School psychology is not only a fulfilling career path — it’s also a growing and in-demand profession.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a promising job outlook for school psychologists “given the limited number of graduates in this specialty and the growing need of mental health services in schools,” according to the bureau’s 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook.
At UWM, you’ll develop the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in this growing field. The Department of Educational Psychology offers a PhD degree program with a concentration in School Psychology. Our students gain a broad theoretical background, as well as evidence-based clinical skills through didactic, field placement, practica and internship experiences.
With a strong urban mission, our program is dedicated to increasing knowledge, sensitivity and awareness of practices best suited for individuals from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. We use a scientist-practitioner model and emphasize principles of biological, psychological, cultural, and sociological sciences as applied to urban schools, mental health, and educational settings.
Why Choose Our Program?
- The School Psychology Educational Specialist Program is fully accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists until 2027. Annual Report and Outcome Data can be found on the National Association of School Psychologists website.
- The School Psychology Program adheres to American Psychological Association and National Association of School Psychologists guidelines for graduate training. Both degree programs are NASP-approved, and the PhD program is also accredited by the APA.
- Our beautiful campus — just blocks from Lake Michigan, 15 minutes from downtown Milwaukee and 90 minutes from Chicago — ensures plenty of internship and networking opportunities.
- You’ll work alongside internationally known faculty who are leaders in their field and have the opportunity to play in active role in faculty research.
- UWM is Wisconsin’s most diverse university and has more than 50 years of training school psychologists who are multiculturally competent and prepared to work in urban settings.
- In 2013, the Department of Educational Psychology won the American Psychological Association’s prestigious Bersoff Presidential Cultural Award for its success in recruiting and graduating doctoral students from racial/ethnic minorities as well as other countries.
PhD Program Handbooks & Data
Learn more through our Program Handbooks, which describe the program models, entry requirements, objectives, typical course of study, and completion requirements in detail.
PhD Program Accreditation
The School Psychology specialization at the doctoral level is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
Website: American Psychological Association Website
The School Psychology specialization at the doctoral level is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
National Association of School Psychologists
4340 East West Highway, Suite 4022
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: (301) 657-0270
Website: National Association of School Psychologists Accredited Programs
Student Support and Program Costs
Doctoral students are eligible to apply for research and project assistantships and fellowships through UWM’s Educational Psychology Doctoral Program and through the Graduate School. The doctoral program provides assistantships to approximately five students in the department each year; typically two students in the School Psychology program are funded through this mechanism.
The faculty also seeks other funding, which provides for additional student support. Faculty members in the School Psychology program have been highly successful in attaining extramural funding and have received more than $7 million in federal grant funding since 2002. Tuition information may be found on the One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services website.
All graduates of our program have received certification as school psychologists from the Department of Public Instruction or similar Departments of Education in the states in which they currently reside.
Visit the School Psychology FAQ webpage for more information about the program. The Educational Psychology Costs & Financial Support FAQ webpage is also a helpful resource.
The internship required for the PhD degree is typically a paid internship occurring for one-year on a full-time basis.
Graduates of the EdS and PhD program over the past 20 years have a 100% job placement rate. Most EdS students secure a school psychologist position in Wisconsin; some seek and secure positions out-of-state. Most interns continue employment as school psychologists in the same school district upon completion of their internship.
Doctoral students apply for internship positions in varied settings (schools, community clinics, hospitals, day treatment centers) including school-based school psychologist and pre-doctoral psychology intern positions through Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers.
Our PhD graduates are employed in a broad range of school psychology and psychology roles in school, clinical, and academic/university positions.
The Graduate School provides a range of resources for student professional development on its website.
The School Psychology PhD program adheres to a scientist-practitioner model of training and is designed to fully integrate psychological theory with rigorous research and professional practice skills. We aspire to develop evidence-based practitioners and researchers and are committed to training multiculturally competent school psychologists. We are very proud about our APA-accredited and NASP-approved School Psychology program and hope you’ll consider joining us! Learn more about the program’s components and requirements through the links and information below.
The School Psychology program has five major goals. It aims to prepare school psychologists to:
- Design and implement evidence-based therapeutic interventions that meet the mental health and educational needs of children, adolescents and families
- Engage in problem-solving consultation within and across schools and community settings with families and professionals to enhance the competencies and resilience of youth and to promote healthy home, school and community environments
- Conduct comprehensive assessments that are directly linked to interventions aimed at improving understanding and outcomes of youth, families and schools
- Provide service delivery and to conduct research that reflects APA and NASP ethical and professional standards
- Conduct, interpret, critique and disseminate high quality scientist-practitioner research that advances the field of school psychology in urban settings
Academic Catalog Requirements Sheet
- Visit the Academic Catalog webpage linked above, then click on the Print Options link in the lower right hand column
- Click the Download Page (PDF) link
- Print or save the condensed program requirements document
Interested in learning more about the MS or PhD degree in the Cognitive & Developmental Sciences program? We invite you to a virtual information session. Please attend one or both of the following:
1) Our online information session on Friday Sept 16 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm cst. Register for this session here.
2) Graduate School Open House: Thursday Oct 27 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm (Virtual) or Thursday Nov 10 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm (In-Person). Grad School open house attendees who start their applications between 8/31/22 and 3/15/22 will receive one application fee waiver. Register for an open house session here.
Below you will find the application process for the doctoral specialization in School Psychology. All application materials must be submitted to the UWM Graduate School by the stated deadline listed below.
- Fall 2023 Deadline: December 15, 2022
A selected pool of approximately 10 applicants will be invited for a phone or in-person interview to take place each February for admission to the following Fall semester.
The program requires 3 letters of recommendation. These letters must be submitted through the application’s electronic recommendation feature by the recommenders themselves. Letters uploaded or sent by the applicant will not be accepted.
Per Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) regulations, a criminal background check is required prior to official admission to the program. Applicants to whom admission is offered will receive instructions for completing the criminal background check.
Kyongboon Kwon, PhD, Associate Professor
Dr. Kwon’s research focuses on children’s peer socialization in schools. She focuses on children’s naturally occurring peer groups (e.g. cliques, friendship groups, classroom) and their effect on children’s social, emotional, and academic functioning. For example, she examines peers as an evaluator of others’ emotional characteristics and how they are related to social/behavioral and academic outcomes. She also examines how children regulate peers’ emotions and how theirs is regulated by others through social interactions.
Karen C. Stoiber, PhD, Kellner Professor
Dr. Stoiber’s research interests include examining evidence-based approaches to promoting early literacy, social competencies, and implementation of multi-tiered intervention models. Research questions she explores include: How can teachers’ intentional focus on children’s self-control and social competence improve student engagement and academic achievement? How can school psychologists promote student mental health and reduce the achievement gap through multi-tiered systems of support? She co-founded the APA Division 16 Task Force on Evidence-Based Interventions in School Psychology and founded the Translation of Research to Practice Working Group.