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School Psychology

Howard University’s commitment to preparing educational leaders, practitioners, and researchers dates back to 1890. Howard University’s School of Education (HUSOE) is not a newcomer to urban education; rather, for nearly a century and a half, it has been quietly actualizing its mission to improve and expand educational opportunity and access, particularly for African Americans and other underserved communities. HUSOE has two research centers, an Early Learning Program that serves ages 3-5, and an Upward Bound Program. Additionally, the Journal of Negro Education, which is celebrating its 85th anniversary, is HUSOE's hallmark research publication. Advocacy is at the core of HUSOE’s preparation programs which equip graduates to be leaders of change, reflective practitioners, and engaged researchers. Graduates are steeped in a knowledge base that is designed to eradicate the effects of racism in education and human service delivery. Howard School of Education is one of the top producers of the University’s doctoral degree recipients.

The Howard University School Psychology (HUSP) doctoral program is the only school psychology doctoral program at an HBCU or any other minority serving institution.

The school psychology doctoral training sequence involves 5-6 years of full-time study. Emphasis is placed on developing cultural, clinical, and scientific competencies to assume the responsibilities of a psychologist in school, clinical, and community settings, as well as in university faculty positions.

The program has graded and sequential levels of competency, as follows:

Year 1 – Psychology Scholar

Year 2 – Psychology Apprentice

Year 3 – Emerging Scientist-Practitioner

Year 4 – Doctoral Candidate

Year 5 – Doctoral Intern

Year 6 – Doctoral Graduate

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Admission Requirements

The School of Education accepts applications for all doctoral programs for the Fall semester.

The application deadline for the doctoral program in Counseling Psychology is December 1st and all application materials must be submitted at that time, including official GRE general and subject results. (School Psychology and Educational Psychology applicants must take the aptitude and advanced psychology tests).

All other master's and doctoral program application deadlines is February 15th. 

Master of Arts

Applicants to the M.A. degree program must have a bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited institution, a pattern of courses acceptable to the major department, a minimum GPA of 2.7 overall (on a 4.0 scale) and 3.0 in the major field. 

Doctor of Philosophy

Applicants to the Ph.D. degree program must have a master's degree in an appropriate field from an accredited institution.

*Admissions to the master's degree program in Education has been discontinued effective January 2011. Currently enrolled master's degree students must complete degree requirements by August 2014. Currently enrolled doctoral students must complete degree requuirements by August 2018.

Degree Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy

Students seeking the Ph.D. degree must complete a total of 69 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the master's degree including 9 credits of a sub-specialty outside the School of Education and up to 12 credits in dissertation research.

Students without adequate background in specific areas of the program may be required to complete additional credits beyond the minimum. Up to 24 graduate credits from a completed master's degree program may be applied toward the minimum requirements of 72 hours beyond the bachelor's degree. This is normally done by accepting the master's degree required for admission.

During the first semester of enrollment, each student is assigned to a Guidance Committee, which has the responsibility of developing a total curriculum for the student.

Qualifying Examinations

At various points in their studies, doctoral students must pass both written and oral qualifying examinations. These examinations fall into three categories: preliminary, comprehensive, and oral defense of dissertation.

The preliminary examination will be administered after students have completed 25 per cent of the required course work. It will cover subfields of psychology and aspects of the major field of study.

The comprehensive examination is administered at the completion of all course work for the degree. It will cover in-depth the major field. Candidates must pass this examination within five calendar years after the beginning of the first term during which credit that is counted toward the degree was earned.

The oral examination is based primarily on the candidate's field of research and related areas of study.

Students whose performance on the preliminary or comprehensive examination is unsatisfactory may request reexamination after a minimum of one term. Failure to pass the second examination constitutes cause for removal from the program at the option of the Examining Committee and/or the Dean. The accumulated course work may be applied to either the M.Ed. or the Advanced Certificate program in the School of Education if recommended by the Department.

Students must demonstrate a reading knowledge in a foreign language (other than the native language), in which there exists a significant body of literature in the major area. In lieu of a foreign language, students may complete six credits in one of the three following areas, unless the course is a requirement in the major or minor area of study: advanced computer technology, statistics and research methodology, and educational evaluation and systems analysis. 

These are the areas of concentration, along with specific course requirements.

School Psychology : 218-206, 253-228, 243-330, 253-420, 253-421, (or 218-233), 253-420, 253-421, 253-430, 253-432, 218-296, 253-500, 253-501, 253-509, 253-520, 253-521; a minor emphasis (9 crs.) must be developed in an area outside the School of Education but supporting the student's professional objectives.

Admission to Candidacy

Admission to graduate work is not tantamount to admission to candidacy. A student will be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree after: passing the written preliminary and comprehensive examinations; satisfying the foreign language requirement; certification by the department of competency in English; developing an approved dissertation proposal; receiving the recommendation of the major department; securing approval of the Executive Committee of the School of Education and of the Graduate School.

Students must be admitted to candidacy no later than November 15 of the academic year in which the degree is expected to be received.

Upon the student's admission to candidacy, the major department will appoint a committee of at least three members to supervise the studies upon which the student's dissertation will be based and will inform the Dean of the Graduate School of the personnel of the committee.

Candidacy for the Ph.D. degree is valid for not more than five calendar years. Any student whose candidacy has expired may make application to the department for readmission. The department in which the student is seeking the degree determines the conditions under which the applicant may be reinstated, subject to approval of the Executive Committees of the School of Education and the Graduate School.

Residence Requirements

Students in the Ph.D. program are required to spend at least three semesters in full-time residence, two of which must be consecutive.

Caution to Prospective Students

The Board of Trustees of Howard University on September 24, 1983, adopted the following policy statement regarding applications for admission: "Applicants seeking admission to Howard University are required to submit accurate and complete credentials and accurate and complete information requested by the University. Applicants who fail to do so shall be denied admission. Enrolled students who as applicants failed to submit accurate and complete credentials or accurate and complete information on their application for admission shall be subject to dismissal when the same is made known, regardless of classification."

All credentials must be sent to:

Howard University Graduate School 
Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions
4th and College Streets, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20059

Program Contact

Kamilah Woodson-Reed

Director of Graduate Studies

Program Contact

Celeste Malone

Program Coordinator