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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

School Psychology (S PSY)

Program Home Page

BARBARA SCHAEFER, Professor-in-Charge of Graduate Programs
104 CEDAR Building


Degrees Conferred:

Ph.D., M.S., M.Ed.


The Graduate Faculty



The Program

This intercollege program is based primarily on courses in educational psychology, psychology, and special education. In addition, courses are often drawn from counselor education, human development and family studies, educational theory and policy, educational administration, and curriculum and instruction. The objective is to develop a psychologist capable of providing health care who is interested in and knowledgeable about education and psychology in the school setting. The school psychologist must utilize professional skill and knowledge about children and youth to make contributions that are meaningful to and utilized by teachers, other school personnel, and parents. The development of competencies needed by a fully qualified school psychologist requires at least the education represented by a doctoral degree.

Practicum facilities, in addition to those in nearby public schools, include the Center for Educational Diagnosis and Remediation, the School Psychology Clinic, the Communication Disorders Clinic, the Reading Center, and the Psychology Clinic. Facilities for work with children are also available through other academic units, as well as through assistantship assignments.

Admission Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to general Graduate School requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Only those students who anticipate a doctoral degree will be admitted. Students are selected within the limitations of program facilities. Priority is given to applicants with work experience with children.

An undergraduate major emphasizing work in psychology and/or education is preferred, but students with fewer than 20 upper-division credits in psychology, educational psychology, or special education may be admitted with limited deficiencies to be fulfilled concurrently with their graduate work. Requirements for admission include a minimum of one-third of graduate credits of A quality; undergraduate GPA of B or higher; satisfactory recommendations from two or more professors, preferably psychologists; and a score of 1000 or higher on the two general sections or a score of 1500 or higher, including the analytical or an advanced test, of the Graduate Record Examination. Exceptions may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests.

Master's Degree Requirements

Students entering the program with a bachelor's degree complete the M.S. as prescribed by the Graduate School.

Students qualifying for a certificate to practice in the schools must meet standards specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. These include, but are not limited to, a master's degree, about 60 graduate credits, practicum experiences, and successful completion of precertification tests.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Students may be admitted with a master's degree from school psychology programs from other institutions or from related programs in this or other universities. The doctoral program includes a predissertation research requirement; the core program described here (which qualifies the candidate for a school psychology certificate); a special proficiency of 6 to 18 credits; an internship; and a dissertation.

Students completing the School Psychology Core Program will have courses in the biological bases of behavior, the cognitive bases of behavior, the social bases of behavior, personality theory or abnormal psychology, human development, professional ethics and standards, research design and methodology, statistics, psychometrics, counseling theory, educational foundations, educational administration, the education of exceptional children, and curriculum.

Other Relevant Information

The program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association, the National Commission for Accreditation in Teacher Education (NASP), and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.




Faculty linked: 6/27/14


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