Required Courses – School Psychology Doctoral Program

Please note required coursework may vary from year to year. Current students should always defer to their Program of Work for course requirements and consult with their faculty advisor / Graduate Advisor for any needed clarifications.

School Psychology doctoral students are required to complete:

  1. EDP Foundation Courses,
  2. School Psychology program courses,
  3. Out-of-Specialization courses,
  4. Qualifying Process & Dissertation, and
  5. Specialty Emphasis courses.

All students in the School Psychology program complete a standard scientist-practitioner-oriented school psychology curriculum during Years 1-2. Doctoral students complete one or more specialty emphases in Years 3-5.

Student coursework may vary depending on prior graduate coursework and waivers. Required courses are designed to meet relevant APA and licensure requirements. All required courses must be completed with a grade of at least B-. 

Note: the first digit in a Course Number denotes the number of credit hours of the course. Example: EDP 480C Correlation & Regression Methods = 4 credit hours.

I. EDP Foundation Courses (26 credit hours)

The Educational Psychology Foundation courses represent core knowledge in educational psychology, and reflect APA guidelines requiring doctoral-level psychologists to have basic knowledge in the breadth of scientific psychology, its history of thought and development, research methods, and applications. Foundation courses must be completed prior to the Qualifying Process.

A. Methods Foundation (17 hours)

  • Prerequisite Course: EDP 380C.2 Fundamental Statistics: prerequisite for all Methods courses.
  • EDP 480C.6 Statistical Analysis for Experimental Data
  • EDP 380D.4 Psychometric Theory and Methods
  • EDP 480C.4 Correlation & Regression Methods
  • EDP 381C.2 Research Design & Methods for Psychology and Education

B. Development & Learning Foundation (9 hours)

Learning and Affective Foundation Course:

  • EDP 382D.4 Psychology of Learning OR EDP 382D.6 Motivation and Emotion

Human Development & Social Foundation Courses:

  • EDP 382C.2 Social Psychology
  • EDP 382F.3 Life Span Development

II. School Psychology Program Coursework (43 hours)

The following Program Courses reflect three areas of training: assessment, intervention, and research, with both didactic courses and those with an emphasis on practice. Students may be able to waive some program courses if they have already completed relevant graduate work in these areas.

Professional Development (6 hours)

  • EDP 385C.8 Law, Ethics, & History of School Psychology
  • EDP 382D.2 History & Systems of Psychology

Psychoeducational Assessment and Intervention (7 hours)

  • EDP 483C.4 Individual Testing
  • EDP 383C.6 Academic Assessment & Intervention

Social/Emotional Assessment and Interpersonal Intervention (6 hours)  

  • EDP 383C.8 Social/Emotional Assessment with Children & Adolescents
  • EDP 383C.30 Developmental Psychopathology

Behavioral Assessment and Intervention (3 hours) 

  • EDP 384C.21 Fundamentals of Cognitive/Behavioral Interventions in Youth & Adolescents

Family Intervention (3 hours) 

  • EDP 384C Family & Couples Interventions

Consultation Theory and Process (6 hours) 

  • EDP 385C.14 School Consultation Theory & Practice
  • EDP 385C Advanced Consultation, Collaboration, and Supervision

Neuropsychological Assessment (3 hours)  

  • EDP 382E.2 Biological Bases of Behavior

Multicultural Competency (3 hours)

  • EDP 384C.18 Multicultural Counseling, or alternative approved by School Psychology Area Chair

Specialty-aligned Elective (3 hours)

Specialty-aligned EDP elective, approved by Area Chair

III. Practica and Internship (22+ hours)

Practicum in School Psychology (9 hours)

  • EDP 383D Practicum in School Psychology: Level 1
  • EDP 383E Practicum in School Psychology: Level 2
  • EDP 383F Practicum in School Psychology: Level 3

EDP 384V Advanced Practicum (9+ hours)

  • Advanced Practicum is required Year 3 through Year 4. Most students continue in Advanced Practicum in Year 5. Students typically begin Specialty Emphasis requirements in Year 3 and complete in Years 4-5. 2 semesters of 384V may be taken as part of the Specialty Emphasis detailed below. The practica required by most Specialty Emphases are not in addition to those required in Years 3-4, although many students elect to complete additional advanced practica.

Internship (3+ hours)

  • EDP 193N or EDP 393N Internship in School Psychology (3 semesters)
  • EDP 194.16 Internship Colloquium

IV. Out-of-Specialization Courses (9 hours)

In addition to foundation and program area requirements, students must complete additional coursework outside of their program area. 

  • 1 course taken outside of the EDP department (3 hours)
  • 2 courses taken either in another program area within EDP or outside of the department (6 hours)
    • Note: the required course EDP 382E.2 Biological Bases of Behavior may be counted as one of these courses.

V. Qualifying Process & Dissertation (13+ hours)

  • Qualifying Process: EDP 395R Qualifying Process Research (2 semesters, no later than the semester in which turn in qualifying document)
  • Dissertation: EDP 3/6/999W Dissertation, beginning the semester following advancement to candidacy.

VI. Specialty Emphasis (15 hours)

School Psychology doctoral students must complete at least one Specialty Emphasis depending on their area of interest and internship and employment plans. A Specialty Emphasis or track is a set of approved courses that provide the opportunity to develop competence in a particular area beyond program course requirements.

Requirements vary, but emphases generally require 9+ hours of coursework and 6+ hours of Advanced Practicum. Some students elect to complete more than one emphasis. There are two types of Specialty Emphasis: Academic Psychology, and Professional Psychology.

  • Guidelines for Specialty Emphases
    • A Specialty Emphasis requires the completion of 15+ credit hours beyond courses required for the major area program of study.
    • Doctoral SP students are required to complete a minimum of one emphasis prior to going on internship.
    • Students must select their specialty track(s) no later than the end of their 5th semester with an alternate track selected in case courses are not available. (Early identification of tracks is necessary for curriculum planning by the faculty). Specialty tracks may begin as early as the 3rd year.
    • Emphases may be completed fully within or outside the department, or across departments.

    Academic Psychology Specialty Emphases:

    Academic Psychology specialty tracks reflect areas of interest and expertise that are within the scope of the field of educational psychology but do not reflect an approved health service provider professional practice area of specialization. In School Psychology, these tracks require 6 hours of Advanced Practicum, however, the practicum settings may not involve the delivery of health services. These emphasis include:

    • Diversity Studies: designed to provide training in research and practice related to diverse populations. For this Emphasis, “diverse individuals” are defined as those from traditionally underserved populations, such as individuals from low SES backgrounds, with low-incidence disabilities, from linguistic or cultural minority backgrounds, and from the LGBTQ community. Successful completion of this emphasis should provide students with qualifications to be culturally competent practitioners and scholars.
    • Academic/Research: designed to provide training in research, teaching, and skills to support those individuals who wish to pursue careers in academia or in related fields. Successful completion of this emphasis should provide students with qualifications to be competitive for postdoctoral, research, or faculty positions, or to work in other research-oriented settings.


    Professional Psychology Specialty Emphases:

    Professional Psychology tracks are consistent with areas that have been approved as health services provider psychology specialties by the APA. These tracks require a minimum of 6 hours of Advanced Practicum in a setting that permits the practice of the emphasis skills. These emphasis include:

    • Advanced School Psychology: designed to provide additional training in school psychology beyond that of the required program; appropriate for students who anticipate a career in schools, especially those who anticipate taking leadership or administrative roles in some aspect of school psychological practice, or for students who are interested in University/academic careers.
    • Neuropsychology: offered in conjunction with the UT Department of Psychology, for doctoral students in school, counseling, and clinical psychology. Designed to provide training in neuroscience, neuropsychological principles, and neuropsychological assessment for students interested in completing APA Division 40 and Houston Conference guidelines for specialization in neuropsychology. Successful completion of this emphasis should provide students with the necessary foundation to be competitive for a neuropsychology-focused internship, which in turn leads to eligibility for an APPCN post-doc, currently considered the ‘gold standard’ for post-doctoral training in neuropsychology.
    • Pediatric Psychology: designed to provide knowledge, professional training, practicum and research experiences with diverse populations of youth who are experiencing medical illnesses and their families.
    • Health Psychology: doctoral students in the APA accredited graduate programs in counseling, school, and clinical psychology are eligible to pursue this emphasis. Designed to provide knowledge, skills, and competencies identified as essential to the practice of psychology, often termed behavioral health, in contemporary healthcare settings. Topics include: integrated behavioral healthcare models; inter-professional, team-based health care; patient-centered homes; prevention; population-based accountability; prevention; and health care disparities.
    • Clinical Child Psychology: designed to provide additional training in therapeutic, assessment, and other professional competencies with children, adolescents, and their families. Doctoral students in school and counseling areas are eligible to pursue this emphasis. Successful completion of the emphasis should provide students with the necessary foundation to be competitive for internships and post-doctoral fellowships in outpatient, inpatient and community-based mental health centers, and other settings where child clinical psychologists are trained and employed.

Specialized Competency Requirement

The Specialized Competency is required of School Psychology doctoral students to advance to Candidacy. To fulfill the requirement, students must submit research in which they have played a substantial role (i.e., their own research or a collaboration in which they have been particularly active) at a professional conference and/or submit their research for publication. This must be submitted before the student submits paperwork for advancement to candidacy.

The objective of this requirement is to provide students with experience and skills necessary for professional scholarship (e.g., research, writing, presenting a conference paper) and to further students’ identities as scholars/scientists. It is completed under the supervision of the student’s adviser, typically during the first two years of the program. 

Often students will not be the primary or sole author on a resulting publication, but should be involved to a significant degree. In the rare situation where a project/paper was submitted but not accepted for presentation or publication, this part of the requirement (acceptance) may be waived with approval by the faculty adviser, Area Chair and Department Chair.

En-Route Masters

EDP doctoral students admitted without a master’s in the field must complete an en-route master’s degree before receiving the doctoral degree. The en-route degree differs substantially from the terminal School Psychology Master’s program also offered in the Department. School Psychology doctoral students planning to pursue a career in clinical work are usually advised to choose the En-Route Master’s specialization in School Psychology. Students who plan to pursue a career in academia may prefer one of the non-clinical en-route master’s degree options (note that out-of-area en-route master’s degree typically involve additional coursework/requirements). See the En-Route Master’s page for requirements.

Doctoral Portfolio Programs (Optional)

Portfolio programs are optional opportunities for doctoral graduate students to obtain credentials in a cross-disciplinary academic area of inquiry while they are completing the requirements for a degree in a particular discipline. A portfolio program usually consists of four thematically related graduate courses and a research presentation.