student Review: “The benefit of the psychology program at MacMurray College was that it was small, less than 10 in some classes, which led to a high degree of teacher and student interaction. Generally, this was positive, but it could also be a hindrance if the professor was lacking in his or her teaching ability. The largest problem with the program was continuity. In three years, six professors rotated through the two professor positions. Some due to death and other due to incompetence. However, once professor employment stabilized the program grew because it was led by people who cared about their work. The class setup was generally open-discussion, which could be beneficial provided the other students in the program were interested in the subject material. Overall, the quality of the program was directly related to what the student put into it. I would recommend the school and psychology program to others because it was small and personal. Additionally, I believe it provided a more than adequate education to its students for entering both the job market and attending graduate degree programs.” – Student at MacMurray College

North Central College
30 N Brainard St
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 637-5100

Student Review: “The psychology program at North Central College was great. The core courses were all helpful courses, and then there were also many interesting psychology electives. North Central College also honored my AP psychology testing credit so that I didn’t have to take the introductory psychology course. The professors and teaching staff were all great. There were a few teachers I didn’t like, but they were general education course teachers. My favorite classes were abnormal psychology and social psychology. All of the courses were good preparation for psychological writing in APA format, as well as developing analytical and critical thinking skills. I also felt like I could ask any of the professors for help if I needed it, as all were very genuinely good teachers that enjoyed what they did and sought student success. This was a great program!” – Student at North Central College

Northwestern University
633 Clark St
Evanston, IL 60208
(847) 491-3741

Student Review: “The psychology program at Northwestern University is a good mix of courses with professors that teach both the practical and medical aspects of psychology that one can use in a variety of careers. I often had the pleasure to hear guest speakers from the professional psychology community in Chicago come in and tell us about their career and experiences. The coursework is certainly challenging, but the professors and TA’s are all willing to meet before, during, or after class to help anyone out. Whether you are going on to graduate school, or want to go straight into the business/marketing community, Northwestern gives you a solid foundation and has an amazing “career connection” program that can help you get your foot in the door at a great company.” – Student at Northwestern University

1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-kiplinger-s-best-values-in-public-colleges/index.php
3. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges, 2018 Edition. The Princeton Review, 2017.
4. College Factual, Best Colleges Offering Degrees in Psychology (Nationwide): https://www.collegefactual.com/majors/psychology/rankings/top-ranked/#
5. US News & World Report Best Graduate Psychology Programs: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-humanities-schools/psychology-rankings
6. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, Psychology Licensing Exam Scores by Doctoral Program: https://www.asppb.net/page/ScoresByDrProgram