Ph.D. in School Psychology at KU Program Details



Students take a minimum of 121-123 credit hours of coursework. The academic coursework is designed to develop the knowledge base necessary for effective research and scholarship development.

Internship requirement

All school psychology Ph.D. students are expected to complete a 4-hour internship.

Residency requirement

Doctoral students must be enrolled full-time for at least two semesters in a row during their doctoral training. Consecutive full-time enrollment for two semesters can be attained from Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

more program structure

Comprehensive examination

Upon completion of all coursework, the student is eligible for the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination consists of both a written and oral part and test the student's knowledge of the areas of the coursework; ability to reason, evaluate and draw supportable conclusions within the context of the subject area; and knowledge of current issues and trends within the field.


The purpose of the dissertation is to study one school psychology problem or specialty in depth. The student is expected to generate original knowledge in a specialized field and contribute to resolving important problems or questions within the field of school psychology.

Program Curriculum

The program’s curriculum reflects the needs and aspirations of each student, and prepares researchers, teachers and educational leaders for a variety of settings. The student will work closely with an advisor to determine a plan of study. The curriculum requirements outlined below are the minimum required for the degree. To be adequately prepared for an intended career, the student’s advisor may encourage additional coursework or opportunities which may include presenting and/or publishing scholarly papers.

Core Requirements


Please note, this is a potential plan of study. Please consult with your faculty advisor before enrolling.

Additional requirements

  • Minimum program credit hours = 121-123

Application Deadlines

Dec. 1
Fall or summer semester application deadline

Graduate Admission

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. International applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the application process well in advance of the application deadlines, in order to ensure adequate time for processing of visa related paperwork. Meeting minimum admission standards does not guarantee admission to the program. Applicants are strongly advised to contact one (or more) of the faculty members in the department prior to applying for the doctoral program.

Application Checklist

Ph.D. in School Psychology

Applicants are required to submit the following materials and meet the following requirements before the application deadline:


  • Online application

    Complete through the KU Office of Graduate Admissions

  • Transcripts

    One official copy of academic transcripts from each college or university attended

  • English translation of transcripts

    Official transcripts from an international university must include an English translation

  • GRE exam scores

    Official copy of scores no older than five years

  • Resume or CV

  • Statement of intent

    Describe your career goals; Describe how you see your career goals relating to this degree program (how you see this program preparing you to meet your career objectives); Describe past work or educational experiences related to this degree program; Describe what skills/competencies and experiences you hope to gain in this program; Describe any past research experiences and accomplishments; Describe one research topic/issue that you would like to pursue in this program; Please provide additional information concerning your background, experience, goals, or accomplishments/awards you believe are pertinent to your application.

  • Online letters of recommendation

    Names and email addresses of persons to be asked to complete letters of recommendation who can provide a thorough evaluation of one’s abilities at the graduate level

  • Proof of English proficiency

    Non-native English speakers must demonstrate English proficiency

  • Financial document (international students only)

    Required by U.S. government in order to issue the I-20 or DS-2019

  • Application fee

    $65 for U.S. residents; $85 for international applicants.

Program Faculty

Christopher R. Niileksela
Christopher R. Niileksela
Assistant Professor
Matthew R Reynolds
Matthew R. Reynolds
Professor, Director of Training, School Psychology
Erin Yosai
Erin Yosai
Associate Professor of the Practice in School Psychology