Academic Programs Catalog

College of Education

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education

Graduate Study
School Psychology - Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree program with a major in School Psychology is designed to equip psychologists with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to provide quality psychological services to children, youth, and families in multiple settings, as well as to conduct research in related areas. The program includes a planned sequence of course work in school psychology and supporting disciplines, complimented by practica and internship experiences. Students in the program receive the training necessary to become both a certified school psychologist in Michigan, as well as a nationally certified school psychologist. Students are also license-eligible as psychologists, pending completion of state-level licensure requirements.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in School Psychology is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA) and approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The doctoral program is also approved the Michigan Department of Education. Students who are enrolled in the program are expected to abide by the ethical principles of the APA and NASP.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Education, students must meet the requirements specified below.


To be admitted to the doctoral program in school psychology, applicants must submit both the university application forms and applicable application fee, and must have:

  1. A bachelor’s degree in education or psychology, or in a related field.  A master’s degree or a teaching certificate is not required, but evidence of experience working with children, youth, and families in school, community, agency, or research settings is desirable.  
  2. A grade-point average of 3.0 or higher in the last two years of the bachelor’s degree program.
  3. A grade-point average of 3.5 or higher in courses taken at the master’s degree level or beyond.
  4. Professional goals and interests compatible with the program objectives and philosophy as evident in an applicant's statement of Professional Goals and Experiences, as judged by the faculty.
  5. Strong personal recommendations from individuals who are knowledgeable about the applicant’s academic performance and ability to work effectively with people, as judged by the faculty.
  6. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test. This typically means scores in the above average range.
  7. Evidence of previous research experience such as a master’s thesis or scholarly paper, work on a research project, publication in a professional journal, or presentation at a professional conference.
  8. A writing sample.
  9. An on-campus, web, or equivalent interview.
  10. A completed Criminal Background Statement of Understanding Form.
  11. A resume or curriculum vita.

Persons are admitted to the program once a year with enrollment starting fall semester. The deadline for submitting applications for admission is December 1st for the following fall semester.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in School Psychology

The student must meet the requirements specified below. Students who hold an Educational Specialist or a Master of Arts degree in School Psychology may already meet some of these requirements. Student's doctoral plans must be approved by faculty and be consistent with the following requirements.

  1. Educational Inquiry and Research. Complete 16 credits of course work which includes quantitative methods and research design as approved by the student’s guidance committee. Students must complete the following course in fulfillment of this requirement:
    CEP    995    Practicum in Research Design and Data Analysis    3
  2. Psychological Foundations: Complete 15 credits of course work which includes history of psychology, development across the lifespan, social aspects of behavior, cognitive aspects of behavior, and biological bases of behavior as approved by the student’s guidance committee.
  3. Theoretical Foundations. Complete 6 credits of course work which includes ethics and psychotherapy as approved by the student’s guidance committee.
  4. School Psychology. Complete 45 credits of course work which includes assessment, intervention, consultation, behavior disorders, theoretical foundations of school psychology, and field based experience as approved by the student’s guidance committee.
  5. Family Elective. Complete 3 credits of course work which includes parenting children with disabilities or family systems as approved by the student’s guidance committee.
  6. Internship. Complete 9 credits in a field-based internship related to school psychology that must extend over a full calendar year and consist of at least 2,000 supervised clock hours of practice. 
  7. Successful completion and defense of the dissertation. Students may not earn more than 30 credits in CEP 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research, of which 24 credits are required.