Best Doctoral Programs in School Psychology

Updated June 22, 2023

Explore our ranking of the top colleges and universities offering a doctorate degree in school psychology. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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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.

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Top Doctoral Programs in School Psychology

  • Ball State University

    Muncie, IN

    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.

  • Duquesne University

    Pittsburgh, PA

    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.

  • Fordham University

    Bronx, NY

    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.

  • Georgia State University

    Atlanta, GA

    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.

  • Illinois State University

    Normal, IL

    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.

  • Indiana State University

    Terre Haute, IN

    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.

  • Indiana University - Bloomington

    Bloomington, IN

    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.

  • Lehigh University

    Bethlehem, PA

    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.

  • Louisiana State University

    Baton Rouge, LA

    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.

  • Loyola University - Chicago

    Chicago, IL

    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.

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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