Educational Psychology

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School psychology PhD

Become a leader in helping schools and communities succeed

Accredited by APA and approved by NASP/NCATE, the doctoral program in school psychology prepares you to become a leader in the field of school psychology. You’ll be eligible to receive your state and national school psychologist credential, and the license to practice psychology. You can become a university faculty member, conduct research, work with students, staff, and families in schools, or work with children and youth in other settings as a licensed psychologist.

Info sessions

Watch a recent info session on the school psychology PhD and MA with specialist certificate.

Why study school psychology at the U?

  • Challenging, cutting edge training
  • 100% of our students are employed in their field within a year of graduation*
  • One of the strongest, most established programs in the nation
  • Innovative faculty and students who are state and national leaders
  • Faculty commitment to and expertise in diversity, educational equity, student mental health, and social justice
  • Over $10 million in research and graduate training grants
  • Compassionate, nimble in responding to COVID-19
  • Committed to advancing antiracism

*Percentages of students since 2012


  • 85-100% of students present and publish research each year* Check out our recent presentations.
  • Fieldwork in diverse, urban schools. Start your first semester as part of robust peer teams.
  • Accredited/approved by APA and NASP
  • More information on program goals and competencies
  • View the University of Minnesota's School Psychology Diversity Statement.
  • Careers

    Doctoral-level school psychologists work in universities (as faculty), mental health agencies, research centers and think tanks, clinical settings, state departments of education, and independent practices. The program emphasizes preparation of future faculty, so all students are trained not only as researchers, but in higher education teaching, supervision, and mentoring.

    School psychologists: in-demand and well-compensated

    • 100% of our students are fully funded and employed after graduation*
    • Expected employment growth: 11% between 2012 and 2022**
    • Mean 9-month salary (full-time, school-based practitioner): $64,000-$71,000***
    • Mean 9-month salary (university faculty): $77,800**
    • Student Admissions, Outcomes and Other Data

    *Percentages of students since 2012
    **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
    ***National Association of School Psychologists

    Coursework

    School psychology PhD students generally complete four years of coursework and dissertation, followed by a year-long internship. All students prepare to become scientist-practitioners through coursework in research methods and statistics, and the completion of a supervised research project.

    More information on program goals and competencies

    Tuition

    Visit the College of Education and Human Development's Finance and Funding page for information on tuition.

    Funding

    FAQ

    Still have questions? Review our frequently asked questions or program handbook.

    How to apply

    Note: We no longer require GRE test scores for application and admission to the program.
    David Parker headshot
    You will garner a cutting-edge skill set for school psychology practice and/or research. The program’s training on problem solving and a broad understanding of the context of learning difficulties—delivered by faculty who are leaders in the field—will help you advance the field of school psychology to improve student and system outcomes.

    David Parker, PhD '12
    Vice president for research and development, ServeMinnesota
    Read more about David's experience.

    Faculty

    The following faculty are currently accepting doctoral advisees.

    Faith Miller headshot

    Faith Miller fgmiller@umn.edu | Lab

    • Multi-tiered systems of support for social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties (SEBD)
    • Evidence-based assessment and intervention for SEBD
    • Data-based decision making
    Amanda Sullivan headshot

    Amanda Sullivan Birkmaier Education Leadership Professor, program coordinator
    asulliva@umn.edu| Lab

    • Education and health disparities affecting individuals with and at-risk for special needs
    • Characteristics and outcomes of children and adolescents with disabilities
    • School psychological and special education services for diverse learners

    Instructors and supervisors

    Elyse Farnsworth headshot

    Elyse FarnsworthLecturer and field placement coordinator
    chri0802@umn.edu

    • Implementation of state and federal policy to facilitate early intervention and prevention for at-risk children, youth, and families
    • Evaluation of the effects and outcomes associated with participation services received under federal law
    • Promotion of effective collaborations across systems that serve children and youth
    Jessie Kember headshot

    Jessie KemberLecturer
    kembe007@umn.edu

    • Sexual minority youth
    • Resilience
    • Diversity and inclusion