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School of Human Services and Sciences

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Speech & Language Sci | Psychology | Hearing | Psy.D. in School Psychology

Dr. Tania Thomas-Presswood, Program Coordinator
School of Human Services and Sciences

The Doctor of Psychology in School Psychology (Psy.D.) Program in the School of Human Services and Science provides a comprehensive plan of advanced studies that integrates respect for diversity in theory and practice, basic and advanced psychological principles, consultative and interventionist skills, data-based and problem-solving approaches, and scholarly and research-based learning that advance the field of school psychology and the practice with students who are deaf and hard of hearing. The fundamental commitment of the program is to develop competent doctoral-level school psychologists who possess a sub-specialization in working with and serving deaf and hard of hearing children, skilled in the delivery of multiple services in a variety of settings (schools, private practice, hospitals, clinics, universities, etc.). The program is anchored in the Practitioner-Model. The goal of the Practitioner-Scholar model is to develop and produce practitioners informed by research and whose training prioritizes the acquisition of practical and hands-on-experiences.

The Psy.D. program in School Psychology requires completion of 97 graduate semester hours, including extensive practicum and internship experiences. The degree awarded at completion of the full program is the Doctor in Psychology (Psy.D.). The program generally requires four years to complete. The first year includes a 31-credit sequence of courses in psychology and related areas, courses in American Sign Language (ASL), and successful completion of comprehensive examinations. Successful completion of these requirements results in the Master of Arts degree in Developmental Psychology with a Specialty in Working with Deaf Children. The post-Masters (or 2nd – 3rd years) portion of the program requires an additional 66-semester credit sequence of courses emphasizing school psychological services, content areas, extensive practicum/externship experience, and completing a yearlong applied research project. The fourth year of the program requires a 12-credit, full-time school psychology internship, served in a school or school/clinical setting anywhere in the United States, the completion of two Comprehensive Internship Case Studies, and taking the Praxis national exam. Upon successful completion of all internship year requirements, the Psy.D. in School Psychology will be awarded.

A series of “Transition Points” will guide candidates through the four-year curriculum toward Psy.D. Degree and eventual alumni status. The program identifies six Transition Points that serve as benchmarks for monitoring progress through the program. The six Transition Points are Entry into the Program, M.A. Degree in Developmental Psychology with a Specialty in Working with Deaf Children, Advancement to Practicum II, Advancement to Internship, Psy.D. Degree in School Psychology, and Alumni Status. A summary of requirements at each Transition Point is presented in Table 1. Faculty advisors will monitor candidate progress through each transition point.

Table 1. Summary of Transition Point Requirements

Transition Point


1. Entry into the Program

Recommendation for admission by the Admissions Committee based on completed application (GREs optional; Psychology Major or Equivalent Course Background; GPA minimum 3.0; recommendation letters; interview, Personal Statements/Essays on experience related to deafness sub-specialization, the rationale for entering the profession, goals, & related work experience).

2. Awarding the M.A. in Developmental Psychology with Specialty in Working with Deaf Children

Successful completion of 31 semester hours of specified graduate courses, an additional six credits in ASL required, and comprehensive examinations.

3. Advancement to

Practicum II

Completion of all previous transition points plus a prerequisite grade of B or above in Practicum I, successful ratings on Practicum I Field Supervisor/Faculty Surveys, and successful completion of the Communication Profile and ASL classes.

4. Advancement to


Successful completion of M.A. plus 85 credits, Practicum II, successful Practicum II logs, successful Field Supervisor/Faculty Surveys (Practicum II and Consultation) and Pre-Internship Intervention Binders, completing a yearlong applied research project, and successful completion of the Pre-Internship File (Individual Internship Plan, and Communication Profile).

5. Awarding the PsyD

Degree in School


Successful completion of all previous transition points plus 12 internship credits, a full-time academic year internship of at least 2000 hours, monthly Internship Logs, successful Field Supervisor/Faculty Survey, and Internship Intervention Binder (includes: Comprehensive Internship Case Studies (Assessment & Intervention), Family/Parent and Teacher Workshop Report, and Legal and Ethical Case Application Report), completion of the Candidate Exit Survey, Evaluation of Internship Site/Supervisor, and taking the Praxis II National School Psychology Test.

6. Alumni Status

Receipt of Praxis II National School Psychology Examination scores, completion of the Alumni Survey and Employer Survey (+ 3 years).

 Admissions Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree (BA, BS) minimum

  • Official Transcript of undergraduate or any graduate work

  • Required undergraduate courses: Child Psychology/Developmental Psychology, Statistics, Research Design, and Abnormal Psychology.

  • GPA 3.0 or higher

  • GRE Scores optional

  • Three letters of recommendation with one letter addressing the applicant’s potential for advanced study and research. 

  • Personal Goal Statement

  • Interview 

  • Resume

  • All applicants must be able to pass a background check to be advanced to practicum or internship (Why? All school systems require a background check before granting access to school-age children for practicum and internship field experiences), and all applicants must demonstrate scholastic ability and interpersonal skills to be an effective psychological practitioner in the schools.


First Date for Consideration of Application: No set date
Last Date for Completed Application: February 1


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Courses & Requirements

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Admissions Requirements

Hearing Undergraduate