Ph.D. in School Psychology

Training Director: Matthew Reynolds, 130T J.R. Pearson, 785-864-9712,

The program leads to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. Reflecting a "scientist-practitioner" training orientation, the doctoral program in School Psychology extends the student's knowledge and applied research and teaching skills. Knowledge in the psychological foundations contributes to the development of effective scientist-practitioner school psychologists who utilize psychological theories and scientific research to inform their practice. We also recognize that the science and practice of school psychology mutually influence each other–science informs practice and practice informs science–and that an understanding of individual, ethnic, and cultural diversity serves as a foundation to effective science and practice of school psychology. Therefore, the program offers a curriculum within which all students are expected to acquire and demonstrate a substantial understanding of and/or competence in:

  1. Professional school psychology (i.e., psychodiagnostic assessment, consultation, intervention, professional practice/ethics, learning, development, statistics, psychoeducational measurement, research design, and special education);
  2. Psychological foundations (i.e., biological bases of behavior, cognitive-affective bases of behavior, social bases of behavior, individual bases of behavior, and history and systems of psychology);
  3. Research skills; and
  4. Appreciation/sensitivity to individual, ethnic, and cultural diversity.

The program is typically a four-year program of full-time study, followed by a full-year internship in professional psychology.

The program is housed in the KU School of Education, which is accredited under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Standards through the CAEP Accreditation System. The Ph.D. program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists and Kansas Department of Education.

If you have any questions about the program’s APA accreditation status, please contact:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 2002-4242
Phone: 202-336-5979
Fax: 202-336-5978

Graduate Admission to the School of Education

Graduate programs in education are open to students with acceptable baccalaureate and graduate degrees whose academic records indicate that they can do successful work at the graduate level. Regular admission requires a grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Individual departments may require additional information and may have more stringent admission and retention requirements.

Some departments may offer special provisional admission categories to students who may not qualify under traditional admission criteria. Departments that offer provisional admission require a grade-point average of at least 2.5.  Applicants must provide evidence of ability to work successfully at the graduate level, including experience in and commitment to the profession. Exceptions to established policies must be sought individually by petition to the Graduate Division of the School of Education.

See Admission in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog for more information.

Each department in the School of Education sets its own application deadlines.  Prospective graduate students should contact their departments for more information.

Graduate Admission

Prerequisites for Regular Admission

Prerequisites include the following:

  • Undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Graduate grade-point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Graduate Record Examination general test scores
  • Completed bachelor’s or master’s degree in counseling, psychology, or a related area. (An applicant who does not have an undergraduate degree in education or psychology should have a minimum of 14 undergraduate credit hours in the behavioral sciences.)

At the first enrollment, a doctoral student reviews any previous graduate work with an advisor to identify any course work in which the student is deficient. Students holding master’s degrees in other areas should recognize that such course work may require up to a year to complete and, in some instances, must be taken before the actual doctoral course requirements.

See individual programs for specific admission requirements and deadlines.

Submit your graduate application online. Send 1 copy of all original transcripts to the department:

The University of Kansas
Department of Educational Psychology
Joseph R. Pearson Hall
1122 W. Campus Road, Room 621
Lawrence, KS 66045-3101


The admission deadline is December 15 to begin course work in the following summer or fall.

Required Admission Materials

  1. Graduate application and application fee. See Admission in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.
  2. 1 copy of official transcripts of all previous college work, sent directly to the Educational Psychology Department.
  3. GRE (general test) scores: Institution code, R6871; Department code, 3406.
  4. Letter of intent.
  5. Résumé.
  6. 3 letters of recommendation from people who can assess the applicant’s prospects for completing the program.

The doctoral program adheres to a scientist-practitioner model of training.  Doctoral study extends the student's applied, research, and teaching skills.  Research skills are described under Doctor of Philosophy with a Major in Education. Completion of the program typically requires 4 years of full-time study followed by a full year of internship.

Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship

The student must complete course work and demonstrate computer analysis of research data.  In addition, each doctoral student must submit a manuscript and have it accepted for presentation at a convention of a scholarly association or submit a manuscript for publication in a professional journal.  Before proceeding to the comprehensive examination, doctoral students also must complete the requirement for responsible scholarship training.  The responsible scholarship requirement is fulfilled by completing EPSY 760 Ethics, Law and Professional Issues in School Psychology, EPSY 880 Ethical and Legal Issues in Professional Psychology and the Research Skills requirement (see below).

Comprehensive Examination

After completing course work, a student must pass a written comprehensive examination that consists of three research products. Content is the three research products based on the curricular requirements of the school psychology program.  After satisfactory completion of the written examination, the student must pass a comprehensive oral examination.  The program defines the nature of these examinations. 


The internship usually is finished in one year after completion of most course work, although it may extend over two years.  It is a year of supervision in which the student extends skills and continues professional development while working professionally in an approved setting.  The internship gives students an opportunity to integrate theory and practice as they field-test skills and concepts.  Content, structure, and supervision requirements follow guidelines of the American Psychological Association and the Council of Directors of School Psychology Programs.  Information on internship sites is available in the department office.


Upon passing the written and oral portions of the comprehensive examination, the candidate, in consultation with the adviser, assembles a dissertation committee.  For information on post-comprehensive enrollment and general information about doctoral programs, see the pertinent sections of the online catalog.

Doctoral Program Requirements

Professional School Psychology (SPSY) Area

1.  Psychodiagnostic Assessment, Consultation and Intervention, and Professional Practice

    (all required unless indicated)                                                                                                         45 hrs

EPSY 760 Ethics, Law, and Professional Issues in School Psychology

EPSY 770 Developmental Psychopathology: Diagnosis, Intervention, and Prevention

EPSY 798 Special Course: Applied Behavior Analysis and Evidence-Based Interventions

              in School Psychology

EPSY 798 Special Course: Consultation Systems and Program Evaluation 

EPSY 805 Individual Intelligence Testing

EPSY 835 Clinical Techniques in Academic Assessment and Intervention

EPSY 855 Psychoeducational Clinic I: Assessment, Consultation, and Intervention

EPSY 860 Assessment of Behavior Problems and Personality

EPSY 865 Psychoeducational Clinic II: Assessment, Consultation, and Intervention

EPSY 880 Ethics and Law in Professional Psychology

EPSY 910 Practicum in School Psychology

EPSY 911 Advanced Practicum in School Psychology

EPSY 965 Foundations of Psychoeducational Consultation

EPSY 975 Therapeutic Intervention: Home and School

EPSY 995 Field Experience in __________________________


EPSY 992 Ph.D. Internship                                                                                                                                (10 hrs)      


EPSY 960 Assessment of Infants, Toddlers, and Young Children (elective)

EPSY 885 Projective Assessment__not a SPSY course__ (elective)

2.  Learning and Development (must take one learning course and one development course)                    6 hrs

EPSY 807 Theories and Research in Human Learning  and 

EPSY 705 Human Development Through the Life Span

3.  Statistics, Psychoeducational Measurement, and Research Design (all four courses required)       10 hrs

*EPSY 710 Introduction to Statistical Analysis

*EPSY 711 Lab for Introduction to Statistical Analysis

EPSY 715 Understanding Research in Education

**EPSY 921 Theory and Application of Educational Measurement

4.  Special Education (must take the course listed below)                                                                 3 hrs

SPED 725 Introduction to the Psychology and Education of Children and Youth with Disabilities

Psychological Foundations (all students must take coursework in the five psychological core areas)

1. Biological Bases of Behavior (one course required)                                                                                 3 hrs

PSYC 961 Biological Foundations of Psychopathology

2.  Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior (met through professional SPSY area and Learning

Development area)                                                                                                                             ------

3.  Social Bases of Behavior (met through professional SPSY area plus one of the following)                3 hrs

PSYC 774 Advanced Social Psychology I  or

PSYC 775 Advanced Social Psychology II  or

PSYC 777 Social Psychology: Theory, Research and Clinical Applications

4.  Individual Bases of Behavior (met through professional SPSY area)                                         -------

5.  History and Systems of Psychology (met through the professional SPSY area                           3 hrs

plus one of the following courses)

EPSY  882 History and Systems of Psychology  or

PSYC 805 History of Psychology

Research Skills (students must take EPSY 901 (4 semesters), EPSY 947, EPSY 810, EPSY 811,                       27 hrs

 and EPSY 902 plus 6 hours in measurement, statistics, evaluation, or research design)

EPSY 810 Regression Analysis

EPSY 811 Analysis of Variance

EPSY 901 Research Practicum

EPSY 902 Research Methodology in Education

EPSY 947 Specialist Research

EPSY 803 Computer Applications of Statistical Analyses (elective)

EPSY 812 Meta-analysis (elective)

EPSY 816 Evaluating School Programs (elective)

EPSY 822 Educational Scales, Questionnaires, and Sampling (elective)

EPSY 905 Multivariate Analyses (elective)

EPSY 906 Structural Equation Modeling I (elective)

EPSY 908 Structural Equation Modeling II (elective)

EPSY 921 Theory and Applications of Educational Measurement (elective)

EPSY 922 Item Response Theory (elective)

EPSY 926 Hierarchical Linear Modeling (elective)

PSYC 887 Factor Analysis (elective)

ABSC 735 Within Subjects Research and Methodology and Direct Observation (elective)

Appreciation/Sensitivity to Ethnic and Cultural Diversity (must take one of the following)                   3 hrs

EPSY 875 Understanding Individual and Cultural Diversity in Professional Psychology or

ELPS 830 Foundations in Multicultural Education

Supervised College Teaching (all students must take the following course)                                        2 hrs

EPSY 996 College Teaching Experience in _____________.

Ph.D. Internship (all students must complete a full-year internship)                                                       10 hrs

EPSY 992 Ph.D. Internship in School Psychology

Additional Requirements (all students must complete the following)

     Comprehensive exams - written and oral comprehensive exams                                                        ---------

     Dissertation                                                                                                                                     18 hrs


Total                                                                                                                                                  133 hrs

*  EPSY 710 and EPSY 711 may be waived when the student has taken an undergraduate statistics course and successfully passes a qualifying test.

** EPSY 725 may be taken in place of EPSY 921 if EPSY 921 is not available.