The PhD in School Psychology is guided by a scientist–scholar–practitioner model of professional training. Students prepare for positions as professors in colleges and universities, psychologists in elementary and secondary schools, and with other organizations or agencies that focus on psychological services for children, youth, and families. The program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association and approved by the National Association of School Psychologists.

Within the areas of professional practice for school psychologists the program emphasizes social justice across psychological assessment and psychodiagnostic evaluation, prevention and intervention procedures, consultation and program planning, and research and evaluation. The program also requires the study of applied behavior analysis, cognitive-behavior therapy, social-learning theory, and ecological-behavioral-systems theory. Applied experience and training are provided in individual and group work with both typical classroom populations and special groups, including individuals with developmental disabilities and others with special education needs. Included in the practicum and internship experience is work with families, classroom peer groups, and community and school systems.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline December 1
Spring Deadline This program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline This program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

For admission to graduate work, the department does not require a specific undergraduate major. However, it is preferred that applicants have completed approximately 18 credits in courses that provide a relevant foundation for further study in educational psychology. Neither certification as a teacher nor teaching experience is required. An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (4.0 basis) based on the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework is requisite. A statement of purpose is also required.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Information

Students are eligible to apply for UW-Madison fellowships. A limited number of teaching and project assistantships are available within the department, and prospective students are encouraged to refer to the instructions for fellowships and assistantships contained in the program application information.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students are able to complete a program with minimal disruptions to careers and other commitments.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 110 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 55 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 55 credits (50% of 110 credits) must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s policy: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements n/a
Assessments and Examinations Doctoral students are required to take a comprehensive preliminary/oral examination after they have cleared their record of all Incomplete and Progress grades (other than research and thesis). Deposit of the doctoral dissertation in the Graduate School is required.
Language Requirements No language requirements.
Breadth Requirement All doctoral students are required to complete a doctoral minor or Graduate/Professional certificate.

 Required Courses

ED PSYCH 533 Thinking, Feeling, & Learning3
ED PSYCH 540 Introduction to Professional School Psychology2
ED PSYCH 541 Applied Behavior Analysis in Classrooms3
ED PSYCH 542 The Biological Basis of Behavior3
ED PSYCH 712 Educational Psychology Diversity Seminar1
ED PSYCH/​HDFS  725 Theory and Issues in Human Development3
ED PSYCH/​COUN PSY/​HDFS  726 Ethnic and Racial Diversity in Social Development3
COUN PSY/​PSYCH/​RP & SE  729 Advanced Social Psychology3
ED PSYCH/​COUN PSY/​RP & SE  737 Seminar in History and Systems of Psychology3
ED PSYCH 740 Cognitive Assessment of Children in the Schools3
ED PSYCH 741 Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Assessment3
ED PSYCH 742 Assessment and Intervention for Academic Skill Problems3
ED PSYCH 743 Design and Analysis of Single-Case Research3
ED PSYCH 761 Statistical Methods Applied to Education II3
ED PSYCH 762 Introduction to the Design of Educational Experiments3
ED PSYCH 844 Childhood and Adolescent Psychopathology in Schools3
ED PSYCH 942 Systems of Consultation in School Psychology3
ED PSYCH 946 Advanced Assessment and Intervention Techniques3
ED PSYCH 947 Evidenced-based Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy3
ED PSYCH 948 Research and Measurement Seminar in School Psychology3
ED PSYCH 840 Clinical Practicum in School Psychology 120
Breadth Coursework9
Internship 20-12
ED PSYCH 943 Internship in School Psychology1-12
or ED PSYCH/​COUN PSY/​PSYCH/​RP & SE  995 Predoctoral Internship
Elective credits to reach 110 total program credits. Can include independent reading and/or research credits.12
Total Credits110

Footnotes

1

Take ED PSYCH 840 Clinical Practicum in School Psychology for six semesters. Beginning Practicum (2 semesters/2 credits total), Clinic Practicum (2 semesters/6 credits total), Field Practicum (2 semesters/12 credits total).

2

ED PSYCH 943 Internship in School Psychology taken for 3 credits/semester until dissertation is defended. Once dissertation is defended, ED PSYCH/​COUN PSY/​PSYCH/​RP & SE  995 Predoctoral Internship for 0 credits is taken. Students must complete 2000 hour internship in a program-approved setting.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

MAJOR-SPECIFIC POLICIES

PRIOR COURSEWORK

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 55 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned ten years or more prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 7 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison University undergraduate student. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 3 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

PROBATION

This program follows the Graduate School's Probation policy.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

This program follows the Graduate School's Advisor policy and Committees policy.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

15 credits

TIME Limits

This program follows the Graduate School's Time Limits policy.

GRIEVANCES AND APPEALS

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Any student who feels that they have been treated unfairly by a faculty or staff member has the right to complain about the treatment and to receive a prompt hearing of the grievance, following these grievance procedures. The complaint may concern course grades, classroom treatment, program admission, or other issues. To insure a prompt and fair hearing of any complaint, and to protect both the rights of the student and the person at whom the complaint is addressed, the procedures below are used in the School of Education.

The person whom the complaint is directed against must be an employee of the School of Education. Any student or potential student may use these procedures unless the complaint is covered by other campus rules or contracts. The following steps are available within the School of Education when a student has a grievance:

  1. The student should first talk with the person against whom the grievance is directed. Most issues can be settled at this level. If the complaint is directed against a teaching assistant, and the student is not satisfied, the next step would be to talk to the TA's supervisor, who is usually the course professor. If the complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, the student may continue to step 2.
  2. If the complaint does not involve an academic department, the procedure outlined in Step 4 below should be followed. If the complaint involves an academic department, the student should contact the chair of the department. The chair will attempt to resolve the problem informally. If this cannot be done to the student's satisfaction, the student may submit the grievance to the chair in writing. This must be done within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
  3. On receipt of a written complaint, the chair will refer the matter to a departmental committee, which will obtain a written response from the person at whom the complaint is directed. This response shall be shared with the person filing the grievance. The chair will provide a timely written decision to the student on the action taken by the committee.
  4. If either party is not satisfied with the decision of the department, they have five working days from receipt of the decision to contact the dean's office (at the number below), indicating the intention to appeal. If the complaint does not involve an academic department in the school, the student must contact the dean's office within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
  5. In either case, there will be an attempt to resolve the issue informally by the associate dean. If this cannot be done, the complaint can be filed in writing with the dean's office. This must be done within 10 working days of the time the appealing party was notified that informal resolution was unsuccessful.
  6. On receipt of such a written complaint, the associate dean will convene a subcommittee of the school's Equity & Diversity Committee. This subcommittee may ask for additional information from the parties involved and may hold a hearing at which both parties will be asked to speak separately. The subcommittee will then make a written recommendation to the dean of the School of Education who will render a decision. Unless a longer time is negotiated, this written decision shall be made within 20 working days from the date when the grievance was filed with the dean's office.

Questions about these procedures can be directed to the School of Education Dean's Office, 377 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 608-262-1763.

State law contains additional provisions regarding discrimination and harassment. Wisconsin Statutes 36.12 reads, in part: "No student may be denied admission to, participation in or the benefits of, or be discriminated against in any service, program, course or facility of the system or its institutions or center because of the student's race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or parental status." In addition, UW–System prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression. Students have the right to file discrimination and harassment complaints with the Office of Compliance, 361 Bascom Hall, 608-265-6018, uwcomplianceoffice@wisc.edu.

OTHER

The department offers assistantships to incoming students.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

  1. Demonstrate a strong foundation in current and past theories, research findings, and methodologies in school psychology. Use critical thinking skills to synthesize existing knowledge, evaluate strengths and limitations in existing theory and research, and identify issues in need of additional inquiry - including conceptual and methodological approaches available to address these issues.
  2. Demonstrate a knowledge of and sensitivity to human diversity in terms of individual abilities, orientations, and sociocultural backgrounds with implications for school psychology and related fields.
  3. Retrieve, evaluate, and interpret professional and scientific literature; use this information to develop or adapt theoretical frameworks and derive testable hypotheses or predictions for research / program evaluation projects relevant to school psychology and related fields.
  4. Learn to design realistic and feasible research or assessment projects in school psychology and to prepare necessary protocols that are sensitive to the backgrounds of individuals who are the focus of their work.
  5. Conduct independent research and analyze and interpret resulting data in school psychology and related fields.
  6. Create clear and concise reports of their research or program evaluations relevant to school psychology and related fields that are appropriate to the intended audiences, which may include fellow scholars (via scholarly journals), practitioners (via practitioner journals or reports), and lay audiences (via online or other published reports).
  7. Communicate effectively in collaborative work, instructional activities, and/or consultation settings with students and professional colleagues.
  8. Conduct research or program implementation / evaluation in accordance with ethical standards established in school psychology and related fields.

Faculty

Professors: Asmus, Quintana
Associate Professors: Albers, Eklund (Co-Chair), Garbacz (Co-Chair), Kilgus
Assistant Professor: Klingbeil
Clinical Associate Professor: Kelly
Clinical Assistant Professor: Hagermoser-Bayley

For access to individual faculty profiles, click here

Accreditation

American Psychological Association

Accreditation status: Accredited. Accreditation administratively transferred from the Educational Psychology PhD: Educational Specialist in School Psychology name option. Next accreditation review: 2028-2029.

CERTIFICATION/LICENSURE

 School Psychology Praxis Exam (NASP)

Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology

Professional Certification/Licensure Disclosure (NC-SARA)

The United States Department of Education requires institutions that provide distance education to disclose information for programs leading to professional certification or licensure about whether each program meets state educational requirements for initial licensure or certification. Following is this disclosure information for this program:

The requirements of this program meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, District of Columbia; American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

The requirements of this program do not meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:

Not applicable

The requirements of this program have not been determined if they meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:

Not applicable