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The mission of the School Psychology PhD program is to inspire the development of transformative leaders and mutually beneficial community relationships to promote positive change and well-being across systems important to children and families. We intentionally engage with diverse populations, settings, and professional opportunities to accomplish rigorous, culturally sensitive, scientist-practitioner training and research.

Program Values

Excellence in Science and Practice: We endorse and exemplify research to inform science and practice to advocate for our clients through a social justice lens.

Innovative Leadership: Through research and training, we empower leaders to develop innovative solutions to the real-world challenges of children and the socioecological-behavioral systems in which they exist.

Collaborative Community Partnerships: By recognizing the strengths of community partners, we establish sustainable mutually beneficial community collaborations.

Diversity and Social Justice: By valuing the unique strengths and needs of children, families, and systems we serve, we are agents of culturally informed social justice efforts guided by the rich diversity of the University and surrounding communities.

Academic Integrity: We share responsibility to create and foster a climate of collegiality and professional integrity in all endeavors.

Systemic Perspective: Guided by a socioecological-behavioral framework, we seek to bring excellence to the many settings and systems that directly or indirectly influence child development and well-being.

Is this Program for Me?

The Ph.D. Program in School Psychology was accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) in June 2009.  Since its approval by the state in 2005, the Program has been committed to developing school psychologists who excel in the areas of applied research as well as ecologically and developmentally sensitive evidence-based practice. Sensitivity to diversity issues and client preferences is addressed in specific course work and embedded throughout the training experience. Eleven of thirteen students have obtained competitive APA accredited pre-doctoral internships, and two of our students obtained APA accredited Postdoctoral Fellowships.

The Program adheres to a scientist-practitioner training model, and students learn to conceptualize according to according to an ecological-behavioral theoretical model.   Our goal is to develop professional school psychologists who are competent to engage in applied research and ecologically sensitive evidence-based practice (i.e., students learn to apply critical analysis and inquiry to identify, select, implement, and evaluate evidence-based practices with sensitivity to cultural and linguistic considerations, and in consideration of diverse client preferences).   Awareness of diversity issues is ensured because UH is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse research institutions in the nation, and because our practicum sites in the Houston area mirror this diversity. Our doctoral students have consistently reflected this diversity as well, with almost one-half of students claiming non-Caucasian ancestry. We actively encourage student and faculty applicants from diverse backgrounds.

Students can expect to spend the following amount of time in the program:

  • Five-six years – without transferable graduate credit
  • Four-five years – with transferable graduate credit (no more than 30 hours)

Learn more about the School Psychology program:
Overview of School Psychology Program for Students (PowerPoint File)

What will I learn?

Upon successful completion of the program, School Psychology graduates will attain the following skills:

  • Scholarly inquiry, research, writing and presentation skills
  • Application of critical analysis and inquiry to existing research, and the ability to identify, select, implement, and evaluate evidence-based practices
  • Sensitivity to ecological, diverse and developmental considerations, and concern for client preferences
  • Exposure and supervised experience, with:
    • diverse populations
    • conditions
    • professionals
    • settings
    • procedures
  • Understanding of the scientist-practitioner model which emphasizes an integrated, hierarchical sequence of coursework, practica, internship and research experiences

Students develop professional leadership, ethical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal skills through:

  • Coursework
  • Residency
  • Candidacy Research Project
  • Comprehensive Exam
  • Dissertation
  • Practica
  • Internships

What can I do with my degree?

The program offers the preparation necessary for students to apply for the following credentials:

  • Licensed Psychologist
  • Licensed Specialist in School Psychology
  • National Certified School Psychologist
  • Designation as a Health Service Provider by the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology
  • Diplomate in School Psychology

A doctoral degree in School Psychology prepares graduates for professional work as psychologists in academic and non-academic positions.

To apply for this program, please see the Graduate Admissions page.

Learn more about the School Psychology program:
Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data

For more information about APA program accreditation, contact:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association

750 1st Street
NE Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979

Financial Assistance

Doctoral Student Tuition Fellowship (DSTF)

The Graduate Tuition Fellowship (GTF) provides tuition remission for 9 credit hours to eligible graduate students. This program does not cover mandatory fees or course fees. In order to qualify for a GTF a student must be enrolled in at least 9 credit hours and hold a half-time graduate appointment (20 hour) that pays a minimum monthly rate (established each semester) which begins at $1061/month for 2011-2012 plus a $150/month additional stipend that may be used to offset health insurance costs or for other purposes. The graduate appointment must hold one or more of the following titles: Teaching Assistant (TA), Teaching Fellow (TF), Instructional Assistant (IA), Research Assistant (RA) or Graduate Assistant (GA).

Presidential/Cullen/Ehrhardt Fellowships

A limited number of Presidential/Cullen/Ehrhardt Fellowships are available for outstanding students who are entering graduate or professional programs at the University of Houston. Preference is given to those whose degree objective is the doctorate. The potential for academic excellence is the main criterion for selection. Students must meet minimum full-time enrollment (9hrs) and 3.0 GPA to maintain the Fellowship each semester.
Outstanding applicants are nominated by program faculty and reviewed and awarded by the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies. Typically the criteria utilized for these decisions focus on the prior educational attainment of the applicant, demonstrated interest in and preparation for the course of study, and evidence of the applicant’s ability to successfully matriculate in the program. These decisions, by their very nature, require a comprehensive review of multiple factors by the faculty charged with selecting students for admission and/or the awarding of competitive fellowships. The procedures utilized by the faculty to admit students and/or nominate them for competitive fellowships may differ, depending on the volume and quality of the applicants, the materials supplied by the applicants, recommendation letters and other factors the faculty consider to be appropriate.

Other Financial Assistance

In addition to the GTF and the Presidential Fellowship the Office of Graduate Studies as well as the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid offers information concerning loans and other scholarships available for graduate students.  Additional information about fellowships, scholarships and loans can be found on the UH Graduate and Professional Studies website: