2011-2012 Graduate Catalog 
    Jul 20, 2024  
2011-2012 Graduate Catalog [Archived]

Guidance and Psychological Services—School Psychology Ph.D.

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(118 credits minimum)

The graduate program leading to the doctor of philosophy degree in guidance and psychological services in school psychology is designed to prepare persons for positions of leadership in research, teaching, and service. Admission and retention are based upon appropriateness of educational and career goals, available positions in the program, interpersonal skills, communication ability, and academic and clinical performance. Meeting minimum standards alone does not guarantee either admission or retention. A minimum of 118 credits of graduate work beyond the bachelor’s degree is required, in addition to the successful completion of a doctoral dissertation as prescribed in the regulations of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, and a 2,000-hour, year-long internship. The doctoral program is accredited by the American Psychological  Association (APA) and approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Further information about accreditation may be obtained from APA and NASP at: Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20002-4242, Phone: 202-336-5979, Fax: 202-336-5978, e-mail: apaaccred@apa.org; and National Association of School Psychologists, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814, Phone: 301-657- 0270, e-mail: cert@naspweb.org

The goal of the program is to prepare professional school psychologists with a broad cognitive-behavioral theoretical orientation to serve children, youth, families, and individuals with disabilities in a variety of practice, research, and teaching settings. The goal is accomplished through a scholar-practitioner model of training which stems from the program philosophy that theory must be informed by practice.

The objectives of the program are to produce school psychologists who have knowledge of, skill in, and value for:

  1. Historical and current issues in the field of psychology and in the area of school psychology;
  2. Foundations of education and psychology applied to issues of science, practice, and teaching;
  3. Administering, interpreting, and designing assessment techniques and instruments relevant to the field of psychology and the area of school psychology;
  4. Designing, implementing, and evaluating empirically supported interventions relevant to the field of psychology and the area of school psychology;
  5. Applying quantitative and qualitative research methods to questions in psychology, education, and related fields;
  6. Applying and evaluating consultation models and techniques with a diverse array of consultees;
  7. Ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity in personal and professional activities; 
  8. Theories, models, andresearch literature in the area of human development; 
  9. Science in their practice and for issues of practice in their research;
  10. Technology in science, practice, teaching, and communicating;
  11. Theory in science, practice, and teaching;
  12. Ethical, legal, and professional guidelines relevant to the field of psychology and the area of school psychology; and professional development and lifelong learning activities. 

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission must meet all of the following requirements:

1.   Completed application form to the College of Graduate and Professional Studies.

2.   Have an undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 or above. 

3.   Have a graduate grade point average of 3.5 or above with no deficiencies in the area chosen for advanced graduate study. 

4.   One official transcript from each school at which any undergraduate or graduate work has been done.

5.   Letters of recommendation from at least three persons who know the prospective student in an academic, and/or professional capacity.

6.   Scores on Graduate Record Examinations General Tests.

7.   Submit a personal narrative describing the applicant’s professional goals and how this program specifically contributes to those goals.

It must not be assumed that meeting minimal standards guarantees admission to the program. After review of all of the above materials, the admissions committee will invite prospective students to participate in either a telephone interview or to appear for a personal interview.

The program requirements can be described briefly as follows:


A. Foundations (21 credits minimum):

The student must demonstrate competency in understanding and applying foundations of education, philosophy, psychology, research methods, and social sciences. To aid in the development of competency in the areas of foundations, the student must complete course work in foundations of psychology, education, and qualitative and quantitative research design and analysis. Specific requirements include:

B. Behavioral Sciences Core (24 credits minimum):

The student must complete a program enabling him or her to develop theoretical and philosophical understandings of human behavior. To aid in the development of competency in the area of behavioral science, the student must complete course work and practice in the biological and social aspects of behavior including individual differences in behavior, human development,  psychopathology, history, and systems of psychology and education; effective methods of intervention, consultation, and supervision; and issues of cultural and individual diversity. Specific requirements include:

C. School Psychology Specialization (49 credits minimum):

The student must complete a program preparing him or her to assume leadership roles in the field of school psychology through practice in school systems, mental health centers, clinic, hospital, and private practice settings; and leadership positions in organizations relevant to psychology and education. To aid in the development of competency in the area of school psychology, the student must complete course work and practica in evidence-based interventions, psychological and educational measurement and evaluation, professional standards and ethics, cognitive and social aspects of behavior, theories and methods of assessment and diagnosis, and application of knowledge and skill in real-life contexts. 

D. Dissertation (18 credits minimum):

The student must successfully complete a dissertation on a topic related to school psychology approved by the student’s doctoral committee.

E. Internship (6 credits minimum):

The student must complete the equivalent of a one-year, full time predoctoral internship (2,000 hours) at a site approved by the individual’s doctoral committee, the director of internships, and the director of school psychology training. The internship will occur following completion of all required course work. 


The program for each student will be planned jointly by the student, the advisor, and the doctoral committee and will include required course work in each of the areas noted above, required practica, and specialization practica. The student’s competencies,  interests, and goals, as well as prior educational and/or clinical experiences will be considered in the planning of the sequence of practica, research experiences, and dissertation topic. The program will be subject to revision as the student’s strengths and needs are assessed and as he or she progresses through the program.


Courses in the 500 series are open to undergraduates as *400 series. Graduate students are required to do additional work of a research nature. A course taken at the 400 level may not be repeated at the 500 level.

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