Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. Program in School Psychology 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 in School Psychology 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.

Core values

Following are the core values of the Ph.D. Program in School Psychology:

  • Acquiring the appropriate analytical skills to make informed decisions, perform evaluations of client outcomes, and contribute new findings to the profession (Scientist-Practitioner/Data-Based Decision Making);
  • Attending to the relationship between behavior and the environment to determine the appropriate level, timing, and focus of service deliver (Eco-Behavioral Model);
  • Appreciating the relevance and value of diversity when providing responsible and ethical delivery of psychological services (Cultural Competence); and
  • Fostering the ability to recognize and evaluate the interdependencies of organizational systems to improve the delivery of psychological services (Systems-Based Practice)


The faculty of the KSU school psychology program designed the curriculum to train research scholars and practitioners in the broad area of Health Service Psychology. That is, the program develops graduates who use rigorous scientific methods and empirical evidence to advance knowledge and inform their practice. Within the specific practice domain of school psychology, the KSU program emphasizes training within an eco-behavioral, problem-solving orientation. We believe that school psychologists must possess skills in collecting and analyzing data; and, more importantly, linking data to develop and implement evidence-based interventions. In addition, we emphasize the ecological influences of family, community, and culture throughout the problem-solving process. While the program focuses on the school as the point of intervention, it recognizes that school psychologists must have sufficient understanding of and coordination with other systems (i.e., families, communities, medical) to ensure optimal impact to development.

The program’s eco-behavioral, problem-solving orientation is evident in its aims and competencies, course sequence, and practicum/internship experiences. Students are exposed to knowledge, techniques, and theories within core areas of psychology (e.g., developmental, cognitive, social) and receive rigorous training in traditional assessment techniques (e.g., intellectual and academic assessment). In addition, students receive extensive training in assessment for academic, behavioral, emotional, and social difficulties; prevention, intervention, and crisis response strategies for a range of concerns, and the use of behavioral and systemic consultation for the delivery of effective services.

Program Details


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


  • The Ph.D. Program in School Psychology 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 in School Psychology 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 in School Psychology. 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 in School Psychology;
    • Individuals who are enrolled in the Ed.S. Program in School Psychology who elect to apply for the Ph.D. Program in School Psychology 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.

Professional Licensure Disclosure
This program is designed to prepare students to sit for applicable licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure or certification and contact information for state licensing boards at Kent State's website for professional licensure disclosure.

Kent State's website for professional licensure disclosure.