PhD in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology with Emphasis in School Psychology, Certification

The doctoral program in School Psychology is focused on training the next generation of research, teaching, clinical, and policy leaders who are singularly focused on solving significant societal problems in education and psychology. We utilize an integrated systems approach to address academic and behavioral evidence-based practice with world-class research lines in prevention science, assessment, and intervention. Our graduates are prepared to work in higher education and research settings as well as clinical settings, such as schools, community health agencies, and hospitals. The PhD program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and approved by the National Association of School Psychologists. The Doctoral (PhD) program in School Psychology is completed concurrently with the Masters in Arts (MA) program in School Psychology. As a result, the first year after admission to the program is predominately focused on the MA coursework. 

Degree Requirements

I. General Core (61 hours)
ESC_PS 7130Parent Counseling and Consultation3
ESC_PS 8120Psychological Assessment of Children and Adolescents:Psychoeducational Assessment3
ESC_PS 8165Psychological Interventions with Children and Adolescents: Evidence-Based Therapies3
ESC_PS 8260School Psychology Practicum: Intermediate6
ESC_PS 8850Quantitative Foundations in Educational Research 3
ESC_PS 8957Qualitative Methods in Educational Research I3
ESC_PS 9090Doctoral Dissertation Educational School & Counseling Psychology12
ESC_PS 9093Doctoral Internship in School Psychology3
ESC_PS 9125Professional Iss. in Sch. Psych. II: Rsrch. Design & Application3
ESC_PS 9250School Psychology Practicum: Advanced6
ESC_PS 9400Theories and Practices in Supervision3
ESC_PS 9560Psychological Consultation: Schools3
Advanced Qual or Quant Analysis Course3
II. Psychological Foundations (selected from the following):18
ESC_PS 8060Lifespan Development3
ESC_PS 8070Ethical and Legal Issues in Psychological Practice3
ESC_PS 8355Cognition and Emotion3
ESC_PS 8530Developmental Psychopathology and Exceptionality3
ESC_PS 9000Multicultural Issues in Counseling3
ESC_PS 9030Social Bases of Behavior3
ESC_PS 9060Advanced History and Systems of Psychology3
ESC_PS 9080Biological Basis of Behavior3

Sample Plan of Study

Below is a sample plan of study for completion of the coursework requirements for the Ph.D. in school psychology; however, each individual student’s plan of study varies depending on their pace in the program and individual choices when options are available. The Doctoral program in School Psychology is completed concurrently with the Masters in Education (M.A.) program in School Psychology. As a result, the first year after admission to the program is predominately focused on the M.A. coursework.

First Year
ESC_PS 81203ESC_PS 91253 
 3 3  
Second Year
ESC_PS 80823ESC_PS 80603ESC_PS 89573
ESC_PS 82603ESC_PS 81653 
ESC_PS 85303ESC_PS 82603 
ESC_PS 95603ESC_PS 90303 
 12 12 3
Third Year
ESC_PS 83553ESC_PS 71303ESC_PS 90603
ESC_PS 92503ESC_PS 82503ESC_PS 90903
ESC_PS 80703ESC_PS 90803 
 9 9 6
Fourth Year
ESC_PS 90906ESC_PS 94003 
ESC_PS 97103ESC_PS 90906 
 9 9  
Total Credits: 75

Back to Top

Qualifying Process

The qualifying examination for the Ph.D. in School Psychology includes a take-home written examination. It is typically completed at the start of the Fall semester of year 2 in the program, presuming successful completion of ESC_PS 8125, ESC_PS 9125, and ESC_PS 8082.

Comprehensive Examination Process

The comprehensive examination for the Ph.D. in School Psychology includes a take-home written examination followed by an oral examination with the doctoral committee. This examination process is typically completed at the beginning of the winter semester in year 3 or the start of the fall semester in year 4. Students jointly enrolled in the Masters of Arts program in School Psychology must have completed their master’s thesis/manuscript prior to sitting for their Doctoral Comprehensive Exams.

Dissertation Requirements

After working with the academic advisor on developing a dissertation proposal, the student meets with her/his doctoral program committee to obtain approval of the written dissertation proposal. This happens before data collection begins. After the project is completed, the student submits a written dissertation and defends her/his dissertation project to the doctoral program committee. The dissertation proposal must be approved by committee prior to applying for terminal internships.


Applicants are required to meet two sets of minimum qualifications for admission: the requirements of the PhD in Educational, School & Counseling Psychology program and the minimum requirements of the Graduate School.  

Apply online by submitting the following documents using the MU Graduate School application form by December 1 for the next Fall cohort.

  1. Three letters of recommendation
  2. Curriculum Vita
  3. Official academic transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work
    1. Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 from an accredited institution in psychology, education, or a related major.
  4. Statement of purpose addressing the following:
    1. Describe interests and experiences with working with people from diverse backgrounds (e.g. ethnic, cultural, socio-economic, religious, ability status, sexual orientation). How have these experiences influenced you? (250 word maximum)
    2. Describe experiences that demonstrate your potential for leadership that you believe distinguish you as a candidate for graduate study. (250 word maximum)
    3. Describe (1) your research interests that you hope to pursue in graduate school (2) how these interests match those of specific faculty. (Please limit to 500 words)
    4. Describe (1) your career objectives (2) how these career objectives have developed, and (3) how being accepted into MU’s program will benefit your career aspirations and help you act upon your beliefs, goals, and philosophy. (Please limit to 500 words)
  5. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for test taken within the last 5 years should have a combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 305.
  6. TOEFL for international students (preferred score of 580 for paper test, 92 iBT, IELTS 6.5 or higher)

Back to Top