Psychological Disorders

Professionals conducting the assessment, rendering a diagnosis, and providing recommendations for reasonable accommodations must be qualified to do so (e.g., psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, clinical social worker, licensed counselor). 

Psychological Disorders Verification Form (PDF; opens in new window)

Penn State has adopted guidelines for documenting psychological disorders from the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Documentation submitted in relation to a psychological disorder must state a student’s current functional limitations, and may require periodic updates if there are changes in the student’s functioning. The nature of the specific psychological disorder and its impact on the student should be reflected in the documentation submitted to SDR by addressing the following:

  • Evidence of current symptoms of psychological disorder that cannot be attributed to or better explained by another disability diagnosis
  • Symptoms of psychological disorder must interfere with or reduce the quality of functioning in the educational environment and possibly home, social, work, or other setting
  • Individual’s history relevant to current psychological disorder
  • Symptoms of psychological disorder and associated functional limitations in the academic environment and possibly other settings should warrant reasonable accommodations, which are presented in terms of a summary and recommendations (i.e., symptom and suggested reasonable accommodation to mitigate symptom)