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 discipline-specific knowledge and profession-wide competencies so students can be effective researchers and practitioners in health service psychology within the school psychology specialty.

Internship requirement

All school psychology Ph.D. students are expected to complete a one-year full-time internship after they complete coursework and oral comprehensive exams.

Residency requirement

A doctoral degree in School Psychology requires at least 3 full-time academic years of graduate study before the internship. Regardless of previous graduate work, at least 2 of the three academic training years must be completed in the School Psychology program at KU (not including internship). Students are expected to be in residence to complete the degree course requirements.
The SOEHS requires doctoral students to 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 the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

more program structure

Comprehensive Examination

Upon completing all coursework, the student is eligible for the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination consists of both a written and oral part and tests the student's knowledge of the coursework areas, 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 dissertation aims 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 school psychology.

Program Curriculum

The program’s curriculum reflects the standards of training for the psychology profession and each student's needs and aspirations. It is designed to prepare researchers, teachers, and leaders for work in various settings. The student will work closely with an advisor to determine a study plan. 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, including 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 welcome to contact one (or more) of the faculty members in the department prior to applying for the doctoral program, however it is not required.

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. If you are planning to apply to both the doctoral level and EdS level, you can save on application fees by submitting only one application to the doctoral level. Then, indicate your interest in the EdS level on the “Are you interested in our EdS program if not admitted to the PhD program?” question. At the discretion of the admission committee, those with strong credentials, but not qualified at the doctoral level, can be recommended to the EdS pool for consideration.

  • 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; only the general GRE test is required.

  • 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
Associate 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