The 50 Best Doctoral Programs in School Psychology 2015

Best Counseling Degrees - Top Doctoral Programs
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By Kirsten Hughes

October 2015

Are you interested in working with children and youth in schools? School psychologists do that and a whole lot more. School psychologists provide assessment, consultation, and assessment services in school settings with children, youth, families, and school professionals around issues related to learning, behavior, and mental health. However, school psychologists also provide prevention and intervention focused services in hospitals, clinics, and private practice. Additionally, many school psychologists choose to pursue teaching and research positions at universities.

US News and World Report Money reported School Psychologist as being the #1 Best Social Service Job.

All of the doctoral programs on this list are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). This means that they have met the rigorous criteria and standards designed by these governing boards to ensure that their programing provides a top education for students in the program. Attending a program with these accreditations also ensures that graduates will encounter a more streamlined process as they pursue licensure. For more information on our methodology, see the end of the article.

Most of the programs on this list require students to complete four years of coursework followed by a one year internship. Schools typically report that it takes students 5-6 years to complete their program. Because of the high caliber of the schools on this list many of them have a highly competitive application process where they accept only a handful of students 4-8 annually. If you are interested in getting your doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) from a top program, this is the list for you!

For information about how this ranking was developed, see the methodology statement at the bottom of the article.

#50 Indiana State University

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Terre Haute, IN

Ph.D. in Guidance and Psychological Services with a Specialization in School Psychology

Indiana State University in Terre Haute offers a Ph.D. in Guidance and Psychological Services with a Specialization in School Psychology. Students generally complete the coursework, practica and internship, preliminary examinations, and dissertation within five years. Students in this program will choose an area of sub-specialization depending on their interests and career goals. Students will provide: direct services to children and adolescents; consultation with school teachers and staff; and supervision to graduate students throughout their time in the program.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 53.85%
  • Tuition: $747 / Credit Hour
  • Application Deadline: Applications are reviewed twice each year for a fall entrance into the program. Admission deadlines are December 15 and April 15.

Courses include

Introduction to School Psychology: History and Practices, Foundations of Qualitative and Quantitative Research; Social Emotional and Behavioral Theory and Assessment; School Psychology Consultation; Techniques of Counseling; and Multicultural Counseling.

#49 Syracuse University

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Syracuse, NY

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The Ph.D. program in School Psychology at Syracuse University makes an effort to provide financial support to all graduate students. Students are eligible for four years of funding through assistantships, fellowships, or clinical externships and internships. Students will be actively engaged in coursework, clinical service, and research throughout their time in the program. Students will have the opportunity to learn, train, and provide services (such as assessment, consultation, and intervention) in schools, clinics, and hospitals.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 60.00%
  • Tuition: $32,184
  • Application Deadline: December 1st

Courses topics include

Statistics and research design; human development; history and systems; biological bases; individual differences; learning and cognition; and social bases.

#48 Loyola University Chicago

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Chicago, IL

Ph.D. in School Psychology

Students can work towards a Ph.D. in School Psychology at Loyola University Chicago. This program operates from a social justice framework and aims to provide services to underserved populations. Students have the opportunity to choose one of the following areas as specialty area of concentration: curriculum and instruction; mental health in the schools; assessment/neuropsychology; research methodology; and administration and supervision.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 61.76%
  • Tuition: $20,265
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.

Courses include

Professional School Psychology; Legal Issues: Educational Disabilities; Seminar in School and Educational Psychology; Biological Foundations of Behavior in Schools; Counseling Special Populations; Multiculturalism for Social Justice in Higher Education; Assessment of School Age Children and Adults; Leading for Social Justice; and School Crisis Prevention and Intervention Strategies.

#47 Yeshiva University

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Bronx, NY

Psy.D. in School-Clinical Child Psychology

Yeshiva University offers a Combined-Integrated program in School-Clinical Child Psychology. Advanced training is available to graduate students in this program in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and School Neuropsychology. This integrated program prepares graduates to provide psychological and psychoeducational services for children, adolescents, adults, individuals, couples, and families in a variety of settings.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 63.95%
  • Tuition: $35,760
  • Application Deadline: February 1st.

Courses include

Cognitive Assessment; Integrating Gender and Race/Ethnicity; Professional and Ethical Issues in Professional Psychology; Psychoeducational Assessment; Family Systems Theory; Evidence-based Interventions: Internalizing Disorders; Treating Young Adults; and Adult Psychopathology.

#46 Michigan State University

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East Lansing, MI

Ph.D. in School Psychology

Students at Michigan State University will obtain a Master of Arts as they work towards their doctoral degree in school psychology. This program utilizes a developmental and systems approach in working with children, youth, and families in a variety of settings. Graduates of this program will be prepared to consider the context in which the development or issues occur. Training graduate students in research is also a central component of the program. Some funding for doctoral students in the College of Education is available through assistantships, students will be considered for this funding at the time of application for admission.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 66.67%
  • Tuition: $30,465
  • Application Deadline: December 1st

Faculty research interests include

Family-school collaboration; The impact of children’s anxiety on their functioning in schools and at home; Social perception in children with high functioning autism disorders and nonverbal learning disability; The use of a universal social-emotional intervention to enhance preschool children’s self-regulation and social skills in an inclusion classroom; The connection between early parenting and children’s development; Assessment and measurement issues in psychology and education; and Accommodations for diverse learners.

#45 Oklahoma State University

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Stillwater, OK

Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a Specialization in School Psychology

Oklahoma State University’s School Psychology program has been able to provide 100% of Ph.D. students with at least a .25 FTE assistantship, since the program’s initial accreditation by the APA. A number of different activities are available through assistantships. The School Psychology Program trains graduates to become professional psychologists through the Science-Based Child/Learner Success Model. Students are encouraged to participate in research teams where they will have the opportunity to meet weekly with faculty and collaborate on publishing their research in journals and presenting at national conferences.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 68.75%
  • Tuition: $22,950
  • Application Deadline: February 1st.

Faculty research interests include

Psychoeducational Assessment; Labeling Bias; Treatment based assessment procedures; Examination of variables associated with treatment integrity; School-based interventions for children with autism; and Evidence-based behavioral prevention.

#44 Texas A&M University

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College Station, TX

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The Department of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University offers a Ph.D. in School Psychology. Students in this program will have the opportunity to participate in mentored research activities throughout their doctoral training. Students will participate in faculty lead research teams where they will be exposed to all aspects of research including publishing in journals and presenting at conferences. Students are encouraged to choose areas of specialization that meet their professional interests and career goals.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 69.57%
  • Tuition: $5,297
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.

Areas of Specialization include

Child and Family; Education for At-Risk Populations; Bilingual/ ELL; Prevention Science; Neuropsychology/Pediatric Psychology; Research Design; and Human Learning & Development.

#43 Mississippi State University

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Mississippi State, MS

Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a concentration in School Psychology

Mississippi State University offers a Ph.D. program in Educational Psychology with a concentration in School Psychology through the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology. Ph.D. students can apply for funding through departmental assistantships and school-based assistantships. Assistantships cover a tuition waiver and provide a stipend. Funding varies depending on position. School Psychology students have the opportunity to provide comprehensive services to children ages birth through 22 and their families at the School Psychology Services Clinic.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 70%
  • Tuition: $5,669 / Semester
  • Application Deadline: January 15th

Services offered by the School Psychology Services Clinic include

Cognitive and Achievement assessment; Social/Emotional Assessment; Behavioral Assessment; Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapy; and Academic Interventions.

#42 Texas Woman’s University

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Denton, TX

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The School Psychology doctoral program at Texas Woman’s University integrates practice, research and theory in their training. The program focuses on the biopsychosocial perspective and collaborative approach in working with children, families, schools, and communities. Most classes are offered in the afternoon and evenings to allow for students to participate in school-based practicums. Although primarily for women, Texas Woman’s University is a public, coeducational university that fully opened its doors to male students in 1995.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 70.59%
  • Tuition: $15,455
  • Application Deadline: January 15th

Courses include

Introduction to School Psychology; Direct Behavioral Interventions; Psychopathology of Children and Adolescents; Research Design; Theory/Practice of Counseling; Cross Cultural Psychology; and Neurodevelopmental and Genetic Disorders.

#41 University of Rhode Island

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Kingston, RI

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The University of Rhode Island offers a Ph.D. in School Psychology grounded in the scientist-practitioner model of training. Graduates of this program will be prepared to work in direct service and leadership roles with children, youth, and their families, in schools and clinical settings. Students in this program will have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty in the classroom, in the community (at schools and in other settings), on research projects, and presenting at national conferences.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 72.86%
  • Tuition: $26,606
  • Application Deadline: January 15th.

Faculty research interests include

Reading acquisition and reading disabilities; Students at-risk for academic problems; Parent and teacher support; Cognitive developmental neuropsychology; Violence prevention, School-based mental health services; Cultural diversity; Cross cultural competencies of school psychologists; and Pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children and young adults.

#40 St. John’s University

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Queens, NY

Psy.D. in School Psychology

St. John’s University offers a Psy.D. in School Psychology with a general track and a bilingual track of study. Graduates of this program will be prepared to work as psychologists with the ability to incorporate research into clinical practice, assess and treat children and their families, follow professional and ethical standards of practice, and appreciate and value diversity.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 73.53%
  • Tuition: N/A
  • Application Deadline: January 15th.

Courses include

Statistical Design in Research; Introduction to School Psychology; Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior; Assessment, Diagnosis, & Remediation of Learning Disabilities; Psychopathology Across the Lifespan; Psychological Measurement & Scaling; and Cultural Diversity in Psychological Services.

#39 University of Southern Mississippi

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Hattiesburg, MS

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The University of Southern Mississippi School Psychology Program is able to connect most of its doctoral students with funding through graduate assistantships, research grants, or outside assistantships. Outside assistantships are offered through connections with school districts and other applied settings. Assistantships typically offer tuition waivers and an annual stipend. As with all school psychology programs students will complete an internship. Students in this program have been very successful in obtaining APA accredited internship placements.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 73.68%
  • Tuition: $20,740
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.

Internship placements have included

John’s Hopkins – Kennedy Krieger Institute; Boys’ Town (Nebraska Internship Consortium)- Omaha, NE; Dallas Independent School District; University of Tennessee Consortium – Memphis; Houston Independent School District; and Children’s Mercy Hospital – Kansas City.

#38 Duquesne University

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Pittsburgh, PA

Ph.D. in School Psychology

Psy.D. in School Psychology

Students in the School Psychology Program at Duquesne University will earn their M.S. Ed. in Child Psychology as they work towards their doctoral degree. Duquesne University School of Education School Psychology Program offers the option of a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. The Ph.D. requires the completion of 111 credits, the Psy.D. requires the completion of 91 credits. Graduates of this program will be able to use the Ph.D. and the Psy.D. to practice in schools, hospitals, agencies, clinics, and private practice. Some graduates will also go on to use their research experience to work and teach at a University.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 75%
  • Tuition: $33,568
  • Application Deadline: January 15th.

Courses include

Role and Function of School Psychology; Child and Adolescent Development; Behavior Interventions; Child and Adolescent Counseling; Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents; Child and Adolescent Psychopathology; Research Methods and Design; Standards and Ethics in School Psychology; Helping English Language Learners in Mainstream Classes; and Counselor Education and Supervision in a Diverse Society.

#37 Pace University

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New York, NY

Psy.D. in School-Clinical Child Psychology

Pace University in New York has a combined school-clinical program with a Psy.D. in School-Clinical Child Psychology. Graduates of this program may choose to work in schools or in a private practice. This program follows a practitioner-scholar training model, integrating field experience with academics. Students may choose to take the program on a full-time or part-time basis. The program requires the completion of 110 credit hours.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 77.48%
  • Tuition: $26,400
  • Application Deadline: January 15th.

Courses include

Introduction to School and Clinical Child Psychology; Psychology of Learning: Theory and Applications; Psychopathology in Childhood and Adolescence; Multicultural and Gender Intervention Issues; Statistics and Research Design I; and The Exceptional Child: Field Experience and Seminar.

#36 University of Kentucky

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Lexington, KY

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The University of Kentucky at Lexington offers a Ph.D. in School Psychology. This program is grounded in Social Justice, Systems Theory, and Advocacy. Graduates of this program will be competent in the following five domains as outlined by the program: Professional Conduct; Interpersonal Competence; Professional Practice Competencies; Foundational Knowledge; and Research Competencies. Students entering the program without an advanced degree will earn a Master of Science after the first year of study.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 77.78%
  • Tuition: $26,154
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 6.60

Courses include

Lifespan Human Development and Behavior; Human Cognitive Development; Social Aspects of Behavior; Topical Seminar in Social Psychology: Prejudice and Stereotyping; Research Design & Analysis; Introduction to Psychological Services in the School’s; Legal and Ethical Issues in Professional Psychology; and Parent & Child Counseling.

#35 University of Missouri, Columbia

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Columbia, MO

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The Department of Educational, Counseling, and School Psychology at the University of Missouri, Columbia offers a Ph.D. in School Psychology. Students will earn a master of arts in school psychology as they work towards their doctorate degree. Graduates of this program will be prepared to work directly with youth and families in school settings as well as to conduct research and teach in higher education.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 77.78%
  • Tuition: $31,872
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 6.40

Courses include

Psychological Assessment of Children and Adolescents; Cognitive Assessment; Quantitative Foundations in Educational Research; Lifespan Development; Developmental Psychopathology and Exceptionality; and Ethical and Legal Issues in Psychological Practice.

#34 University of Central Arkansas

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Conway, AR

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The School Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of Central Arkansas emphasizes mental health in children, prevention and intervention. The program explores how society impacts children, families, and schools. Graduates will be prepared to provide empirically-supported psychological services in schools, mental health clinics, community agencies, and hospitals. Some research assistantships are available through the Department of Psychology and Counseling and some assistantships are available through the university’s Graduate School.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 80%
  • Tuition: N/A
  • Application Deadline: February 10th.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 6.00

Courses include

Theories of Psychotherapy and Counseling; Organization and Operation of Schools: Implications for School Psychologists; Professional School Psychology; Individual and Organizational Consultation; Identification and Remediation of Learning Problems; Marriage and Family Therapy; Legal and Ethical Issues in Psychology & Counseling; Multicultural Issues in Psychology & Counseling; and Child Mental Health Promotion and Prevention.

#33 University of Arizona

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Tucson, AZ

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The Doctoral Program in School Psychology at the University of Arizona has been accredited by the APA since 1979 and by the NASP since 1991. Students in this program will complete a minor specialization (12-15 credits) as well as a support specialty (minimum 6 credits). Students will consult with their academic advisor to choose areas that fit with their specific interests and career goals. This program trains students in the scholar-practitioner model. Students will graduate with experience and training in working with diverse populations as well as experience in collaborating with individuals from related disciplines.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 80%
  • Tuition: $13,850 / Semester
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 5.70

Specialty areas

Students have the opportunity to choose areas of specialty outside of the School Psychology Program such as special education, rehabilitation counseling, clinical and counseling psychology, psychiatry, pediatrics, speech and language pathology, sociology, law, and other disciplines.

#32 Northern Illinois University

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DeKalb, IL

Ph.D. in School Psychology

Northern Illinois University offers a Ph.D. in School Psychology, students will complete a Master of Arts as they work towards completing their doctoral degree. Students can enter this program with a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree. The program has a strong history of providing funding to students through assistantships. Graduates of this program will be prepared to work as professional psychologists in schools, state agencies, and clinical practice. Additionally, they will be knowledgeable in producing and consuming research as well as in applying research to clinical practice.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 80%
  • Tuition: $16,760
  • Application Deadline: December 15th.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 5.64

Courses include

Ethics, Law, and Professional Issues in School Psychology; Dynamic Assessment for Students with High-Incidence Disabilities; Psychological Assessment of Children; Multicultural Education: Methods and Materials; Psychological Interventions with Children and Their Families; Psychological Research; and Developmental Psychopathology.

#31 University of Oregon

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Eugene, OR

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The University of Oregon offers a Ph.D. in School Psychology. Students in this program may choose to complete a Master of Science degree in Special Education as they work towards their Ph.D., but this is not required. This School Psychology program focuses on primary prevention and early intervention for children, youth, and their families. Students are prepared to be leaders and researchers in the field of School Psychology. Graduates of this program will be prepared to deliver services to individuals, groups, schools, and larger systems. The program emphasizes a focus on health and desired outcomes.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 80%
  • Tuition: $24,775
  • Application Deadline: January 15th.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 5.28

The College of Education collaborates with nationally recognized research centers in the community. Students will have the opportunity to collaborate with

The Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC); The Oregon Research Institute (ORI); The Pacific Institutes for Research; and The Dynamic Measurement Group.

#30 University of Houston

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Houston, TX

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The University of Houston offers a Ph.D. in School Psychology. This program is built on a scientist-practitioner training model as well as an ecological-behavioral theoretical model. Graduate of this program will be prepared to offer culturally sensitive and evidence-based services to diverse populations. The University of Houston is a culturally and linguistically diverse research institution. The local community and the student body reflect this diversity. Students from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Some assistantships and fellowships are available.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 80%
  • Tuition: $5,783
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 5.22

Faculty research interests include

The use of CBM to assess developmental and academic outcomes among children born preterm; Treatment and family issues for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders; Youth mentoring programs for students in secondary school at risk of emotional, behavioral, or academic problems; Motivational Interviewing; and Helping underrepresented minority students pursue careers in research and teaching.

#29 Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey

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Piscataway, NJ

Psy.D. in School Psychology

The School Psychology Program at Rutgers offers a Psy.D. based on the practitioner-Scholar model of training. This model emphasizes delivery, evaluation and improvement of psychological services. Graduates of the program will be prepared to support the developmental, social, and academic needs of children and youth in schools. Training will prepare graduates to provide collaborative and coordinated evidence-based support to culturally diverse students.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 80.77%
  • Tuition: $34,272
  • Application Deadline: Not Available

Courses include

Adult Psychopathology; Child Psychopathology; Theoretical Foundations of Behavioral Intervention; Introduction to School Psychology; Child Behavioral Assessment; Statistics and Research Design; Psychoeducational Intervention; Community Psychology; and Adult Learning and Training.

#28 University of Nebraska, Lincoln

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Lincoln, NE

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The University of Nebraska offers a Ph.D. in School Psychology. Students in this school psychology program have the opportunity to practice in the Counseling and School Psychology Clinic. Ph.D. School psychology students will have the opportunity to practice with other students in the School and Counseling Psychology program’s Department of Educational Psychology and receive hands on training. Graduate students will have the opportunity to provide psychological and educational evaluations to children and youth under the supervision of faculty and clinical associates.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 81.48%
  • Tuition: $8,155
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.

Courses include

Human Cognition and Instruction; Intellectual Assessment; Academic and Behavioral Assessment; History and Systems of Psychology; Foundations of Educational Research; Multivariate Analysis; Developmental Psychopathology; Lifespan Development; and Ethical and Professional Practice in School Psychology.

#27 University of Northern Colorado

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Greeley, CO

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The University of Northern Colorado’s school psychology program prepares graduates to be professionals with the ability to work with children (Birth – age 21) and their families. Some funding is available through research assistantships, a limited number or teaching assistantships, as well as fellowships and scholarships. The Department of School Psychology is in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and supports students in collaborating with faculty in the counseling psychology, counselor education and supervision, psychology, educational psychology and special education programs.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 84.62%
  • Tuition: $42,280
  • Application Deadline: December 15th.

Courses include

Principles of Psychometrics & Assessment; Advanced Psychopathology; Research Apprenticeship; Concepts & Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis; School-Based Consultation; Crisis Intervention in the Schools; Social Cognitive Neuroscience; Seminar in Personality and Counseling Theories; and Supervision in School Psychology.

#26 University of Maryland-College Park

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College Park, MD

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The School Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Maryland-College Park is research-intensive. Students in the College of Education’s school psychology program are trained to be grounded in both research and practice through the scientist-practitioner model of training. Graduates of the program will be prepared to pursue careers in academia, research, and/ or direct service. Students entering the program with a Master’s degree may be eligible to waive some coursework if specific conditions are met.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 85.71%
  • Tuition: $0.00
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.

Courses include

Advanced Developmental Psychology; Human Psychology; Advanced Topics in Human-Learning and Cognitive Psychology; Historical Viewpoints and Current Theories in Psychology; Diagnostic Appraisal of Children and Adolescents; Behavioral Interventions; Therapeutic Approaches with Children; and Multicultural Diversity.

#25 University of Washington

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Seattle, WA

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The School Psychology program at the University of Washington specializes in socio-emotional health. Within this focus, they offer three strands of specialization; Evidence-based interventions, Infant mental health, and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Additionally, the College of Education requires that students also choose an areas of specialization from a department outside of the College of Education. Students that enter the program without a Master’s or Specialist degree will earn their Educational Specialist degree (Ed.S.) as they work toward their Ph.D. All of the students that have completed this program in the last 10 years have become licensed. The University of Washington offers the only program on this list with a 100% licensure rate.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 86.67%
  • Tuition: $27,837
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 6.42

Courses include

Survey Research Methodology and Theory; Educational Applications of Neuropsychology: Assessment & Intervention; Education of Students with Autism or Severe Behavioral Disorders; Multicultural Issues; Applied Social Psychology; Educational Neuropsychology; Effective Parenting Interventions; and Advanced Counseling.

#24 University of Tennessee – Knoxville

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Knoxville, TN

Ph.D. in School Psychology

All of the current students in the School Psychology program at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville have assistantships that cover the cost of tuition and grant a monthly stipend. Students have the opportunity to participate in faculty-led research groups. Many of the faculty-student research projects lead to publication. Students in this program report that they build strong and lasting relationships with others in the program (the program typically has 24-30 students) especially with peers in their cohort.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 86.67%
  • Tuition: $14,150
  • Application Deadline: January 15th.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 4.96

Courses include

Seminar in School Psychology; Introduction to Professional Practice in School Psychology; Psychopathology in School and Mental Health Settings; Formal Measurement in Education and Counseling; Cross-Cultural Counseling: Theory and Research; Direct Assessment and Intervention for Academic Skills Deficits; and Methods of Teaching Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders.

#23 Fordham University

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New York, NY

Ph.D. in School Psychology

Fordham University offers a Ph.D. in School Psychology that students can start in the summer or fall semester and students can choose to enroll in the program full-time or part-time. This program emphasizes preparing graduates to work with children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in urban settings. Students will have the opportunity to work with diverse populations as they complete their fieldwork in the New York metropolitan area.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 87.10%
  • Tuition: $29,760
  • Application Deadline: January 15th.

Courses include

Foundations of Neuropsychology; Fundamentals of Educational and Psychological Measurement; Emotional Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence; Issues in Non-Biased Assessment and Decision-Making; Therapeutic Interventions in Schools; and Evaluation of Psychological Services Delivery Programs.

#22 North Carolina State University

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Raleigh, NC

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The school psychology program at North Carolina State University prepares graduates to work professionally with a strong understanding of both research and clinical practice. All School Psychology faculty are engaged in research and students will have the opportunity to work closely with faculty and are encouraged to participate in research projects that match their areas of interest. This program encourages students with bachelors or masters degrees in psychology or related fields as well as with some research experience to apply. Teaching and research assistantships are available.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 87.50%
  • Tuition: $21,311
  • Application Deadline: December 15th.

Faculty professional interests include

Systems-level Change in Schools; Deafness; Learning Disabilities; Social Power/Influence; Parenting Styles; Adjustment during the Middle School Transition; School services for Students with Disabilities; and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

#21 University of Utah

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Salt Lake City, UT

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The School Psychology program at the University of Utah prepares Ph.D. graduates to work in a number of settings such as schools, mental health clinics and hospitals. This program follows the scientist-practitioner model of training. For students that are interested, the School Psychology program offers two areas of specialization in Neuropsychology and in Consultations/Interventions. These specializations offer students unique training opportunities through coursework and internships and should not substantially increase the time it takes to complete the program.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 88.24%
  • Tuition: $30,218
  • Application Deadline: December 15th.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 7.84

Faculty research and teaching interests include

Behavioral Assessment and Treatment; Traumatic brain injury; Autism spectrum disorder; Neuropsychological assessment; Developmental disabilities; School-wide behavior supports; Diversity issues; and School-based mental health.

#20 Temple University

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Philadelphia, PA

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The College of Education at Temple University offers a Ph.D. in School Psychology. Students in this program will have the opportunity to train at the Psychoeducational Clinic of Temple University where they will provide testing, evaluations, assessment, and interventions. This program prepares graduates be high-level scientist-practitioners. Graduates will have the skills to apply research to evidence-based assessment, and intervention practices as they advocate for children and families. Graduates of this program will have a strong understanding and value for diversity as well as the ability to practice strong professional, ethical, and legal standards.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 88.24%
  • Tuition: $36,399
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 6.40

Course topics include

Neuropsychology, physiological psychology, group processes, social psychology, intelligence, learning theory, motivation, teacher efficacy research, statistics, personality, family dynamics, clinical interviewing, psychotherapy, integrating of psychological data in reports, classroom observation, and consultation with teachers, parents, and administrators.

#19 Teachers College, Columbia University

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New York, NY

Ph.D. in School Psychology

Students can earn a Ph.D. in the School Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Graduates of this program will be prepared to work with children, youth and families in a range of settings from the school to research centers. The training model is based on instruction and apprenticeship. Students will have the opportunity through internships and practicum to work with diverse populations of clients in a range of settings where they will have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 88.89%
  • Tuition: $1,398 / Credit Hour
  • Application Deadline: December 15th.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 6.40

Courses include

Professional and ethical functions of school psychologists; Childhood disorders; Group dynamics: A systems perspective; Therapeutic interventions for school psychologists; Research methods in social psychology; Family as a context for child development; The psychology of memory; Observing and assessing preschool children; and Seminar in lifespan developmental psychology.

#18 University of Florida

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Gainesville, FL

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The College of Education at the University of Florida offers a Ph.D. in School Psychology. The school psychology program does its best to support students in obtaining funding through assistantships, fellowships, scholarships and/or work study. Graduates of this program will have a strong understanding and appreciation for the following four characteristics: cognitive-behavioral orientation; schools as organizations; diversity and individual differences; and data-based decision making.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 88.89%
  • Tuition: $21,377
  • Application Deadline: November 15th.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 6.30

Courses include

Introduction Psychoeducational Assessment; Academic Assessment & Interventions for Diverse Learners; Quantitative Foundations of Educational Research; Developmental Psychopathology; Seminar in Cultural Diversity; Selected course in Research Methodology; and Selected course in Physiology/Biological Bases of Behavior.

#17 University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Madison, WI

Ph.D. in Educational Psychology

The School Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison utilizes the scientist-scholar-practitioner model. Graduates of this program will be prepared for academic and scholarly careers as well as able to provide direct services to children, families, and teachers the school and related settings. This program has been APA accredited since 1986 and NASP approved since 1992.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 89.47%
  • Tuition: $24,185
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.

Courses include

Introduction to Professional School Psychology; Assessment & Intervention for Academic Skill Problems; Child & Adolescent Psychopathology; Social, Emotional, & Behavioral Assessment; Introduction to Learning Sciences; and Internship in School Psychology.

#16 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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Chapel Hill, NC

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a Ph.D. in School Psychology. Applicants for this program should have a master’s degree, preferably in school psychology, psychology, education, social work, or counseling, but other master’s degrees will be considered. Because students begin this program with a master’s degree it can be completed in four years. In comparison with other schools this program boasts a high percentage of graduates (70%) who have obtained licensure. The student faculty ratio is 5/6 doctoral students for each faculty member.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 90.32%
  • Tuition: $26,335
  • Application Deadline: February 9th.

Courses include

Social Emotional Adjustment in Children and Adolescents; Prejudice and Stereotyping; Advanced Social Development; Child Development and Disability; Cognitive Neuroscience; Families, Culture, and Child Development; and Mixed Methods.

#15 Illinois State University

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Normal, IL

Ph.D. in School Psychology

Illinois State University’s School Psychology Program has a low student-faculty ratio with seven full time faculty allowing for individual attention. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to get to work with faculty in related fields such as clinical, counseling, cognitive and behavioral sciences, and industrial/organizational psychology. This program follows the scientist-practitioner model with value placed on both research and practice. Graduates of the program will be prepared to use evidence based practices in their work with youth and their families.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 92.31%
  • Tuition: $22,410
  • Application Deadline: November 15th.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 7.17

Courses include

Statistics: Data Analysis and Methodology; Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in School Psychology; Social Emotional and Behavioral Assessment and Intervention; Student Diversity and Educational Practices; Theory and Research in Social Psychology; Advanced Child and Adolescent Psychopathology; and Brain and Behavior Relationships.

#14 University of Virginia

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Charlottesville, VA

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (clinical-School track)

The Curry Program in Clinical and School Psychology at the University of Virginia offers a Combined Clinical and School Psychology program. Students in this program will be trained in both clinical psychology and school psychology. There are two tracks in this program the clinical-school track and the general clinical track. After completing the coursework required in the first year of the program students will earn their M.Ed. and then continue to work towards their Ph.D. Financial aid is available and some funding is available through awards, assistantships, and grants.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 92.31%
  • Tuition: $0.00
  • Application Deadline: December 15th.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 5.10

Core faculty specialize in a range of therapeutic models including

Cognitive-behavioral, Interpersonal, Psychodynamic, and Family Systems.

#13 Indiana University – Bloomington

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Bloomington, IN

Ph.D. in School Psychology

Indiana University-Bloomington offers a Ph.D. in School Psychology grounded in the scientist-practitioner model. Many graduates of the program go on to work at universities, in clinical settings, and in schools. There is a 100 percent job placement rate for Ph.D. graduates. Some funding opportunities may be available through assistantships and fellowships in the School of Education and/ or the University. Additionally, the university reports that Bloomington offers a reasonable cost of living compared to other top universities.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 93.75%
  • Tuition: $27,670
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.

Areas of research include

Educational equity; school discipline and school violence; response to intervention; autism spectrum disorders; the internet as a tool for psychologists; anxiety disorders and depression; treatment of emotional problems in children and adolescents; and the effectiveness of “zero tolerance” violence prevention programs.

#12 University of Georgia

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Athens, GA

Ph.D. in Educational Psychology

The University of Georgia offers a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, with a School Psychology emphasis, through the College of Education. Students choosing the school psychology emphasis will learn the theory, science, and practice of child and adolescent development and systems; abnormal psychology; appraisal; and intervention and consultation. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to focus on a minor area of concentration such as statistics and measurement, pediatric psychology, problems of children with chronic disease, or early childhood education depending on the student’s specific interests and career goals.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 94.44%
  • Tuition: $24,090
  • Application Deadline: December 15th.

Faculty areas of expertise include

Dropout prevention and school engagement, early reading practices, peer relationships and friendships, autism and cross-cultural diagnosis of autism, and early intervention.

#11 Ball State University

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Muncie, IN

Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (School)

The Doctoral Program at Ball State University prepares graduates to pursue careers as professional psychologists, specifically in schools but also in private practice, mental health, hospital, and academic settings. Additionally, Ball State has been recognized nationally for their graduates scholarly publications and the number of academic positions held by graduates.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 95%
  • Tuition: $19,600
  • Application Deadline: November 1st.

Courses include

Introduction to School Psychology; Academic Achievement and Intervention; Personality Assessment of Children and Adolescents; Theories and Techniques of Counseling; Diagnosis and Interventions for Learning and Related Disorders; Supervision in School Psychology; and Developmental Theories and Research Across the Lifespan.

#10 University of California, Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara, CA

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at The University of California, Santa Barbara offers a combined doctoral program. The primary goal of this department is to prepare graduates for academic and research positions. Additionally the program works to prepare graduates direct service and leadership in the field. The program explores and values human diversity, human development and influences on human behavior.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 95.56%
  • Tuition: $27,294
  • Application Deadline: November 15th.

Courses include

Advances in the Learning Sciences & Education (Human Memory & Cognitive Processes); Social Bases of Behavior; Research Design and Methods in Professional Psychology; Qualitative Research Methods; Human Development; Ethical and Legal Standards in Professional Psychology; and Social and Cultural Bases of Diversity

#9 University of Texas at Austin

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Austin, TX

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The School Psychology Program at the University of Texas at Austin was the first APA accredited program in the nation (1971). Graduates of this program will be competent in areas including research, theory, assessment, intervention and legal and ethical principles of the profession. The program is committed to graduating culturally competent researchers and practitioners with the desire to support diversity and multicultural issues in the field of school psychology.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 96.49%
  • Tuition: $25,964
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.

Courses include

Law, Ethics & History of School Psychology; Fundamentals of Behavioral Theory and Intervention; Multicultural Counseling; Family Systems; Neuropsychological Assessment; and School Psychology Colloquium.

#8 University of South Florida

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Tampa, FL

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The School Psychology program at the University of South Florida prepares students to have an area of advanced expertise along with their Ph.D. Students in this program will complete an Area of Emphasis within the area of School Psychology such as organizational consultation, school-based mental health services, or pediatric school psychology. The program will allow one or two students per year to complete their doctoral studies part-time which will be determined through a specific application process.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 100%
  • Tuition: $34,144
  • Application Deadline: January 1st.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: No Data

Core Faculty

Dr. George Batsche, Dr. Kathy Bradley-Klug, Dr. Jose Castillo, Dr. Michael Curtis, Dr. Julia Ogg, Dr. Linda Raffaele-Mendez, and Dr. Shannon Suldo.

#7 Pennsylvania State University

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University Park, PA

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The College of Education at Pennsylvania State University offers a Ph.D. in School Psychology. This program allows students to take courses in related fields of study related to their areas of interest such as Special Education, Human Development and Family Studies. A limited number of fellowships, assistantships, and work study opportunities are available. In the last ten years 100% of graduates from this program have become certified school psychologists.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 100%
  • Tuition: $32,180
  • Application Deadline: December 15th.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 6.90

Courses include

Professional Issues in School Psychology; Development Across the Lifespan; School-based Psychological Interventions for Children and Youth; Psychological Assessment of Preschool and School-Aged Children; and Child and Adolescent Psychopathology.

#6 University of Minnesota

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Minneapolis, MN

Ph.D. in School Psychology

In 2014, 100% of Graduates from the University of Minnesota School Psychology Ph.D. program found jobs. Graduates of this program will be eligible to receive the state and national school psychologist credential, and the license to practice psychology. Graduates typically pursue careers in university, school, research or clinical settings. The program can be completed with 4 years of coursework and a dissertation, followed by a year-long internship. Funding opportunities are available through assistantships and fellowships.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 100%
  • Tuition: $23,680
  • Application Deadline: November 15th.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 6.30

Faculty research interests include

Developing and evaluating assessments and data systems used in schools that: Identify students who are at risk to develop disabilities; Prevention and intervention of academic problems; Behavior management; School mental health; and Psychoeducational services for diverse learners.

#5 Georgia State University

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Atlanta, GA

Ph.D. in School Psychology

Graduates of the School Psychology Ph.D. program at Georgia State University will be highly skilled practitioners and researchers. This program follows the scientist-practitioner model of training emphasizing the importance and value of both research and practice. Students will collaborate with faculty to design a program of study that best fits their interests and career goals. Georgia State University has been recognized by the NASP for their commitment to issues related to diversity.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 100%
  • Tuition: $14,670
  • Application Deadline: November 15th.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 5.70

Courses include

Basic Counseling Skills; Advanced Developmental Psychology: Personality & Socialization; Psychological Consultation in the Schools; Child/Adolescent Psychopathology; Social/Emotional Assessment of Children and Adolescents; and School Psychology Research Seminar.

#4 University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

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Milwaukee, WI

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The School Psychology program at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee emphasizes training students to be multiculturally competent and to be skilled in working with urban populations. Some funding opportunities, covering tuition with an additional stipend, are available through teaching assistantships as well as through research assistantships with faculty research projects. The program typically takes 5-6 years to complete for students that enter with a bachelor’s degree. However, students that enter with an Ed.S. degree may complete the program in 3-4 years.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 100%
  • Tuition: $12,076
  • Application Deadline: December 15th.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 5.54

Unique feature

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.

#3 University of South Carolina

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Columbia, CA

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The School Program at the University of South Carolina emphasizes “practice that is informed by science and science that is informed by practice in the real world setting of schools” and follows the scientist-practitioner model. The School Psychology program at the University of South Carolina has been very successful in financially supporting their students through assistantships covering full tuition as well as offering a stipend. The program has been offering assistantships to students for the first four years of study for over 30 years. Additional funding and fellowships are also available to students in this program.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 100%
  • Tuition: $25,770
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 5.51

Faculty research interests include

Developmental transitions; neuropsychology of reading and reading assessment; prevention and intervention for at-risk youth; positive psychology; determinants of school satisfaction in adolescents; positive behavior intervention and support; and trauma focused intervention.

#2 Louisiana State University

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Baton Rouge, LA

Ph.D. in School Psychology

Students in the School Psychology program at Louisiana State University will have the opportunity to develop close working relationships with peers and faculty with a student-faculty ratio of approximately 6:1. This program utilizes the scientist/practitioner model of training with a behavioral/ecological focus. Students in this program will learn to understand and support children within the context of their families, schools, and communities. With approximately 30% of graduates going on to work in university settings, graduates of this program are also recruited by other institutions such as schools and hospitals and typically hold faculty, leadership, and administrative positions.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 100%
  • Tuition: $13,895
  • Application Deadline: December 1st.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 5.40

Courses include

History of Modern Psychology; Measurement of Behavior; Advanced Statistics; Cultural Diversity in Counseling and Therapy; Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in School Psychology; Developmental Disorders and Psychopathology of Children; Current Problems in School Psychology; and Behavioral Perspectives on Child and Adolescent Development.

#1 Lehigh University

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Bethlehem, PA

Ph.D. in School Psychology

The College of Education at Lehigh University offers a Ph.D. in School Psychology with the opportunity to choose from three areas of specialization. The areas of specialization are School-Based Prevention sub specialization; Pediatric/Health sub specialization; and The Endorsement in Pediatric School Psychology as part of a Leadership Training Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The students and faculty at Lehigh University’s College of Education are currently engaged in exploring several areas in depth including, developing better learning programs for children who are at educational risk, and investigating effective organizational leadership in urban and suburban schools.

  • EPPP Pass Rate: 100%
  • Tuition: $12,995
  • Application Deadline: January 1st.
  • Mean number of years to complete the program: 5.00

Courses include

Biological Basis of Human Behavior; Social Basis of Human Behavior, Multicultural Issues; Research Methods & Design; Introduction to Organizational Leadership: Theory and Practice; Crisis Management in the Schools; Advanced School and Family Interventions; and Advanced Child Psychopathology.


Methodology for Ranking of 50 Best Doctoral Programs in School Psychology

A list of American Psychological Association (APANASP) and only programs that were both APA accredited and NASP approved were retained. From this list of over 58 programs, each program’s EPPP passrate was gathered from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) web site. Programs were then ranked based on the EPPP pass rate, highest to lowest.

When schools EPPP pass rate percentage caused the schools to tie, the tie was broken by using a second tier ranking. For the second tier ranking, each program’s web site was searched for “Student Outcome, Admissions, and Other Data”. From this data, which is required by the APA for accreditation, we took the data provided on the mean number of years to complete the program (data from 2007-2014). Higher ranking was given to schools with the lowest mean time to complete the program. If a school did not provide up to date data (which occurred in one instance) they were given the low ranking in the subset.

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