Doctor of School Counseling: Program Summary

People interested in advancing a career in school psychology often earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in School Psychology. Ph.D. programs in school psychology focus on counseling, administration, research, and education.

Essential Information

Ph.D. programs in school psychology focus on counseling, administration, research, and education. Prospective students will need a master's degree, or CACREP licensure equivalent work completed, recommendations and relevant work experience. Most programs require extensive research, field work, and the completion of a final dissertation. Programs generally last at least four years.

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  • College Student Counseling

Doctorate of School Counseling

Ph.D. programs emphasize theoretical knowledge and therapeutic skills needed to work with students and supervise school-based programs. Some programs also cover methods of teaching counseling skills to college and postgraduate students. Course topics include:

  • Vocational counseling
  • Assessing learning disabilities
  • Behavior management theory
  • Understanding diverse student populations
  • School psychology ethics
  • Personality assessment
  • Psychological research design
  • Statistics

Popular Careers

Graduates can work with students in schools, in administrative positions, or as educators at the college level. Schools, school districts, colleges, and governmental agencies often hire Ph.D. program graduates. Popular career options include:

  • School counselor
  • Career aptitude assessment specialist
  • School counseling services director
  • Psychology professor

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Occupation Projected Job Growth, 2014-2024 Median Annual Salary, May 2015
Psychologist 19% $72,580
Psychology Teacher, Postsecondary 13% $72,470
School and Career Counselors 8% $53,660

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Note: the average job growth for all occupations is 11%

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Each state requires counselors to meet unique licensure requirements. Most states require school counselors to hold at least a master's degree, pass a written exam, and complete a supervised internship. To become a certified psychologist, an internship is required as well.

A Doctoral program in school psychology can prepare students for different careers in psychology, school counseling, and teaching. Students in these programs will learn essential theories, practical skills and research methods needed for these career paths.

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