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Doctor of Philosophy in School Psychology

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Ph.D. in School Psychology

Training Director: Patricia Lowe, 634 J.R. Pearson, 785-864-9710,

The program leads to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. The curriculum prepares the student to function professionally as a school psychologist and to develop the skills of a psychoeducational consultant. The program emphasizes current issues and trends in school psychology. The doctoral program adheres to a scientist-practitioner orientation that extends the student’s professional skills and theoretical understanding of school psychology issues. This approach helps the student to acquire competence in research and in the teaching of psychology.


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. PRE departmental application.
  3. 1 copy of official transcripts of all previous college work, sent directly to the Graduate Application Processing Center. The original transcript is forwarded to the School of Education to complete licensing and/or certification paperwork.
  4. GRE (general test) scores: Institution code, R6871; Department code, 3406.
  5. Letter of intent.
  6. Résumé.
  7. 3 letters of recommendation from people who can assess the applicant’s prospects for completing the program.
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Ph.D. Degree Requirements

The doctoral program adheres to a scientist-practitioner orientation. Doctoral study extends the student’s applied, research, and teaching skills and allows specialization. A 12-credit-hour minor is required. Research skills are described under Doctor of Philosophy with a Major in Education. The doctoral program in school psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the Kansas State Department of Education. It is usually a 4-year program 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.

Note: Responsible scholarship requirements were approved after this catalog was finalized. Contact your department or program for more information about this requirement for doctoral students.

Comprehensive Examination

After completing course work, a student must pass a written comprehensive examination. Content is 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.

Course Work Requirements

Professional School Psychology Area

1. Psychodiagnostic Assessment, Consultation and Intervention, and Professional Practice (all required unless indicated)

  • PRE 760 Ethics, Law, and Professional Issues in School Psychology
  • PRE 770 Developmental Psychopathology, Diagnosis, Intervention, and Prevention
  • PRE 798 Special Course: Applied Behavior Analysis and Evidence-Based Interventions in School Psychology
  • PRE 798 Special Course: Consultation Systems and Program Evaluation
  • PRE 805 Individual Intelligence Testing
  • PRE 835 Clinical Techniques in Academic Assessment and Intervention
  • PRE 855 Psychoeducational Clinic I: Assessment, Consultation, and Intervention
  • PRE 860 Assessment of Behavior Problems and Personality
  • PRE 865 Psychoeducational Clinic II: Assessment, Consultation, and Intervention
  • PRE 880 Ethical and Legal Issues in Professional Psychology
  • PRE 910 Practicum in School Psychology
  • PRE 911 Advanced Practicum in School Psychology
  • PRE 965 Foundations of Psychoeducational Consultation
  • PRE 975 Therapeutic Intervention: Home and School


  • PRE 991 Ed.S. Internship (Optional)
  • PRE 992 Ph.D. Internship in School Psychology


  • PRE 960 Assessment of Infants, Toddlers, and Young Children

Note: Early childhood licensure (Birth to Three) requires PRE 960 Assessment of Infants, Toddlers, and Young Children and at least 100 clock hours of supervised experience with young children and their families during the practicum sequence or internship.

2. Learning and Development (1 learning course and 1 development course required)

  • PRE 807 Theories and Research in Human Leaning and
  • PRE 705 Human Development Through the Life Span

3. Statistics, Psychoeducational Measurement, and Research Design (all 4 courses required)

  • PRE 710 Introduction to Statistical Analysis
  • PRE 711 Lab for Introduction to Statistical Analysis
    (PRE 710 and PRE 711 may be waived when the student has taken an undergraduate statistics course and successfully passes a qualifying test.)
  • PRE 715 Understanding Research in Education
  • PRE 725 Educational Measurement

4. Special Education

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

5. Education Core (required: 1 history, philosophy, or social foundations of education course and 1 curriculum or instruction course; 1 learning or development course, fulfilled by no. 2 above; and 1 research design or statistics course, fulfilled by Research Skills area below)

  • ELPS 770 History and Philosophy of Education or
  • ELPS 771 Philosophy of Education I or
  • ELPS 775 History of Education and Culture in America and
    C&T 709 Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction or
  • C&T 800 Foundations of Curriculum Development or
  • C&T 806 Instructional Strategies and Models
    (The history, philosophy, or social foundations of education course and the curriculum or instruction course may be waived if a student holds a bachelor’s degree in education.)

Psychological Foundations

All students must take course work in the 5 psychological core areas.

  1. Biological Bases of Behavior (1 course required)
    PSYC 961 Biological Foundations of Psychopathology
  2. Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior (met through Professional School Psychology Area courses)
  3. Social Bases of Behavior (met through Professional School Psychology Area courses, plus 1 of the following)
    PSYC 774 Advanced Social Psychology I or
    PSYC 775 Advanced Social Psychology II
    PSYC 777 Social Psychology: Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications
  4. Individual Bases of Behavior (met through Professional School Psychology Area courses)
  5. History and Systems of Psychology (met through Professional School Psychology Area courses, plus 1 of the following)
    ABSC 921 The History and Systems of Psychology or
    PRE 882 History and Systems of Psychology or
    PSYC 805 History of Psychology

Research Skills

Students must take PRE 810, PRE 811, PRE 902, and PRE 947 plus 6 hours in measurement, statistics, evaluation, or research design.

  • PRE 810 Regression Analysis
  • PRE 811 Analysis of Variance
  • PRE 902 Research Methodology in Education
  • PRE 947 Specialist Research
  • PRE 803 Computer Applications for Statistical Analyses (elective)
  • PRE 812 Meta-Analysis (elective)
  • PRE 816 Evaluating School Programs (elective)
  • PRE 822 Educational Scales, Questionnaires, and Sampling (elective)
  • PRE 905 Multivariate Analysis (elective)
  • PRE 906 Structural Equation Modeling I (elective)
  • PRE 908 Structural Equation Modeling II (elective)
  • PRE 921 Theory and Applications of Educational Measurement (elective)
  • PRE 922 Item Response Theory (elective)
  • PRE 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

  • 1 of the following courses is required:
    PRE 875 Cross Cultural Counseling or
    ELPS 743 Foundations of Multicultural Education (cross listed as C&T 807)

Supervised College Teaching

  • All students must take the following course: PRE 996 College Teaching Experience in: _____

Minor Area

  • A minor of at least 12 hours of approved study outside the school psychology program is required.

Ph.D. Internship

  • All students must complete a full-year internship: PRE 992 Ph.D. Internship in School Psychology

Additional Requirements

All students must complete the following:

  • Written and oral comprehensive examinations
  • Dissertation
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