Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Psychology School Psychology Strand

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UNLV Program Links

Admissions Deadline
 December 15
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The mission of the Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with specialization in School Psychology is extension of our specialist level school psychology training program to doctoral studies preparing graduates for research and academic careers and for general practice and health service provider specialty in professional psychology. Our program is based on the scientist-practitioner model with emphasis on theoretical and empirical foundations for clinical practice. A primary focus is extending the knowledge base of the profession through scholarly inquiry, and students are expected to generate new knowledge for the psychology profession with particular attention to mental health service in school-based practice.

Consistent with standards of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP),our program is committed to extending the knowledge base of the discipline in a climate of scholarly inquiry preparation of practitioners to bridge the gap between practice and research. Our Ph.D. graduates are prepared for work in diverse settings and roles, including faculty in academic departments of school psychology, psychologists employed by public and private schools, and psychologists in private practice or agency settings.

Doctoral study in the School Psychology Specialization strand is based on a mentoring model with expectation that much of the learning will occur in activities outside the classroom. Early in the program, students link with one or more faculty members on research teams for discipline-related studies. Students are expected to produce publishable work by the end of the second year of their programs and to prepare dissertations that extend the knowledge base in school psychology.

The doctoral foundations strands prepare students for a variety of professional careers related to teaching and research in both academic and non-academic settings. For example, students will be prepared to fill faculty, research, or assessment positions at academic institutions, such as universities, community colleges, and K-12 school districts. Representative occupations also include educational psychologist, program evaluator, educational assessment coordinator, and employee training specialist.


Admissions Information

Students are eligible for admission to the Ph.D. in Educational Psychology- School Psychology Specialization Strand, after completing a bachelor's or master's degree in a related field. Many students admitted for the Ph.D. School Psychology Specialization strand have completed their Ed.S. from a NASP-approved program, or its equivalent, as evidence of the knowledge base of a professional school psychologist.

Admission will be limited to the most qualified applicants based on a combination of the following:

  1. An undergraduate grade-point average of 3.00 or above.
  2. If graduate coursework has been completed, a graduate grade-point average of 3.00 or above.
  3. Preference may be given to student with scores above the 50th percentile on verbal and quantitative sections of the
            Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  4. A score of 600 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is also required for students who do not speak English as their first language.
  5. Three letters of reference from university faculty or other individuals qualified to judge the applicant's academic potential.
  6. The applicant's statement of professional interests and goals.

Your first step in the admission process is the completion of the Graduate College application and the Deparmtent reference letter.

Deadline for receipt of materials is December 15.


Program Completion Requirements


Course Requirements

The Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with Specialization in School Psychology is based on the scientist-practitioner model with emphasis on theoretical and empirical foundations for clinical practice. A primary focus is extending the knowledge base of the profession through scholarly inquiry, and students are expected to generate new knowledge for the psychology profession with particular attention to mental health service in school-based practice.

The program provides training in scientific and professional ethics and standards, research design and methodology, statistics, psychometric theory, biological bases of behavior, cognitive-affective bases of behavior, social bases of behavior, and individual differences.

The courses required for doctoral students in the School Psychology Specialization Strand meet two related objectives:

  • 1. A student's program of study must include courses to meet the core requirements for the Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, coursework required in all specialization strands for that degree.
  • 2. In addition to the general core requirements, students in the School Psychology Specialization Strand have required courses and experience in preparation for state licensure for independent practice as a professional psychologist.

Some students admitted for the Ph.D. School Psychology Specialization strand have completed our NASP-approved Ed.S. degree or its equivalent. Doctoral programs of study for students without this background will include content from our Ed.S. program. While working with your advisor on course selection, it is important to remember:

  • 1. The policy at most universities, including UNLV, is that a course used for one degree (e.g., Master of Science or Education Specialist) cannot be used to meet course requirements for another degree. For example, if the neuropsychology course required for the Ph.D. degree was completed as a part of the Ed.S. degree, you do not have to repeat the course. But, you and your advisor will need to identify another class to meet the minimum credits required for the Ph.D.
  • 2. Although courses used for master's or specialist degrees cannot be counted toward the minimum credits for the Ph.D., your total graduate program will be used in review of your program study to determine whether you have completed sufficient training in the domains required for practice as a professional psychologist. More information about the domains is available in the link below.
  • 3. If you enter doctoral studies with master's degree in a related field, a series of 'Leveling' classes will be required, including the two semester-three course assessment sequence. More information about "Leveling' classes is available through the link below.
  • 4. Unless you have completed, the Ed.S. coursework prior to admission to doctoral studies, you will need to complete the two semester initial practicum sequence (EPP 762- School Psychology Intervention with Practicum). This course with both school-based and clinic-based practicum experience does not count toward minimum credit requirements for the Ph.D. but is a prerequisite for advanced studies in school psychology.

The required coursework for the PhD-School Psychology Specialization Strand is a minimum of 73 credits beyond the master's degree and six credits in the predoctoral internship. Specific programs of study are determined by a number of factors, including the area of emphasis chosen by the student and doctoral committee. Individual programs of study will often exceed these minimum requirements.

A complete listing of the program requirements is available in the UNLV Graduate Catalog.


Forms

Department forms can be downloaded using the links below. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader Program to download, prepare, and then print the pdf forms. Completed forms are turned in at the main office of the Carlson Education Building, Room 320. Additional forms can also be found on the Graduate College website.

Admission Forms

Forms related to the admissions process can be found in the admissions section of this page.

Independent Study/Research

The form below must be submitted to the Department Office and approved prior to enrollment in individual study/research courses (EPY 780, 782, 783, 787).

  • Approval Request Form (Word | PDF)

Doctoral Committees & Programs of Study

Department Doctoral Examination Templates & Reports


Dr. Steve G. McCafferty
Department Graduate Coordinator
Email: steve.mccafferty@unlv.edu
Phone: 702-895-3245
Room: CEB 335