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School Psychology, Ph.D.

The University of Maryland School Psychology Program is a research-intensive, Ph.D. program in professional psychology that embodies the scientist-practitioner orientation. Faculty and students represent a breadth of theoretical orientations, research and professional interests. Program graduates pursue academic/research and practice-oriented careers. Graduates of the Program are eligible for licensure as professional psychologists in Maryland and other states. Graduates also are eligible for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential, awarded by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Because the training program is approved fully by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), graduates are automatically eligible for MSDE certification as a School Psychologist.

We accept both those with or without previously earned master’s degrees. All Program students without a previously earned master’s degree must earn an M.A. with thesis prior to advancement to doctoral candidacy. The Program essentially subsumes a typical “specialist” (M.A. plus Advanced Graduate Specialist Certificate) program that corresponds to NASP standards for training of specialist-level school psychologists, such that doctoral students typically earn the MA/AGS (or AGS only in the case of doctoral students with previously earned master’s degrees) within their doctoral programs.

The School Psychology Program is embedded within the Counseling Psychology, School Psychology, and Counselor Education (COPE) Program Area within the Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE) Department.

Video: School Psychology- An Overview of the Profession and Training Program at UMD


Graduates of the University of Maryland Ph.D. School Psychology Program are prepared to pursue a variety of career paths including academic, research or practitioner careers.

Why Choose School Psychology at Maryland?

Our Program stresses the application of psychological knowledge from a variety of theoretical orientations to address educational and mental health issues of students and schools. Program and Departmental faculty are diverse in terms of research interests and theoretical perspectives. Faculty members model a scientist-practitioner approach in the application of psychological knowledge to address school-related prevention, academic, developmental, and mental health issues. Students are encouraged to think simultaneously as researchers and practitioners. Admissions offers are made to applicants judged to have the potential to develop competencies in both research and professional practice.

The Emphasis of our Program

The Program's curriculum includes several especially strong components that mark the Program's graduates. In particular, we provide intensive experiences in both the research and practice components of the discipline. We combine an emphasis on psychological research and the use of research to inform practice with intensive clinical training. Our program includes: an assessment model that integrates both cognitive and personality dimensions; an emphasis on the theory and practice of consultation at multiple levels; and commitment to personal and individual diversity through specific coursework, infusion in the curriculum, and field experiences with culturally diverse populations.

Accreditation Status

The University of Maryland Ph.D. School Psychology Program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA; next site visit scheduled for 2028), and we are fully accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP; next review scheduled for 2030). The training program is housed within the College of Education, which is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). All of the College of Education’s school professional preparation programs are approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

Accreditation organization contact information is as follows:

American Psychological Association

Office of Prog. Consultation and Accreditation

750 First Street, NE

Washington, DC 20002-4242

E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org

Phone: 202.336.5979

Fax: 202.336.5978 

Web-based listing of APA-accredited programs:


National Association of School Psychologists

4340 East West Highway, Suite 402

Bethesda, MD 20814

E-mail: ksavard@naspweb.org

Program Approval Board

Phone: 301.657.0270

Fax: 301.657.0275

Web-based listing of NASP-approved programs:

Program Annual Report and Student Outcomes Data

School Psychology Student Organizations

Student Affiliates of School Psychologists (SASP)

Our doctoral students have the opportunity to join SASP, a student-run organization that fosters growth and professionalism among the students in the School Psychology program at the University of Maryland. SASP facilitates an awareness and understanding in the school psychology profession by providing support and developmental opportunities. By providing students with the opportunity to be involved in social activities and conducting research with faculty, SASP refines and strengthens the program's overall mission for maintaining and training quality school psychologists.

More Information on SASP

Program Goals and Objectives

The following goals and objectives operationalize the program’s mission of integrating foundational scientific knowledge, clinical practice, and research experiences.

SP Strategic Plan

Scientific Knowledge

Goal: Students will develop foundational knowledge and become well-versed in profession-wide competencies via the required course sequence.

  • Obejective 1a: Students will be well-versed in foundational scientific knowledge including: (a) history and systems of psychology; (b) affective, biological, cognitive, and social aspects of behavior; (c) research methods, statistical analysis, and psychometrics. 
  • Objective 1b: Students will gain knowledge regarding professional competencies including (a) research, (b) ethical/legal standards; (c) individual and cultural diversity; (d) professional values and attitudes; (e) communication/interpersonal skills; (f) assessment; (g) intervention; (h) supervision; and (i) consultation.

Clinical Practice

Goal: Students will demonstrate entry-level competence, provide evidence-based school psychological services, and develop identities as professional psychologists.

Sub-goal 1: Students will demonstrate entry-level competence as specified by the American Psychological Association with respect to “discipline-specific knowledge, profession-wide competencies and learning/curriculum elements required by the profession.”

  • Objective 1a: Students: (1) will demonstrate knowledge of theory and research pertinent to mental health service delivery in regard to: (a) psychodiagnostic, psychoeducational, and educational assess­ment, (b) interventions to address academic and social behavior issues, and (c) individual and group counseling of school-age students; and (2) will demonstrate the ability to apply their knowledge in the foregoing areas to the solution of identified client problems.
  • Objective 1b: Students: (1) will demonstrate knowledge of theory and research in regard to: (a) case- and consultee-centered consultation, (b) team-based support systems, and (c) systems-level consultation; and (2) will demonstrate the ability to apply their knowledge in the foregoing areas to the solution of identified client or systems-level problems.

Sub-goal 2: Students will be able to provide evidence-based school psychological services in the context of a multicultural, pluralistic society such that inter-individual differences and differences in culture, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation are understood and respected.

  • Objective 2a: Students will demonstrate knowledge of inter-individual differences (e.g., temperament, learning abilities, personality attributes, disability status) and knowledge of the influences of social, cultural, ethnic, experiential, socioeconomic, gender-related, and linguistic factors on students’ development and learning.
  • Objective 2b:     Students will apply knowledge of such differences in their assessment, consultation, counseling and other professional work in order to ensure effective, equitable, and respectful school psychological services to all of their clients and other service recipients.

Sub-goal 3: Students will develop identities as professional psychologists specializing in school psychology, and practice in accord with professional practice standards and a scientific knowledge base.

  • Objective 3a: Students demonstrate knowledge of the historical development of psychology and of school psychology in the context of current developments in the discipline.
  • Objective 3b: Students will demonstrate professional identities as psychologists through their membership and participation in professional and scientific organizations, and through their expressed research and professional goals.
  • Objective 3c: Students will demonstrate knowledge of, and adherence to, ethical and legal guidelines in all aspects of their professional work.

Research Component

Goal: Students will understand, generate, and disseminate research in order to contribute to the scientific knowledge base.

  • Objective 1a: Students will have an ongoing involvement in all stages of the research process with increasing independence over time.
  • Objective 1b: Students will engage in conducting original research and disseminating psychological science via completion of the master’s thesis, doctoral dissertation, and comprehensive requirements.

Research Labs

Emotions, Equity, & Education Lab (Dr. Colleen O'Neal)

Temperament & Narratives Lab (Dr. Hedy Teglasi) 

Bullying Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Lab (Dr. Cixin Wang)

Risk, Resilience, and Culture Lab (Dr. Chunyan Yang)

Our AGS and PhD graduates meet MSDE requirements for certification as a school psychologist. Our graduates are also eligible for the NCSP, Nationally Certified School Psychologist, through NASP.

Per new US Department of Education regulations regarding state licensure disclosure, a determination has not been made as to whether this program meets the requirements for professional certification in any particular state or territory other than Maryland. We are in the process of reviewing state certification requirements and will update this page when more information is available.