Master's Degrees in Psychology in Illinois

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Updated January 4, 2023

Looking for the best Master's Degree in Psychology in Illinois? You should consider these top-tier graduate programs and jobs in the psychology field.

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Master's Degrees in Psychology in Illinois

Earning a Master's Degree in Psychology in Illinois

In Illinois, the best degrees for psychology give you a broad foundation of knowledge. Master's degrees can be earned in a variety of fields. Master's degree candidates gain the skills needed to move forward in their field.

Individuals with a master's degree earn approximately $1,574 per week, or roughly $6,296 per month or $81,848 per year.

Psychology Master's Programs for You

Working and Living in Illinois in the Psychology Profession

You should learn more about the psychology degree programs you are interested in. A variety of topics are covered in these programs, including biological and behavioral sciences, research methods and statistics, psychometrics, discrimination and diversity issues, and social psychology. Positions for individuals with a psychology degree include clinical, counseling, and school psychologist; forensic psychologist; neuropsychologist; and research psychologist.

The annual wage in Illinois is $46,630, or $22.42 per hour. This holds true for the state's 5,618,830 total employees. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the lowest 10% of earners take home about $24,470, while the highest 10% earn about $103,490. The following provides a comparison of earnings for psychologists in Illinois.

Key

Psychologists in Illinois
Psychologists Nationally
All Occupations in Illinois
All Occupations Nationally

Salaries for Psychologists in Illinois and Nationwide

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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As stated by MERIC, Illinois is ranked number 13 out of 51 states (including Washington, D.C.) for cost of living. The cost of living index measures how much it costs for families to live in specific states. The U.S. average is based on 100, with all locations in the U.S. either exceeding or falling below that average. According to a 100-point scale, Illinois's cost of living index is 91.4, which is 8.6% lower than the national average. Prospective students relocating to Illinois can use the cost of living comparison to find the right fit for them.

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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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There is a projected 2% growth in the psychology profession over the next decade. The BLS projects an increase in total employment from 55,200 in 2020 to 56,300 in 2030. Positions in the field generally require a master's degree. A typical job title would be:

  • Psychologists
  • Developmental Psychologist
  • Experimental Psychologist
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Psychometrist
  • Psychotherapist
  • Rehabilitation Psychologist
  • Social Psychologist
  • Sports Psychologist

Master's Degrees in Psychology in Illinois

#1 Master’s Degrees in Psychology in Illinois

Northwestern University

  • Evanston, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Graduate students interested in a master's in psychology can earn their degree from Northwestern University, located in Evanston. The MA in clinical psychology program emphasizes advanced practice skills, training graduates for leadership roles and an increased earning potential. A master's degree can also prepare candidates for roles in new industries.

The master's curriculum emphasizes the best practices in psychology. Learners prepare for the job market by choosing a specialty through electives. Applicants without a background in psychology may need to complete prerequisite courses before enrolling in the master's program.

Online enrollees gain hands-on experience during professional internships in their local area. The common facilities and services offered at most universities, such as the library and gym, are accessible to students who live on campus. Internships and other practicum activities build both hands-on experience and professional connections.

Northwestern University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 9%

Total Online Master's Programs: 4

Program Name: MA in clinical psychology

Graduate Tuition In State: $56,067

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $56,067

Average Tuition
In-state
$58,227
Out-of-state
$58,227
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
9%
Students Enrolled
22,603
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
1% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Master’s Degrees in Psychology in Illinois

Governors State University

  • University Park, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master's in psychology degree at Governors State University, located in University Park, uses a flexible distance learning format. The master of arts in psychology program uses a rigorous curriculum to prepare graduates for advanced roles in the field. A master's degree can also lead candidates to new career paths.

The master's curriculum explores psychology research and methodologies. Learners choose electives and concentrations to prepare for focused career paths. Applicants with a background in psychology typically meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees coordinate with the program to complete internships at approved sites in their local area. On-campus students benefit from the library and gym facilities provided by many institutions. Graduate students also build professional connections through virtual networking events and other activities.

Governors State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 46%

Total Online Master's Programs: 2

Program Name: Master of arts in psychology

Graduate Tuition In State: $6,354

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $12,708

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,512
Out-of-state
$15,024
Retention Rate
58%
Admission Rate
48%
Students Enrolled
4,650
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Master’s Degrees in Psychology in Illinois

Illinois State University

  • Normal, IL
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Graduate students seeking an online psychology degree can enroll in the master's program at Illinois State University, located in Normal. The master's in psychology program draws on a rigorous curriculum that prepares graduates for leadership responsibilities. A master's degree allows candidates to move up the career ladder or pursue a new career path.

The master's curriculum emphasizes both practical and theoretical approaches to psychology. Learners take specialized courses to stand out in a competitive job market. The admission requirements include a background in psychology or a related field.

Online enrollees complete internship requirements at approved sites in their own community. Students who attend on campus can access the library and gym, as well as other amenities and facilities available at most institutions. The program encourages graduate students to attend networking events to expand their professional connections.

Illinois State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 82%

Total Online Master's Programs: 5

Program Name: Master's in psychology

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,956

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $9,233

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,741
Out-of-state
$19,904
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
20,720
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Master’s Degrees in Psychology in Illinois

DePaul University

  • Chicago, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online master's degree in psychology at DePaul University, located in Chicago, offers high academic quality. The MA in psychology program emphasizes advanced practice skills, training graduates for leadership roles and an increased earning potential. Earning a master's degree helps candidates move into a new career path or advance in their current field.

The master's curriculum examines advanced theories and practices in psychology. Learners focus their training by choosing electives based on their interests and career goals. The admission requirements include a background in psychology or a related field.

Online enrollees complete internship requirements at approved sites in their own community. Campus students have access to the library and gymnasium, as well as other equipment and facilities available at most institutions. The program encourages graduate students to attend networking events to expand their professional connections.

DePaul University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 68%

Total Online Master's Programs: 14

Program Name: MA in psychology

Graduate Tuition In State: $19,584

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,584

Average Tuition
In-state
$40,551
Out-of-state
$40,551
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
70%
Students Enrolled
21,922
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
99% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Master’s Degrees in Psychology in Illinois

Northern Illinois University

  • Dekalb, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Dekalb, Northern Illinois University hosts a top-ranked master's in psychology program. The master of arts in psychology program emphasizes specialized skills, preparing graduates for increased responsibilities and a higher earning potential. With a master's degree, candidates advance their current career or more into new career paths.

The master's curriculum explores psychology research and methodologies. Learners specialize the program by choosing from a variety of electives. Applicants with prior experience in psychology or a related field often meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees gain real-world experience through internships offered in their local area. The common facilities and services offered at most universities, such as the library and gym, are accessible to students who live on campus. Internships and other practicum activities also provide professional networking opportunities.

Northern Illinois University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 48%

Program Name: Master of arts in psychology

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,922

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $8,922

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,466
Out-of-state
$9,466
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
59%
Students Enrolled
16,769
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

Financing a Master's Degree in Psychology

You may be able to obtain financial aid to help pay for college. In addition to scholarships and grants, work-study programs are available as financial aid opportunities. Federal and private student loans are also available to some students. It is a good idea to research the colleges you are interested in and find out what kinds of financial aid might be available.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Illinois

There is a wide variation in the cost of education in Illinois, depending on the college or university you attend. Even so, there are some commonalities that exist among both public and private institutions. If you are considering attending a public institution, please review the information below.

Public 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Illinois vs. National Average

Key

Illinois
National Average

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The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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Have you ever considered applying to a private university instead of a public university? Generally, tuition at private colleges is higher. The following graph provides information regarding attendance at private colleges in Illinois.

Private 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Illinois vs. National Average

Key

Illinois
National Average

Chart

Bar chart with 5 bars.
The chart has 1 X axis displaying salary types.
The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
End of interactive chart.

Federal Student Loan Information

In order to fund your education, have you considered borrowing student loans? Prior to obtaining a loan, it is important to take a few things into consideration.

You can find more information about how much students typically borrow by reviewing the data below.

Undergraduate Federal Loans
Demographic Percent who borrowed Amount borrowed
Total 66.6% $27,400
Female 69.6% $28,100
Male 62.5% $26,500
White, not Hispanic or Latino 66.1% $26,700
Black, not Hispanic or Latino 85.7% $34,800
Hispanic or Latino/a, of any race 67.7% $25,700
Asian, not Hispanic or Latino 43% $22,700
Other or Two or more races, not Hispanic or Latino 70.4% $28,300
Source: NCES

Online vs. On Campus

Pros and Cons: Online Degrees

Pros

  • Cheaper tuition
  • Flexible, asynchronous classwork
  • No on-campus fees for parking, tech, etc.

Cons

  • Less structure
  • Minimal peer-to-peer interaction
  • Less facetime with professor
  • No access to on-campus amenities

Pros and Cons: On-Campus Degrees

Pros

  • Gym, library, etc. access
  • Smaller class options
  • Face time with peers and professors

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Transportation or housing costs
  • Rigid scheduling
The main differences between an online degree and a degree completed on campus are cost and class sizes. In addition to flexibility, affordability, and convenience, there are numerous benefits to studying online. There are usually higher fees associated with on-campus degrees, whereas distance students do not have to pay these fees. There are, however, advantages to attending classes in person.

Top Psychology Degree Options Available by State
State Degree Level
California Bachelors, Masters, phD
Florida Bachelors, Masters, phD
Georgia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, phD
Illinois Bachelors, phD
New York Associate, Bachelors, Masters, phD
North Carolina Bachelors, Masters, phD
Pennsylvania Associate, Bachelors, Masters, phD
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, phD
Virginia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, phD
Washington Bachelors, Masters, phD

Private vs. Public

There are a number of differences that exist between public and private colleges. If you choose a public or private school, the costs will be different. Grants and scholarships can assist you in paying for your degree at a public college. As a result, private schools may offer merit scholarships to students with high academic performance.

A private college will often have smaller class sizes, allowing students to connect with professors one-on-one. There are some benefits and drawbacks to attending a private versus a public institution.

Pros and Cons

Private

  • Unique program offerings
  • Cultural or religious options
  • Local prestige
  • Higher costs
  • Less regulatory oversight

Public

  • Government-issued tuition costs
  • Government funding, benefits, and regulation
  • Oftentimes large classrooms

Frequently Asked Questions

In Illinois, what is the salary for psychologists?

Psychologists earn a mean annual salary of $99,740 per year in Illinois.

Are occupations for psychology majors in high demand?

The total number of psychologists is expected to increase by 2% from 2020 to 2030.

Are there any options for earning a master's in psychology online?

There are many options for earning an online master's degree in psychology. In today's climate, most schools provide at least some courses online.

What is the timeline for completing a master's degree?

A full-time student typically needs two years to earn a master's degree. For part-time students, the completion time will vary.

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