Prospective StudentsCurrent StudentsFaculty & StaffAlumni & FriendsUSF on iTunes U

Search COEDU 
Centers & Institutes
Office of Research
Community Engagement
Giving to COEDU


School Psychology
Ph.D. Degree Program

The Ph.D. program consists of a minimum of 84 credit hours beyond the Master's degree.  Students in USF's Ed.S. program in School Psychology will be allowed to use up to 12 semester hours of USF credit earned during the first year of their Ed.S. program toward the Ph.D.  Other students who have taken graduate level courses as special students at USF will be allowed to transfer up to 12 semester hours as approved by the Program Faculty.  Finally, students from other institutions will be allowed to transfer in three courses or 8 graduate semester hours again as approved by the Program Faculty.

Because the Ph.D. program consists of 84 credit hours beyond the Master's, USF School Psychology students may incorporate coursework from the second and third years of their Ed.S. program (assuming it is post-Master's) into the Ph.D. program of studies.  All of this, however must be done with the student's four-member Doctoral Committee which, with the student, approves the student's individualized doctoral program during (a) the first or second academic semester in the program for students entering from another university with a Master's degree or beyond (see below for more specific requirements), or (b) during the first semester after conferral of the Master's degree for students already in the Program.

The Ph.D. program also requires students to complete an Area of Emphasis as part of their studies.  This allows a student to focus on one or more specialization areas within School Psychology (e.g., organizational consultation, school-based mental health services, pediatric school psychology) and intervention) so that they graduate with another area of advanced expertise.

The USF School Psychology Program admits Ph.D. students who have already earned an Ed.S. or the equivalent and are certified as school psychologists and/or who are looking for advanced doctoral study in the field.  These advanced students create their own individualized specialization program within the broader school psychology curriculum, allowing for more in-depth study of content and issues in our field.

Program Accreditation and Approval

Program Structure Ph.D. Hours

Residency and Employment Policy

Part-Time Doctoral Study Option

Program Accreditation and Approval

The Ph.D. Program in School Psychology is accredited (full) by the
American Psychological Association and Approved (Full) by the National
Association of School Psychologists. Individuals who wish to acquire
additional information about program accreditation and approval are
encouraged to contact the following:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979
(202) 336-5978 (FAX)

National Association of School Psychologists
Program Approval
4340 East West Highway
Suite 402
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 657-0270
(301) 657-0275 (FAX)

[Top of page]

Program Structure Ph.D. Hours

From the College's perspective, the Ph.D. program has the following structure:

I. Major Emphasis
Credit Hours
A. Specialization Area
B. Cognate Area*
C. Dissertation
D. Curriculum
II. Statistics/ Measurement/Research Design
III. Foundations

 *Supporting courses outside area of specialization.

**Post-master's semester hours.

    From the School Psychology Program's perspective, the Specialization Area will be in school psychology while the Cognate Area will involve coursework in the basic academic-theoretical areas of psychology required by both APA and NCATE.

[Top of page]

Residency and Employment Policy

From the University's perspective, the minimum requirement will be three academic years of work beyond the bachelor's degree with one academic year of residence on campus.  An academic year is defined as two terms of full-time study per calendar year.  From the Program's perspective, as with the Ed.S. program, full-time study is required of all Ph.D. students at least until they complete all coursework and Qualifying Exams and have only the Dissertation to complete.  Minimally, this will involve two years of full-time study after the Ed.S. degree.  Full-time study involves a minimum of 9 semester hours of coursework per semester.  Residency involves consecutive academic years of full-time study; students are allowed assistantship work or a part-time job up to 20 hours per week during residency.  Students working in psychology-related positions outside of the University must have these positions approved in advanced to ensure practice within all appropriate ethical guidelines.  The Program Director must be notified in writing of all gainful employment engaged in by students throughout their studies when that employment exceeds six hours per week.

    To expand on the student employment area, the current policy passed by the School Psychology program faculty states:

    It is expected that students accepted into the Program will follow the pattern below with respect to financial aid and/or assistantship support:

      First Year:  Graduate Assistantship in the Department or as set up by the Department

      Second Year:  Graduate Assistantship in the Department or as set up by the Department

      Third Year:  Teaching Assistantship or Graduate Assistantship, as appropriate, in the Department

      Fourth Year:  Paid internship in a local school system and/or agency as set up by the Program (Ph.D. students)

      Fifth Year:  Assistantship support as available

    Exceptions to the pattern include:

      1.When the student chooses not to take an Assistantship because of no financial need or otherwise.

      2.When the student, with prior faculty approval, chooses to be employed in the community.  Employment here requires a letter to the Program Director and cannot involve more than 20 hours per week.

      Ordinarily it is expected that students will accept a Department or Department-approved assistantship. However, community employment is acceptable only when the nature of the employment is clearly related to the goals of the USF School Psychology Program.

      3.For Ph.D. students entering the Program with an Ed.S. in School Psychology only:  It is expected that these students will be involved in Years Two through Five as outlined above with Assistantship support generally provided at Year Five.  However, with prior faculty approval, these students may be employed in the community for one year of their program for no more than 20 hours per week.  If available, the Program tries to involve all doctoral students in at least one semester's work as a Teaching Assistant, offering a 3000-level course in the Department.

[Top of page]

Part-Time Doctoral Study Option

Each year, the Program will provide a small number of students the option to complete their doctoral studies part-time.  This option is available to advanced students who have already earned an Ed.S. (or equivalent) degree in School Psychology.  Students applying for this option will be interviewed and evaluated for program acceptance with our traditional applicants, and they will be expected to take the same Program of Study as any other doctoral student.  However, they may complete their program through part-time study.  Students taking this advanced doctoral option will be bound by the residency requirements of the University of South Florida, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the American Psychological Association.  Thus, one year of on-site residency will be required. Students wishing to be considered for this option must make special application to the Admissions Committee.  It is anticipated that no more than two students per year will be accepted and that the Program will have no more than eight part-time doctoral students enrolled at any time.


School Psychology Home

Department Home




Financial Aid


Student Information

Professional Development

About Tampa





University of South Florida Text only USF home page Search USF website