Doctoral Program Details

Accreditation

The School Psychology doctoral program at the University of Texas has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1971; the program’s next re-accreditation site visit will be in Fall 2022. Accreditation status may be confirmed by APA via:

Education Directorate 
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street NE 
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
Fax: (202) 336-5978
Email: apaaccred@apa.org

Doctoral Program

Our doctoral program uses the scientist-practitioner model to prepare Ph.D. psychologists to understand and enhance the development of children and adolescents in context. Education and training include strong preparation in the scientific foundations of psychology, in the research skills essential to the contribution of new knowledge, and in the competent and ethical professional practice of assessment, intervention, and consultation.

Our graduates are employed in colleges and universities, school systems, mental health and child guidance centers, medical centers, children’s hospitals, and independent clinical practice. The program has a comprehensive and interdisciplinary perspective and is acknowledged as an exemplary model of doctoral training in school psychology.

Faculty Mentor Model

The program uses a faculty mentor model for advising and the development of research competence in doctoral students. Students are recruited during the admissions process to work with a specific school psychology faculty member in their research lab through completion of their doctoral degree. Research labs provide the opportunity to apply knowledge gained from research methods courses and to develop competence in conducting independent research. In a mentor model, the faculty advisor develops a close relationship with the student that involves not only research mentoring but also professional and curriculum advising. Faculty mentors with external funding for their research may also provide financial support in the form of Graduate Research Assistantships for doctoral students under their supervision.

Clinical Training

Practicum and internship training are essential components of the scientist-practitioner model and our program. Students participate in three semesters of school-based practicum beginning in the summer before the second year of study, continue to advanced practicum in the third and fourth years, and complete pre-doctoral internship in the sixth year of the program. For each semester in which students participate in a practicum, they also register for a practicum course taught by Department faculty. The pre-doctoral internship is organized through a national match. Our program coordinates practicum placements through a similar local match system. Through this process, students are generally able to obtain experience with the types of settings, populations, and experiences that meet their career goals.

View a list of Practicum and Internship Sites

Admissions Overview

The School Psychology doctoral program is highly competitive. The program typically receives 60+ applications each year for the Ph.D. program and accepts 1-4 students. Admissions is largely based on the availability of a faculty research mentor in a particular year who is a good match with the applicant. Depending on admission goals in a given year, the program invites approximately 5-15 students to interview. Students are generally notified that they are being invited for an interview in early January. Interviews are held on a single day on the UT campus during early February, with the date established early in the academic year. While attending Interview Day is strongly encouraged, Zoom or Skype interviews are available for students unable to travel. Interview Day for students applying for 2021 admittance is scheduled for February 5th, 2021, and will be completely online. Students are usually notified of their admission decision within two weeks of the scheduled interview date.

Admission decisions are made by consensus of the school psychology faculty; however, the faculty mentor has a particularly strong voice in the acceptance decision. Selection of students is based on multiple factors including letters of recommendation, potential match between student and faculty interests, the personal statement, course grades, and GRE scores. In our review, we look for evidence of a good fit between the applicant and a faculty member who will serve as the faculty mentor. Students with a low GPA or low GRE scores should explain their performance in their personal statement and show outstanding performance in other areas in order to be given serious consideration. 

Commitment to Diversity

The School Psychology Program is committed to supporting diversity and multicultural issues in the field. We seek to integrate multiple cultural perspectives into our coursework and practicum training experiences. Students have various opportunities to pursue a specialized diversity emphasis in their research, coursework, and practica. We are committed to a culturally and ethnically diverse student body and to building culturally competent researchers and practitioners who can contribute to enhancing diversity in the field.

Program Aims 

Three aims guide the program’s doctoral training:

  1. Prepare psychologists who are knowledgeable and competent in research;
  2. Prepare psychologists who are knowledgeable and competent in the delivery of evidence-based clinical services;
  3. Prepare psychologists who are knowledgeable and competent in the health service specialty area of school psychology. 

In achieving program aims, we expect that students will also demonstrate competence in the following:

  • Effective interaction with individuals from diverse backgrounds, disciplines, and perspectives;
  • Knowledge and engagement in legal, ethical, and professional practice.

School Psychology Doctoral Handbook