How to Find a Psychology Program in Illinois

While you should take care in choosing the right program for you, things like cost are not the only considerations. Which type of degree? How will you progress? These are all issues to consider.

Psychology Degree Pathways in Illinois

For new prospective psychology undergraduates in Illinois, you should know you have two choices. First, there is a two-year associate's degree. This degree will provide only limited access to psychology jobs. The second option is the traditional four-year bachelor's degree. Only through this type of degree may you progress through graduate programs.

Graduate-level options in psychology include the graduate certificate, which is a short program teaching focused on a niche area of psychology (available only to those who have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree) – acting like an upgrade to an existing degree. The more common type of graduate program is the master's degree in psychology, either an MA (arts) or MS (science).

Finally, you may pursue a doctorate degree – the highest level in psychology. However, there are two options – a Ph.D. for policy and research careers, and a PsyD for prospective clinicians.

Choose a Psychology Specialty

Undergraduate students don't typically have the option of a specialty psychology degree. Most majors are simply general psychology. Graduate programs are where you’ll find specializations within the psychology field.

The University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign campus) offers a psychology major for undergraduates, an MS in Psychological Science, and a Ph.D. in Psychology.

Illinois State University offers both an undergraduate major and a wide range of master’s degrees in Clinical Counseling Psychology, Psychology Sequences, and several psychology Ph.D. options.


It's important for prospective psychology students in Illinois to choose an accredited program rather than an unaccredited option. Accreditation matters due to the following:

  • If a program is accredited, it means professional bodies have evaluated it for minimum teaching quality standards
  • Only accredited program graduates may pursue employment as a clinician
  • Other careers that require a psychology degree (non-clinical) may also request only accredited program graduates
  • Professional associations often limit membership to accredited graduates

The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools is responsible for accrediting programs in Illinois while American Psychological Association (APA) accredits nationally.

Online vs. Traditional Psychology Programs in Illinois

Thanks to developments in web technology, every year thousands of students across the U.S. take advantage of online study. However, campus study remains the most popular way to acquire a degree. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages.

Online psychology programs perfectly suit students who require flexibility, such as parents, caregivers, and full-time employees. The major drawback is the lack of human interaction. Some online programs offer synchronous classes, which are scheduled group classes online. Asynchronous online courses are typically recorded and can be taken whenever the student chooses.

While regular campus study offers camaraderie and socialization, the major drawback is the rigorous structure to study on a set timetable, including commute time to get to and from campus. This just isn’t feasible for many busy students these days.

Be advised of hybrid psychology programs, which mix elements of both on-campus and online study. This can be a good solution for students who need some flexibility but who are able to get to campus regularly.

Becoming Licensed as a Psychologist in Illinois

Illinois only allows doctoral graduates to go into clinical practice (both Ph.D. and PsyD grads are eligible). It is vital for all programs to be accredited.

You may begin working under supervised practice during your doctorate. Before licensing is permitted, you must acquire 3,500 hours of practice. A minimum 1,750 hours should be undertaken after you have finished your doctorate.

Upon approval of your licensure application, you may sit for the Illinois state psychologist licensure examination. There is just one exam, after which you may practice.

List of Psychology Degree Programs in Illinois

Are you looking for a psychology degree program in Illinois? Browse our list of psychology programs offering both online and on-campus instruction. Follow the links to learn more about what each school’s psychology program offers.

Aurora, IL

Bachelor's Programs
347 S Gladstone Ave
Aurora, IL 60506-4892
(630) 892-6431

Carbondale, IL

Champaign, IL

Charleston, IL

Bachelor's ProgramsMaster's Programs
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-5000

Chicago, IL

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

Bachelor's ProgramsMaster's Programs
5500 N Saint Louis Ave
Chicago, IL 60625-4699
(773) 583-4050

Bachelor's Programs
3700 W 103rd St
Chicago, IL 60655
(773) 298-3000

Dekalb, IL

1425 W. Lincoln Hwy.
Dekalb, IL 60115-2828
(800) 892-3050

Edwardsville, IL

Elmhurst, IL

Bachelor's ProgramsMaster's Programs
190 Prospect Ave
Elmhurst, IL 60126-3296
(630) 279-4100

Macomb, IL

1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455
(309) 298-1414

Naperville, IL

Bachelor's Programs
30 N Brainard St
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 637-5100

Normal, IL

Peoria, IL

Bachelor's Programs
Peoria, IL 61625-0001
(309) 676-7611

Romeoville, IL

One University Parkway
Romeoville, IL 60446-2200
(815) 838-0500

Springfield, IL

University Park, IL

Bachelor's Programs
1 University Pky
University Park, IL 60484
(708) 534-5000

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

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