School Psychology PhD Programs California

School Psychology PhD

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

UCR’s School Psychology PhD program is one of only three in California to hold the important American Psychological Association (APA) accreditation, an indicator of the high quality of the training you will receive. Additionally, the program is accredited by the National Association for School Psychologists (NASP). When you graduate from the program you will hold a School Psychology credential for the state of California and be eligible to become a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). The School Psychology doctoral program integrates the roles of scientist and practitioner to prepare professionals who are highly employable as school psychologists, university professors, and private practitioners.

This PhD program is one of the few programs in the country to engage students in a practicum for a full four years, culminating in a fifth year of internship. The program sequences practicum experiences to shape and mentor skill development for maximum educational benefit. You will complete your practicum in diverse settings that include at least three of the following: preschool, elementary school, middle/junior high school, and high school. Additionally, many students choose to complete practicum in a clinical and/or nonpublic school setting. By the time you complete the School Psychology PhD program at UCR, you will be well prepared to promote positive outcomes for students, their families, educators, and school systems.

Highlights of the School Psychology PhD Program

  • Undertake a research degree requiring completion of a series of courses culminating in qualifying examinations and followed by independent research and the development and defense of a dissertation.
  • Complete a minimum of 1,200 hours of School Psychology practicum, including at least 500 hours within a school setting.
  • Acquire a doctoral degree that meets the requirements of national accrediting bodies such as the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists as well as the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
  • Be eligible upon graduation to become a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) and accumulate postdoctoral hours towards psychology licensure.
  • Gain practical experience participating in pre-referral intervention, conducting psychological assessments, developing and implementing academic, social/emotional, and behavioral interventions, conducting counseling sessions, and consulting with school personnel.
  • Earn your School Psychology PhD in five years, including four on campus and a fifth of internship.
  • Have the opportunity to get help paying for your PhD education through multi-year fellowships.

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.

Related Doctoral Programs in Education to Check Out

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