2019-2020 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jun 12, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School Psychology, PhD

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Tanya L. Eckert, Ph.D.
430 Huntington Hall

Questions related to the program’s accreditation status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation, Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002, Phone: (202)336-5979; Email: apaacred@apa.org; Web: APA Accreditation Website.


Tanya L. Eckert, Ph.D., Joshua C. Felver, Ph.D., Bridget O. Hier, Ph.D., Brian K. Martens, Ph.D., Lawrence J. Lewandowski, Ph.D., and Natalie Russo

The school psychology program prepares students to engage in research and practice to meet the needs of children and youth in schools and other related settings.  The program is committed to providing high-quality doctoral training that prepares students to meet the needs of children and youth both directly and indirectly by working with parents, teachers, and other direct care providers.  In addition, the program offers broad and general doctoral education and training that includes preparation in health service psychology (HSP).  The program adheres to the scientist-practitioner training model.  A primary goal of the program is for students to understand the principles of scientific inquiry and to apply these principles to their professional decision making.  Within this model, students are encouraged to be data-based problem solvers, to seek converging information when making professional decisions, and to evaluate the outcomes of their services, while engaging in actions that indicate respect for and understanding of cultural and individual differences and diversity.


The school psychology program at Syracuse University is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 First Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20002-4242; 202-336-5979). Completion of the program satisfies the current requirements for certification and licensure in New York State. The residency requirements for the program includes at least one year in full-time residence at Syracuse University and at least two years of full-time study at Syracuse University. A minimum of three years total of full-time study is required for the doctoral degree. Full disclosure of education/training outcomes and information allowing for informed decision-making can be found at our School Psychology Program web site.


The program is strongly committed to the recruitment of individuals from diverse backgrounds.  Applications are considered for the fall term only, and the deadline for receipt of the completed application is December 1. The program receives approximately 70 applications per year for three to four openings. There are approximately 20 students in the program.  Most students entering the school psychology program have had an undergraduate major in either psychology or education, but the program is not restricted to these majors. However, students with an undergraduate major in other fields may need more study in psychology and education than those who already have the appropriate foundation. Only full-time students are considered for admission. Students admitted to the program typically have a grade point average exceeding 3.0 and combined verbal and quantitative above the 50th percentile. Prior involvement in independent research (e.g., paper presentations) as well as mental health or education-related services (e.g., supervisor evaluations) is recommended.


Core program faculty maintain offices in Huntington Hall.  Faculty research facilities and graduate student offices are located in 426 Ostrom Avenue.

Total Credits Required

90 credits

Transfer credit

Students wishing to transfer graduate credit from another Syracuse University program, or from another institution, must file a formal petition requesting such transfer.  The program will evaluate transfer credit on an individual basis upon entrance into the program.   As stated in Syracuse University’s Academic Rules Regulations, at least 50% of graduate coursework or 33 credit hours (exclusive of research and internship courses) must be completed in residence credits (approved graduate courses) at Syracuse University.  This means that no more than 33 graduate credit hours may be transferred assuming the previously stated residency requirements are met.

Satisfactory progress

Students’ progress is reviewed by the program faculty in three main areas: (a) academic or course-related requirements, (b) clinical / interpersonal skill development, and (c) research requirements.  Maintenance of a satisfactory GPA (3.0) is necessary for success in the School Psychology Program, but it is not sufficient to guarantee progress toward the doctoral degree.  As part of scientist-practitioner training, students must demonstrate satisfactory clinical and interpersonal skills, actively participate in a research group, demonstrate the ability to function independently in all phases of the research process, and make timely progress toward completion of research requirements.

Program Requirements

The education and training offered in the School Psychology Program is sequential, cumulative, graded in complexity, and designed to prepare students for further education and professional practice in health service psychology.  The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 90 credits, including up to 18 thesis/dissertation credits, as well as 6 credits of internship. Students must successfully complete coursework required for the doctoral degree under three categories: (a) the School Psychology Core (33 credits); (b) Intervention Models (6 credits); and (c) the Psychology Core (27 credits). All students are required to complete a masters thesis upon completion of approximately 30 hours of graduate work unless they enter the program with a completed thesis or a masters degree.  Students who completed a masters thesis elsewhere will be required to complete a pre-doctoral project.  Formal advancement to doctoral candidacy follows the successful completion of a comprehensive exam, which includes two levels: (1) professional examination assessing broad and general preparation for entry level practice; and (2) integrative program examination assessing research preparation and broad and general preparation for the recognized specialty practice.  All students are required to complete a doctoral dissertation, and their doctoral dissertation proposal must be defended prior to beginning the pre-doctoral internship, which is a year-long, organized training program that is designed to provide students with a planned, programmed, sequence of training experiences associated with the practice of psychology and is satisfactory in quality, breadth, scope, and nature.

There are three primary aims that guide the program’s education and training: (1) to prepare psychologists who are knowledgeable and competent in research; (2) to prepare psychologists who are knowledgeable and competent in the delivery of health service psychology; and (3) to prepare psychologists who are knowledgeable and competent in the specialty area of school psychology.  To ensure that all students acquire a general knowledge base in science and practice preparation (Aim 1), the field of psychology and health service psychology (i.e., Aim 2) and the specialty area of school psychology (i.e., Aim 3), profession-wide competencies were established.  The program believes that these competencies are integrated and dynamic.  As program graduates enter professional practice, continuous input and improvement will occur, which requires all program graduates to engage in life-long learning.

Financial Support

All students who are in good standing are eligible for four years of funding, which includes a stipend and a tuition scholarship for appointments as teaching or research assistantships; university fellowships, or clinical externships and internships.


*The official designation required by the New York State Board of Regents is School Psychologist.

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