Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the Ed.S. and Ph.D. degrees?
Specialist training consists of 72 graduate credit hours, including a year-long internship, and leads to the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree. Doctoral training consists of 122 graduate credit hours, including a year-long internship, early research experience, and dissertation, and leads to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree.
Ph.D. preparation can be distinguished from Ed.S. preparation in the greater breadth and depth of coursework and field experiences. Students in the Ph.D. track are required to complete 12 credit hours in an area of specialization. This coursework usually is taken during the student’s third and/or fourth year in the SPP. An area of specialization is equivalent to a “minor” in other professional preparation programs. The area of specialization represents the successful completion of coursework that would enable the Ph.D. candidate to develop expertise in a specified and coherent academic area selected in consultation with their advisor. Ph.D. students also spend an additional year in an advanced practicum setting.
Is it possible to enter the Ph.D. program directly after completing an undergraduate degree?
Absolutely. Students are admitted directly into the Ph.D. track or the Ed.S. track. Students in the Ph.D. earn the Master of Arts degree while pursuing their Ph.D. In a typical year, 10-12 are admitted, with approximately equal numbers in each degree track.
The majority of newly admitted students have an undergraduate degree in the social sciences (e.g., psychology or education). Some begin the School Psychology Program immediately after completing the Bachelor’s degree, while others have previous graduate training and/or experience in related areas.
The applications do not open until September. Is there anything I can do ahead of time?
Students should start gathering other materials like recommendation letters and official transcripts, and they can start updating their resumes.
What is an acceptable GPA?
The minimum acceptable GPA considered for admittance to the SPP Ph.D. program is 3.0 for all upper-division undergraduate work.
What does “holistic review process” mean?
Holistic review refers to mission-aligned admissions processes that take into consideration applicants’ experiences, attributes, and academic metrics as well as the value an applicant would contribute to learning, practice, and teaching. Holistic review allows admissions committees to consider the “whole” applicant, rather than disproportionately focusing on any one factor.
Is financial aid available?
Because the SPP is a full-time program, many students are in need of financial support. There are three main sources of financial support for SPP students: fellowships and scholarships, assistantships (research and teaching), and related work on- and off-campus. Virtually all students seeking financial aid receive some form of support, most often as a graduate assistant. While guaranteed financial aid cannot be offered to all students at the time admission is offered, School Psychology Program does all it can to help obtain financial support for all students.
What happens after I submit my application?
After December 1st, the Admissions Committee of the School Psychology Program reviews all completed applications to identify the most qualified candidates to invite for an on-campus interview in January/ February. The on-campus interview takes approximately one day and includes meeting individually and in small groups with the School Psychology Program students and faculty. Telephone interviews can be arranged for those who cannot come to the campus, but we strongly encourage you to visit us.
After completion of the interviews, all applicants are sent an initial admissions decision letter of admission, rejection, or notification of placement on an alternate list. Applicants receiving an offer of admission must respond in writing by April 15th to be formally admitted. Applicants on the alternate list are offered admission when an offer is offer is declined or not accepted by April 15th.
If I miss this application deadline, when will I be able to apply again?
Applications for the Ph.D. program are accepted once a year, so an applicant who misses the deadline will have to wait for the following year’s admissions cycle.
What is the cost of attending?
The current graduate tuition and fees for the College of Education can be found here.
Is it possible to change degree tracks after enrolling in the School Psychology Program?
Some students admitted to the Ed.S. track decide that they would like to pursue the Ph.D. When this occurs, students apply for a change in terminal degree in the fall semester of their second year in the School Psychology Program by submitting a letter of intent to change degree track and reactivating their admissions file. The faculty consider this information along with progress during the first year in making a decision to change a student’s terminal degree.