School Psychology Doctoral Program
The SFA School Psychology post-master’s Doctoral Program was authorized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) in 2009 and the post-baccalaureate PhD track was authorized by THECB in 2018. Since 2009, the doctoral program has been dedicated to producing ethical, responsible, and competent school and professional psychologists who employ scientific knowledge and methods of critical and creative problem-solving.
The mission of our program is to apply scientific knowledge and method to the assessment and treatment of learning, behavior and psychosocial problems in general and special education populations in public schools. Our program emphasizes critical thinking, communication, personal responsibility, social responsibility, empirical and quantitative skills and teamwork. A cohort training model is used based on an established course sequence, and the instructional modality is face-to-face in a physical classroom.
Licensure and Employment
Students in the School Psychology Program will be prepared to become licensed doctoral-level health service psychologists, who can work effectively with children and families. In addition, our students may be employed as educators, researchers, and/or practitioners in public schools and higher education as well as health service psychologists in community mental health facilities, hospital/medical settings and independent practice.
The School Psychology Doctoral Program at SFA embraces a scientist-practitioner model of training in which practice, research and theory are considered integrated components. The emphasis is on developing competencies necessary for functioning in diverse settings including public, private schools and clinical practices. The program is dedicated to training graduates who are competent in each area:
Scientist: The scientist is expected to understand and advance basic knowledge in school and health service psychology. Students are educated to be skilled consumers of research as well as researchers capable of examining relevant problems, both empirical and applied.
Practitioner: The practitioner is expected to demonstrate a high level of expertise in the professional practice of psychology in the state of Texas. This expertise includes the areas of consultation, assessment, and intervention.
There are two options to complete a PhD program in School Psychology at SFA. Both the 66-hour post-master’s PhD program and the 99-hour post-bachelor’s PhD program in School Psychology are grounded in the scientist-practitioner training model. The programs view the role of scientist-practitioner as one who is:
(1) a consumer of empirically-based practices
(2) a reflective decision-maker regarding professional actions
(3) and a researcher who collects data from their own settings and reports these findings to the professional community.
The programs adhere to the idea that practice and research should reciprocally influence and strengthen each other. The programs prepare 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 SFA Psychology Program stresses the applied scientific nature of the field of psychology and its professional and ethical responsibilities to those that it serves while respecting the cultural diversity with all those with whom its faculty and students work. Training orientation is the biopsychosocial model as the central unifying scientific theme in understanding human behavior in working with children families and schools. Within the training orientation, emphasis is placed on effective scientifically supported interventions for learning, behavioral, emotional and family and system problems.
The School Psychology Doctoral program provides 16 assistantships for qualified graduate students. Stipends vary according to assignment and educational level of the applicant. A 20-hour assistantship carries a stipend of $18,000 for the full year: fall, spring and summer semesters). In addition, graduate assistants are eligible for scholarships.
There are two options for this program:
Doctor of Philosophy post-bachelor’s — three years of coursework and a one-year, full-time internship (for individuals with a bachelor's degree or with a master's degree in a field other than psychology)
Doctor of Philosophy post-master’s — two years of coursework and a one-year, full-time internship (for individuals with a master's degree in school, counseling or clinical psychology)
Students interested in a doctoral degree should consider the post-bachelor’s program (note that you can enroll in the doctoral program right after completing your bachelor’s degree. No GRE is required.)
School Psychology Program Application
*Note: Priority application deadline for fall 2023 is May 1, 2023. Prospective students may still apply after this date.