School/Clinical Child Psychology
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are frequently asked questions (FAQ) from prospective graduate students who are interested in applying to the combined School/Clinical Child Psychology doctoral program.
Do you provide funding for PhD students?
There are a few funding options in our doctoral program that are offered by individual faculty via grant appointments (GRA), within the department or college via teaching assistants (TA), and offered by the department, college, and university via fellowships. Each student’s funding package may look different depending on their skills (e.g., research) and prior experiences, the current projects of faculty, and the qualifications for different fellowships. Funding generally consists of a monthly stipend, tuition waivers for up to 9 hours, and student health insurance. Students are still responsible for paying other student fees required by the University. To receive and keep GRA and TA funding, graduate students are required to (1) be continuously enrolled as an active student, (2) remain in good academic standing and (3) have adequate performance in that role. Funding offers are made after offers of acceptance, usually in March.
Do I need a master’s to apply to the doctoral program?
The doctoral program is a terminal doctoral program, which means students are admitted with the goal of completing their Ph.D. Although some students come with a master’s (e.g., in school psychology or related disciplines), that is neither an expectation nor a requirement and many students apply and are admitted with a bachelor’s degree. Some students will get a master’s degree en route to the Ph.D. as part of the qualifying process, which includes a thesis, but others complete the qualifying process without completing the paperwork involved with getting a master’s degree.
I have a master’s degree, can I get credit for the classes I have already taken?
Decisions about course waivers are made case-by-case by the instructor for the class where a waiver is requested. Typically, the instructor will review the syllabus for the class to decide if the course can be waived. This is done after students are admitted. To expedite this process, make sure you hang on to the syllabi from any courses you’d like to have evaluated. Sometimes courses have the same names but are quite different in content.
What kind of settings will I be prepared to work in as a graduate of this doctoral program?
Our graduates work in many settings. Some work primarily as researchers or academic scholars in universities, medical centers, or research institutes. Some work primarily as practitioners in schools, mental health clinics, integrated behavioral health settings, the juvenile justice system, the criminal legal system, or private practice. Others may become administrators or directors of programs within schools, government agencies, or non-profits.
Do you offer courses on X, Y, Z?
You can find the list of required courses for the doctoral program here.
What kinds of research are faculty doing in the School/Clinical Child Psychology program?
Brief descriptions of each faculty member’s research interests are listed on the “Faculty” tab of the program page. For more information, view their lab web pages or try a citation search in Google Scholar.
What does the admissions committee look for in applicants?
First, make sure you are applying to the School/Clinical Child Psychology Ph.D. program at The University of Texas at Austin —there are other related doctoral programs within our university, including in the department of Educational Psychology (e.g., Counseling Psychology; Human Development, Culture, and Learning Sciences; Quantitative Methods), in the Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts (e.g., clinical psychology doctoral program), and in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, to name a few.
Selection of students is based on multiple factors including letters of recommendation, the personal statement and course grades. A critical factor in our review is evidence of a good fit between the interests and experiences of the applicant and the faculty member who will serve as the faculty mentor. Since this is a “mentor model” program, a portion of the personal statement should address the specific reasons why the faculty mentor’s program of research and expertise will allow the applicant to meet their goals. This is a very important part of the statement.
Students with a low GPA should explain their performance in their personal statement and document outstanding performance in other areas in order to be given serious consideration.
We no longer require GRE scores and will not use them in our consideration.
Can I continue to work and be in the Ph.D. program?
The doctoral program in School/Clinical Child Psychology at UT is a full-time, in-person graduate program.
How successful are your students in attaining internships?
Students in our program are very successful in acquiring internships in a variety of settings; here is a list of internship sites and our match statistics as well as other student admission outcomes.
Do you accept grad students for terminal master’s degrees/specialist programs?
Our program offers a terminal specialist-level (LSSP) School Psychology master’s program, which has a separate application process (read about it here). Applicants may apply for both. The coursework is similar for the first two years of the doctoral program, and master’s and doctoral students take many classes together. A small percentage (across time, about 10%) of master’s students who apply to the doctoral program in their second year are accepted. Enrolling in the master’s program does not guarantee acceptance to the doctoral program as these students still must apply, compete with the pool of applicants in a given year, be recommended for admittance by all faculty in the program, and be matched with a faculty mentor.
Most doctoral programs in the U.S. take only a small number of students each year. Given each of these issues, master’s students in our program who are interested in continuing with doctoral work here are strongly encouraged to apply to a variety of other programs as well to increase their chance of acceptance for doctoral studies.
Our faculty are strongly committed to training doctoral students equally in the health service specialty areas of school and clinical child psychology, as reflected by our accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA). Learn more from the APA about combined health service psychology doctoral programs.