School Psychology


Why study School Psychology?

The University of Cincinnati’s Ph.D. in School Psychology program is dedicated to preparing highly competent school psychologists utilizing a scientist-practitioner model. Doctoral-level graduates are prepared to serve as psychologists in schools, clinics, hospitals, and other agencies, as well as for academic and research positions.

In addition to foundational competencies of school psychology practice, doctoral-level graduates are trained in research, supervision, and leadership. Both theoretical and empirical bases of professional practice are emphasized, and a diverse range of practical field experiences are provided throughout the preparation. Doctoral trainees receive advanced training in the psychological foundations of professional practice, as well as theoretical foundations of applied behavior analysis and a social justice orientation to service delivery.

The Ph.D. program includes five years of full-time study. Years 1-4 include coursework, field experiences, and research. Students earn a M.Ed. in Foundations in Behavior Analysis after the first year in the program. Students complete a pre-dissertation research project in Year 1 and a dissertation in Year 4. Students participate in the APPI Match process to obtain a full-year internship for Year 5.

Admission Requirements

  1. Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  2. Unofficial Transcripts and a minimum overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0
  3. CV or Resume
  4. Goal Statement
  5. A minimum of one Letter of Recommendation (three letters are strongly recommended)
  6. 18 credit hours in psychological foundations is suggested, but not required. Here are the areas:
    • History and Systems of Psychology
    • Research and Statistics
    • Child Development
    • Social Psychology
    • Biological Bases
    • Learning Theory

Graduates of this program will be prepared for the careers listed below. All opportunities may not be listed.

This program offers a verified course sequence for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) so students may pursue BCBA positions after obtaining supervised hours and securing the credential.

Students are assigned a faculty advisor upon admission to the program. The advisor is one of the core faculty members in the School Psychology program. Students meet at least once per semester with their advisor in formal meetings, although all faculty are available for ongoing support.

The program uses a cohort model for doctoral admissions. As such, students are not admitted under a faculty member or assigned a research advisor at the beginning of the program. Students have the opportunity to work on research teams with various faculty. Students develop their research interests and the idea for their pre-dissertation, and a research advisor is selected at the end of the 2nd year.

Why choose our Ph.D. in School Psychology program?

  • The program is accredited by the American Psychological Association
  • Students obtain a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Foundations in Behavior Analysis after year one as part of the program
  • Strong ecological-behavioral orientation with a social justice focus
  • Students are involved in field experiences starting their first semester
  • Experiences are available across urban, suburban, and rural sites, as well as schools, clinics, and hospitals
  • All students receive some level of financial support, and the program has a history of full funding for doctoral students
  • Opportunities to collaborate with faculty and students on different research teams and develop students’ own research interests

The Program Coordinator and Program faculty review students’ requests and submit potential transfer credits to the Graduate College for approval. We follow all Graduate College guidelines around transfer credits. Students may be asked to provide syllabi for courses to demonstrate course equivalency.


For international admissions requirements, please visit our website.

Application Deadlines

The program admits students once per year for the Fall semester. Applications are due December 1 for the following Fall.


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

UC's PhD in School Psychology program is:

  • Accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Fully approved by National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  • Verified Course sequence by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)
  • The College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services (CECH) is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

Contact Information

CECH Office of Recruitment
2610 University Circle
PO Box 210014
Cincinnati, OH 45221
(513) 556-6308

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Program Code: 18DOC-SPSY-PHD