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Earn Your Degree with UIC Psychology Heading link

Are you interested in earning a degree in Psychology? Well, you’ve come to the right place! The Department of Psychology at UIC integrates study of the brain, mind, person, group, and community in downtown Chicago – at one of the U.S.’s most diverse campuses! We are a nationally recognized academic department for excellence in research and teaching.

Learn more about our the application process for undergraduate and graduate study, funding, and admissions FAQ.

Apply for Admission Heading link

Discover more information about the Admissions process below.

Undergraduate Admission

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As a department within a large diverse urban research institution, the department of Psychology at UIC reflected excellence in education, research, and practice. Our department offers two undergraduate psychology degrees, BS in Psychology and a BA in Applied Psychology. We also invite students from other disciplines to add psychology as a minor in their educational pursuits. Our department collaborate with several other departments on campus including Educational Psychology, Neuroscience, Public Health, and Psychiatry to name a few.

Undergraduate courses are available in a number of psychology disciplines including clinical, cognitive, community, developmental, social, personality, and neuroscience . Courses cross-listed with African-American and Gender and Women’s studies are available as well. In addition, practice opportunities are available to undergraduates through courses in crisis counseling, interviewing, and an internship class. Psychology leads the campus in the number of undergraduate students involved in research. Small laboratory classes are offered that give students hands-on experience with research, there are ample opportunities to get involved in ongoing research projects conducted by UIC psychology faculty, and undergraduate students can conduct directed research under faculty supervision.

Application Deadlines:
Early Action – November 1st
Regular Decision – February 15th
Transfer Deadline – May 16th 

*It is critical to start your submission in advance of these dates to avoid technical issues*

Graduate Admission

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There are many paths to graduate school and we recognize that qualified applicants excel in different ways. Different program areas in Psychology emphasize different methodologies as appropriate to the nature of the essential questions they seek to address. We use a holistic review to consider applicants’ academic history and look for relevant experiences and interests that fit the scholarship of the intended program. Our PhD program is a full-time, day, research-oriented program that begins once a year in the Fall.

Please Note: We do require the GRE for admission nor do we offer a terminal or standalone Master’s degree. Students who are admitted into a PhD program will complete a research apprenticeship during their first-year and along with one year of coursework in statistics. After completion of the first-year, students work towards and submit a Master’s thesis by the end of their second year to prepare them for further research and the required qualifying examinations to advance to PhD candidacy by the end of the third year.

Program Code: 20FS0338PHD | Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
PhD Application Deadline: December 1st

*It is critical to start your submission in advance of this date to avoid technical issues*

Graduate Application Process

In the UIC Psychology PhD program, students will

  • develop expertise as research scientists using a variety of approaches in one of our four major research areas: Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Clinical, Community & Prevention Research, and Social & Personality
  • develop quantitative skills in our core statistics curriculum
  • complete coursework in their major area of study, and can add breadth of expertise in a minor area study in Psychology, Statistics, Methods & Measurement, Diversity Science, or a self-designed curriculum
  • publish their work in selective peer-reviewed journals
  • present their research at local, national, and international conferences
  • are competitive for a variety of research, teaching, and travel awards as well as external funding mechanisms for research
  • gain experience teaching and mentoring one of the most diverse undergraduate populations in the country

Please Note: We do not require the GRE for admission nor do we offer a terminal or standalone Master’s degree. We only admit students into our PhD program in Psychology. In the course of the program, students complete:

  • a Master of Arts (MA) thesis to demonstrate research and writing competence, and
  • a Preliminary Exam to demonstrate scholarship and mastery of the skills necessary to complete the PhD.

Please prepare the following required documents to apply. All required materials are to be submitted electronically through the online application. Hard copy materials of transcripts, exam scores, personal statements, or letters of recommendation are not accepted. Only applicants receiving offers of admission will need to submit official transcripts to the Office of Graduate Admissions and Records – AFTER receiving an offer.

Required Materials

  • Personal statement: This should include information about how you have prepared for graduate school in psychology, research questions and methodologies that you have experience with, research interests for graduate training, long-term goals, and faculty you would like as a research mentor.  There is no formatting requirement or page limit to your personal statement.
  • Curriculum Vitae: This should include such sections as Education, Employment, Awards & Honors, Skills, Research Experience, Presentations/Publications, Memberships, Extracurricular/Volunteer Activities.
  • Transcripts: Upload electronic, unofficial copies for all undergraduate and graduate coursework through the online application system.  While a 3.0 and above GPA is ​favorable, it is not required to apply.  View previous applicant data.
  • Evidence of quantitative training: The PhD in Psychology is a research-focused program, with a core curriculum in graduate-level statistics for all students. Please upload a document listing evidence of previous quantitative training. Examples include: Undergraduate courses taken grades earned (math, statistics, research design), independent research projects with statistical analyses (e.g. Capstone, honors thesis, publication), and/or GRE quantitative scores. Students are placed in the appropriate level of coursework based on their incoming quantitative competence. See this sample for examples.
  • Three letters of recommendation: Please enter the names and email addresses for three letter writers in the application and the system will email them a link where they can upload electronic copies of the recommendation letter. We do not accept hard or emailed copies; they must be uploaded by your recommender per the link they will receive after their name and email address is entered into the application.
    • Letter writers should be familiar with the applicant’s training and academic achievements and should be in position to comment on the applicant’s suitability for a graduate career involving research.
  • Program: Please indicate to which of our four programs you are applying. Only one program choice is permitted.
  • Faculty mentors: Please indicate up to three faculty mentors that you would like to work under.  Write their last name only. At least one faculty mentor is required to be listed in order for your application to be given full consideration. You can find out more information about our ​faculty members and their research interests. The lists of faculty who will be reviewing applicants and those who will not be reviewing or accepting new graduate students for Fall 2023 can be found in the Graduate Admissions tab on this page.

Optional Materials

  • Standardized Tests: We do not require the GRE for admission into our PhD program. If the applying student chooses to submit a test score, it will be evaluated as supporting evidence of academic preparation, but the absence of such test results will not be weighed against your application.
  • Miscellaneous Academic Documents: If you would like to share any publications, writing samples, additional transcripts, or other documents they can be uploaded here. Please note that this an optional area and no documents are required to be uploaded here. Please disregard any emails you may receive about your application being incomplete due to missing Miscellaneous Academic Documents.

Additional Information

  • Undocumented Students: All of our faculty members are highly encouraged to disregard documented status as a criterion for admission. All students with DACA status are eligible for the same funding opportunities as the rest of our admitted students, and those students without DACA status are still eligible for funding, just a more limited range of funding. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
  • International Students: We have a diverse student population and currently have several international students in the department. To ensure you are submitting the correct documents along with your application please visit the website for the Office of Admissions and the website for the Office of International Services.
    • Applicants whose native language is not English must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the exam of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Click hereto know about the required scores.

Intercollege Transfer and Dual Degree Options

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The psychology major is very popular and annually confers the most undergraduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students may choose to major in general or applied psychology. A wide range of career paths is available to our graduates both within psychology (clinical, counseling, industrial organizational, etc) and in related fields such as occupational therapy, police work, speech and language pathology, and many others. In addition, a psychology major can be excellent preparation for further professional training in law, medicine, and other fields.

Admissions FAQ

Common queries about applying to UIC Psychology as a graduate student

Below you will find answers to many common questions about applying for graduate study in Psychology.

Not a graduate student? Check out UIC’s undergraduate admissions FAQ. For questions regarding touring campus, click here.

Can I apply for a Master’s degree in Psychology at UIC?
UIC Psychology does not offer a terminal Master’s program. Students admitted to the program and complete an MA Thesis as part of the PhD curriculum requirements.

Is there a part-time or online graduate program in Psychology?
Our PhD program is focused on research, with coursework to provide a foundation of knowledge. The curriculum is designed as a full-time, in-person program, which typically takes 5-6 years to complete.

When do students select a dissertation lab?
In our department, students are admitted directly into their graduate advisor’s lab and begin conducting research in that lab as soon they arrive.  Thus, admissions depend not only on the qualifications of a prospective student, but the fit with a lab that matches their research interests. A strong personal statement will communicate how our PhD program will build on a student’s prior training to prepare them for their longer-term goals.

What happens after I submit my application?

  • Review. Faculty in each research area (Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive, Community Prevention & Research, Social & Personality) will review the applications to their program to select prospective students to interview. It is important for prospective students to apply to the appropriate program with faculty that match their research interests. Due to the large number of applicants for a limited number of spaces in an incoming class (~12-17 students), we cannot provide feedback on individual applications.
  • Interviews. We typically conduct interviews with selected prospective students in late January through mid-February. Interviews may be done remotely and/or in person. For in-person interviews, we try to bring applicants to visit in groups so they can also meet their potential cohort. Some students are nominated for fellowships at this time.
  • Decisions. Decisions are typically made within a few weeks of interviews. Students are admitted directly into their advisor’s lab to begin research during their first semester. The offer letter will indicate the advisor accepting the student as well as provide information about stipend level (as a research- or teaching-assistant) for the first year. Interviews and admissions may continue through March, and once made, students have until April 15 to accept or decline their offer.
  • Finances. Stipend levels and other benefits are determined by the contract negotiated by the UIC GEO. Our students are typically supported as a teaching- or research-assistant with a tuition waiver.
  • Beginning grad school. Appointments for the school year begin on August 16. Incoming first-year students have a week of mandatory orientation before classes begin in the fall.

Next Steps for Newly Admitted Students Heading link