Ph.D. in School Psychology

Having a doctorate in school psychology is essential for people who want to become university professors, deans, school psychologists, and many others in the field. Owning the degree grants graduates the chance to earn a relatively higher salary in whatever career path they choose.

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Possessing a master’s in school psychology undoubtedly grants advancement opportunities in one’s career, but a Ph.D. enhances it. The article below covers the required processes and how it benefits an individual.

Why Should I Pursue an Online Doctorate in School Psychology?

An online doctorate in school psychology has numerous benefits. For starters, it is a way for students to get access to much better career opportunities and an increase in income. More of these reasons are addressed below:

In-Depth Knowledge
A Ph.D. in school psychology enables students to learn comprehensively and gain in-depth knowledge about childhood development, assessment, and so on and use this knowledge to advance professionally.
Opportunities for Career Advancement
A doctorate in school psychology serves as a qualification for graduates to get advanced positions like professors, practitioners, or administrators. With such significant responsibilities also comes more generous pay.
Research Opportunities
As a Ph.D. is mostly about research work, getting a doctorate in school psychology leads to research projects that help advance the field of making a significant alteration to treatment and instructional procedures.
Field Experiences
As is required of students in most doctorate programs, learners need to go through internships or practicums. While engaging in activities that build field experience, students learn to practicalize and apply theoretical knowledge gained from the confines of the classroom to situations in the workplace, helping them explore career opportunities.
Psychologists need credentials such as certificates to practice. A doctorate provides those required credentials or at least prepares potential psychologists for certification exams.

Available Careers With an Online Ph.D. in School Psychology

As a result of an online doctorate’s importance to employing bodies, earning one leads to career advancement, leadership roles, higher income, and other benefits.
Of all the available career paths for online school psychology graduates, a few common ones have been discussed below.

Academic Dean
An academic dean has the role of creating educational policies, managing and reviewing the school budget, and makes decisions relating to faculties. Deans are always at work during school sessions and only get breaks during the summer. Their salary is $94,340.
Psychometricians’ job entails the assessment of psychological characteristics by creating, administering, and evaluating tests. They develop curricula for schools by testing students and working with researchers to postulate theories. Their average yearly salary is $82,118.
School Psychologist
School psychologists work as consultants or part of a school district’s staff and administrators to develop instructional best practices and testing protocols. Identifying learning and behavioral issues present in students is also one of the things a school psychologist does. Annually, they earn an average of $79,010.
Postsecondary Teacher
Ph.D. holders of school psychology can work as postsecondary teachers. Postsecondary teachers can work in educational environments like community colleges, public universities, private universities, and professional schools. They serve as advisors to students, create lesson plans and grade tests and assignments. They earn an average of $78,470 per year.
Instructional Coordinator
Instructional coordinators usually need a master’s degree to work. They come up with lesson plans for students, observe them, and prepare them for testing. They also report their observations and conclusions to the school authorities and parents. These experts earn a median annual salary of $64,450.

Requirements and Courses for an Online School Psychology Ph.D. Program

Admission requirements into a school psychology online Ph.D. program include an application, required GRE scores, and transcripts of the coursework from the student’s previous college. A minimum CGPA of 3.0 is also necessary alongside a personal essay, resume, and recommendation letters. As different schools have different requirements, students should look into admission requirements specific to schools they intend to send their applications to.
To graduate, online doctorate students of school psychology need about 90 credits and are usually required to complete a directed research project, practicum, and internship. Some of these program requirements for online students may need to be completed on campus.
The time spent studying takes 5-6 years in total. These requirements vary depending on the school, the program enrolled into, and specialty focused on. For this reason, research cannot be overemphasized.
Apart from the advanced coursework students need to complete to earn their degree, specific foundational school psychology courses are common in many doctorate programs. These courses help the students develop a deep understanding of psychology and student behavior.

Psychopathology of Children and Adolescents
This course entails studying behavioral disorders and emphasizing their origin, mode of assessment, and comprehensive solutions backed with evidence. It deals with why detecting and accurately diagnosing these disorders early enough to help patients is essential. It includes gaining field experiences through internships.
Research Design and Methods
The course teaches qualitative and quantitative research techniques, which students use while conducting research experiments and noting findings according to industry standards. In this course, research cases are used to teach students to analyze problems and proffer solutions.
Development of Children and Adolescents
The developmental processes of a human being from birth to infancy and adolescence are studied. Students learn to be of assistance to people with learning disabilities or mental health challenges. They develop skills that make communicating and working with parents more comfortable.
Academic Assessment and Intervention
Students learn to assess academic performance and compile data for intervention plans while monitoring current assessment methods. In the process, they develop decision-making skills and monitoring tactics.
Legal and Ethical Issues
Legal and ethical issues is a course that teaches students to abide by industry-standard ethical rules and guidelines. Students develop techniques to reduce and altogether avoid ethical problems in the workplace.


Great school psychologists have various skills that help them in the workplace. Some of the skills they develop in the course of learning their degree in school psychology are:

Interpersonal Skills
School psychologists create interpersonal skills during the study by developing their ability to listen to people and communicate better. They usually engage with parents, teachers, students, and school officials.
Observational Skills
A psychologist with observational skills knows how to read people’s body language and analyze their actions. With this skill, they can create plans to address the observed issues.
Patience, they say, is a virtue. This cliche is very true for school psychologists as students can sometimes be challenging to work with. With patience, school psychologists can create a comfortable and safe space for students with behavioral and mental health issues.
Problem-Solving Skills
Problem-solving skills help psychologists identify, define and provide solutions to problems related to students. School psychologists use this skill to make assessments and instructional plans.
Writing Skills
Writing is an essential and unavoidable part of a psychologist’s job role that aids effective communication. They write research, proposals, and treatment plans for patients.
Speaking Skills
Public speaking skills are essential for the delivery of presentations and lectures. It aids in communicating with parents, students, and teachers.

There are professional organizations that provide opportunities to their members. They also offer resources, training, conferences, study groups, employment opportunities, and many more. Some of the major organizations are:

  • American Psychological Association
  • Association of Educational Therapists
  • National Association of School Psychologists
  • American School Counselor Association
  • Association for Counselor Education and Supervision

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