Notice: The School Psychology Program is not currently admitting new students.

Coursework

The University of Iowa School Psychology program involves students in the integration of course work in general psychology and school psychology with an active research program.  Upon initial enrollment, each student receives a copy of the Plan of Study specific to the entering class.

Students complete course work in each of the following areas:

  • Scientific Psychology
  • Methodological and Theoretical Foundations of Practice
  • Psychological Assessment/Measurement and Interventions
  • Research Methods and Applications

Students may be admitted to the program and required to complete course work that is prerequisite to program requirements.  Students arriving with an advanced degree may have some coursework waived on the plan of study, as approved by the core faculty through formal waiver procedures.

Academic accommodations are available for students with special needs.  These are arranged through the Student Disability Service and governed by the University of Iowa Policy on Student Academic Accommodations.

Emphasis Opportunities

Students have the option to add emphasis in a variety of areas. However, the only structured content areas at this time are in Pediatric Psychology, Gifted and Talented Psychoeducational Services, Multiculturalism, and College Teaching.

Areas of emphasis involve special requirements (e.g., 9 semester hours, a comprehensive exam, a special practicum, etc.). Students must submit a written proposal to their advisor indicating what courses will be taken and which faculty member(s) will be responsible for any supervision. The proposal must be dated and signed by the student, the major advisor, and the School Psychology program director. More details can be found in the handbook. 

Professional Training Opportunities

As part of the basic program requirements, all students are required to accumulate a minimum of 900 hours of practicum.  Students and faculty work collaboratively to arrange placements in a variety of sites on- and off-campus to ensure that students receive a core set of experiences related to coursework in assessment, intervention, and consultation with a diverse clientele and to satisfy individual training interests. 

Training initially begins in the schools to gain expertise in data-based decision making.  Opportunities are also available within various University of Iowa clinics, such as Pediatrics, Child Psychiatry, the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted and Talented, and the University Counseling Service.  Other specialized opportunities include various programs within community mental health centers, including some school-based mental health services, early childhood at-risk services, alternative high school experiences, reading and academic tutoring, and outreach programs to schools.  During practicum training, the student is under the supervision of a faculty member and a site supervisor, who may be a faculty person or other licensed professional.  The faculty member is always a licensed professional, whereas the site supervisor may be either a licensed professional or may be under the direct supervision of a licensed professional.  Ongoing evaluation of practicum sites and supervisors is conducted.  (See Practicum Guidelines and Procedures.)

Additionally, all students are required to complete an 1800-clock-hour predoctoral internship on either a year-long full-time or a two-year, one-half time basis.  Students are expected to select an APA- or APPIC-approved internship or an approved experience within a school or clinic setting.  Students must have 600 clock hours of practicum training in school settings before choosing a clinical internship.  Faculty provides extensive guidance and support in the selection of an internship site.  (See Internship Policies.)

Research Training Opportunities

In addition to receiving training as practitioners, students are required to take an active part in research activities through individual research projects (e.g., preliminary project and dissertation) and participation in a research group.  Each student may choose from a variety of research groups on campus, including those directed by core faculty as well as established groups within Pediatrics and the College. 

Many students are appointed to research assistantships, typically grant-supported, across a wide variety of areas.  For example, students have been involved in an investigation into the effects of health problems on academic performance, a study of services to students in transition from high school to employment settings, and a number of projects investigating children with developmental disabilities.

The College and University also provide support for nationally-renowned guest lecturers throughout the year, allowing students not only access to very current research findings, but also the opportunity to discuss their research interests with an expert in the field.