• January 1st
  • December 1st for International Students


  • December 1st
  • November 1st for International Students

Admission to the select MA/EdS, and PhD graduate programs in school psychology involves a preliminary screening by the Graduate School and a final review by the School Psychology Core Committee in the Department of Educational Psychology.

Apply through the Graduate School website.

Select “Graduate Students” on the applications page and you will be directed to the portal for completing your application.

Applicants must apply to the PhD program only through the Graduate School’s application portal by the departmental deadline of December 1st. Students are only admitted once per year with a fall start for all cohorts in the program.

Graduate School Application Portal: Within the applications portal, indicate Program Selection of SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY (PHD) as your program. The term available should show fall of the upcoming academic year. If you are currently enrolled as a graduate student at Ball State University, you must still submit an application to this program through the portal.

$60 application fee* (updated fall 2017)
*Note: McNair Scholars may waive the application fee

Application Materials include the following:

  1. Official transcripts: Include transcripts from every institution attended, including transcripts from schools in which courses were transferred to another institution: If you are currently attending Ball State University or have attended in the past, the graduate school will obtain transcripts that are already on file for you.
  2. Results of the general Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE): Results must from exam taken within the last five years. Official results should be sent directly to Ball State University. Use the code for BSU (R1051).
  3. Letter of Intent/Professional Goals and Self-Assessment Statement: An autobiography including pertinent childhood, academic, and vocational experiences, reason for wanting to enter school psychology, and a personal philosophy statement should be included. Applicants should also outline their previous diversity-related experiences.
  4. Three letters of recommendation: We strongly urge you to follow up with your references to remind them of the deadline.
  5. Resume or CV
  6. Writing sample(s)

International Applicants

 If you are not a United States citizen, your application must be evaluated and approved by Ball State Universities Rinker Center for International Programs as part of the process. Contact the Center at 765-285-5422 with questions. The Center prefers to receive applications by November 1st so that there is plenty of time to review your application prior to the departmental deadline of December 1st. The International Admissions Office will receive the application materials from the same admissions portal hosted on the Graduate School’s admissions page. A separate application to the International Programs office is NOT required. See the international admissions information page for more information.

BSU Center for International Programs deadline: November 1st

Additional Information on Applying to the PhD in School Psychology

Applicants who have or will be granted a Baccalaureate degree are eligible to apply for the MA, EdS, or PhD degree. Applications may be made directly for any of the degrees, but many of our students choose combined admissions. For example, applicants may concurrently be granted admission into either the MA and EdS, or the MA and PhD in educational psychology (school). Applicants may be of such outstanding quality that they are eligible for concurrent admission into the MA and PhD in educational psychology (school psychology). Such applicants must meet the admission requirements of the graduate school, achieve scores on the GRE at a level commensurate with master’s degree applicants applying to the advanced degree programs, and submit the additional materials appropriate to the degree program desired (see graduate school and departmental application procedures for the PhD in educational psychology (school) above). Candidates for admission must be approved by the School Psychology Core Committee and should contact the program director for appropriate forms and additional information.

Multiple criteria are used to select students for admission to the PhD program in School Psychology. These criteria include GRE scores, previous undergraduate and graduate grade point averages, letters of recommendation, and personal written statements regarding professional goals and special background experiences highlighting individual diversity. The written statements required of applicants are important admission criteria because they allow for comparisons between the potential students’ intellectual prowess, professional development, and intended career paths with the goals, objectives, and philosophy of the program. Students who are offered admission to the program need to hold professional goals that are consistent with the program’s model of training and faculty expertise.

Our program is committed to the preparation of graduates who are of a professional disposition that enables life-long learning and reflective practices based on an interactive model of theory, research, and practice. To accomplish this goal, faculty do not only provide advisement regarding the completion of program requirements, but also encourage and assist students in their professional development. Specifically, the core faculty assist each student in identifying a cognate and planning course work and experiences consistent with that cognate. In addition, faculty encourage and provide continual opportunities for students to participate in professional activities outside of the classroom context, including participation in collaborative and/or faculty-supervised independent research, practice, service activities, presentations at professional conferences, and publications in professional journals.

The program attempts to attract and retain a diverse student body with respect to age, gender, race, and ethnicity, all of whom are fully capable of pursuing careers in professional psychology. During the past seven years the number of applicants has increased substantially. We now have combined admissions to the MA and PhD and applicants who enter with a master’s degree. Given this, we have approximately fifty (50) applicants yearly who apply directly to the PhD Program. We admit only those students that we are able to fund. The number of PhD admissions has been 7-8 per year.

Departmental Application Review and Admission Process

When the Graduate School has determined that the university's minimum requirements have been met, the School Psychology Core Faculty proceeds with the review process. Each completed application file is reviewed independently by each committee member. The first step in admission is to determine which prospective students to invite for an interview. No one criterion is the sole basis of a decision to invite prospective students for an interview; rather, each faculty member is charged with assessing the degree to which the applicant will be able to complete the program successfully and be a credit to the profession. The appropriateness of the training program to an applicant's career goals also is evaluated. This step in the review process is typically completed by the last week in January. At this point, letters are sent to prospective students requesting that they participate in an Interview Day in mid-to-late February. Prospective students not meeting the admission criteria and/or whose career goals are not considered consistent with the program’s stated goals and objectives are sent letters informing them of the core faculty’s decision.

Approximately 14 to 16 students are typically invited for an interview. The Interview Day is structured to allow prospective students and program faculty to interact in both formal and informal ways. The day starts with an overview of the doctoral program (e.g., course requirements, course sequence, program requirements, funding, faculty) and progresses to structured interviews with program faculty, a question and answer session with current students, and a tour of the department and campus. The day concludes with a social hour, where all departmental faculty and students are invited to interact with prospective students.

During the structured interviews, faculty independently evaluate prospective student responses on a set of predetermined questions. Core faculty then meet, usually within a couple of days of the Interview Day, to make admission decisions. The core faculty come to a consensus on the top 7-8 prospective students to admit and typically make offers via phone calls after the meeting. A limited number of other qualified applicants are placed on an alternate list and are offered admission if openings become available. The program is committed to affirmative action and recognizes the need for diversity in the profession. Each student should receive notification of an admission decision and a statement of his/her admission status no later than the first week in March but typically no later than April 15th.