The doctoral specialization in School Psychology adheres to a scientist-practitioner model of training and is designed to fully integrate psychological theory with rigorous research and professional practice skills. The program is committed to training multi-culturally competent school psychologists. The PhD program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and approved by the National Association of School Psychologists.

The School Psychology program has five major goals. It aims to prepare school psychologists to:

  • Design and implement evidence-based therapeutic interventions that meet the mental health and educational needs of children, adolescents and families
  • Engage in problem-solving consultation within and across schools and community settings with families and professionals to enhance the competencies and resilience of youth and to promote healthy home, school and community environments
  • Conduct comprehensive assessments that are directly linked to interventions aimed at improving understanding and outcomes of youth, families and schools
  • Provide service delivery and to conduct research that reflects APA and NASP ethical and professional standards
  • Conduct, interpret, critique and disseminate high quality scientist-practitioner research that advances the field of school psychology

Educational Psychology PhD

The goal of the Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology is to prepare psychologists, researchers and educational professionals to effectively work on the unique challenges of promoting education, learning, and mental health in urban environments. The four areas of emphasis in the doctoral program are:

  • Counseling Psychology
  • Cognitive and Developmental Sciences
  • Educational Statistics and Measurement
  • School Psychology

See the Educational Psychology Website for more information on these areas.

The Counseling Psychology and School Psychology specializations at the master’s and doctoral level are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
Website: American Psychological Association Website

Admission Requirements 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.


To be considered for admission to the program applicants must complete the Graduate School online application, and satisfy all UWM Graduate School admission requirements in addition to the following program requirements:

  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
  • A letter outlining the applicant’s academic and professional background, declaration of School Psychology as the Area of Concentration, as well as specific research interests and goals for the PhD program.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant’s intellectual achievement and potential.
  • Resume or curriculum vita.

Credits and Courses

Discipline-Specific Knowledge
Category 1: History and Systems of Pscyhology
PSYCH 750The History of Psychology3
Category 2: Foundations of Science
Biological Basis of Behavior
PSYCH 854Behavioral Neuroscience3
Cognitive Basis of Behavior, choose one:3
Cognition: Learning, Problem Solving and Thinking
Contextual Determinants of Motivation
Social Cognition in Educational Psychology
Developmental Basis of Behavior, choose one:3
Human Development: Theory and Research
Theory and Issues in Human Development
The Multicultural Family
Immigrant Child in Developmental Perspective
Affective Basis of Behavior
ED PSY 814Cognition and Emotion: The Affective Components of Human Thought3
Social Basis of Behavior
ED PSY 833Social Psychology of Group Differences: Race and Ethnicity3
Category 3: Advanced Integration
ED PSY 752Developmental Psychopathology3
Research Methods Core
Research Methods, choose one:3
Experimental Child Psychology
Techniques of Educational Research
Statistical Analysis
ED PSY 724Educational Statistical Methods II4
choose two:6
Multiple Regression
Item Response Theory
Structural Equation Modeling
Advanced Experimental Design and Analysis
Multivariate Methods
Analysis of Cross-Classified Categorical Data
Survey Research Methods
Theory of Hierarchical Linear Modeling
Psychometrics, choose one:3
Techniques of Educational and Psychological Measurement
Psychometric Theory and Practice
School Psychology Concentration: Profession-Wide Competencies
COUNS 805Consultation Strategies for Counselors and School Psychologists3
COUNS 814Professional, Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling Psychology3
ED PSY 710Child and Adolescent Mental Health Issues in Schools3
ED PSY 732Cognitive Behavioral Intervention Strategies in Education3
ED PSY 751Professional and Historical Issues in School Psychology3
ED PSY 755Cognitive Assessment: School Age Children4
ED PSY 760Academic Intervention and Alternative Assessment3
ED PSY 851Assessment and Interventions: Personality, Social and Emotional Functioning3
ED PSY 952Pediatric Psychology in Urban Settings3
ED PSY 955Advanced Therapeutic Interventions3
ED PSY 959Seminar in School Psychology:3
ED PSY 974Beginning Practicum in School Psychology4
ED PSY 975Advanced Practicum in School Psychology4
ED PSY 977Advanced Practicum in Intervention (2 semesters)5
ED PSY 978Advanced Practicum in Supervision (2 semesters)5
ED PSY 986Doctoral Internship in School Psychology6
Applied Research Methods and Practicum
ED PSY 790Research or Thesis3
Complete multiple semesters:6-12
Research Practicum in Educational Psychology
To completion of degree:
Research or Thesis
Total Credits104-110

In addition to the requirements listed below, please refer to the program handbook.

Additional Requirements

Advising and the Major Professor

Upon admission to the doctoral program in Educational Psychology, students are assigned a temporary advisor in their area of emphasis (e.g., Counseling Psychology, Cognitive and Developmental Sciences, Educational Statistics and Measurement, or School Psychology). This person is available to discuss initial course selection and provide general advice about the program. After beginning the program and before filing a Student Academic Plan, students should seek a Major Professor. The permanent Major Professor may—but does not have to be—the same person who is the temporary advisor. Students must select an advisor in their area of emphasis. Selection of a Major Professor is by mutual consent between the student and the faculty member. Students should notify the Training Director within their emphasis when the Major Professor has been selected.


The student must meet minimum Graduate School residence requirements of one continuous academic year of full-time graduate studies at UWM. This can be satisfied by completing at least 8 graduate credits in each of two consecutive semesters, or 6 or more graduate credits in each of three consecutive semesters. 


Students are required to complete practicum requirements to become licensed.


Following Practicum, students are required to complete a year-long internship in order to be licensed.

Publishable Paper

Students are required to work with faculty to have a “publishable” paper within 30 credits after admission to the program. It may be a collaborative effort, such as publishing a chapter or article with a faculty advisor or other faculty collaborator.


A minor is an option. Students interested in a minor should contact their Major Professor.

Master's Degree

Students may apply to receive the master's degree upon completion of 30 credits.

Doctoral Preliminary Examination

The Doctoral Preliminary Examination is taken at the end of a student’s coursework. A description of the Preliminary Examination is provided in the doctoral handbook corresponding to the student’s specialization area within Educational Psychology.

The Preliminary Examination consists of a written component and, in some specializations, an oral component. The purpose of the Preliminary Examination is to determine whether the student demonstrates understanding of coursework and related bodies of knowledge and is qualified to proceed with dissertation planning. A minimum of three faculty members in the specialization area shall participate on a student’s Preliminary Examination.

Proposal Hearing

A doctoral student qualifies as a “doctoral candidate” upon completion of the doctoral Student Academic Plan, successful completion of the Doctoral Preliminary Examination for the PhD degree, and successfully passing a dissertation proposal hearing. The hearing is open and the date, time and location must be announced by the Major Professor. Each member of the committee must sign the doctoral dissertation proposal hearing form, and indicate approval or disapproval. A simple majority of all committee members is required. No absentee ballots are acceptable.

Dissertation Defense

The candidate must write a dissertation that demonstrates the ability to pursue independent research. The candidate must pass an oral exam in defense of the dissertation.

Exit Requirements

Contingent upon satisfactory completion of program requirements, passage of the preliminary qualifying examination, and successful oral defense of the dissertation, the Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology will give final approval of the PhD in Educational Psychology.

Time Limit

It is expected that most students will complete all degree requirements within six years of initial enrollment in the doctoral program. All requirements MUST be completed within ten years from the date of initial enrollment.