Ph.D. in School Psychology

Students in our American Psychological Association-accredited* and National Association of School Psychologists-approved Ph.D. – Licensure program benefit from our nationally-recognized rigorous course of study in the heart of Denver.

We train students as scientist-practitioners who contribute to the body of accumulated knowledge in the field as well as address challenges affecting K-12 pupils’ learning, behavior, development and cognition. The School Psychology program promotes an ecological model embedded in a social justice orientation and emphasizes skill development using evidence-based practice, current learning theory and field-specific research.

Graduates have in-demand skills that create ample opportunity for employment as faculty at postsecondary institutions, practitioners in the public K-12 education sector or psychologists in the clinical setting. Graduates have the opportunity to attain their National Association of School Psychologists’ national certification, the Colorado Department of Education School Psychologist license and, upon completion of post-doctoral requirements, license as a Health Service Provider in the state of Colorado. The University of Denver has not yet determined whether the program meets licensure requirements in a state other than Colorado or in any U.S. protectorates. For students seeking licensure in a state other than Colorado, students should contact the state’s Department of Education to determine whether the program meets licensure requirements.

Note: The program is APA accredited until September 1, 2022.

Learning Outcomes

The program learning outcomes for the Ph.D. in School Psychology – Licensure are as follows:

  • Consultation: able to collaborate in strengths-based, problem-solving, interdisciplinary teams with families, teachers, administrators, and other school and community personnel and to demonstrate appropriate interpersonal relations and professional dispositions and work characteristics;
  • Assessment: able to demonstrate evidence-based and culturally competent decision-making regarding selection, administration, and interpretation of assessments;
  • Intervention: able to employ data-based decision-making and systems-thinking that links assessment outcomes to effective individual, family, and group change and to deliver preventative, remedial strategic accommodations, intervention, and crisis services in a timely and professional manner;
  • Scholarship and Advocacy: able to apply, translate, and expand upon scientifically-based pedagogy and professional practice; able to advocate for the needs of children and families, to respect the dignity and worth of all persons, to exhibit compassion and self-awareness, and to demonstrate strong listening, oral and written communication skills.

Program Requirements

You will need to complete 135-quarter credit hours and a supervised 2,000-hour APA/APPIC approved full-time internship. Up to 45 quarter-credit hours may transfer in from a master’s degree. Among other program requirements, you must also:

  • Pass the Praxis II exam
  • Complete a doctoral residency
  • Pass the doctoral comprehensive exam
  • Successfully defend your dissertation

Accreditation

The School Psychology Licensure Ph.D. program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The American Psychological Association (APA) is a scientific and professional organization that represents psychologists in the United States. APA educates the public about psychology, behavioral science, and mental health; promotes psychological science and practice; fosters the education and training of psychological scientists, practitioners and educators; advocates for psychological knowledge and practice to inform public policy; and champions the application of psychology to promote human rights, health, well-being and dignity.

For data related to the program as part of APA accreditation, please see: Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data.

The School Psychology Licensure Ph.D. program is also accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is a professional association that represents more than 25,000 school psychologists, graduate students, and related professionals throughout the United States and 25 other countries. The world’s largest organization of school psychologists, NASP works to advance effective practices to improve students’ learning, behavior, and mental health. Our vision is that all children and youth thrive in school, at home, and throughout life.