School Psychology, Ph.D.

Thank you for your interest in the School of Education's School Psychology Doctoral Program. We welcome your application!

If you have questions, please contact the acting program coordinator, Dr. Steve Knotek at or by calling 919-843-2049.

The deadline to apply for Fall 2015 admission is February 10th, 2015.

Please visit the UNC Graduate School's website to access the online application. All application materials must be submitted electronically as instructed on the online application.

In considering the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a place for graduate training in School Psychology, each applicant should bear in mind the following:

  1. The School of Education offers a PhD in School Psychology.
  2. Applicants should hold a master’s degree in School Psychology or a related area such as Psychology, Education, Social Work, or Counseling. Applicants with other related master’s degrees will be considered. Applicants should have course work similar to these courses: EDUC 714- Group Counseling; EDUC 608-Individual Counseling; and EDUC 684 – Statistics I. Students who do not have these courses completed before enrollment will take them within a year and a half of enrolling in the program.
  3. The PhD in School Psychology is a 64 credit hour program that can be completed in four years. Years one and two consist of course work and field-based externships while years three and four are comprised of dissertation work and an internship. Once students are enrolled, they may apply for an option of completing the program in three years if their relevant experience and course work meets APA training standards.
  4. The UNC School Psychology PhD program is accredited by the American Psychological Association.

If you have questions, please contact the program coordinator, Dr. Steve Knotek at or by calling 919-843-2049.

Program Description


The Ph.D. in School Psychology is an American Psychological Association-accredited program that leads to licensure as a psychologist in North Carolina as well as most other states. Students who intend to live in other states should check the licensure requirements in those states if you are intending to work in another state. The Program is also approved by NASP and by the NC Department of Public Instruction for doctoral level licensure for school psychology. As a result, the Program is responsive to multiple sets of requirements. We have developed an integrated plan that provides for a sequenced and cumulative training experience across your years in the Program.

The Program of Studies timeline illustrates a three-year plan, and a number of our students follow this plan. However, any student who wishes to extend their graduate course work over four years may do so by modifying the three-year plan.

To meet APA accreditation requirements, the program of studies has been designed to include the following: Foundational content in the breadth of psychology: biological aspects of behavior; cognitive/affective aspects of behavior; social aspects of behavior; history and systems of psychology; psychological measurement; research methodology; and, data analysis. Curriculum is also expected in the science/methods/and theories of practice including individual differences in behavior; human development; dysfunctional behavior/psychopathology; and professional standards. Knowledge and skills are required in assessment and diagnosis; effective intervention; consultation; evaluating the efficacy of interventions; and supervision. Additionally, issues of cultural and individual diversity that are relevant to the above are expected in the curriculum, and attitudes essential for lifelong learning, scholarly inquiry, and professional problem-solving are to be included.

The Program of Studies meets National Association of School Psychologists standards, including the set of 11 training domains.

The doctoral program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) (Committee on Accreditation; 750 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20002; (202) 336-5979;, approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and approved by North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).


Admissions Data

We take into consideration several factors in making admission decisions, including GRE scores, undergraduate and graduate grades, letters of recommendation, research experience, pertinent experiences with children and youth, and how the applicant’s professional goals match with the program. The Graduate School at UNC recommends that applicants have a combined GRE total score of 1000 and a GPA of 3.0. In our doctoral program, statistics on admissions for the past two years shows that the average GRE total score is above 1200 and the average undergraduate GPA is 3.6.

Admissions Procedure

Decisions on admissions to the doctoral program are made during January and February preceding the fall enrollment. Once the initial review of applicants takes place, individuals may be invited for on-campus interviews, or are called for a phone interview. The program receives between 50 and 70 applications each year for the doctoral program and asks approximately 20 students to interview. We seek an enrollment of between 8 and 11 doctoral students. Students are typically informed of their admission status within two weeks of the interviews.

Student Admissions, Outcomes and Other Data
Years to Doctoral Graduation

The following table provides information on the number of years from initial enrollment to graduation, for students graduating in the designated year. Most students graduate in five to six years.

Time to Completion for all students entering the program
Outcome '07-'08 '08-'09 '09-'10 '10-'11 '11-'12 '12-'13 '13-'14 Total
Total number of students with doctoral degree conferred on transcript 14 4 3 9 4 3 4 41
Mean number of years to complete the program 5.5 5.2 5 5.3 5.5 5.6 5.5 5.37
Median number of years to complete the program 55555655
Time to Degree Ranges (Number of students and percentage of cohort)
Students in less than 5 years 2 14% 0 0% 0 0% 2 22% 0 0% 1 33% 0 0% 5 12%
Students in 5 years 7 50% 3 75% 2 66% 5 55% 3 75% 0 0% 3 75% 23 56%
Students in 6 years 1 7% 1 25% 1 33% 1 11% 0 0% 1 33% 0 0% 5 12%
Students in 7 years 4 28% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 1 25% 1 33% 1 25% 7 17%
Students in more than 7 years 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 1 11% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 1 2%
Program Costs
Description 2014-2015 1st year Cohort Cost
Tuition for full-time students (in-state)$8,693.00
Tuition for full-time students (out-of-state)$25,904.00
Tuition per credit hour for part-time studentsN/A
University/institution fees or costs$1,944.17
Additional estimated fees or costs to students (e.g. books, travel, etc.)Approx. $700.00
Internship Placement
Outcome Year Applied for Internship
'07-'08 '08-'09 '09-'10 '10-'11 '11-'12 '12-'13 '13-'14
Number and percentage of cohort
Students who obtained APA/CPA-accredited internships 2 66% 2 50% 1 20% 1 14% 1 16% 0 0% 0 0%
Students who obtained APPIC member internships that were not APA/CPA-accredited (if applicable) 1 33% 2 50% 3 60% 5 71% 4 66% 0 0% 0 0%
Students who obtained internships conforming to CDSPP guidelines that were not APA/CPA-accredited (if applicable) 1 33% 2 50% 1 20% 1 14% 1 16% 3 100% 3 100%
Students who obtained other internships that were not APA/CPA-accredited (if applicable) N/A 4 80% 4 57% 6 100% 3 100% 3 100%
Students who obtained any internship 3 100% 4 100% 5 100% 7 100% 6 100% 3 100% 3 100%
Students who sought or applied for internships including those who withdrew from the application process 3 100% 4 100% 5 100% 7 100% 6 100% 3 100% 4 -w/d
Students who obtained paid internships 3 4 5 7 6 3 4
Student who obtained half-time internships (if applicable) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


UNC School Psychology Program Attrition Data

The following table shows information on students by cohort who have graduated, are currently enrolled, or who have left the program.

Variable Year Applied for Internship
'07-'08 '08-'09 '09-'10 '10-'11 '11-'12 '12-'13 '13-'14
Number and percentage of cohort
Students for whom this is the year of first enrollment (i.e. new students) 8 4 3 5 0 9 10
Students whose doctoral degrees were conferred on their transcripts 0 2 3 N/A N/A 2 5
Students still enrolled in program 6 3+1* 2+1* 5 N/A 7 9
Students no longer enrolled for any reason other than conferral of doctoral degree (and percentage attrition) 2 25% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 2 22% 1 11%
*Indicates a year where a masters student was accepted into the doctoral program. In this case percentage attrition is adjusted.

A requirement of doctoral degree programs approved by the APA is to report the number and percentage of program graduates over the past seven years who have obtained licensure as psychologists. Of the 27 doctoral students who graduated from the program between 2007 and 2013, 19 (70%) have obtained licensure as psychologists and 3 (11%) are in the process of obtaining licensure. Some graduates are employed in settings not requiring licensure and recent graduates are often in the process of completing supervised training.

Outcome 2007 to 2013
The total number of program graduates (doctoral degrees conferred on transcript) between 2 and 10 years ago 27
The number of these graduates (between 2 and 10 years ago) who became licensed psychologists in the past 10 years 19
Licensure percentage 70%

Program Contact

General program inquires:
Leigh Anna Hutchison, Program Assistant, (919) 843-1904

Application questions:
, (919) 966-1346

Contact the program coordinator:
Steve Knotek, Ph.D., Program Coordinator, 919-843-2049.