Initially founded in 1860 by abolitionists as a stop on the Underground Railroad, Wheaton College is a premier private non-profit Evangelical Protestant liberal arts institution.
The co-educational college is located on beautiful 80-acre suburban campus in Wheaton, Illinois, within just 25 miles west of downtown Chicago. Each year, Wheaton enrolls just over 2,500 undergraduates and 500 post-graduates from more than 55 church denominations. With a student-faculty ratio of 11:1, Wheaton College offers over 40 majors centered on Christian faith. Wheaton boasts a high average freshman retention rate of 94.5 percent.
According to the U.S. News, Wheaton is the 57th best liberal arts college and 42nd top school for military veterans with the 8th best undergraduate teaching in America. Forbes magazine ranked Wheaton the 14th top college in the Midwest with a financial grade of A. Washington Monthly crowned Wheaton the 108th “Best Bang for the Buck” in the Midwest. Wheaton was famously included in Loren Pope’s book “Colleges that Change Lives.” TIME magazine recognized Wheaton College for being the 20th best liberal arts school producing PhDs. Wheaton was also honored in the Princeton Review’s list for “Most Religious Students.”
Wheaton College Accreditation Details
Wheaton College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCA). This is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). In particular, the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology meets the standards of the American Psychological Association (APA). Counseling degrees are currently pursuing accreditation from the Council on Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). MFT programs are approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).
Wheaton College Application Requirements
Getting into Wheaton College is tough since only 69 percent of applicants to the selective liberal arts school are admitted. Freshmen must have graduated from an approved secondary school or received the GED certificate. More than half of Wheaton students ranked in the top 10% of their class. On average, freshmen have an unweighted high school GPA of 3.77. Satisfactory scores on the SAT or ACT are required. Undergraduate transfers can vie for 70-90 openings each semester. Transfer students must be in good standing at another regionally accredited college with a minimum collegiate GPA of 2.5.
Graduate students pursuing psychology or counseling degrees must already hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. university or foreign equivalent. Four prerequisites are necessary in human development, general psychology, research methods, and abnormal psychology. All graduate programs at Wheaton require a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work. Submitting satisfactory GRE or MAT scores is mandatory. International students must pass the TOEFL exam with a minimum score of 100 (Internet-based) or 600 (paper-based).
Before the January 1st or November 1st deadlines, interested students should apply to Wheaton College by sending the following:
• Completed online application form
• Official transcripts from all schools attended
• College entrance exam scores
• Four recommendation forms
• Three essays
• Chronological resume or CV
• Signed Statement of Faith and Community Covenant
• $30 non-refundable application fee
Tuition and Financial Aid
Undergraduates at Wheaton College pay $32,950 for tuition each year. Students must budget $5,500 for housing, $3,790 for board, $1,120 for textbooks, and $1,300 for personal supplies. It’s estimated that the total cost of attendance is $45,260 annually. Graduate students pursuing the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program will pay $780 per credit hour. Students in the M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy program must also afford $780 per credit hour. Psy.D. students are charged $985 per credit hour in tuition.
Around 77 percent of beginning full-time Wheaton students receive financial aid. Students can borrow money through the Federal Perkins, Stafford, or PLUS loans. Supplemental Direct PLUS loans are available for parent borrowers. Some students could qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state learners could benefit from the Illinois Incentive for Access, Monetary Award Program (MAP), or Illinois National Guard Grant. Federal Work-Study and graduate assistantships are offered. Scholarships are also abundant, such as the Blanchard President’s Award, Arthur Holmes Scholarship, Burr Scholarship, Nieves Latino Scholarship, and Church Scholarship.
Psychology and Counseling Degrees
In Wheaton College’s Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Marriage and Family Therapy, students can select from four degrees in the helping professions. All programs use a biblically grounded perspective to integrate Christian belief with contemporary mental health practice. The department’s faculty has over 135 years of combined teaching experience. Students benefit from 13 active research labs, 11 discipline-specific scholarships, and over 100 clinical training sites. The degree offerings are:
Leading to a bachelor’s degree, the Psychology Major at Wheaton introduces undergrad students to the most essential theories and presuppositions in psychology. Students can choose from four specialized tracks: Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Clinical or Counseling Psychology, and Neuroscience. Beginning in the junior year, majors can complete an applied internship for at least 40 clock hours. Students can also become involved with the college’s Center for Rural Psychology, Summer Science Research Institute, or Urban Partnership Initiative.
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Featuring a dynamic, 60-credit curriculum, the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program allows Wheaton graduate students to prepare for professional counseling practice in mental health, human service, healthcare, church, or ministry settings. The program aligns with standards set by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) to qualify for licensure. Courses will study lifespan development, counseling theory, ethics, group therapy, family systems, psychopathology, and crisis intervention. A 600-clock hour clinical internship is included.
M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy
Over 2.5 years full-time, the M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy program at Wheaton College turns graduate students into clinically skilled therapists who integrate Christ into help couples and families achieve optimal well-being. Boasting a 100% retention rate, the 48-credit program aligns with the competencies of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). A minimum of 300 client contact hours are required for graduation. Graduates will have the qualifications to satisfy Illinois state licensure laws.
Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology
Known for being one of six APA-accredited Christian doctoral programs nationwide, the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program trains students to be holistic practitioner-scholars. Comprised of 120 credits, the program includes practicum training and a fifth year clinical internship. Doctoral candidates also must pass a qualifying exam before proposing their dissertation research. This unapologetically rigorous program at Wheaton College produces licensed clinical psychologists for addressing mental illness in diverse populations.