Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) in School Psychology

School Psychology Students

The Department of Educational Psychology offers this degree program.

Is this Program for Me?

The Ph.D. Program in School Psychology was accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) in June 2009.  Since its approval by the state in 2005, the Program has been committed to developing school psychologists who excel in the areas of applied research as well as ecologically and developmentally sensitive evidence-based practice. Sensitivity to diversity issues and client preferences is addressed in specific course work and embedded throughout the training experience. Eleven of thirteen students have obtained competitive APA accredited pre-doctoral internships, and two of our students obtained APA accredited Postdoctoral Fellowships.

The Program adheres to a scientist-practitioner training model, and students learn to conceptualize according to according to an ecological-behavioral theoretical model.   Our goal is to develop professional school psychologists who are competent to engage in applied research and ecologically sensitive evidence-based practice (i.e., students learn to apply critical analysis and inquiry to identify, select, implement, and evaluate evidence-based practices with sensitivity to cultural and linguistic considerations, and in consideration of diverse client preferences).   Awareness of diversity issues is ensured because UH is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse research institutions in the nation, and because our practicum sites in the Houston area mirror this diversity. Our doctoral students have consistently reflected this diversity as well, with almost one-half of students claiming non-Caucasian ancestry. We actively encourage student and faculty applicants from diverse backgrounds.

Students can expect to spend the following amount of time in the program:

  • Five-six years – without transferable graduate credit
  • Four-five years – with transferable graduate credit (no more than 30 hours)

What will I learn?

Upon successful completion of the program, School Psychology graduates will attain the following skills:

  • Scholarly inquiry, research, writing and presentation skills
  • Application of critical analysis and inquiry to existing research, and the ability to identify, select, implement, and evaluate evidence-based practices
  • Sensitivity to ecological, diverse and developmental considerations, and concern for client preferences
  • Exposure and supervised experience, with:
    • diverse populations
    • conditions
    • professionals
    • settings
    • procedures
  • Understanding of the scientist-practitioner model which emphasizes an integrated, hierarchical sequence of coursework, practica, internship and research experiences

Students develop professional leadership, ethical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal skills through:

  • Coursework
  • Residency
  • Candidacy Research Project
  • Comprehensive Exam
  • Dissertation
  • Practica
  • Internships

What can I do with my degree?

The program offers the preparation necessary for students to apply for the following credentials:

  • Licensed Psychologist
  • Licensed Specialist in School Psychology
  • National Certified School Psychologist
  • Designation as a Health Service Provider by the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology
  • Diplomate in School Psychology

A doctoral degree in School Psychology prepares graduates for professional work as psychologists in academic and non-academic positions.

To apply for this program, please see the Graduate Application Checklist.

Student Admissions, Outcomes and Other Data

For more information about APA program accreditation, contact:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street
NE Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / Email: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

Financial Assistance

Doctoral Student Tuition Fellowship (DSTF)

The Graduate Tuition Fellowship (GTF) provides tuition remission for 9 credit hours to eligible graduate students. This program does not cover mandatory fees or course fees. In order to qualify for a GTF a student must be enrolled in at least 9 credit hours and hold a half-time graduate appointment (20 hour) that pays a minimum monthly rate (established each semester) which begins at $1061/month for 2011-2012 plus a $150/month additional stipend that may be used to offset health insurance costs or for other purposes. The graduate appointment must hold one or more of the following titles: Teaching Assistant (TA), Teaching Fellow (TF), Instructional Assistant (IA), Research Assistant (RA) or Graduate Assistant (GA).

Presidential/Cullen/Ehrhardt Fellowships

A limited number of Presidential/Cullen/Ehrhardt Fellowships are available for outstanding students who are entering graduate or professional programs at the University of Houston. Preference is given to those whose degree objective is the doctorate. The potential for academic excellence is the main criterion for selection. Students must meet minimum full-time enrollment (9hrs) and 3.0 GPA to maintain the Fellowship each semester.
Outstanding applicants are nominated by program faculty and reviewed and awarded by the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies. Typically the criteria utilized for these decisions focus on the prior educational attainment of the applicant, demonstrated interest in and preparation for the course of study, and evidence of the applicant’s ability to successfully matriculate in the program. These decisions, by their very nature, require a comprehensive review of multiple factors by the faculty charged with selecting students for admission and/or the awarding of competitive fellowships. The procedures utilized by the faculty to admit students and/or nominate them for competitive fellowships may differ, depending on the volume and quality of the applicants, the materials supplied by the applicants, recommendation letters and other factors the faculty consider to be appropriate.

Other Financial Assistance

In addition to the GTF and the Presidential Fellowship the Office of Graduate Studies as well as the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid offers information concerning loans and other scholarships available for graduate students.  Additional information about fellowships, scholarships and loans can be found on the UH Graduate and Professional Studies website: http://www.uh.edu/financial/graduate/index.php.

Learn more about the program.