Top 15 Most Affordable School Psychology Degrees 2014

most-affordalble-school-psychology-degreesThis article considers the top 15 most affordable school psychology degrees. Today, many in the psychology field are seeking affordable school psychology degrees to help meet the increased demand for qualified school psychologists. With the rate of developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorders quickly rising, in addition to increased educational standards, many school districts across America are hiring school psychologists in order to ensure that the mental health and educational needs of students are met. If you’re interested in earning a psychology degree, this is one of the many rich areas to consider.

Those with doctorates in school psychology primarily work in elementary and high schools. School psychologists are often responsible for working with students who have emotional disorders, urgent mental health needs that affect learning, and students who are facing crises such as divorce of parents or death of a loved one. They are also often part of the IEP process for those with developmental disabilities or learning disorders. School psychologists may be responsible for testing students for developmental delays or gifted identification. They are also responsible for assisting in counseling students during school-wide trauma, such as a school-wide incident of violence or the sudden death of a student or teacher.

Ranking Methodology

The following 15 schools have some of the top doctoral programs in the field of school psychology. They also happen to be among the nation’s most affordable PhD programs.

To be included in this list, the schools must have ranked within the top 50 on the US News and World Report’s rankings of Top Graduate Schools in Psychology, and have a School Psychology program accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation.

Next, the school’s average annual tuition for a doctorate in school counseling was found on the Institute of Education Science’s National Center for Education Statistics. Finally, all of the results were sorted by tuition, with the #1 spot going to the school with the lowest tuition.

Ranking the Top 15 Most Affordable School Psychology Degrees

 

#15. Teachers College, Columbia University: New York, NY

Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences

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PhD in Applied Educational Psychology: School Psychology

At Teachers College, Columbia University, the Applied Educational Psychology: School Psychology Program focuses on applying the science of psychology to the promotion of mental health and learning in educational settings. The university allows students in the program to train at the school’s medical clinic, the Dean Hope Center, as well as through their program of providing counseling services to children and youth from ethnically and linguistically diverse low income environments. The five-year program includes three years of coursework and a year and a half of internships, in addition to a dissertation.

Program Website

U.S. News Psychology Graduate Programs Rank: 14

Tuition: $30,864

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#14. Pennsylvania State University: University Park, PA

Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education

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Doctoral Program in School Psychology

Penn State’s school psychology program was established in 1965, while the psychology department as a whole was founded in in the 1930s. More than 160 students have earned their doctorate in psychology since that time. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation from the American Psychological Association, helping to ensure that the program leads to state licensure. In 2013, Penn State was ranked 49th in the Times Higher Education World rankings of the top universities in the world. The Educational Psychology department was ranked 10th in the U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Graduate Schools.

Program Website

U.S. News Psychology Graduate Programs Rank: 30

Tuition:$17,670

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#13. Michigan State University: Lansing, MI

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education

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PhD in School Psychology

Michigan State University’s accredited PhD in School Counseling program was designed to prepare students to successfully earn their Certified School Psychologist status in Michigan, as well as become a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). In addition, the program leaves students license-eligible to practice as psychologists.

The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association and approved by the National Association of School Psychologists. The Michigan Department of Education has approved the program as well. Shanghai Jiao University has ranked MSU as one of the top 100 universities in the world for 11 consecutive years. The Times Higher Education ranked the university as one of the top 100 in the world for 2012-2013. The school was also named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for it’s commitment to civic engagement and volunteerism. It was the first in Michigan to ever earn the distinction.

Program Website

U.S. News Psychology Graduate Programs Rank:46

Tuition:$14,334

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#12. University of Washington: Seattle, Washington

College of Education

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School Psychology PhD

University of Washington’s doctoral program in school psychology is both APA-acredited and NASP-approved. Students complete both their doctorate in school psychology as well as earn their Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) simultaneously. Three years of the educational specialist program are embedded in the six year school psychology doctoral program. The university boasts an impressive six faculty members who have won Nobel prizes. The College of Education has received over $28,000,000 in research awards, providing students with impressive research opportunities.

Program Website

U.S. News Psychology Graduate Programs Rank:14

Tuition: $13,280

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#11. University of California, Berkeley: Berkeley, CA

Graduate School of Education’s Department of Cognition and Development

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PhD in School Psychology

University of California, Berkeley’s school psychology program is one of only three programs in California that have earned the accreditation of the American Psychological Association. The remaining two programs in California are also operated by the University of California. The theoretical foundation of the program is developmental psychology, although students will learn to work with the cognitive, social and behavioral areas of psychology. The college has hosted an annual conference on educational issues for the past 47 years, making UC-B one of the nation’s top sources of new research and information in the field of education. Eight current Berkeley faculty have earned Nobel prizes with a total of 22 faculty members earning the distinction since the school’s founding. There are also 32 MacArthur Fellows and 4 Pulitzer Prize winners on faculty.

Program Website

U.S. News Psychology Graduate Programs Rank: 2

Tuition:$11,220

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#10. University of Texas at Austin: Austin, TX

Department of Educational Psychology

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School Psychology Doctoral Specialization

The University of Texas at Austin boasts the nation’s first APA accredited doctoral program in school psychology. The program uses a scientist-practitioner approach to educating and training future school psychologists. For three consecutive years, the university’s College of Education program has been ranked first in the nation among public university graduate education programs by the U.S. News & World Report. The College of Education has also earned accolades for being national leaders in research and innovation in research-based strategies to reduce achievement gaps, autism interventions, preparation of highly skilled STEM instructors, the implementation of cutting-eduge instructional technology, and literacy instruction. Newsweek also ranked UT-A 12th on their 2010 list of the Top 25 Most Desirable Large Schools.

Program Website

U.S. News Psychology Graduate Programs Rank: 14

Tuition:$10,918

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#9. University of Florida: Gainesville, FL

College of Education

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PhD in School Psychology

The University of Florida’s affordable doctoral program in school psychology uses a scientist-practitioner model in the 136 credit hour program. The program is fully accredited by the Florida Department of Education and has received the approval of the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the American Psychological Association. UF currently enrolls nearly 50,000 students in the university’s 16 colleges and 150 research institutes. Not only does the University of Florida boast an impressive 96% freshmen retention rate, but nearly two thirds of graduates complete their program with no student loan debt.

Program Website

U.S. News Psychology Graduate Programs Rank: 40

Tuition:$10,770

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#8. University of Wisconsin–Madison: Madison, WI

Department of Educational Psychology

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PhD in Educational Psychology

The school psychology program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison uses a scientist-scholar-practitioner approach to train students to use evidence-based practices, a broad-based behavioral research and practice orientation, and a problem-solving approach. In 2005, the program earned APA accreditation.

Program Website

U.S. News Psychology Graduate Programs Rank: 9

Tuition:$10,728

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#7. University of Arizona: Tucson, AZ

Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies

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PhD in School Psychology

The school psychology program at the University of Arizona was established in the 1960s. In 1979, the program earned accreditation by the American Psychological Association, and in 1991 the National Association of School Psychologists accredited the program. The program offers several research opportunities, with two core research groups run by program faculty: the Pediatric School Psychology Research Group and the School-Based Mental Health Group. The University of Arizona consistently ranks in the top 8% of universities by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. QS World University Rankings also puts UA in the top 20% of universities.

Program Website

U.S. News Psychology Graduate Programs Rank: 40

Tuition:$10,201

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#6. University of Kansas: Lawrence, KS

Department of Psychology and Research in Education

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Doctoral Program in School Psychology

The doctoral program in school psychology at the University of Kansas is accredited by the American Psychological Association and has earned the approval of the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Kansas State Department of Education. The university has produced 26 Rhodes Scholars, which is more than every other Kansas university combined.

Program Website

U.S. News Psychology Graduate Programs Rank: 40

Tuition:$7,915

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#5. University of Iowa: Iowa City, IA

College of Education

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PhD in Psychological and Quantitative Foundations with a focus in School Psychology

The University of Iowa offers a PhD in Psychological and Quantitative Foundations with a focus in School Psychology.  All students in the program can also add an additional emphasis to their program in the areas of pediatric psychology, gifted and talented psycho-educational services, college teaching or multiculturalism.

Program Website

U.S. News Psychology Graduate Programs Rank: 30

Tuition:$7,900

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#4. University of Oregon: Eugene, OR

Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences

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PhD in School Psychology

The University of Oregon’s doctoral program in school psychology has earned full accreditation by the American Psychological Association. The National Association of School Psychologists has also approved the program. The program is grounded in the behavioral theory of psychology, with an emphasis on outcomes-driven service delivery and health rather than focusing on pathology and problems. Upon completion of the program, students are automatically eligible to sit for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist examination.

Program Website

U.S. News Psychology Graduate Programs Rank: 30

Tuition: $7,900

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#3. University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill: Chapel Hill, NC

Department of Psychology

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PhD in School Psychology

The University of North Carolina’s fairly cheap school psychology doctoral program is a 64 credit hour program fully accredited by the American Psychological Association. In operation since 1793, UNC was the first state university to open in the United States and the only public university awarding degrees in the 18th century. The college is committed to providing a college education to all low-income students, offering significant financial support to all eligible scholars admitted to the university.

Program Website

U.S. News Psychology Graduate Programs Rank: 12

Tuition: $7,834

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#2. Indiana University–Bloomington: Bloomington, IN

Indiana University School of Education

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PhD in School Psychology

Accredited by the American Psychological Association and approved by the National Association of School Psychologists, the doctoral program in school psychology at Indiana University is a 90-credit hour program that also includes a 1,500 hour internship. The affordable school psychology program has a strong focus on field-based research in the areas of educational equity, school violence, school discipline, response to intervention, autism spectrum disorders, using the Internet as a tool for psychologists, anxiety disorders, and depression.

Program Website

U.S. News Psychology Graduate Programs Rank: 26

Tuition: $7,726

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#1. University of Massachusetts–Amherst: Amherst, MA

College of Natural Sciences

University-of-Massachusetts-Amherst-PhD-in-School-Psychology

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PhD in School Psychology

At the University of Massachusetts—Amherst, students in this cheapest doctoral program in school psychology on our list are trained using an ecologically-based scientist-practitioner model (See: What is Eco-Systemic Child Psychology?). The university also emphasizes graduate student immersion in faculty-supervised coursework, research and practice. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has named UMass Amherst to the list of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges.

Program Website

U.S. News Psychology Graduate Programs Rank: 46

Tuition: $2,640

Pursuing a doctorate in school psychology does not have to put a student deeply in debt. These 15 schools all have affordable tuition and are highly ranked and well-known programs. Students preparing for a career in school psychology will find several quality options for affordable school psychology degrees.