Department Chairperson: James E. Ackil
Associate Graduate Faculty
The Department of Psychology offers work leading to the Specialist in School Psychology degree and the Master of Science degree in psychology in the areas of clinical/community mental health and general experimental psychology. The school psychology program leads to certification as a school psychologist in the State of Illinois. Detailed descriptions of each of the programs may be obtained from the departmental office.
The graduate programs in psychology are designed to serve: a) students interested in becoming practitioners in the field of school psychology or in community mental health; b) students interested in eventually pursuing doctoral degrees at other institutions; and c) students wishing to function as teachers, researchers, or in other related capacities in settings not requiring the doctorate.
A minimum of 15 semester hours in psychology from an accredited institution is the basic prerequisite for admission. Each incoming student is expected to have successfully completed course work in each of the following three areas: general psychology, statistics/experimental, and learning/cognitive. In addition, students entering the clinical/community mental health program are expected to have successfully completed courses in abnormal psychology and personality. Persons lacking one or more of these courses will be required either to pass proficiency examinations or to pass the appropriate undergraduate course(s) before being admitted to candidacy for a graduate degree in psychology. Courses taken to make up undergraduate deficiencies cannot be applied to the credit requirements for graduate degrees.
Each applicant for admission to graduate study in psychology must submit:
official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended, three
letters of recommendation, Graduate Record Examination scores (the General
Test), and a biographical statement emphasizing academic, nonacademic,
and employment experiences relevant to the degree program selected. Applicants
At the time of application, potential graduate students must indicate whether they intend to concentrate in clinical/community mental health, general experimental psychology, or school psychology. Admission is into a specific degree option or program.
A minimum of 32 semester hours of course work is required to complete the master's program in general experimental psychology; a minimum of 65 semester hours is required in clinical/community mental health; a minimum of 66 semester hours is required in the School Psychology program. Students in clinical/community mental health are required to pass comprehensive examinations. Students in the School Psychology program must pass all portfolio requirements.
General Experimental Psychology Option
In addition, students in the general experimental psychology option are required to pass an oral examination based on their thesis research.
Of the 32 semester hours, no more than six semester hours can be taken at the 400G level. Elective course work can be taken in departments other than psychology to allow flexibility in tailoring a program for a student. As an example, graduate courses in management and human resource management from the College of Business and Technology might be electives for a student interested in industrial/organizational psychology.
Clinical/Community Mental Health Option
School Psychology Program
Students in the school psychology program are required to successfully complete a minimum of 66 graduate semester hours of course work and field experiences. If a student meets all course requirements in fewer than 66 semester hours, additional graduate-level course work in related areas (e.g., elementary education, special education, counselor education, educational administration) must be taken to fulfill the 60 semester hour requirement. Such additional course work must meet the approval of the student’s academic adviser.
Courses that are also required for the school psychology program, unless equivalent undergraduate courses have been successfully completed, are:
Total Program: 66-67 s.h.
422G Adolescent Development. (3) A study of adolescence from the standpoint of growth and adjustment, emphasizing the areas of physical, intellectual, social, and emotional development. Prerequisite: PSY 221 or EIS 201, or graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
423G Psychology of Adulthood and Aging. (3) A survey of the adult years from early childhood to old age and the dying process. Emphasis will be placed on psychological theories and research related to aging and its implications. Prerequisites: Nine semester hours in psychology or graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
424G Abnormal Psychology. (3) A consideration of the psychological factors in behavior disorders. The problems of recognizing, understanding, treating, and preventing these disorders are surveyed. Prerequisite: PSY 251, and six additional hours in psychology, or graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
425G Psychology of Exceptional Children. (3) A psychological approach to children with exceptional learning and behavior characteristics. Examines assessment techniques, diagnostic categories, methods of remediation or enhancement, and relevant federal and state legislation. Prerequisite: PSY 221 or EIS 201, or graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
430G History and Systems of Psychology. (3) A study of the important historical and contemporary schools of psychology. The systems are presented in an historical setting leading to an evaluation of trends in psychology. Prerequisite: Nine semester hours in psychology or graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
433G Sex Differences in Behavior. (3) This course examines the social and biological bases for societal-defined sex roles. The knowledge of these factors will be applied to behaviors on which there are known sex differences. Prerequisite: Nine semester hours of psychology, or graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
442G Principles of Behavior Modification. (3) An application of learning principles to modification of human behavior emphasizing operant and respondent principles. Topical areas include autistic behavior, academic learning, rehabilitation, token economies. Prerequisite: Nine semester hours in psychology, or graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
444G Biopsychology of Drugs and Addiction. (3) A systematic study of the relationships between drugs and psychological processes (i.e., psychopharmacology) with emphasis on the roles of the central nervous system, individual experience, and the environment in determining the outcome of drug use. Prerequisites: PSY 343, or BIOL 103, or HE 123, or HE 442, or graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
451G Personality. (3) An advanced treatment of the major research, concepts, and theoretical formations of personality, emphasizing integration of personality concepts with concepts from other areas such as learning and social psychology. Prerequisite: PSY 251 and six additional hours of psychology, or graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
452G Advanced Social Psychology. (3) A systematic and critical treatment of current topics in the field of social psychology with emphasis on research design and problems in conducting social psychological research. Prerequisites: PSY 323 or graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
454G Psychological Tests and Measurements. (3) This course relates the basic concepts of psychological measurement to commonly used psychological tests. Relevant social and ethical issues related to testing are discussed. Prerequisite: Nine semester hours of psychology to include PSY 323 or equivalent, or graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
456G Cognitive Processes. (3) A survey of topical areas related to complex thought processes. Areas covered include: human conceptual behavior, psychology of language, thinking and problem solving, creativity and originality. Prerequisite: PSY 323 or graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
457G Industrial/Organizational Psychology. (3) Examines the theory and application of psychological principles to business and other organizational settings. Topics include employee selection and evaluation, work motivation, work attitudes, leadership, and organizational change. Prerequisites: Introductory psychology or HRM 353 and one course in statistics, or with permission of the instructor.
500 Techniques in Research and Program Evaluation. (3) A course in research methodology. Topics include evaluation of laboratory, field, and clinical research. Each student must write a research proposal and several critiques. Prerequisite: Graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
501 Advanced Psychological Statistics. (4) A consideration of advanced statistical methods and experimental designs that are applicable to psychological research. Particular attention is given to correlation and analysis of variance. Prerequisite: PSY 223, or equivalent.
520 Advanced Child Psychology. (3) A systematic presentation of research and theories concerning the development of children. The student will design a research project related to the study of children. Prerequisite: An undergraduate course in development or child psychology, or permission of the instructor.
521 Advanced Cognitive Processes. (3) Perception, attention, memory, language, proglem solving, decision-making, and intelligence will be covered with an emphasis on the integration of these systems in a conceptual model to facilitate professional applicaiton of knowledge and theory in cognitive psychology. Prerequisite: Undergraduate course work in cognitive psychology or permission of instructor.
523 Psychology of Aging. (3) An examination of the phenomenon of aging and how it relates to the motivations, satisfactions, needs, and perceptions of people in their advanced years. Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of the instructor.
550 Current Research in Psychology Seminar. (1, repeatable in consecutive semesters to 2) A survey of contemporary theoretical and methodological issues associated with areas of inquiry traditionally covered under general experimental psychology, including biopsychology, cognitive, developmental, industrial/organizational, learning, perception/sensation, personality, and social psychology. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.
560 Individual Research in Psychology. (1—2, repeatable to 4) The student will design, carry out, and write up an original experiment. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Psychology 500 and permission of the instructor.
563 Individual Readings in Psychology. (1—2, repeatable to 4) The student will read extensively on topics chosen in consultation with a psychology instructor and prepare a written report on the topic(s). Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of the instructor.
570 Systems of Psychotherapy. (3) This course is intended to review various systems of psychotherapy and to introduce the student to professional considerations in the practice of psychotherapy. Prerequisite: Graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
571 Group Processes and Group Psychotherapy. (3) An examination of theories of group and family psychotherapy emphasizing how basic group processes such as cohesiveness, norm formation, communication skills, and leadership are used in therapeutic groups. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of the instructor.
572 Clinical Classification and Decision Processes. (3) Examination of the practice of psychological diagnoses with emphasis upon informational bases and decision-making processes involved in and theoretical assumptions underlying these practices. Prerequisite: Graduate standing; PSY 424 and 570, or permission of the instructor.
573 Crisis Intervention and Community Mental Health. (3) An introduction to the principles of community mental health emphasizing organization of community mental health services, mental health education, consultation, program evaluation, and crisis intervention. Prerequisite: Graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
574 Professional Issues in Clinical/Community Mental Health. (3) An in-depth examination of the ethical, legal, and professional issues involved in the provision of mental health services primarily in public settings. Illinois laws governing confidentiality, mandated reporting, and professional licensure will be discussed. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of the instructor.
575 Diversity Issues and Psychological Services. (1) Students will become acquainted with differences among groups who vary along the dimensions of ethnicity, gender, social class, sexual orientation, age, religious affiliation, and disability. Similarities among members of groups that occupy different positions along these dimensions will also be considered, as well as diversity within groups. These differences among and within groups, and similarities among people regardless of group membership, will be related to relevant issues relating to the provision of psychological services. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
577 Pre-Practicum in Clinical/Community Mental Health. (1) A practical introduction to the assessment and treatment of psychological disorders. Students will observe case presentations and selected treatment sessions as a way of developing familiarity with the procedures used in the delivery of mental health services. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to students in the school psychology or clinical/community mental health program.
581 Individual Psychological Evaluation: Intellectual Assessment. (3) Examines the administration, uses and interpretations of measures of ability and achievement, emphasizing cultural sensitivity in the application of these instruments. Includes supervised practice in the use of the Stanford Binet and Wechsler Scales. Enrollment limited to students in school psychology or clinical/community mental health program or permission of the instructor.
582 Clinical Assessment I. (2) Examines the administration, uses of, and interpretation of measures of intellectual and neuropsychological functioning. Students will receive supervised instruction in the use of standardized tests of intelligence and neuropsychological screening devices, with special attention devoted to cultural and demographic issues that bear on the use of these measures. Prerequisites: Enrollment is limited to students in the clinical/community mental health program or those with permission of the instructor.
583 Clinical Assessment II. (3) A review of contemporary objective and projective measures of personality. Emphasis is on development of applied skills in assembling a test battery, administrating and interpreting test results, and integrative report writing. Prerequisites: Enrollment is limited to students in the clinical/community mental health program who have successfully completed PSY 582 or those with permission of the instructor.
584 Individual Psychological Evaluation: Personality and Behavioral Assessment. (3) Develops technical evaluation and applied skills in personality assessment. Reviews representative objective, projective, and behavioral techniques and procedures. Enrollment limited to students in school psychology or clinical/community mental health program or permission of the instructor.
585 Psychological Problems of the Child. (3) Intensive study of the causes, evaluation, and treatment of social, emotional, and behavioral problems of children. Prerequisite: PSY 581, or permission of the instructor.
586 Practicum in School Psychology. (1—2, repeatable to 7) Supervised experience in diagnosis of and consultation for the psychological problems of children in either the local school system or the University Psychology Clinic. Prerequisites: Graduate standing, and permission of the instructor.
587 Practicum: Basic Interviewing Skills. (3) Classroom and supervised clinical experience in the conduct of clinical interviews with an emphasis upon communication skills and the development of the therapeutic relationship. Clinical work is done in the University Psychology Clinic. Prerequisites: PSY 577. Enrollment limited to students in the school psychology or clinical/community mental health program.
588 Practicum: Interpersonal Processes in Therapy. (3) Provides a review of theory and research on, and supervised experience in, contemporary interpersonal processes as they relate to the client-therapist relationship. Attending to overt and covert communication styles, using the client-therapist interpersonal relationship diagnostically and as a means for intervention, and integrating the interpersonal approach with other theoretical orientations in working with clients of the University Psychology Clinic will be emphasized. Consultation with and referral to other agencies may be included. Prerequisites: Enrollment is limited to students in the Clinical/ Community Mental Health Option who have successfully completed PSY 577 and PSY 587.
589 Practicum: Differential Treatment Selection. (3) Provides a review of current research on and supervised experience in selecting and conducting disorder-appropriate treatments for children, adolescents, and adults in the University Psychology Clinic. Consultation with and referral to other agencies may be included. Prerequisites: Enrollment is limited to students in the clinical/community mental health program who have successfully completed PSY 577, PSY 587, and PSY 588.
590 Introduction to School Psychology. (3) A survey of historical and current topics, issues, and professional problems in school psychology emphasizing the school psychologist's role and function, problems of professional practice, and legal and ethical considerations. Prerequisite: Graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
591 Behavioral Consultation. (1) Students will be exposed to various consultation theories used in educational settings to facilitate problem solving. Specific techniques used in behavioral consultation will be taught and practiced. Prerequisites: 3 s.h. of PSY 586 or permission of instructor.
592 Child Neuropsychology. (2) Provide an awareness and understanding of the complexities of brain behavior relationships in children; enhance students’ skills regarding neuropsychological issues. Prerequisites: PSY 581 or permission of instructor.
593 Intervention with Children and Adolescents. (3) Students will learn to plan, implement, and evaluate interventions appropriate for children and adolescents exhibiting a variety of behavioral, cognitive, educational, medical, and emotional difficulties. Prerequisite: 3 s.h. of PSY 586 or permission of instructor.
595 Career Assessment in Professional Psychology. (1) Students will become familiar with the process of assessing clients’ vocational and professional interests through the use of both formal assessment instruments and interview. Developmental considerations, as well as issues of cultural sensitivity and gender will be discussed. Approaches to integrating this information into career advising and/or psychotherapy will be explored. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor.
596 Approaches to Substance Abuse Diagnosis and Treatment. (1) Students will become aware of the multiple theoretical viewpoints available to understand the human substance abuse, as well as the variety of treatment approaches available for addressing these difficulties. Emphases will be placed upon maintaining appropriate scientific skepticism regarding current cultural and professional viewpoints, as well as appreciating the importance of understanding the challenges inherent in the dually diagnosed. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of the instructor.
599 School Psychology Portfolio. (0) Students in the School Psychology Program are required to compile professional portfolios in which they must integrate information from all of their coursework and practica, and address the ways in which each course relates to their own professional development. Prerequisite: Completion of at least 3 semester hours of PSY 586.
600 Seminar. (1-3) May be repeated up to twelve hours.
601 Thesis. (3) Graded S/U.
602 Professional Experience. (1-3, repeatable to 5) Practicum work at an advanced level in a setting appropriate to the student's professional goals, i.e., a school system, community mental health center, etc. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of the instructor.
603 School Psychology Internship. (6, repeatable to 12) A one-year full-time supervised professional psychological experience with children of school age in a public school setting under supervision of an individual qualified as a supervising psychologist. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Open only to those students endorsed for intern approval by WIU School Psychology Program Director. Students enroll during each semester of their internship experience.
604 Internship in Clinical/Community Mental Health. (4, repeatable to 12) A full-time placement in an approved mental health facility providing advanced graduate students in clinical/community mental health with supervised experience in diagnosis, treatment, community education and program planning, and/or evaluation. Graded S/U. Incompletes will be given until the internship is completed. Prerequisite: Open only to those students endorsed for internship by the WIU Clinical/Community Health Program Director. Students enroll during each semester of their internship experience.
605 Comprehensive Examination in Clinical/Community Mental Health. (0) Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in the clinical/community mental health program and satisfactory completion of 52 semester hours of required course work in this option.