Ph.D. Program | Kent State University

Ph.D. Program

The School Psychology Program at Kent State University is rich in history and tradition, reflecting Ohio’s early position as a leader in the development of the school psychology specialty, the master’s program began in 1947. Students were first admitted for doctoral study in the mid-1960s. The Ph.D. Program was initially accredited by the American Psychological Association in 1984 and approved by the National Association of School Psychologists in 1987; accreditation and approval have been continuous since that time.


The Doctoral (Ph.D.) Program in School Psychology at Kent State University is committed to a scientist-practitioner model of training, which conceptualizes school psychologists as data-oriented problems solvers and transmitters of psychological knowledge and skill. As such, students draw upon the scientific literature as a primary basis for professional practice and focus their research agendas so as to have meaningful implications for practice. In addition, functioning as a scientist-practitioner meas that professional practice is conducted in ways that are consistent with the scientific method. Emphasis in training is placed on the provision of services through research-based practice and data-based decision making. Students in the program gain competencies not only in the provision of school psychological services to individual children and youth, but also in the promotion and implementation of systemic, preventative educational and mental health systems. Since the program's emphasis is on the application of psychology in applied educational and mental health settings, students are required to demonstrate competence in the substantive content areas of psychological and educational theory; the scientific, methodological, and theoretical foundations of practice in school psychology; data-based decision making; intervention design and evaluation; and cultural and individual diversity. The Ph.D. Program in School Psychology is oriented to prepare students to work as leaders in applied practice in educational and mental health settings.

Program Details


Designed as a 5 year program if entering directly into the Ph.D. program. The duration varies for students entering the Ph.D. program with prior training in School Psychology.


  • The Ph.D. Program is Accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).
    • Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation, Office for Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002. Phone: (202) 336-5979. Email: Web:
    • In addition, the Ph.D. Program is Approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The College of Education, Health, and Human Services is Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Ph.D. Program Data

Ph.D. Program Handbook

  • For detailed information about the Ph.D. program in School Psychology, please see the program handbook.


Year 1: First year coursework provides an orientation to the profession of school psychology, as well as the foundations for professional practice. The Master's of Education (M.Ed.) Degree in School Psychology is awarded upon successful completion of all required courses.

Year 2: Second year coursework focuses attention on the development of professional competencies, as well as an integration of knowledge and skills necessary for professional practice.

Year 3: Third year coursework provides additional advanced study and experiences in school psychology consistent with doctoral themes for research, leadership, and supervision as approved and reflected on the students Plan of Study. Typically, students complete their doctoral comprehensive exams and advance to candidacy at the conclusion of year three.

Years 4 and 5: Fourth and fifth years of study include the successful completion of dissertation research and a full-year doctoral internship. Years 4 and 5 can be switched depending on the student's desire for research completion, as well as with any requirements at APPIC/APA internship sites that may require an accepted dissertation proposal prior to beginning internship.

Additional Curriculum Related Resources

Plan of Study

Annual Review of Student Progress



Additional Internship Resources


  • Applicants to the program include:

    • Individuals with a Bachelors or Masters Degree who wish to apply directly to the Ph.D. Program. Such students would be admitted initially into the M.Ed. program and, upon successful completion of the M.Ed., matriculate into the Ph.D. Program;
    • Individuals who are enrolled in the Ed.S. Program in School Psychology who elect to apply for the Ph.D. Program upon completion of the M.Ed. Degree; and
    • Individuals who have completed specialist-level (Ed.S.) training in School Psychology.
  • To apply to the Doctoral (Ph.D.) program in School Psychology go to the Admissions page. There you will find detailed information about the application procedure and materials.

  • Review answers to Frequently Asked Questions asked by prospective students.