School Psychology (Ph.D.) | Graduate

Howard University is the #1 producer of on-campus African-American PhD's in the world! The Doctoral program in School Psychology at Howard University is housed within the School of Education and is one of only two doctoral school psychology programs at an HBCU or minority serving institution.

The School Psychology Program at Howard University is designed to fit within the conceptual framework and mission of the School of Education, which centers on the psychological practitioner as a: “facilitator of change, a reflective professional and a scholarly researcher.” It is also designed to prepare competent graduate candidates in the study and practice of professional psychology with specific emphasis on cultural competence.

The program espouses a scientist-practitioner model of training along with a behavioral-ecological approach for service delivery. In this regard, the program views research and practice as interconnected, reciprocal processes; advocating that psychologists must attend to multiple human systems, considering not only the child’s biology and personal traits, but also, and perhaps more importantly, the child’s ecology and culture (i.e., home, school, community, and historical contexts). These systems interact in dynamic ways and are capable (in isolation or in combination) of shaping the educational and psychological outcomes experienced by the child. Thus, students are taught to conceptualize human behavior from both micro (e.g., immediate antecedents and consequences) and macro (e.g., familial and community systems, traditions, beliefs, values, customs, etc.) levels. We believe that this theoretical foundation well equips Howard school psychology students to address the ever-widening array of challenges experienced by an increasingly diverse population of children, youth and families.

The program strongly prepares its students for practice by (a) ensuring that they have the skills to provide services to ALL children, (b) demanding data-based problem-solving and accountability in their practice, and (c) sharpening their understanding of diverse human behavior, developed under diverse conditions.


Dr. Kyndra Middleton

Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Kamilah Woodson

Department Chair

Dr. Chakoria Wells

Program Coordinator

Program Details

  • Degree Classification: Graduate
  • Related Degrees: Ph.D.
  • Program Frequency: Full-Time
  • Format: In Person

Admission Requirements

Applications are reviewed once a year for Fall admission to the program. Applicants must submit all credentials, along with their scores on the Graduate Record Examination Aptitude Test by December 1st. Application guidelines and other required admission information are available from the Graduate School ( It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all admissions materials are received by the Graduate School prior to the December deadline. Admission to the doctoral program requires acceptance to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).

We offer early review of applicants who would like to be considered for the Douglass Fellowship ( Early admission applications must be received by November 1st.

The doctoral program in School Psychology aspires to recruit mature, culturally diverse individuals who have a high motivation to learn and make major contributions to the needs of diverse school-aged children and their families. The HUSP Doctoral program curriculum is designed for students entering at the post-Bachelor’s level of study. For graduate students who enter the program with existing graduate-level (Masters) work from Howard or another university, the Program Director, in consultation with core HUSP faculty, will make recommendations by the end of the first semester as to which courses taken elsewhere should be credited toward the HUSP doctorate. An applicant who wishes to apply to the program is required to complete a formal Howard University Application online at the Graduate School website (

Admission criteria and materials include: 1. Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution 2. GRE scores- minimum 1000 (old scale) or 300 (new scale) combined Verbal/Quantitative & Analytical 3. Graduate transcripts with minimum GPA of 3.0 (B average) 4. 3 letters of recommendation, with at least two (2) from academic professors 5. Completed Graduate School Application 6. Autobiographical Statement & Statement of Interest/Professional goals 7. For International applicants, TOEFL scores. a. ALL transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services ( or AACRAO ( and be forwarded to Graduate Recruitment and Admissions.

**NOTE: Even though admissions criteria require candidates to have a combined GRE score of 1000/300, we consider other indicators of success in the reviewing process. Given the concern of some scholars/researchers and our own experiences regarding the predictive utility of the GRE for certain minority groups, it is essential for us to consider other data such as academic records, letters of recommendation, professional history, personal statements, and personal interviews.

Degree Requirements

The Doctoral program in School Psychology at Howard University aspires to prepare culturally and technologically competent school psychologists who are (a) skilled in the interface between theory, research, and practice; and (b) competent in the application of empirically-derived techniques to improve the cognitive, academic, social-emotional, and behavioral functioning of all children. The doctoral curriculum plan strongly emphasizes issues of diversity and multicultural education. Students also are provided with the building blocks for effective psychological service delivery. The curriculum reflects instruction and experiential training in areas considered basic to the general study of professional psychology (e.g., research theory and quantitative methods; psychological measurement; biological, social, and cognitive-affective bases of behavior; and individual differences), as well as those germane to the specific practice of school psychology (e.g., school-based consultation; psycho-educational assessment and remediation; behavior analysis and intervention; data-based decision making; brief therapy techniques; human learning; outreach programs [both reactive and proactive] for the school, home and community; professional issues [roles and functions] and ethics; wellness promotion; and crisis intervention).

 Candidates in the School Psychology Doctoral Program must complete five years of specialized training (118 credit hours), including field-based experiences (including 9 1200-1500 hours Practicum and a yearlong [1800 hours], pre-doctoral internship). The minimum course of study for the doctorate degree in School Psychology is outlined in the Related Documents linked above (Doctoral Curriculum and in Section 2 of the Doctoral Handbook). In short, we believe that the doctoral program course and content represents a modern School Psychology training program that reflects innovations and developments that have emerged over recent years in the field of school psychology.

Admission to Candidacy

Admission to the Graduate School does not automatically make a student an official candidate for the doctoral degree. A student must formally apply to candidacy and is admitted to candidacy only when he/she has completed the below requirements.

Before a student can be admitted to candidacy he/she must have:

1. Completed an Admission to Candidacy form available from the GSAS, which must include a list of graduate courses completed, being taken, and yet to be pursued in the program.

2. Passed the Comprehensive Examination.

3. Satisfactorily demonstrated expository writing proficiency to the Office of Educational Affairs.

4. Received approval of a dissertation topic via a process determined by the graduate faculty in the department. Students in the Doctoral Counseling Psychology Program must have their dissertation proposal approved by a 4 member committee of faculty. A copy of the approved dissertation proposal must accompany the Admission to Candidacy form.

5. Received the recommendation of his/her major department on the candidacy form.

6. Completed the Responsible Conduct of Research Training administered by the Graduate School.

7. Secured the approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) as required for the dissertation research project.

8. Secured the approval for candidacy from the GSAS.

Admission to candidacy must be achieved at least one semester prior to that in which the student expects to receive his/her degree. Candidacy for the Ph.D. degree shall be valid for no more than five (5) years. If candidacy status expires (after 5 years) students must seek renewal of candidacy by applying to the GSAS through the department. The Program shall determine the conditions under which the student may be reinstated, subject to the approval of the GSAS.

The student is responsible for fulfilling these requirements on time. Students should consult the Director of Graduate Studies if in doubt as to any of the requirements for candidacy. Students should carefully note the specific requirements of their departments relative to admission to candidacy and regard them as additional to the requirements of the program and the Graduate School.

Residence Requirements

A minimum of six (6) credit hours per semester constitutes full-time residency. A student must be in residence in the Graduate School for at least four (4) semesters in order to be recommended for a degree. Credits transferred from other accredited graduate institutions may not be used to meet the residency requirement.

Caution to Prospective Students

The Board of Trustees of Howard University on September 24, 1983, adopted the following policy statement regarding applications for admission: "Applicants seeking admission to Howard University are required to submit accurate and complete credentials and accurate and complete information requested by the University. Applicants who fail to do so shall be denied admission. Enrolled students who as applicants failed to submit accurate and complete credentials or accurate and complete information on their application for admission shall be subject to dismissal when the same is made known, regardless of classification."