Loyola University Chicago

School of Education

Explore the Program

PhD in School Psychology

Applicants to the EdD program in School Psychology must hold a valid Professional Educator License in IL or hold a school psychology license in another state and be eligible to obtain licensure as a school psychologist in Illinois (see Admission page for details).

The courses offered in the fall and spring semesters are online.  Students are expected to take courses during the summer, which are online and on campus at the Water Tower campus. 

  • Engage in scientifically-driven practice within a social justice framework, working with underserved environments and with disenfranchised groups.
  • Graduate from a doctoral program accredited by NASP and APA, and that is aligned with ISBE standards.
  • Incorporate research and data into decision-making, as well as to conduct new research and scholarship.
  • Learn from respected faculty who are leaders in their fields.
  • Understand the history of school psychology, as well as traditional and emerging roles as ethical and socially just decision-makers and leaders in practice and research.
  • Understand the historical discrimination and inequity on educational and psychological functioning, as well as the impact of individual differences and social/cultural influences on development and adjustment.
  • Conduct evidence-based, data driven approached to assessment, intervention, and evaluation of services from a social justice perspective. 
  • Conduct evidence-based direct counseling and mental health interventions, as well as indirect consultative interventions in applied settings. 
  • Critically evaluate research (i.e., designs, data analysis, and data interpretation) from a methodological, as well as ethical and social justice perspective.  
  • Apply research methodological skills and statistical expertise to successfully complete dissertation research. 
  • Present at psychological and educational conferences and prepare manuscripts for publication. 


Students who are admitted to the School Psychology PhD program must have successfully completed an undergraduate or graduate level course in statistics. If the student has not taken a statistics course or earned a grade less than “B” then the student must take an introductory statistics course either the summer before the start of the Fall semester or within the first year of the doctoral program.

Transfer of Credits

Students with a Master’s degree may be able to transfer up to 36 credit hours into the PhD program. However, a minimum of 63 credit hours and a minimum of 2 years of coursework must be completed at Loyola University Chicago.

Coursework (99 semester hours)

The Loyola University Chicago School Psychology PhD program is a 5-year program Students are required to complete 99 credit hours of graduate level coursework, a 600-hour school-based practicum, a minimum of 500 hours for advanced practicum, a Doctoral Culminating Portfolio, a dissertation, and a 1-year 2,000 hour internship.

On average, students take 4-5 courses each semester. Summer coursework is also required in order to complete the program within 5 years. Students take courses in ethics and law, individual and cultural diversity, assessment, intervention, consultation, and research methods and analysis. Students also take courses in the social, cognitive, developmental, and affective bases of human behavior. All courses taken at Loyola are situated within a social justice framework, which is consistent with the overall mission of the University. For a detailed review of the 5-year course sequence, please see the School Psychology PhD Student Handbook, pp. 9-11. To see the course syllabi, please click on the following link: Course Syllabi.

The Ph.D. program of studies is comprised of 99 graduate semester hours and is organized to facilitate and maximize academic, research, and clinical experiences. All students begin in the first year with an introductory professional orientation course, beginning research courses, pre-requisite courses that lead to a second year school-based practicum, and engagement with the community through the completion of a school-based, pre-practicum experience. In the second year of the program, students complete two semesters of a structured school-based practicum, in which they spend two days a week in a school setting and complete structured activities tied to the practicum. In the third year of the program, students complete an advanced practicum, more advanced research courses, and work on their dissertation proposals. In the fourth year of the program, students apply for a calendar-year-long doctoral internship through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC), an APA-accredited doctoral internship match system for doctoral students in Health Service Psychology programs. In the fifth year, students are required to complete a calendar-year internship under the direction of a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist.


Length of Program: This is a full-time program. Students complete the course work for the program in four years including summers. Time for degree completion, including the dissertation is six years. 


Continuous Enrollments: Doctoral students in School Psychology are required to maintain the status of continuous enrollment during their program of studies. This means that during each semester of each academic year (excluding Summer Sessions), each student must enroll in at least one course.

  • Enroll in one of the following:
    • At least one course OR
    • CIEP 499 - Directed Research OR
    • CIEP 610 - Doctoral Studies (maximum enrollment two semesters) OR
    • CIEP 600 - Dissertation Supervision
  • A formal leave of absence may be granted upon request and the approval of the Graduate School's Associate Dean.

Candidates in all programs leading to Illinois certification are required to pass an Illinois State Criminal Background Check.


Comprehensive Assessment: Doctoral students complete their major comprehensive examinations prior to accepting an internship and typically during the third year of study. Notify your academic advisor by September 1st in the year that you plan on taking comprehensive exams. Your academic advisor will then work with your program to approve you to take comprehensive exams. This approval process will involve a transcript review and a discussion with program faculty that you are ready to move to this stage within the program. Once approved for comprehensive examinations, closely follow the required guidelines found within the program handbook. The procedures for grading comprehensive examinations, notifying students of their status, and any necessary procedures for remediation are found in the program handbook. Your program director enters the results of your comprehensive examinations on the graduate school database, and you will receive written notification as to your results.

Due Dates for Major Comprehensive Portfolio:

  • Initial Components:  October 1 (of year 4 or internship year)
  • Clinical Components:  February 1 (of year 4 or internship year)

Written minor examination dates: (varies based on minor; consult with advisor)


Dissertation: A dissertation and oral defense is required. For documents, see the Forms page.

Degree Conferral: While the commencement ceremony is every May, degrees can be conferred May, August, and December. Students must apply for graduation/degree conferral. Students should apply for graduation in the semester they anticipate completing all degree requirements. Failure to meet application deadlines may result in a delay of the conferral of the degree to the following semester. Applications for Degree Conferral are due:

  • August 1 for December conferral      
  • December 1 for May conferral
  • February 1 for August conferral

Please note the degree conferral application is valid for only one semester. If the degree is not conferred for the semester requested, a new application and fee are required for a subsequent semester.

Fall Application Deadline: December 1

A Completed Application Form 
You may submit your application form online


Official Transcripts
Applicants must submit official transcripts for all undergraduate and any graduate work. To be eligible for admission, your transcript must show an earned bachelor's degree or a bachelor’s degree in progress. Certified copies of transcripts are acceptable; faxed copies of transcripts are not considered official. If you attended Loyola University Chicago previously, you do not need to request transcripts; we have them on record.


Transcripts must show a GPA of at least a 3.0. In exceptional cases, applicants whose undergraduate GPA is below 3.0 may be admitted. Each program area gives meaningful consideration to the applicant's graduate GPA, GRE scores, recommendations, professional experience and reasons for pursuing a graduate program, as well as to the diversity of the student body.


Three Letters of Recommendation
If you supply your recommender’s email address as part of your completed online application form, then your recommendation letters may be submitted online. Or, your recommenders may choose to mail them to:


Graduate & Professional Enrollment Management
820 N. Michigan Ave.
Suite 1200
Chicago, IL 60611


We ask that you submit only three letters, no more, no less. Recommenders may be academic or professional in nature.


A Personal Statement
Your statement should be 1-3 pages, and you should describe your:

  • Academic and research interests, as well as your professional goals
  • Life experiences that have influenced your view of social justice



Standardized Test Scores
Applicants must submit general GRE scores. Loyola’s GRE institution code is 1412.


Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) 
(formerly known as the Illinois Basic Skills Test)
While proof of a passing score is not required before an admission decision is made, it will be required prior to registering for classes if admitted. Students may submit proof using the ACT/SAT scores in LIEU of the TAP. (For minimum ACT/SAT scores, see the Illinois Basic Skills Testing Requirement.)

  • Please use these instructions for submitting ACT/SAT scores in lieu of the TAP.

  • To submit proof of passing scores an Education Licensure Information System (ELIS) screen shot must be submitted as part of the admission process. You can access the information by creating an ELIS account. You will then be able to view your testing information and future licensure information with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

Please refer to the study guide and registration on theIllinois Licensure Testing System site.


The admissions committee may request an interview. Interviews are by invitation only.

For additional information on billing, payment, and policies, please visit the Office of the Bursar. For information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities, visit Loyola's Financial Aid Office and  through the School of Education.

For additional information on billing, payment, and policies, please visit the Office of the Bursar. For information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities, visit Loyola's Financial Aid Office and Financial Assistance through the School of Education.


  • Program Co-Chair: Pamela Fenning, PhD
    Phone: 312.915.6803
    E-mail: pfennin@luc.edu
  • Practicum & Internship Coordinator: Rosario Pesce
    Phone: 312.915.6864
    E-mail: rpesce@luc.edu

Faculty Profiles

First Year

  • Melissa Bravo
  • Mayra Gaona
  • Prabha Kaundinya
  • Kelsie Reed

Second Year

  • Kiley Callahan
  • Lauren Carr
  • Nora Huntley

Third Year

  • Julia Behen
  • Natalie Meier (on internship)
  • Carly Tindall
  • Scott Zwolski

Four Year

  • Keeshawna Brooks (on internship)
  • Yahaira Diaz (on internship)
  • Kelly Holmes (on internship)
  • Kisha Jenkins (on internship)
  • Vicky Karahalios (on internship)
  • Jessie de Oca Montes (on internship)

Fifth Year or beyond

  • Sofia Flores
  • Schevita Persaud
  • Lindsay Viellieu