School Psychology (PhD)

What is A School Psychology (PhD) Degree?

Psychology is the scientific study of human behavior and mental processing–the mind.  So, it’s a field that people really enjoy studying because what’s not to like about basically learning about you?!  The field has a very broad application, even though many people think it’s mainly about counseling people and helping them with their problems.  School Psychologists use their knowledge and skills of behavior and mental processing to help children and youth—in reality, all levels of learners—to learn, to handle social situations and emotional difficulties, and to behave appropriately in a variety of situations.  They also work with teachers and administrators to help them to use good techniques in dealing with students who need help.

Since the Master’s degree or Specialist’s degree and a license are the basic requirements to become a School Psychologist, the PhD degree is usually pursued by people who want to teach or do research in School Psychology at a college or university.  It’s possible to get into a PhD program in School Psychology with a BA or BS in Psychology and you may in some university programs earn an MA degree along the way.  You may also apply for a PhD program after getting the MA, MS, or one of the Specialist’s degrees in the field. Graduates will be able to achieve licensure in the field so that they can teach, do research, and work with children and families in school settings.  Most universities will require faculty members in the field to have significant practical experience in the field in addition to a research track record,  so keep that in mind if teaching in higher education is your goal.

The videos below discuss “typical” programs, so they should help regardless of which school you are considering.

Faculty Advice

Student Advice

What Can I Do With A School Psychology (PhD) Degree?