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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 (LP) and school psychologist (LSSP) in Texas. Graduates 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.

Program Overview

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.

Financial Support

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.

Resources

SPSY Doctoral Handbook 2023-24

SPSY Doctoral Handbook 2022-23

SPSY Doctoral Handbook 2021-22

SPSY Doctoral Handbook 2020-21

Admissions

Eligible Students:

  • Applicants with bachelor’s degrees in psychology, education or related disciplines, who will complete the full 99-hours program.
  • Applicants with a master’s degree in school psychology or in a related mental health field (e.g. clinical or counseling psychology or mental health counseling) can qualify to complete the degree in 63 to 75-hours depending on their previous training.
  • Applicants with master’s degrees in other disciplines (i.e., education), non-thesis master’s degrees in psychology, or bachelor’s degrees may apply to the post-baccalaureate PhD program. These students could be eligible for transferring credits (up to 15 hours).
  • The most competitive undergraduate juniors in psychology or psychology-related fields may apply for early admission to the post-bachelor’s PhD program through the SFA Overlap Program.

Admission Decisions

Admission decisions are based on full faculty review of applications, size of incoming cohort and consideration of the collective body of application materials. Applications are due May 1 of each year. Applicant interviews will occur in May. Graduate Assistant (GA) applications will also be considered at this time.

It is anticipated that the program will accept 7 to 8 new students per year, emphasizing attracting a highly qualified and diverse doctoral student population.

How to Apply

You will need to submit:

  • 3 letters of recommendation.
  • A personal statement with the following prompt:
    • "Please provide a narrative piece describing how your character and experiences have formed you into someone who will contribute positively and effectively to school and professional psychology. In this essay, please explain social, educational, cultural, and economic obstacles you have overcome in your journey to get to where you are today and your future objectives.”
  • Curriculum vitae that describes degrees and previous experiences in the field of psychology and education.

Degree Plans

The plan of study is developed prior to admission into the School Psychology program and must be reviewed and approved by the full body of program faculty, copied and sent to the Graduate Dean. A copy of the approved plan of study is forwarded to the student and maintained in the local files with the program secretary. Below are the degree plans based on the hypothetical student’s background. Therefore programs below are examples given that plans can vary by student based on their background and desired completion time.

Degree Plan Examples

Post Bachelors Earned Track 99 Hours (4 Years Completion)

  Fall Spring Summer
Year 1
  • SPSY 6344: Advanced Human Growth and Developmentz
  • SPSY 6301: Learning and Cognitive Development
  • SPSY 6311: Psychoeducational Assessmentz
  • SPSY 6342: Seminar in Professional Psychology
  • SPSY 6348: Professional Legal and Ethical Issues in Psychology
  • SPSY 6347: Advanced School Psychologyz
  • *SPSY 6312: Individual Intelligence Testingz
  • SPSY 6321: Child and Adolescent Therapy
  • SPSY 6346: Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
  • SPSY 6323 - Multicultural Considerations in Child and Adolescent Therapy
  • SPSY 6349: History and Systemsz
Year 2
  • RSCH 6311: Educational Researcho
  • SPSY 6331: Quantitative Research Methodsz
  • SPSY 6336: Single-subject Research Methods
  • *SPSY 6322: Family Therapy
  • SPSY 6314: Human Neurosciencez
  • SPSY 6317 - Biopsychological Interventions
  • SPSY 6303 - Individual Case Consultation (school hours required)
  • SPSY 6343: Social Basis of Behavior and Personalityz
  • SPSY 6353: Practicum (Clinical)
  • *SPSY 6305: Severe Developmental Disabilities and Autismz
  • SPSY 6316: Advanced Neuropsychological Assessment
Year 3
  • SPSY 6306: Applied Behavior Analysis
  • SPSY 6315: Child and Family Assessment
  • SPSY 6353: Practicum (School)
  • SPSY 6138: Dissertation

Comprehensive Exam

  • SPSY 6335: Multivariate Statistics
  • SPSY 6353: Practicum (School)
  • SPSY 6334: Psychometrics and Clinical Research
  • SPSY 6138: Dissertation
  • SPSY 6138: Dissertation

PRAXIS

Year 4
  • SPSY 6154: Internship
  • SPSY 6154: Internship
 

*Classes not included in the post MA tracks.
zZoom (virtual) class.
oOnline class.

Post Masters Earned Track (MA in School Psychology) 72 Hours (3 Years Completion)

  Fall Spring Summer
Year 1
  • SPSY 6342: Seminar in Professional Psychology
  • RSCH 6311: Educational Researcho
  • SPSY 6331: Quantitative Research Methodsz
  • SPSY 6301: Learning and Cognitive Development
  • SPSY 6348: Professional Legal and Ethical Issues in Psychology
  • SPSY 6321: Child and Adolescent Therapy
  • SPSY 6314: Human Neurosciencez
  • SPSY 6343: Social Basis of Behavior and Personalityz
  • SPSY 6346: Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
  • SPSY 6323: Multicultural Considerations in Child and Adolescent Therapy
  • SPSY 6353: Practicum (Clinical)
Year 2
  • SPSY 6334: Psychometrics and Clinical Research
  • SPSY 6315: Child and Family Assessment
  • SPSY 6353: Practicum
  • SPSY 6138: Dissertation

Comprehensive Exam

  • SPSY 6335: Multivariate Statistics
  • SPSY 6317: Biopsychological Interventions
  • SPSY 6353: Practicum
  • SPSY 6138: Dissertation
  • SPSY 6316: Advanced Neuropsychological Assessment
  • SPSY 6349: History and Systemsz
  • SPSY 6138: Dissertation

PRAXIS

Year 3
  • SPSY 6154: Internship
  • SPSY 6154: Internship
 

zZoom (virtual) class.
oOnline class.

For students to be eligible for this track they must have:

  1. Earned (or completed all courses) MA degree in School Psychology.
  2. Have 3 hours of Developmental or Human Growth classes.
  3. Have 3 hours of Introduction to School Psychology class.
  4. Have 3 hours of Psychoeducational Assessment.
  5. Have 3 hours of School Interventions.
  6. Have at least 3 hours of Practicum experience.

Post Masters Earned Track (MA in School Psychology) 72 Hours (4 Years Completion)

  Fall Spring Summer
Year 1
  • SPSY 6342: Seminar in Professional Psychology
  • RSCH 6311: Educational Researcho
  • SPSY 6301: Learning and Cognitive Development
  • SPSY 6348: Professional Legal and Ethical Issues in Psychology
  • SPSY 6314: Human Neurosciencez
  • SPSY 6317: Biopsychological Interventions
  • SPSY 6346: Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
  • SPSY 6323: Multicultural Considerations in Child and Adolescent Therapy
Year 2
  • SPSY 6315: Child and Family Assessment
  • SPSY 6331: Quantitative Research Methodsz
  • SPSY 6321: Child and Adolescent Therapy
  • SPSY 6343: Social Basis of Behavior and Personalityz
  • SPSY 6316: Advanced Neuropsychological Assessment
  • SPSY 6353: Practicum (Clinical)
Year 3
  • SPSY 6353: Practicum
  • SPSY 6138: Dissertation
  • SPSY 6334: Psychometrics and Clinical Research

Comprehensive Exam

  • SPSY 6335: Multivariate Statistics
  • SPSY 6353: Practicum
  • SPSY 6138: Dissertation
  • SPSY 6138: Dissertation
  • SPSY 6349: History and Systemsz

PRAXIS

Year 4
  • SPSY 6154: Internship
  • SPSY 6154: Internship
 

zZoom (virtual) class.
oOnline class.

For students to be eligible for this track they must have:

  1. Earned (or completed all courses) MA degree in School Psychology.
  2. Have 3 hours of Developmental or Human Growth classes.
  3. Have 3 hours of Introduction to School Psychology class.
  4. Have 3 hours of Psychoeducational Assessment.
  5. Have 3 hours of School Interventions.
  6. Have at least 3 hours of Practicum experience.

Program Contact:

Email: PHDSPSY@sfasu.edu
Office: 936.468.2906

Contact

Department of Human Services and Educational Leadership
936.468.2906
HSEL@sfasu.edu
Faculty Directory

Human Services Building
Suite 302

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13019, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962