School Psychology PhD Programs California

School Psychology PhD

Become a Skilled Practitioner and Innovator in a Dynamic Field of Study

Students in our American Psychological Association-accredited* and National Association of School Psychologists-approved program benefit from our nationally recognized rigorous course of study and desirable location in the heart of the economically vibrant and demographically diverse Inland Empire. Our school psychologists are scientist-practitioners who contribute to the body of accumulated knowledge in the field while also addressing problems affecting K-12 pupils’ learning, behavior, and cognition.

Students complete our program having earned their PhD and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing credential in School Psychology. Graduates also have the opportunity to become Nationally Certified School Psychologists and licensed psychologists. Our graduates have in-demand skills and credentials that create ample opportunity for employment in either the public K-12 education sector or as faculty at postsecondary institutions in California and across the nation.

Please note that the UCR School Psychology Program is a traditional, full-time doctoral program. Students must complete a minimum of 3 full-time academic years of graduate study plus internship prior to receiving the PhD. At least 2 of the 3 years must be at UCR. The program is designed for completion of all program requirements, including internship and dissertation within 5 years, but about 30% take an additional year. Continuous enrollment is required.

Highlights of the School Psychology PhD Program

  • The program promotes an eco-behavioral theoretical model emphasizing skill development in school, clinic, and home environments using evidence-based practices.
  • Program courses provide students with instruction in assessment and intervention within a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS), and applied work affords students an opportunity to apply those skills.
  • Funding opportunities include those from the Graduate School of Education, Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) positions, teaching and research assistantships, Eugene Cota Robles Diversity Fellowship, and grants for travel and professional conferences
  • The comparatively lower cost of living in California’s Inland Empire region further reduces the financial impact on students.
  • The small cohort-based approach gives students ample opportunities to develop their research and clinical skills while interacting often with faculty.
  • Mentorship by our faculty prepares students to publish in peer-reviewed journals and present research findings at major professional conferences.
  • The program allows you to earn a CTC accredited Pupil Personnel Services credential concurrently with your PhD.
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Career Prospects for School Psychologists

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16,400 new school psychologists will be needed between 2012 and 2022. The highest earning school psychologists are located in California cities. The best paid earned $112,380 and the median salary was $67,760.

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Alumni Testimonials

“I chose the UCR Graduate School of Education’s School Psychology program knowing that graduating from a credible program would leave me well prepared to practice as a school psychologist, and be a leader in the field of special education. The highly respected program has helped open many doors for me.” -Jacqueline Williams, School Psychologist, West San Gabriel SELPA Director

*Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979