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School Psychology

Professor in Charge (PIC) - Dr. James DiPerna (

About this Program 

The School Psychology doctoral program is a scientist-practitioner program firmly grounded in both psychology and education. Students receive training in conducting research that is relevant to schools and education, interpreting the extant research literature, incorporating empirical findings into practice, adopting a scientific problem-solving approach to school-based problems, and using objective and  scientifically grounded principles in assessing their own practice. Students' training in the major areas of school-based practice (assessment and diagnosis, intervention, consultation, program evaluation, and supervision) is accomplished through coursework and practica.

Students' training in the core areas of school psychological practice ensures that they are knowledgeable about best professional practices, research, and professional standards. Students are also expected to identify and pursue a special proficiency that further defines their professional area of expertise.

Learn more about the mission, goals and competencies, accreditation, and courses in School Psychology doctoral program.


IMPORTANT ADMISSIONS UPDATE: Please note that we will only be considering applicants who have already completed a master’s degree in School Psychology (or closely related field) for admission to the doctoral program in Fall 2021.

The principal qualification for admission for doctoral study in the graduate program in School Psychology at Penn State is evidence of strong potential for advanced graduate study and research. Such evidence is obtained from an applicant's academic record, letters of reference, scores on standardized tests, and personal statement of academic and vocational interests.

Learn how to apply by visiting our application information page.

Meet our Faculty

The School Psychology Program currently includes seven core faculty. Five are full-time in the program and serve as advisers to students. In addition to the core faculty, the program has an adjunct faculty member, a Clinic Co-Coordinator and an adjunct Clinic supervisor.  Click here to learn more about our faculty and current faculty research.

Meet Recent Graduates

Congratulations to all of our recent degree recipients!

Many US states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.