Sep 30, 2022  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School Psychology, Ph.D.

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Degree Information

Priority Admission Application Deadlines:

Minimum Total Hours: 84 (post-masters)
Level: Doctoral
Program Status: Active
CIP Code: 42.2805
Dept. Code: EDF
Major/College Codes: DSG ED
Approved 2001

Contact Information

College: Education
Department: Educational and Psychological Studies

Contact Information:

The Ph.D. degree program in School Psychology at the University of South Florida is offered through the College of Education’s Educational and Psychological Studies. The Program has been designed specifically for training in school psychology and has been developed to meet all relevant national accreditation standards. The Ph.D. program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association and fully approved by the National Association of School Psychologists and the Florida Department of Education. Students who complete the School Psychology Training Program at USF automatically meet the academic and field training requirements for certification as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (N.C.S.P.)

The Ph.D. program in School Psychology is committed to training professionals who have expertise in the depth and diversity of both psychology and education. This training is accomplished within a scientist-practitioner model that emphasizes comprehensive school psychological services using a social and cognitive behavioral learning theory orientation that recognizes the impact of children’s individual differences and the importance of multicultural awareness and skills. Graduates of the Ph.D. program move to positions of employment as university faculty and researchers, as psychologists in school, hospital, and agency settings, and as program leaders in applied settings. The program also offers professional development opportunities for practitioners in the field.

Accredited by NCATE, and the American Psychological Association, and Approved by the National Association of School Psychologists.

Major Research Areas
Pediatric School Psychology, Organizational Development and Consultation, Academic Assessment and Intervention, Problem-Solving and Response to Intervention, School-Based Mental Health Services, Positive Psychology, Behavior Disorders, Home-School Collaboration, Gender-Related Issues in Education and Adolescent Development, and ADHD.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

Admission occurs once each year for the Fall class. The School Psychology program is a limited access program. This means that only a limited number of students are able to be accepted each year

For all admission, all programs require earned degrees from regionally accredited institutions. International students are also required to submit passing TOEFL scores

Prerequisite Coursework for Admission

  • An undergraduate (or graduate) course in Statistics
  • An undergraduate (or graduate) course in Tests and Measurements (including issues such as reliability, validity, standard error of measurement, etc.)
  • An undergraduate (or graduate) course in Research Methods or Experimental Design with a lab component.

Required Admissions Materials

  • All admissions materials should be submitted directly to our program. A complete application includes the following:
  • A completed Application to Graduate Studies. All applications must be submitted online and can be located on our program website:
  • The application fee - payable by credit card.
  • Submit official GRE scores (Note: Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing scores are required; scores should not be more than 5 years old).
  • Provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities where you have completed coursework. Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher in upper division level undergraduate coursework.
  • Provide a statement of professional goals. In a 2-3 page statement, explain your immediate, intermediate, and long term goals as well as your research interests. Professional goals and research interests must be compatible with the School Psychology Program.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from professionals who are familiar with your scholarship and work history.
  • Demonstrate the ability to write professionally by submitting a scholarly paper completed as part of your prior course work.
  • If invited for an interview, a) present self professionally in an oral interview with two or more faculty members and graduate students, and b) provide a writing sample related to a relevant topic to the field of school psychology during the interview process.

Curriculum Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree consists of approximately 84 semester hours beyond the Masters degree in School Psychology and includes advanced leadership coursework and practica experiences, concentration and area of emphasis courses in school psychology, a 2,000 clock hour internship, and the dissertation. A Master of Arts (M.A.) degree is earned by most students during the first year of their Ph.D. program. However, the M.A. is not considered a terminal degree and is not sufficient for state certification in school psychology.

Note: Students may be required to take additional hours depending on the course of study and or academic deficiencies.

Core Requirements

Research Competencies

*or similar course as recommended by doctoral committee and approved by the College and/or Office of Graduate Studies.

Psychological Foundations


Professional Practice

Area of Emphasis

All doctoral students in School Psychology must specialize in at least one Area of Emphasis. An area of emphasis is defined by course work, practice, research, and internship experiences taken by the student. Possible Areas of Emphasis include: Pediatric School Psychology, Organizational Development and Consultation, Academic Assessment and Intervention, Problem-Solving and Response to Intervention, School-Based Mental Health Services, Positive Psychology, Behavior Disorders, Home-School Collaboration, Gender-Related Issues in Education and Adolescent Development, and ADHD.

Qualifying Examination

The purpose of the qualifying examination is to evaluate the student’s ability to apply and synthesize the skills and knowledge acquired during graduate study. Students must successfully complete the qualifying examination and complete all required coursework before admission to doctoral candidacy.

Tests or Examinations

All students must complete the General Knowledge Exam prior to internship. It is recommended that students take both the General Knowledge Examination and the Professional Education Examination (required for degree completion) at the same time. Both of these requirements should be completed as a part of the Ed.S. Degree. All students are required to take and pass the National Association of School Psychology Certification Exam during the internship year, prior to graduation.

Residency Requirement

University academic residency is defined as registration for at least 9 semester hours, two semesters in a 12-month period.

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