2006 - 2007 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

School Psychology, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 2                              [December 15 for international applicants]

Applications are evaluated together after the deadline.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from former and current professors who can provide insight into the applicant's abilities and talents and can comment on the applicant's aptitude for graduate study.  If already working in the field, the applicant may include letters from professional colleagues.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

Prerequisites include Child Development, Elementary Statistics, General Psychology, and Learning Theory. If a student has not completed these courses as part of her/his undergraduate degree or through previous graduate coursework, s/he can take Ed Psy 525, 531, and/or 541.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

Not required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A bachelor's degree is required.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals, which should indicate your goals and objectives in obtaining a Ph.D. degree, is typically 2-3 pages in length. It is evaluated against the program's mission. The statement should include the following elements: your reason for seeking a Ph.D. degree with a specific focus on the career to which you aspire; your research and practice interests; and your academic and job-related experiences that are relevant to the program.

Three supplementary essays are also required for the Ph.D. degree. One should answer the question:  "Why do you want to become a school psychologist?"  The second should address:  "What do you perceive as the role and functions of the school psychologist?"  The third should respond to the query:  "What is your area of research interest?"

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. It is expected that the scores will be no less that 500 in each section of the test.

The GRE Subject Exam in Psychology is required.

Minimum TOEFL score or range of scores needed to be accepted: 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based, or 100 internet-based.


Applicants who are considered qualified following an evaluation of their application materials are called in for an interview. Interviews are coordinated by a member of the Admission Committee and involve the participation of advanced graduate students.  Both group and individual Interviews are conducted.


A resume is required.

Writing Sample:

A writing sample may be required if the applicant is contacted for an interview.

Advanced Standing:

The advisor determines advanced standing during the student's first semester in the program by evaluating the credits the student has taken in accordance with the relevance to and requirements of the School Psychology Program. The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 30.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 78

Required Courses:

Ed Psy 529, 621, 627, 735, 741, 825, 981, 987

Psy 709

Sch Psy 670, 671, 672, 673, 674, 676, 677, 770, 771, 774, 775, 777, 778, 779, 781, 782, 876, 878/879, 899, 999

Internship: An internship is required. A minimum of 1,500 hours of internship in an approved setting must be completed. A minimum of 600 hours must be in a school setting. The internship can be full-time for a year or half-time over two years.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Examination:

The preliminary examination is an essay examination that covers key areas of psychology and school psychology to determine the student's competence and ability to explain key concepts. The examination tests the student's knowledge in four areas, including Scientific Psychology; Consultation and Intervention; Diagnosis and Remediation; and Role/Function and Ethical/Legal Considerations. The preliminary examination is taken after completion of all academic subjects except for the internship. The exam is offered over two weekends, with each section of the examination requiring two hours. The exam is administered and proctored at a time determined by the College of Education.

All School Psychology faculty participate in writing the exam by submitting questions. The professor who teaches a particular section edits the questions and submits them to the faculty at a meeting where the four areas of the exam are constructed. A different faculty member grades each area. If there is a failing grade, other faculty must also evaluate that section. A passing grade in all four areas is required to pass the exam.


Students must submit a portfolio of professional work annually for review by the advisor.

Dissertation Proposal:

The dissertation proposal demonstrates the student's knowledge of and ability to conduct the proposed research. Minimally, the proposal should contain the context and background surrounding a particular research problem; a survey and review of the literature to a sufficient degree to provide the reader with enough information to understand why the research is being conducted; a detailed methodological plan for investigating the problem; and a proposed timeline for completing the dissertation. The Dissertation Advisory Committee must approve the student's proposal, which is presented at a formal proposal defense.


The doctoral dissertation is an original piece of scholarship that makes a significant contribution to the field of School Psychology. A majority of the dissertations in the program are empirical, typically using statistical analysis as the means of completing the data collection process. Other types of scholarship (e.g., those utilizing more qualitative approaches or those employing theoretical or philosophical analysis of educational issues) may be acceptable. A successful dissertation will be publishable in a refereed journal.

The Dissertation Advisory Committee oversees all aspects of the student's dissertation from the proposal to the oral defense.  It is composed of three members of the graduate faculty.  A member of the School Psychology faculty typically chairs the committee. At least one faculty member from outside the program must be on the committee. The student chooses her/his committee in consultation with the selected chair. A student may petition for a change of chairperson or member of the Dissertation Advisory Committee. This petition must be approved by the Chair of the Department of Psychological Studies in Education and by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Study. Complete details about the dissertation process are available in the College of Education Dissertation Handbook, which is available from the Dean's office.

The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and oral defense.  It is composed of the three members of the Dissertation Advisory Committee plus two additional faculty members. One must be from a program outside of School Psychology. One member may be assigned by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Study.  The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the dissertation and the student's ability to defend it. The committee votes to pass or fail the dissertation. The outcome of the defense is determined by majority vote.

Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation must confirm a date and time with the Dissertation Examining Committee. Notification of the date and time must then be submitted on the appropriate College form to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Study no less than 3 weeks prior to the oral defense. The announcement of the oral defense will be sent by the Associate Dean to the Graduate School no less than 10 days prior to the defense. A copy of the announcement will be sent to each member of the Dissertation Examining Committee and will be posted on the bulletin board in the Office of Student Services of the College of Education.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

School Psychology Program
262 Ritter Annex
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Department Contacts:


Dr. Trevor Sewell


Program Coordinator:

Dr. Catherine Fiorello



Dr. Joseph G. Rosenfeld


About the Program

The objective of the School Psychology Ph.D. Program is to prepare students to be high-level scientist-practitioners. The major objectives include developing professional entry-level doctoral psychologists who are prepared to utilize evidence-based practice in assessment, consultation, and intervention; integrate and apply research findings to the practice of school psychology and perform empirical research; understand and appreciate diversity and demonstate sensitivity to diverse populations; and function at the highest level of professional, ethical, and legal standards.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

School Psychology Program
262 Ritter Annex
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Interdisciplinary Study:

Courses may be taken in the Psychology Department in the College of Liberal Arts and/or in Counseling Psychology, Educational Administration, and Curriculum, Instruction, Technology and Education (CITE) in the College of Education. Internships may be selected from a variety of approved sites throughout the local area and the United States.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



The College of Education was ranked 15th in the nation in a recent U.S. News & World Report ranking of graduate schools.


The program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Areas of Specialization:

Areas of sub-specialization and faculty interest include applied behavior analysis, assessment theory and practice, behavior management and the management of classroom discipline, ethical and legal problems, low-incidence handicapping conditions, preschool assessment and practice, and remediation of learning problems.

Job Placement:

Graduates are employed in universities, a variety of public and private schools, hospitals, agencies, research facilities, government and state agencies, and private practice.


Certification in School Psychology occurs after completion of the internship and the passing of the PRAXIS I and II Exam for Pennsylvania. Some states will certify without these examinations. Licensing in most states requires an additional post-doctoral year of supervision.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are not permitted to take degree courses.

Financing Opportunities

The program has one assistantship open to advanced students: a teaching assistantship in the psychoeducational clinic and with assessment courses. Assistantships in other departments and non-academic programs are also available. Students receive a stipend and tuition annually. For consideratino, send a letter of application along with a resume to Dr. Trevor Sewell, School Psychology Program, Temple University, 1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19122.

Updated 8.8.06