2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
    Jul 14, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [Archived]

Guidance and Psychological Services—School Psychology Ph.D.

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(119 credits minimum)

The graduate program leading to the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in guidance and psychological services in school psychology is designed to prepare persons for positions of leadership in school-based practice; professional psychological practice in diverse settings; and positions focused on research, teaching, and professional 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.

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.   Undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 or above. 

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

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

5.  Scores on the Graduate Record Examinations General Test.

6.   Three letters of recommendation from persons who know the prospective student in an academic and/or professional capacity.

7.   A personal narrative describing the applicant’s professional goals and the contribution of this program to accomplishing those goals.

8.   Successful completion of criminal background checks as required by the Bayh College of Education.

It must not be assumed that meeting minimal standards guarantees admission to the program. After review of all materials, the admissions committee will invite prospective students to participate in either a telephone or personal interview. Additionally, regular admission is contingent upon successful completion of criminal background checks as required by the Bayh College of Education.

A minimum of 119 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 and program approval may be obtained from APA (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) or NASP (National Association of School Psychologists, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814, Phone: 301-657- 0270, e-mail: cert@naspweb.org).

The program aspires to prepare professional psychologists through a scientist-practitioner training model. This incorporates preparation focused on theoretical, research, technical, and interpersonal and leadership competencies, which are integrated and applied through a problem-solving model to all aspects of candidates’ work with diverse populations of children, youth, families, and schools. The objectives of the program are to produce professional psychologists who demonstrate:

* Knowledge and skills concerning fundamentals of measurement and assessment, and the use of assessment measures in a non-biased, reliable and valid manner.

* Knowledge and skills concerning the theories and strategies used to guide the design and implementation of effective interventions for children and adolescents.

* The ability to apply theoretical knowledge and skills when consulting with educators, school administrators, family members, and other professionals.

* Knowledge and skills pertaining to research methodology and design, the evaluation of treatment effects, and the communication of findings.

* Skills required for appropriate professional practice, legal and ethical decision-making, and sensitivity to individual and cultural differences.

The Ph.D. degree is regarded as an advanced practitioner’s degree and, as such, is a continuation of work completed in pursuit of the master of education (M.Ed.) in school psychology. Students who have not completed the M.Ed. in school psychology but have a master’s degree in special education, psychology, or a related field may be considered for admission and offered the opportunity to complete any deficiencies en route to completion of the Ph.D. degree. A student admitted to the Ph.D. program must demonstrate evidence of sound scholarship and the ability to carry out individual research. The program listed below includes the coursework for both the M.Ed. and the Ph.D. degrees in school psychology.

The Ph.D. program requirements can be described briefly as follows:

C. School Psychology Specialization (44 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. Subspecialization (6 credits):

The student will select an area of subspecialization in addition to the school psychology specialization and other program requirements. The subspecialization is chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor and should emphasize the development of additional clinical skills or expertise in an area related to educational and/or psychological practice, research, or policy.

E. 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.

F. Internship (6 credits minimum):

The student must complete the equivalent of a one-year, full time pre-doctoral 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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