College of Education2019-2020

Department of Educational Psychology

Combined Counseling/School Psychology, Doctor of Philosophy


This plan prepares students to function as well-rounded generalists with a strong foundation in both counseling psychology and school psychology. Students engage in substantive training utilizing a scientist-practitioner model integrating psychological theory, research, and practice. The combined approach promotes the optimal development of individuals, families, groups, and environmental systems using empirically supported, culturally sensitive interventions that include assessment and diagnosis, interdisciplinary teamwork, relatively brief intervention approaches, prevention, consultation, outcome evaluation, career-development, and ethical decision-making,  in a broad array of settings including schools, universities, integrated healthcare, community mental health, correctional facilities, and independent practice. We believe that this core is best realized using a scientist-practitioner training model that includes a systematic analysis of human behavior, careful applications of best practice, and a methodical evaluation of the effectiveness of these applications.

The program is organized to emphasize general preparation as counseling/school psychologists through

  • Integration of theory, research, and practice of health service psychology
  • Ethical decision making and commitment to professional standards of practice
  • Multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills with particular emphasis on working with peoples in the rural, Southwestern United States (e.g. American Indians, Latinas/os)
  • Application of  health service psychology theory, research, and practice concepts in training, supervision, and consultation
This plan is accredited on contingency by the American Psychological Association.

This program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).


What Can I Do with a Doctor of Philosophy in Combined Counseling/School Psychology?

Combined doctoral training across counseling and school psychology prepares students more broadly than traditional programs, to more flexibly address school and behavioral health needs of rural Arizona communities through the application of research and practice.

Integration of theory, research, and practice comprise the core of the Combined Counseling/School Psychology training program at Northern Arizona University. We believe that this core is best realized using a scientist-practitioner training model that includes a systematic analysis of human behavior, careful applications of best practice, and a methodical evaluation of the effectiveness of these applications. Our doctoral program reflects a training curriculum that is sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity.
Students are expected to gain essential skills in both counseling and school psychology by taking courses that reflect common knowledge across both areas and by taking courses that train specific aspects of counseling psychology and school psychology. In addition, students may also take elective courses in counseling psychology or school psychology and gain additional clinical and research experience in settings related to one or both areas.

Upon program completion, trainees will be able to effectively intervene in educational, emotional, and behavioral arenas with individuals, families, groups, and organizations.

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Licensed Psychologist
  • State credentialed school psychologist (if students do a school psychology internship)
  • College or university professor in Counseling Psychology and/or School Psychology

University Requirements

  • To receive a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses, from one or more disciplines, ranging from at least 60-109 units of graduate-level courses. Most plans require research, a dissertation, and comprehensive exams. All plans have residency requirements regarding time spent on the Flagstaff campus engaged in full-time study.

    The full policy can be viewed here.


In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

  • At least three years of full-time equivalent coursework beyond the master's degree
  • Two consecutive semesters (Fall and Spring) of full-time residency
  • The completion of a one-year internship

Minimum Units for Completion 123
Additional Admission Requirements Required
Dissertation Dissertation is required.
Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam is required.
Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Research Individualized research is required.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Graduates will demonstrate ethical behavior and a commitment to professional standards of practice, including multicultural awareness, knowledge, skills, and social justice principles.

  • Graduates will demonstrate ethical behavior that adheres to professional standards and legal guidelines for psychologists.
  • Graduates will demonstrate skills in self-assessment of competence and self-care.
  • Graduates will demonstrate competent delivery of psychological services to diverse populations, particularly those located in the rural Southwest.
  • Graduates will demonstrate effective social justice advocacy methods.
2. Graduates will demonstrate entry-level practice skills and strong identity as psychologists.
  • Graduates will demonstrate evidence-based assessment, diagnosis, and treatment skills.
  • Graduates will apply consultation and collaboration skills in interdisciplinary settings, taking into account the unique needs of systems located in the rural Southwest.
  • Graduates will demonstrate supervision knowledge and skills.
  • Graduates will demonstrate critical thinking about issues and practices central to professional psychology and regularly participate in professional conferences and workshops.
3. Graduates will effectively apply scientific theory and research methods to the practice of Counseling and School Psychology.
  • Graduates will apply critical thinking and analytical skills to evaluate existing research for use in psychological practice.
  • Graduates will demonstrate ability to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment approaches.
  • Graduates will generate research that advances the knowledge and practice of psychology.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • GRE® revised General Test
    • 3 letters of recommendation with at least two from faculty
    • Completion of bachelor’s degree in psychology, education, or closely-related field prior to enrolling in the program; or a master’s degree in Counseling or Psychology; or educational specialist (Ed.S.) degree in School Psychology prior to enrolling in the program
    • Responses to specific essay questions
    • Interview
    • Note: Students admitted with a bachelor’s or master’s degree who do not have the prerequisites below will be expected to take these classes early in their programs:
      • Group Counseling/Group Dynamics
      • Human or Lifespan development
      • Graduate or upper level Undergraduate Courses:
        • Psychological or Educational Statistics
        • Applied Behavior Management
        • Research Methods
        • Special Education
Doctoral Requirements
  • Research Block (21 units)
    • EPS 625, EPS 725, EPS 726, EPS 767 (12 units)
    • EPS 799 for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved dissertation. Please note that you may end up taking more than the 9 units of dissertation credit you can count toward your degree because you must enroll for it each time while you are working on your dissertation. (9 units)
  • Electives (6 units)
    • Electives with advisor approval
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Additional Information
  • Please be aware that the necessary coursework for this plan is only available at Northern Arizona University-Flagstaff.

    For more information about residency and other requirements that pertain to this degree, see the Doctoral Requirements Policy.

Campus Availability

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