PhD students working together

Upcoming Information Sessions

Are you interested in working in a psychology field with children, adolescents, and their families and/or teachers? Are you passionate about helping kids, advocating for inclusivity, equity, and social justice, and learning to provide comprehensive psychological services? You might be interested in becoming a licensed psychologist with training in School Psychology! Come learn more about this exciting, in-demand field.

Information sessions are virtual, but the School Psychology Programs are on-campus (not distance education programs)

All sessions will be held 10am – 11am Eastern Time.

  • Wednesday, September 18, 2024: recommended for international applicants REGISTER

GRE is not required in our applications starting in fall 2022.



  • Delivery: On campus
  • Credits: 119, which includes specialization (cognate) requirement 
  • Accreditation: This program has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1985. It is also approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
  • Internship Consortium: This program has a partially affiliated doctoral-level internship, the Ball State University School Psychology Doctoral Internship Consortium. Learn More

The aim of the PhD Program in School Psychology at Ball State is to prepare students for entry to practice in health service psychology. The PhD Program in School Psychology is a pathway toward eligibility to pursue a career as a licensed psychologist. This program is a full time, on campus curriculum sequence and is not an online training program.

The PhD in School Psychology program prepares all students who have completed a bachelor's degree by the time of program start. The MA degree is not required for admission and may be earned during the PhD in School Psychology program. The program curriculum is designed to be completed in 5 years of full time study. Admitted students who have a master’s degree in school psychology or a closely related area can request that their courses be reviewed for transfer or course equivalency waivers (up to 45 credits). All students must be enrolled in graduate study a minimum of 3 years, with at least 2 of the training years within this program.

This program provides students with training experiences to become proficient in the following profession-wide competencies in health service psychology: psychological assessment, consultation, prevention, intervention, ethical and legal issues, research, and individual and cultural diversity. Professionalism, communication skills, interdisciplinary collaboration, and advocacy is also emphasized.

The program requires a minimum of 119 credits (five academic years) of full-time study beyond a bachelor's degree. This includes four years of full-time coursework (including summer courses) and a final one-year internship.

Our graduates are best defined by their skills—those necessary to perform the professional role asked of them across settings and within the ethical bounds of their education, training, and supervised experience. Graduates often work in schools, private practice, academia, community mental health clinics, and hospitals.

School Psychology PhD Program Student Handbook and Program Policies (PDF)

Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data (PDF)

The program’s aim is to prepare graduates for entry to practice in health service psychology based on the profession-wide competencies endorsed by APA. This program’s training model is consistent with the scientist-practitioner model and includes additional elements of advocacy, which align with the NASP training model in School Psychology.

Specifically, the doctoral program provides training for students in the following competencies in health service psychology:

  • Research – Demonstrate the ability to independently formulate research at the level that has the potential to contribute to the scholarly knowledge base.
  • Ethical and legal standards – Be knowledgeable about current professional ethics codes, relevant laws at the state and federal level, and model ethical behavior in professional settings.
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion – Understand personal and cultural history, attitudes and biases, integrate awareness of cultural differences in professional roles, develop skills to work effectively to support diversity, equity and inclusion across all professional settings.
  • Professional values, attitudes and behaviors – Demonstrate behaviors that reflect values and attitudes of psychology, including integrity, accountability, lifelong learning and concern for welfare of others, and respond to increasingly complex situations with greater independence as training progresses.
  • Communication and interpersonal skills – Develop and maintain effective relationships and interpersonal skills with a wide range of individuals, communities, and organizations.
  • Assessment – Demonstrate knowledge and skills concerning fundamentals of psychological measurement and comprehensive assessment using multiple sources and methods to address referral questions, and use assessment tools to inform case conceptualization and recommendations from a culturally responsive lens.
  • Consultation – Demonstrate the ability to apply theoretical knowledge and skills based on different models of consultation when working with teachers, parents, and other professionals in interdisciplinary settings.
  • Prevention/Intervention – Demonstrate the skills to design and implement evidence-based  prevention strategies and interventions for children and adolescents and within schools and organizations based on scientific literature, informed by assessments, and with attention to diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Supervision – Demonstrate knowledge of supervision models and practices, methods of supervisee and supervisor evaluation, and understanding of the role of culture and individual differences in supervision relationships.

Our professors have extensive and varied real-world experiences in providing direct psychological services, neuropsychological and comprehensive psychological assessment, community or school-based professional consultation, and research with an applied focus. They also regularly participate in professional activities emphasizing advocacy, social justice, and diversity.

Core Faculty 

  • Andrew Davis, PhD (Neuropsychology)
  • Maria Hernández Finch, PhD, Director of the MA/EdS programs in School Psychology (Equity and Social Justice in Prevention/Intervention, Assessment, & Methods; Autism Spectrum Disorder; Gifted)
  • Theresa Kruczek, PhD, HSPP (counseling techniques for children, adolescents and families, promoting trauma recovery)
  • Kenneth McCoy, PhD, HSPP is a practitioner, clinical supervisor, and serves the Core as a representative and co-director of the Ball State University School Psychology Doctoral Level Internship Consortium
  • David McIntosh, PhD (Autism Spectrum Disorder; Assessment)
  • Renee Nevins, PhD (Clinical Practice; Psychoeducational and Neuropsychological Evaluation)
  • Eric Pierson, PhD (Personality; Gifted; Clinical & Ethical Practice Issues)
  • Janay B. Sander, PhD, Director of the PhD in School Psychology Program (Juvenile Justice; Evidence-Based Psychosocial Interventions; Culturally Relevant & Responsive Consultation)
    Dr. Janay B. Sander is the current director of the PhD in School Psychology program and is available to answer questions about the program.
  • Sarah Wright Harry, PhD, NCSP, BCBA (classroom management, academic interventions, multi-tiered systems of supports, and social and emotional learning)

Our students complete sequential supervised applied training experiences in real world settings, including a year-long 2nd year school-based and clinic-based practicum, a 3rd year 600-hour school-based externship, a 4th year advanced practicum in evidence-based interventions, and final doctoral level internship in a variety of health service psychology settings (typically clinics, hospitals, residential treatment centers, or schools). This program has a partially affiliated doctoral-level internship consortium comprised of several sites, including schools, neuropsychology practice, community medical centers, and private practice. The Ball State University Internship Consortium is designed to be license-eligible in Indiana but is not accredited, and students are strongly encouraged to apply to APA-accredited internships and participate in the APPIC National Match.

Internship Consortium

This program has a partially affiliated doctoral-level internship, the Ball State University School Psychology Doctoral Internship Consortium. Learn more.

The department offers several doctoral cognates (a formally recognized concentration of study, which includes specific courses and/or practica) including:

  • neuropsychology
  • developmental psychology
  • educational psychology
  • assessment
  • research methodology

Other common cognates include: counseling psychology, clinical psychology, social psychology, sociology, and special education (applied behavior analysis and/or autism).

Flexibility is allowed in the development of skills and knowledge within the candidate’s interest area(s).

Students will select one cognate field consisting of a minimum of 15 credits (nine credits must be taken at Ball State). Any master’s degree offered at Ball State is permitted as a cognate selection. Some cognates require more than 15 credits to ensure competency, and it is not uncommon for students to complete a 24-credit cognate based on the student’s career goals.

A faculty member from that concentration area must supervise the choice of courses in the cognate and sit as a member of the student’s doctoral dissertation committee.

The American Psychological Association has continuously accredited the PhD Program in School Psychology since 1985. It is also approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

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