School Doctoral Program

The APA1 accredited Doctor of Philosophy in School Psychology is designed to extend the training of the specialist level school psychologist so that he or she is prepared to serve educational systems and the larger community. The program prepares school psychologists who can perform a variety of roles in the delivery of mental health services; who can assume a leadership role in the development of comprehensive and effective educational and psychological services to children, families, and schools; and who are able to supervise, coordinate, and direct the activities of others in the delivery of school psychological services.

The training model is based on the scientist-practitioner tradition emphasizing the application of behavioral science in educational systems and the larger community. Training emphasizes practice guided by scientific knowledge. Students are taught to use scientific principles to inform their practice (including consultation, intervention, and diagnostic services) and to evaluate their practice in order to improve services as well as contribute to the field of School Psychology. The program is committed to fostering in its students sensitivity to, appreciation for, and understanding of ethnic minority group members. Similarly, the program strives to promote understanding of, and responsiveness to, the special needs of individuals with disabilities.

School Psychology Doctoral Program

Program requirements

This program of study typically includes four years of intensive, full-time academic preparation and field experience plus a one-year, full-time internship. Students must successfully complete 3 years of graduate study. Students are accepted into the program on a full-time basis. Normal progress through the program requires full-time study and will involve a course load of 9 to 12 credits per semester. Students are expected to take a minimum of 6 hours per semester. For at least one year of the program, students must be in full-time residence at Central Michigan University. The program meets the Michigan requirements for certification as a school psychologist as defined by the State Board of Education. In addition, completion of the program fulfills the requirements for certification as a school psychologist in the majority of states.

Students entering with a BS/BA degree will be required to complete approximately 106 graduate credit hours. Those entering with a MA/MS degree in School Psychology will be required to complete approximately 70 graduate hours.

Students are required to complete at least two years of academic training at Central Michigan University. The following courses must be completed while enrolled at Central Michigan University: PSY 767, PSY 890/891, PSY 898/899, and PSY 990/991. At least 50 percent of the minimum post-baccalaureate hours for a doctoral degree must be completed at Central Michigan University. A minimum of two-thirds of the credit hours for the doctoral degree must be at the 600 level or above, that is, no more than one-third of the credit hours may be at the 500 level. Any credits more than 10 years old at time of graduation will not be accepted towards meeting degree requirements.

The Ethical Codes of the American Psychological Association2 and the National Association of School Psychologists3 are the foundation for the School Psychology training programs. Students are introduced to ethical codes and ethical decision-making early (in the first semester of coursework), and they are expected to demonstrate high standards of professional conduct in coursework and field work. Consistent with our ethical codes and professional standards, students are taught to respect the dignity and worth of the individual, and to strive for the preservation and protection of fundamental human rights. Throughout their training, they must demonstrate a commitment to using the science of psychology to promote human welfare.

Admissions process

Minimum admission requirements include an undergraduate major in psychology or at least 15 semester hours of psychology and a 3.0 overall grade point average. A background in scientific psychology and basic research methodology including statistics and experimental psychology is strongly weighted to assure that students will be conversant with research. Students who do not meet the required 15 semester hours of basic psychology courses, but appear qualified for doctoral study, are required to remedy deficiencies as part of their initial coursework. The Doctoral Admissions Committee will identify what coursework is necessary and inform the student about remediation.​ 

In addition to grades and GRE scores (taken within five years of application), the Doctoral Admissions Committee is very attentive to letters of recommendation, personal statements, and relevant professional experiences. Work history, professional goals, capacity for relating to and working with other people, emotional maturity and stability, and motivation also are considered. GRE scores are viewed as one predictor of the likelihood of success in graduate study. Consequently, for applicants who already hold a graduate degree in school psychology or a related field, greater weight is given to prior graduate school performance than GRE scores.

We encourage all applicants to be familiar with the American Psychological Association's guidelines for accepting offers for admission and financial aid.

Application deadline

The deadline for receipt of all application materials is December 1st for the School Doctoral Program. In addition to grades and GRE scores (subject portion not required), the Admissions Committee is attentive to letters of recommendation, personal statements, and relevant professional experiences.

Contact information

If you have any questions with regard to the application requirements please contact:

Department of Psychology, 989-774-3001
Central Michigan University, School Psychology Programs
Sloan Hall 101, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859

Fax number: 989-774-2553

Application forms

Complete and submit Central Michigan University's application form with all required application materials to the College of Graduate Studies. The Department of Psychology requires a Personal Statement, explained on the Information Form, (Item #2 below). Transcripts should be sent to the College of Graduate Studies, Central Michigan University, 802 Industrial Drive, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858. For an update on your application status, please call (989) 774-4444.

Apply Now

Complete and submit the Information Form. Print and send this completed form along with attachments by emailing the Psychology Department or by mailing to: Central Michigan University, School Psychology Program, Sloan 101, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859

Information Form

The online application requires three letter writers to electronically submit their letters to your application portal.  You will need to provide their email addresses within your application in order for the system to automatically reach out to them. Please complete the top portion of the Letter of Recommendation Form and have your letter writers submit this form with their letter of recommendation.

Letter of Recommendation Form

GRE Scores are required. Request that the Educational Testing Service (ETS) send an official copy of your GRE Score Report to the Department of Psychology, Central Michigan University, Sloan Hall 101, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan 48859. The code for Central Michigan University is 1106; the School Psychology Program Code number is 3406. 

Educational Testing Service Website

Student forms​

State of Michigan Certification:
The Michigan Department of Education is in the process of transitioning to the new Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS) database.  MOECS went live on February 8, 2011.  For more information please visit the MOECS website.  If you have questions, please email Dr. Daniel Drevon, Director, School Psychology Program.


Centers and student organizations


1Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation: Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002.  Telephone: 202-336-5979. Email the American Psychological Association Accreditation Office.

2American Psychological Association. (2011)  Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.

 3National Association of School Psychologists. (2010).  Principles for Professional Ethics.​