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School Psychology
Teachers College, Columbia University
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School Psychology
In the Department of Health and Behavorial Sciences

Student Data Information > Advanced Requirements

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Advanced Requirements

The program is planned in a sequence so that students are exposed to theory, research, and practice throughout their training and meet the necessary requirements for doctoral study laid out by the American Psychological Association and New York State. In addition to courses, specific program requirements include:
  • Continuous registration requirements: Ph.D. students must register each fall and spring term for doctoral dissertation advisement course (8900), following enrollment in dissertation seminar (7500; can be taken for 2 terms only), or the approval of the dissertation proposal, whichever comes first. The requirement of continuous registration stays in effect until all degree requirements are completed;
  • Pass the psychology research methods exam. This should be taken in the Fall semester of the third year of the program and must be completed by the Fall semester of the year in which the student is applying for internship (it is not given during the summer);
  • Present a conceptual review of the research literature of publishable quality in the area of the dissertation. This review should be completed during the third year of the  program and must be submitted, and approved by the dissertation sponsor and second reader, as a prerequisite to going on internship;
  • Present an empirical paper which is a report of research you have undertaken. In general, this paper is a critical analysis of the pilot study conducted preliminary to the dissertation. This must be completed prior to internship;
  • Once the research methods examination and the theoretical and empirical papers have been completed, and all courses have been completed (including internship), students are eligible for Doctoral Certification and the Masters of Philosophy degree from GSAS (the graduate school of arts and sciences).
  • Prepare a Program Plan. It must be submitted subsequent to the 1st year of graduate study (see “The Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy” for more information);
  • The internship cannot begin until the fourth year of the program, at the earliest. In order to begin the internship, students need to have an approved dissertation proposal (this assumes that the theoretical and empirical papers have been completed) and must have passed the research methods examination. The director of the Ph.D. program will sign students’ internship application forms if they have completed the research methods exam and the theoretical paper and have collected and analyzed the data for their empirical paper. Students applying to APA/APPIC approved internships must have completed these requirements by the beginning of November (internship applications are typically due by mid-November). Students applying to non-APA/APPIC approved internships must have their theoretical and empirical papers completed by April 15 or before they accept an internship offer, whichever comes first. Note: Even though the director of the Ph.D. program will sign internship applications before the proposal hearing is completed, it does not absolve students of the responsibility of having their proposal hearing by the end of the spring term before internship;
  • Students must be enrolled in Dissertation Seminar (HBSK 7503) during the semester in which they plan to have their dissertation proposal approved. The dissertation seminar can be taken for a second semester if approval does not occur during the first semester. HBSK 7503 can be taken for two semesters only. Students must sign up for HBSK8900 in all subsequent semesters even if the proposal hearing has not taken place. Students must have an approved proposal prior to the internship;
  • Dissertation proposal hearing. When the student and dissertation advisor have agreed on a proposal for dissertation research, a proposal hearing will be scheduled. The members of the reviewing group will include the student's dissertation committee (his or her dissertation advisor, plus one other faculty member) and one additional faculty representative of the psychology faculty (psychology faculty are represented across departments at Teachers College). Students must submit the proposal to Professor George Gushue 3 weeks in advance of the date requested for a proposal hearing. Professor Gushue assigns the third member of the committee;
  • Advanced Seminar. When the student has completed the collection of data, with the advisor's approval, the student will request that an Advanced Seminar be scheduled. The purpose of the Advanced Seminar is for the committee to review data and the analyses so that problems can be resolved and additional data collected, and analyses conducted, if necessary, before the Dissertation Defense; and
  • Dissertation Defense. Ph.D. students must be enrolled in TI 8900 in the semester in which they plan to defend their dissertation. See the Teachers College catalog for the current fee for TI 8900. For all other requirements, see the Ph.D. requirements bulletin which is available at the Office of Doctoral Studies in the Registrar's Office. Be sure to read and follow the procedures carefully.