Psy.D. School Psychology

School psychologist working with student with cards

Develop your commitment to enhancing the well-being of youth, their families, and the systems that serve them.

Program Info

Accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the 91-credit Psy.D. in School Psychology program at Duquesne University is designed to be consistent with the local-clinical scientist model of training. Students are trained in evidence-based practices founded in scientific literature and theory, and are additionally trained to consider local contextual variables when implementing these practices. Students learn to adapt empirically-validated research programs and interventions for use in unique practice settings, and with unique individuals and communities. Consistent with this model of training, each student intensively studies and addresses a problem of applied practice identified by a practice site in the year-long Applied Project. Graduates are license eligible for independent practice and are prepared to work in schools, hospitals, and child agencies and clinics. The modern curriculum employs aspects of multiculturalism and diversity, examining emerging trends in the profession, conducting continuous outcomes assessments for program improvement, and providing support to our students and alumni.

Psy.D. Student Handbook

Psy.D. Program Curriculum

Learn about the Psy.D. School Psychology Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data.

Learn to Lead

Apply Now

Learn More

Request Info


Students are admitted into the Psy.D. Program once per year with an annual application deadline of January 15.

Admission Requirements

  • Duquesne University Application
  • Letter of interest
  • Curriculum vitae/resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores (optional)
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
    • A 3.0 GPA is required*
      *Applicants are customarily expected to have a 3.0 grade point average, based on a four-point scale, in their undergraduate work. However, exceptions may be granted on a limited basis, in which there is substantial additional evidence of a student's academic competency.
    • If your undergraduate and/or graduate degrees are from an institution located outside of the United States, you must use a transcript credential evaluation service to obtain a course-by-course report. The official reports must be sent directly to Duquesne University from the organization you order through and will qualify as official transcripts. Please review our Transcript Credential Evaluation Directions (see #3 under the Application Procedure section).
  • Although not required, applicants are permitted to upload additional materials that demonstrate potential for success and fit with the aims of the program.

Faculty members review all Psy.D. application materials and identify applicants who are judged to have a high likelihood of success in graduate studies, and have professional goals and interests that align with obtaining a doctoral degree in school psychology, the Psy.D. as a practice-oriented degree, and the local clinical scientist model of training. Successful applicants are invited to an on campus interview.

Faculty members then consider all application materials and interview information to make admission offers. With an admissions offer, the student will then enroll in classes for the upcoming fall semester. The Program does not engage in "rolling admissions."

Application Procedure

To be considered for admission, applicants must complete the following steps. By following this procedure, there will be no application fee.

  1. Prepare a letter of interest to upload into the online application. A letter of intent describes educational, professional, research, and personal experiences that have resulted in an applicant's interests to pursue a career in school psychology, specifically pursue a Psy.D. in school psychology, and consider the Duquesne University Psy.D. School Psychology Program in particular. The letter of interest should also outline an applicant's career goals so that the faculty may judge the match between the applicant's goals and the stated goals and competencies of the Psy.D. Program.
  2. Prepare a curriculum vita/resume to upload into the online application.
  3. All official undergraduate and graduate transcripts should be sent by your university to the Office of Graduate Admissions (address below). If your undergraduate and/or graduate degrees are from an institution located outside of the United States, you must use a transcript credential evaluation service to obtain a course-by-course report. The official reports must be sent directly to Duquesne University from the organization you order through and will qualify as official transcripts. Please review our Transcript Credential Evaluation Directions.
  4. The submission of GRE scores is optional. GRE scores obtained within 5 years of the date of application can be sent to Duquesne University. Please contact ETS to have your official GRE scores sent to Duquesne University- Institutional Code #2196. Note it takes 7-10 days for Duquesne University to receive your score after your order from ETS.
  5. Duquesne University requires submission of TOEFL or IELTS scores for all non-native English speaking applicants. Additionally, the English as a Second Language Program conducts a review of each matriculated student upon arrival to determine individual needs for English instruction to support success in his/her degree program. The University requires the following minimum scores in each area to be considered for admission: TOEFL minimum of 80 (internet based) with no sub-score less than 17, or 550 on the paper-based test; IELTS minimum score of 6.5 with no sub-score below 6.5 for Reading, 5.5 for Writing, 5.5 for Speaking, and 6.0 for Listening. Have these scores ready to insert into the online application.
  6. The online application will ask the applicant to supply the names and email addresses of three persons who are willing to write a letter of reference. The online application process will then email each letter writer and ask them to upload a letter of reference regarding your application to the Program. Please inform your letter writers to expect an automated email.
  7. When all of the above are ready, applicants must complete Duquesne University's online application. This application requires you to upload the documents above.

Faculty members will review all completed applications and rate each according to the quality of submitted materials (letter of intent, transcripts, test scores and references) and match with the stated goals and competencies associated with the Psy.D. Program. Successful applicants will then be selected for an on-campus interview. Applicants will be notified by email or telephone of an interview invitation, as well as the time and place of the interview. Although an on-campus interview is strongly preferred, if an applicant is unable to attend an on-campus interview, a videoconference interview will be arranged. After final admissions decisions have been made, letters of acceptance, rejection, or wait list status will be emailed and then air/ground mailed to all of the applicants. Final decisions are made after April 15 of each year.

Send official transcripts to:


School of Education
Office of Graduate Admissions
Duquesne University
214 Canevin Hall
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282

Change of Degree Programs

If a student would like to change degree sequences, the student must complete a new application and follow all application guidelines for the desired degree program. It is not permissible for students simply to elect to change or migrate between School Psychology Program degree sequences without making a formal application. In the case where a current student is accepted into a new degree program, the student's program of study will be reviewed with the student's advisor to ensure that the future course of study will meet the requirements of the new degree sequence.

Learn to Lead

Apply Now

Learn More

Request Info

Tuition and Aid

A Duquesne degree is an investment in your future and increases in value over time. Join one of the nation's top-tier universities with the best value, considering cost and academic quality, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. By making this investment in yourself, you will receive the highest level of academic quality from our highly regarded, diverse faculty who are at the forefront of the field of education. At Duquesne, you'll become part of a community of nearly 9,500 students studying at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.

In addition to graduate tuition rates, students may also incur fees for administrative services, room, and meals, if applicable. At Duquesne University, we believe that financing your education is a partnership between the student and the university. As part of that partnership, the School of Education offers financial assistance.

University-offered graduate assistantships are available for competitive application. For graduate assistantships offered by the School of Education, please contact the Program Director or Chair of the Department for your desired program.

For further assistance, please contact the Duquesne University Office of Financial Aid.

Federal government financial aid options:

In addition to awards and scholarships, you may be eligible for financial aid with the federal government. The federal government has loan options that can cover education and living costs. Loan forgiveness options are also available for those working inside and outside of the classroom, these include:

  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

For further assistance, please contact FedLoan Servicing.

Learn to Lead

Apply Now

Learn More

Request Info


Elizabeth McCallum

Elizabeth McCallum, Ph.D.

Program Director, School Psychology
Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

102B Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.1874
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Elizabeth McCallum (Ph.D., School Psychology, University of Tennessee, 2006) is an associate professor and the Program Director of the School Psychology program at Duquesne University. Her areas of research interest include academic interventions and accommodations, behavior interventions, and empirically validating mobile applications aimed at increasing children's academic and behavioral skills.

Laura Crothers

Laura Crothers, Ed.D.

Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

409C Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.1409
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Laura Crothers (Ed.D., School Psychology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2001) is a professor in the School Psychology program in the Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education. Dr. Crothers is a former school psychologist who conducts research on childhood bullying, and particularly, regarding indirect bullying in children and adolescents.

Kara McGoey

Kara McGoey, Ph.D.

School Psychology
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

209A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4105
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Kara McGoey (Ph.D., School Psychology, Lehigh University, 1998) is currently a professor of school psychology at Duquesne University where she teaches courses on behavioral assessment and intervention, child and adolescent development and early childhood assessment and intervention. Her research interests include translating scientifically sound interventions into the school setting to improve the social-emotional functioning of children, reducing the barriers to intervention fidelity, and preschool mental health.

Jessica Dirsmith

Jessica Dirsmith, NCSP

Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education

G3A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.1078
Full Profile

Dr. Jessica Dirsmith (D.Ed., NCSP, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2013) is a clinical assistant professor of school psychology in the Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education, as well as a nationally certified school psychologist and a licensed psychologist. She has served as both a school psychologist practitioner for over a decade and a trainer of future school psychologists. Dr. Dirsmith is the 2017 recipient of the School Psychologist of the Year Award in Pennsylvania. Active in advocacy for school psychologists, she is on the Association of School Psychologists of Pennsylvania board and serves as the ASPP Membership Chair. Her research interests include school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SWPBIS) with a focus on underserved populations including racially and culturally diverse students, English Learners, and students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. She also researches school-based mental health, emotional and behavioral disability case law, legally defensible assessment practices, and identification of underserved gifted learners. Dr. Dirsmith focuses on disseminating systems-level efforts that are efficient, effective, and evidence-based in order to improve prevention, intervention, and identification practices in schools. She is passionate about a problem-solving approach, incorporating strengths-based methods to best support academic, social, emotional, and behavioral learning for all students.

Tammy Hughes

Tammy L. Hughes, Ph.D.

Duquesne Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

102C Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.5191
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Tammy L. Hughes (Ph.D., School Psychology, Arizona State University, 2000) is a Duquesne professor in the Department of Counseling, Psychology & Special Education at Duquesne University. She is a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist. Her writing is in the area of emotional dysregulation and conduct problems in children. Her clinical experience includes assessment, counseling and consultation services in alternative education and juvenile justice settings focusing on parent‐school‐interagency treatment planning and integrity monitoring.

Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

Vice Provost
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

106B Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.5081
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Jeff Miller (Ph.D., School Psychology, Arizona State University, 1995) has been and currently serves as the Vice Provost for Administration. He continues to serve as a professor of school psychology and previously served as the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the School of Education. He was a practicing school psychologist (1995-1998). Dr. Miller is a board certified school psychologist, fellow of the American Psychological Association, licensed psychologist, and a certified school psychologist. Research foci are the translation of neuropsychological knowledge to improve teaching and learning and professional issues in school psychology.

Susan Rattan

Susan Rattan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

G9A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4477
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Susan Rattan Susan Rattan (Ph.D., School Psychology, University of Connecticut, 2008) is an assistant professor of school psychology. Her teaching and research interests include academic assessment, language development, vocabulary instruction in the early grades, learning disabilities, and multi-tiered systems of support. She has worked on several projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences that have resulted in peer-reviewed journal articles and numerous national and international presentations.

Ara Schmitt

Ara Schmitt, Ph.D.

Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

G3B Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.1057
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Ara Schmitt (Ph.D., School Psychology Illinois State University, 2001) completed his doctoral internship and post-doctoral residency at Phoenix Children's Hospital, and then worked for several years as a school psychologist within Tempe (AZ) Union High School District. Dr. Schmitt's research interests include the neuropsychological assessment/intervention of learning problems and pediatric chronic illnesses, cognitive styles associated with childhood bullying, and professional issues in school psychology.

Learn to Lead

Apply Now

Learn More

Request Info