Prospective School Psychology Graduate Students

Selecting a doctoral program is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your professional life. It is important to find a program that is a good fit with your research interests and career aspirations. Other important considerations are the attention you receive from your doctoral advisor, the training experiences available to you, and the organizational climate in which you do your work. Here are some of the aspects of training that we believe make the NC State School Psychology Program unique.

  • Breadth of expertise. As a group, the NC State School Psychology faculty represent a broad range of research and practice areas. Interest areas include reading interventions, effective school practices for supporting students with emotional and behavioral disorders, interpersonal processes in school consultation, child maltreatment, and special education accountability.
  • Research. All School Psychology faculty have active research programs, giving students the opportunity to learn research by doing it. By being actively involved with research, students also regularly publish and present at conferences with faculty. Although each student is admitted to doctoral study with a particular advisor, and is expected to complete the thesis and dissertation in his/her advisor's area, all students are also welcome to work with other faculty if they would like to broaden their research experiences. 
  • Did you know that...
    • According to an article in a recent issue of the Journal of School Psychology (Kranzler, Grapin, & Daley, 2011, 49(6), 721-738), of the 59 school psychology programs that have APA accreditation, the NC State School Psychology Program is rated:
    • #8 (several ties) in terms of school psychology faculties that published the most in major school psychology journals from 2005-2009 (Fig. 3);
    • #9 (several ties) in terms of school psychology faculties that published the most in other, non-school psych journals from 2005-2009 (Fig. 4);
    • #10 in terms of # of total journal article publications from 2005-2009 (Table 3);
    • #14 in terms of # of total journal citations from 2005-2009 (Table 5); and
    • #17 in terms of authorship credit in articles published from 2005-2009 (Table 2).
    • Kranzler et al. (2011) regard us as a Top 10 program nationally.
  • Close working relationships with faculty. With approximately 25 students and 5 faculty members who chair dissertations (as well as our Clinic Director and adjunct faculty), graduate students receive considerable individual attention in all facets of their doctoral training. Although expectations are high, faculty work with students to assure they develop the professional and research skills they need to work as scientist-practitioners in schools and other settings (e.g., universities, hospitals, specialized treatment facilities for children).
  • On-campus training clinic. An on-campus training clinic is associated with NC State's School Psychology Program. Students' initial training takes place in the Psychoeducational Clinic where they work side-by-side with clinicians under close supervision. As students become more confident and skilled, they take on more case responsibilities. When students have developed basic skills in assessment, working with parents, and designing and implementing interventions, they then increase their applied training in school-based settings.
  • Range of practicum experiences. There are five required practica in the NC State School Psychology Program. The practica are sequenced, and the first two take place in the Psychoeducational Clinic. Later practica require students to work in schools and with families, engaging in activities such as assessment, intervention, and consultation with teachers and parents. If interested, click here to read more about the School Psychology Curriculum of courses and practica.
  • Additional opportunities for applied experiences.  In addition to the applied experiences students receive as part of the required practica, students have several opportunities to extend their applied experiences. For example, many students take advantage of advanced practica experiences in settings such as Wake Medical Center, Duke University Medical Center clinics, the TEACCH autism program at UNC-Chapel Hill, and others. Most students also extend their applied experiences through “hands-on” research with faculty. For example, faculty members’ applied research takes place in schools, clinics, and community-based centers that support children and families. 
  • Training within a Department of Psychology. There can be several advantages of receiving school psychology training within a department of psychology. For example, all courses offered within the department have an emphasis on the science of psychology, which helps students understand how the broader field of scientific psychology can improve their functioning as a school psychologist. This coursework also tends to benefit students if they later apply to become licensed by a state psychology board. Furthermore, training within a department of psychology means that many graduate students get to work with and supervise undergraduate psychology majors, many of whom are preparing for graduate school in school psychology or related fields.
  • Location of NC State. In addition to the benefits of living in a culturally diverse and constantly growing metropolitan area that has excellent opportunities for enjoying the arts, dining, music, outdoor recreational activities, and other types of entertainment, there are also many professional advantages of living and working in Raleigh, NC. For example, as part of the research triangle, Raleigh provides students with opportunities to connect with the many education and research-related organizations in the area. Also, because Raleigh is the capital of NC, students can take advantage of observing legislative action in the areas of education and psychology. For students interested in knowing more about Raleigh and the surrounding area, the following links may serve as a starting point:

The Independent

Raleigh Chamber of Commerce

The Research Triangle

Related to information and strengths of our School Psychology program, please also be sure to visit our page of Frequently Asked Questions and/or contact a current NC State School Psychology student about questions you may have.