School Psychology (PhD)

Program Description

School Psychology is the application of the principles of psychology to the learning and developmental processes of children and adolescents. School psychologists conduct psychological and educational evaluations in order to plan remedial programs for students, counsel students with learning and school adjustment problems, consult with school personnel and parents, develop and implement educational and psychological programs for schools, and evaluate school programs.

The Ph.D. program in School Psychology is grounded in the scientist-practitioner model of training. The APA-accredited* Ph.D. program in School Psychology is grounded in the scientist-practitioner model of training. The program adheres to the idea that practice and research should reciprocally influence and strengthen each other. The program prepares students to integrate scientific knowledge and skills into all professional activities, to promote empirically established practices on behalf of those being served, and to exemplify the legal and ethical standards of the psychology profession.

The program is typically a five-year, 120 credit hour program. Four years are spent in full-time coursework at UCA, and the fifth year is a full-time internship in a school or other appropriate setting. Strong emphasis is placed on child mental health promotion, primary prevention, and intervention with a broad range of community related problems involving children, families, and schools. In this and other ways, the program is responsive to on-going societal concerns facing children. It prepares its graduates to work in schools, clinics, community agencies, and hospitals.

The primary purpose of the program is to prepare students to provide and promote empirically-supported psychological services for children, youth, families, and schools. The program is founded on the central belief that school psychologists offer a unique and valuable contribution to society through the provision of scientifically sound prevention and intervention services. The need for quality school psychological services has been strongly felt throughout the state of Arkansas, the United States, and beyond. The Ph.D. program responds to this need in a pragmatic manner by emphasizing mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention at the individual, group, and systemic/programmatic levels.

Housed within the Department of Psychology and Counseling in the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, the program emphasizes the professional identity of school psychologists within the broader field of psychology, a breadth and depth of professional training that prepares candidates to competently perform a variety of school psychology functions, and an education that values and respects cultural diversity among candidates, faculty, and service recipients.

* For more information or questions about APA accreditation, contact: APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, (202) 336-5979.

Highlights of our program include:

  • 120-credit-hour program including dissertation research and 2,000 hour internship
  • Research Assistantship & Teaching Assistantship  positions available
  • Close working relationships with School Psychology faculty members
  • Opportunities for leadership in departmental graduate student association and as student representatives to Arkansas School Psychology Association, National Association of School Psychologists, and American Psychological Association
  • Funding available for conference travel to present research
  • Typically, 4-6 students admitted each year

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 Prospective Students

Current Students

School Psychology Faculty and Students, Fall 2014

School Psychology Faculty and Students, Fall 2014

School Psychology Faculty and Students, Fall, 2013

School Psychology Faculty and Students, Fall, 2013


Group Picture - Orientation Meeting 2012-13

Professional Information


Program Faculty