Texas Tech University

Educational Psychology - School Psychology Specialization

The School Psychology specialization of the Educational Psychology Program emphasizes the design, implementation and investigation of evidence-based prevention and intervention practices to address student learning, social-emotional development, behavior performance, instructional methodology, school practices, classroom management, and parent training among young children, school-age children, and students in post-secondary settings, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This is achieved through students' completion of a specialized course sequence in Applied Behavior Analysis and closely supervised practicum experiences.

Program Overview

The emphasis, or specialization, in School Psychology allows graduate students to use the research-based training of Educational Psychology to support their development of knowledge and skills related to conducting psychological assessment, developing and implementing psychological and behavior interventions, and supporting educators and families through consultation in the early childhood, P-12 school context, and post-secondary environments.  Therefore, the specialization prepares scientist-practitioners to practice as school psychologists, conduct research in university settings, and train school psychologists.

Program Handbook


Program work within Educational Psychology is developed and guided by a strong conceptual framework, the standards from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), guidelines from the American Psychological Association (APA), American Educational Research Association (AERA), and National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and the sound, professional judgment of an experienced and caring faculty.

The Texas Tech University Educational Psychology Program offers the only Ph.D. level specialization in School Psychology in West Texas, or an area spanning approximately 84,000 square miles. Students are guided by five core faculty members: Dr. Dave Richman, Dr. Lucy Barnard-Brak, Dr. Stacy Carter, and Dr. Tara Stevens, in addition to a clinical coordinator, Brook Roberts. Training includes research and practical opportunities through the Texas Tech Clinic for School Psychology, Counseling, and Early Childhood Devlopment, intensive school-based application experiences, and a specialized course sequence in Applied Behavior Analysis, which satisfies course requirements needed to apply for the BCBA certification. Students may also pursue a 36 hours master's degree in Educational Psychology that allows them to take school psychology coursework. They may then apply to the doctorate program.

What Will I Study And For How Long?

Training emphasizes preparation in mental health and educational interventions, human development, learning, applied behavior analysis, motivation, curriculum and instruction, assessment, consultation, collaboration, school law and ethics, and systems. Students also spend four semesters placed in formal practicum sites and clinics, and one year in an internship placement. Refer to the Doctoral School Psychology Specialization Handbook for the specific course sequence.

The doctoral degree requires four years of coursework and dissertation with a fifth year of internship.

Degrees Offered

Ph.D., offered as a face-to-face program, with some coursework offered online, on weekends, and in intensive, one-week summer sessions.

What Is A School Psychologist?

According to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), "School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community for all students."

Career Opportunities With This Degree

Nationally, school psychologists work in public schools and enjoy a mean salary of $62,513 for 200 day contracts (Curtis, Lopez, Batsche, Minch, & Abshier, 2007).  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of psychologists is expected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations, and job prospects should be best for those with a specialist or doctoral degree in school psychology.  In fact, severe personnel shortages in school psychology have been projected over the next 10 years (Curtis, Hunley, & Grier, 2004).

How Do I Become A School Psychologist?

The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP) licenses school psychologists in the State of Texas as Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSP). The LSSP can be obtained with a graduate degree in psychology with the completion of at least 60 hours that include a practicum and internship. Information on licensing and credentialing requirements in other states can be found at NASP's website. Graduates of the School Psychology Specialization Ph.D. are also eligible to apply to NASP for the National Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential.

Application Materials

All programs require that you submit an online application through the Graduate School.

College Transcripts – Send unofficial copies of all transcripts to the Texas Tech Graduate School at graduate.admissions@ttu.edu. The transcripts must be in PDF format and no larger than 2 MB. Multiple attachments per email will be accepted. Grade reports or unofficial transcripts from university web portals will not be accepted. Please redact the Social Security Number anywhere it appears on your transcript. If documents are written in a language other than English, a copy of a complete and official English translation must be provided with the original language records.

* Official transcripts will be required during your first semester if you are admitted to your desired program.

* International applicants will need to submit additional materials. Please review the Graduate School website for more information.

Required Supplemental Application Materials

GRE Scores, Resume, Three Professional Recommendations, Academic Writing Sample, Response to Applicant Statement Prompt. Download a comprehensive list of requirements.

Application Process

Please visit the Graduate Application Process for more information on how to apply.

GRE Scores

This program requires official GRE scores. Scores must no more than 5 years old at the time of application. Official GRE scores must be sent from Educational Testing Services (ETS) to the Texas Tech Graduate School. To register for the examination please visit the GRE Testing website. Texas Tech University's code is 6827.

Semester In Which The Program Can Be Started

Full admission to a specialization cohort is awarded each fall.  Students may be conditionally admitted in the spring or summer semesters.

Estimated Hours To Completion

94 credit hours: 78 hours of coursework, 12 hours of dissertation, and 4 hours of internship.

Allowable Transfer Hours

30 hours of coursework completed within last 7 years with a grade of B or better.

Financial Aid

Although assistantships and financial support are not guaranteed, the majority of students receive some form of support through the, TTU Graduate School and College of Education scholarships, research assistantships, student loans.


December 1st for full admission for the following fall. Conditional applications considered on a rolling basis.

Tuition & Fees

Visit the Student Business Services website to estimate your costs.


Dr. Tara Stevens, LSSP
Program Coordinator

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