Program Requirements for School Psychology PhD as of Fall 2020

Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 99-108

Required Courses

Core Courses (87-90 credits)

Required courses for School Psychology EdS as of Fall 2020

Course Number



ABA 5302

Effective Teaching Strategies and Academic Interventions



Ethical and Legal Issues


CPSY 5526 OR
AOD 5524

Multicultural Counseling OR Sociocultural Dynamics


EDUC 8404

Quantitative Analysis, Part I


EDUC 8405

Quantitative Analysis, Part II


Approved Advanced Statistics Course

Select one advanced statistics course in consultation with your advisor.


EPSY 5529

Tests and Measurements


EPSY 5561

Development and Learning over the Lifetime


EPSY 8627

Introduction to Research Design and Methods


SPSY 5667

Introduction to Special Education


SPSY 5671

Integrative Assessment


SPSY 5674

Social and Emotional Aspects of Behavior and Assessment


SPSY 5676

Applied Behavior Analysis


SPSY 5771

Biological Aspects of Behavior


SPSY 8773

Developmental Psychopathology and Low Incidence Disabilities


SPSY 8776

History and Systems of Psychology


SPSY 8777

Theories and Techniques of Counseling for Youth


SPSY 9551



Internship, Practicum,and Clinic Experience

SPSY 9687

Clinical Supervision Seminar in School Psychology


SPSY 9876

Supervision of Psychological Services


SPSY 9487

Professional Issues and Practicum


SPSY 9488

Advanced Practicum in School Psychology


SPSY 9688

Psychoeducational Clinic


SPSY 9885

Internship in School Psychology


Lists the required courses for students beginning their School Psychology EdS program in Fall 2020 or following term.

*Students who undertake an internship through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) complete 6 credits of SPSY 9885, while those who complete a non-APPIC internship must take 9 credits of SPSY 9885.


An internship with a minimum of 1,500 hours must be completed in an approved setting. A minimum of 600 hours must be in a school setting. The internship can be full-time for a year or half-time over two years. Students who undertake an internship through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) complete 6 credits of SPSY 9885, while those who complete a non-APPIC internship must take 9 credits of SPSY 9885. The internship experience is evaluated for successful completion.


The doctoral dissertation is an original piece of scholarship that makes a significant contribution to the field of School Psychology. A majority of the dissertations in the program are empirical, typically using statistical analysis as the means of completing the data collection process. Other types of scholarship (e.g., those utilizing more qualitative approaches or those employing theoretical or philosophical analysis of educational issues) may be acceptable. A successful dissertation will be publishable in a refereed journal.

Students shall complete a combination of 6 credit hours of dissertation-related coursework (2 of which must be EDUC 9999). 

Dissertation Coursework (6 credits)

Dissertation-related coursework for School Psychology PhD program



EDUC 9994

Preliminary Examination Preparation

EDUC 9998

Dissertation Proposal Design

EDUC 9999

Doctoral Dissertation

Specifies the coursework requirements for dissertation completion in the School Psychology PhD program.

General Track OR Optional Concentration

In order to complete the doctor of philosphy degree requirements and the requirements for PDE certification as a School Psychologist (PK-12), students must complete the 93-96 credits of post-baccalaureate required coursework as listed above.  Students who are pursuing board certification in Pennsylvania as a behavioral analysts (BCBA) should elect to complete the additional 12 credits of coursework in the optional concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis.  Students who elect not to pursue BCBA board certification must follow the general track and complete an additional 6 credits of approved electives to complete the doctor of philosophy degree requirements. 

General Track (6 credits)

General Track Additional Course Requirements

Course Number



Approved Elective

Elective selected in consultation with advisor


Approved Elective

Elective selected in consultation with advisor


Requirements for students electing not to complete the optional concentration

Total Credit Hours Required for Degree Completion with General Track: 99-102 credits

Applied Behavior Analysis (Optional Concentration: 12 credits)

Applied Behavior Analysis Optional Concentration Course Requirements

Course Number



ABA 5304

Concepts and Principles in Behavior Analysis


ABA 5305

Single Subject Research Design


ABA 5306 / PSY 8610

Organizational Behavior Management


ABA 8787

Seminar on Verbal Behavior


Requirements when student elects to complete optional concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis

Total Credit Hours Required For Degree Completion with Optional Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis: 105-108 credits

Culminating Events

Portfolio Review:

During the internship year, students must submit a portfolio of professional work for review by the advisor.

Preliminary Examination:

The preliminary examination is an essay examination that covers key areas of Psychology and School Psychology to determine the student's competence and ability to explain key concepts. Four areas are covered:

  1. Scientific Psychology;
  2. Consultation and Intervention;
  3. Diagnosis and Remediation; and
  4. Role/Function and Ethical/Legal Considerations.

The preliminary examination is taken after completion of all academic subjects except for the internship. It is offered over two days, with each section of the examination requiring three hours. The exam is administered and proctored at a time determined by the College of Education and Human Development.

All School Psychology faculty participate in writing the exam by submitting questions and by evaluating the written exam. A passing grade in all four areas is required to pass the exam.

Proposal with Oral Defense:

The dissertation proposal demonstrates the student's knowledge of and ability to conduct the proposed research. Minimally, the proposal should contain the context and background surrounding a particular research problem; a survey and review of the literature to a sufficient degree to provide the reader with enough information to understand why the research is being conducted; a detailed methodological plan for investigating the problem; and a proposed timeline for completing the dissertation. The Doctoral Advisory Committee must approve the student's proposal, which is presented at a formal proposal defense.

Dissertation with Oral Defense:

The Doctoral Advisory Committee oversees all aspects of the student's dissertation from the proposal to the oral defense. It is composed of three members of the Graduate Faculty. A member of the School Psychology faculty typically chairs the committee. At least one faculty member from outside the program must be on the committee. The student chooses her/his committee in consultation with the selected chair. A student may petition for a change of chairperson or member of the Doctoral Advisory Committee. This petition must be approved by the Department Chair and by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies. Complete details about the dissertation process are available in the College of Education and Human Development Dissertation Handbook, which is available from the Dean's office.

The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and oral defense. It is composed of the three members of the Doctoral Advisory Committee plus one additional faculty member, i.e., an outside examiner. One member may be assigned by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies. The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the dissertation and the student's ability to defend it. The committee votes to pass or fail the dissertation. The outcome of the defense is determined by majority vote.

Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation must confirm a date and time with the Dissertation Examining Committee. Notification of the date and time must then be submitted on the appropriate College form to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies no less than 3 weeks prior to the oral defense. The announcement of the oral defense is sent by the Associate Dean to the Graduate School no less than 10 days prior to the defense. A copy of the announcement is also sent to each member of the Dissertation Examining Committee and is posted on the bulletin board in the Office of Student Services of the College of Education and Human Development.

Clearances Required for Graduate Program

State and federal criminal background checks, a TB test and a child abuse clearance are required to be eligible to complete the program. Applicants must complete and upload documentation of clearances prior to the start of their program. See Required Clearances for Working in Pennsylvania Schools for more information.

Academic Program Changes Effective Fall 2020

Reflective of our commitment to continually improve learning opportunities for our students and to deliver programs that address discipline-based knowledge in a broad, diverse, and changing environment, the College of Education and Human Development has modified the program requirements for several academic programs. These changes, as approved by Temple's Board of Trustees, are effective for students beginning their program in Fall 2020 and beyond.  To ensure students can adequately plan their course of study, the college is posting the revised program requirements. This information will remain available on this site until the updated 2020-2021 Temple Bulletin is published in August 2020. 

Review the current Temple Bulletin - >>