Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Program Overview

Our department offers graduate training leading to a PhD degree in Psychology. Our training goal is to produce scholars and researchers who will contribute to the growth of knowledge in Psychology and go on to work in academic, clinical or community settings.

Students can major in one of five programs:

In addition to programmatic requirements, all graduate students complete a first-year research apprenticeship and one year of coursework in statistics. Students are expected to complete a Master’s thesis by the end of their second year. We do not admit students for a terminal Master’s degree. Qualifying examinations for formal admission to PhD candidacy are administered by the student's major program and are completed by the end of the third year. Dissertation proposals are made in the fourth year and students are expected to defend their dissertation at the end of their fifth year or soon thereafter.


Every student must satisfy the requirements of their major program but are also required to fulfill a minor. The purpose of requiring a minor is to assure that students are broadly exposed to bodies of knowledge and skills outside their major area that may help to improve the quality of their scholarship and research. Although this exposure is not as extensive as the training a student receives in a major division, the minor educates a student about the core literatures, theories, and research methods of that area. For the minor, students in consultation with their advisors construct programs individually tailored to their research interests and career goals.

There are three types of minors that students have the option of completing:

  • Programmatic Minors
    • Offered by each of the Department's five programs.
  • Student Designed Curriculum Minors
    • Students typically justify selection of this minor through a formal proposal to their advisor and major program that indicates how a particular sequence of courses will broaden their scholarly approach to psychology as well as their approach to research.
  • Special Topics Minors
    • The Department has two approved Special Topics Minors:
      • Diversity Science: This minor is designed to provide students with some depth of training in questions of diversity, using both the expertise of faculty in the psychology department, as well as the vast resources available from the broader UIC community.
      • Statistics, Methods and Measurement: The goal of the statistics, methods, and measurement minor is to provide students with an extensive tool kit of design and analysis skills.

Teaching and Research Assistantships

The Department of Psychology has made a commitment to support graduate students for at least the first academic year of their study at UIC, with support through the fourth academic year pending funding availability. Assistantships that are 25% - 67% time also include a tuition and fee waiver. In return for working at UIC as a teaching or research assistant, the University will waive your tuition costs and some University fees. Research Assistantships are available but are dependent on funding sources specific to individual faculty members. Perspective students should consult with faculty members in whom they are interested to inquire about mechanisms of support.

Commitment to Diversity

The Department of Psychology is committed to recruiting, retaining, and supporting diversity among its undergraduate students and majors, graduate students, faculty, and staff. The Department of Psychology is comprised of individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds, including many international students and first generation college students. Through our Diversity Advancement Committee, we seek to actively create and sustain an environment in which individuals from different backgrounds are valued and respected.

Program Colloquia

The intellectual life of the department is enhanced by weekly program colloquia among the faculty and graduate students. However, each program colloquia are open to all members of the Department. During the colloquia, faculty and students present their latest research and discuss important scholarly topics in their field. Invited presenters from other UIC departments and Chicago-area universities also enrich the colloquia series. The department also sponsors a colloquium series with presentations by nationally renowned scholars from diverse specializations.