Illinois has many options for a person who is looking to get into the field of psychology. Someone who wants to work with children, whether in a school setting or one-on-one, could specialize in the field of child psychology.
The path to this career is a long one. You would need to start out by getting a bachelor’s of science in psychology. In Illinois you could attend several schools to obtain this degree. Illinois State University offers an undergraduate program in psychology. This is a four year program that consists of earning a total of 41 credits. Some of the classes in psychology needed are Intro to Psychology, Research Methods in Psychology, Psychology of Personality and Statistics for Social Sciences. In addition to psychology courses you would need to complete English, math and laboratory science courses.
In the fourth year of study, psychology students are required to do a capstone experience. There are several different opportunities available for this experience depending on your interests. You can choose from research, teaching and learning, professional practice or honors research for honors students.
Once you have received your bachelor’s degree it is time to move on to getting your masters degree focusing on child development. The Erikson Institute in Chicago offers a master of science in child development in their graduate program. This program consists of 38 credits over three years. Some of the courses required are Human Development, Family & Culture, Development of Cognitive Language & Play and Child Assessment. The third year is spent doing internships.
Next step is receiving your doctorate degree. Erikson Institute also offers a program of study for this in conjuncture with Loyola University in Chicago. You would need to complete 42 credits between the two campuses with classes in child development, research and statistics. Finally you must complete a dissertation. This must all be completed within six years.
This is one path to becoming a child psychologist in the state of Illinois.