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School Psychology

Master of Science: School Psychology – Credits:36(program code: 0310)

Post-Master Certificate – Credits: 33 (program code: 0410)

Program Description

School psychology brings together the knowledge base of several disciplines, including child psychology, human development and education with an emphasis on special education. While school psychologists work wtih all children, their first responsibility is to the population of students at risk for failure and who have identified disabilities. With these populations, school psychologists' roles include assessment (comprehensive evaluations of disability and risk), consultation with parents and teachers regarding instructional and behavioral interventions, direct interventions, including crisis prevention/intervention, individual and group counseling, skill training, and training staff, parents and students to be more effective problem-solvers and to better understand disability and risk issues.

School psychologists typically work in public school settings, but can also be found in private schools, mental health centers, hospitals, state education agencies, private practice and universities. There is currently a nationwide shortage of school psychologists; hence the job market is very promising.

In order to practice as a school psychologist, candidates must earn a master's degree (36 credits) plus state certification (33 additional credits of certification preparation coursework) in school psychology. Full-time school psychology candidates typically complete the master’s plus certification program in three years. The first year begins by taking three courses in the summer. At the end of the second summer, successful candidates are awarded a Master of Science in School Psychology. Candidates interested in pursuing certification in school psychology continue with full-time coursework through the following summer, then complete a 1,200 clock hour internship in the third year of study. Once the internship requirements have been fulfilled, candidates may then apply for state certification in school psychology. Courses are offered in the evenings, although a small number of master’s-level course are offered online. Full-time school psychology candidates can expect to enroll in three courses each semester. Part-time students are also encouraged to apply; individual programs of part-time study are developed together with the program coordinator.

Delivery Mode

Traditional (on-campus, face-to-face delivery with some online/distance elements). Face-to-face courses are offered exclusively in the evenings.

Minimum of 350 clock hours of practicum, typically obtained within the first two years of coursework via course assignments

Minimum of 1,200 clock hours of internship, typically completed in the third year of study, in a public school setting and in our on-site school psychology clinic


Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation  (CAEP, formerly NCATE)

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) (SLFull, 2006)

Admission Criteria

Admission Requirements (Regular)

  • School Psychology Master’s Only: Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a GPA of 3.00 or higher or at least 15 credits of psychology with a 3.00 or higher (Students with a GPA below 3.00 may apply for conditional admission)
  • School Psychology Certificate Only: Master’s degree in school or educational psychology with a GPA of 3.00 (Students with a GPA below 3.00 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution (for master's) or graduate institution (for certification)
  • Autobiographical essay focusing on student’s motivation to become a school psychologist
  • School Psychology Master’s Only: Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores
  • Two professional letters of recommendation from professors or employers
  • For International Applicants

Conditional Admission Requirements

Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements. Those admitted conditionally based on any missing document/s have up to a maximum of one term to satisfy the requirements:

  • School Psychology Master’s Only : Bachelor’s degree with a GPA under 3.00 will be reviewed for a decision
  • School Psychology Certificate Only: Master’s degree with a GPA under 3.00 will be reviewed for a decision
  • Unofficial transcripts

Program Requirements

  • Clearances– Acts 24, 34, 114, and 151 prior to practicum or internships
  • It is recommended that students obtain liability insurance through the National Association of School Psychologists prior to practicum or internships
  • School Psychology Master’s Only: Undergraduate statistics course with a B or better

Out of State Students

Students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for the most up-to-date information regarding out-of-state certification information.

Special Program Requirements

  • Act 24, 34, 114 and 151 clearances are not required for admission, but are required prior to practicum or internships.
  • It is recommended that students obtain liability insurance through the National Association of School Psychologists prior to practicum or internships.
  •  Master’s Comprehensive Examination – the master’s degree coursework is assessed in three sections. Students must meet the minimum qualifying score of 70 percent on each of the three sections.

    Additional requirements for school psychology certification in Pennsylvania:

  •  PAPA examination – must meet Pennsylvania qualifying scores on all required exams

  •  Praxis II in school psychology – must meet the Pennsylvania qualifying score


Master of Science Courses (36 credits)

Area I – Psychological and Educational Foundations
PSY 702* Psychopathology of Childhood3
PSY 713 Psychology of Growth and Development3
PSY 712 Advanced Psychology of Learning3
PSY 741 Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy3
PSY 720 Neuropsychology3

Area II – Psychological Methods and Techniques
PSY 721 Advanced Tests and Measurements3
PSY 795* Seminar in Behavior Modification3

Area III – School Programs and Organization
PSY 752 Fundamentals of School Psychology3
PSY 710* Principles of Instruction and Intervention3

Area IV – Research
PSY 761 Statistics and Research Methods in Psychology I: Univariate3
PSY 762 Statistics and Research Methods in Psychology II: Multivariate3
PSY 796 Seminar in Analysis of Research in School Psych (non-thesis option) OR3
PSY 849 Thesis Option (see student manual)3

Certificate Courses (33 credits)

Area II – Psychological Methods and Techniques
PSY 722 Individual Psychological Evaluation I3
PSY 723 Individual Psychological Evaluation II3
PSY 728 Practicum in School Psychology3
PSY 734 Assessment of Personality and Behavior I3
PSY 742 Techniques of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Practicum3
PSY 756 Consultation and Group Processes3
EDU 650* Supporting English Language Learners3

Area V – Professional School Psychology
PSY 773/774 Internship in School Psychology9
PSY 798 Seminar in Professional School Psychology3

For the certification in school psychology in Pennsylvania, candidates must attain the qualifying scores in these exams:

PAPA examination
Master's Comprehensive Examination
Praxis II in school psychology

*These courses meet the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Chapter 49 requirements of 9 credits addressing accommodations and adaptations for diverse learners in inclusive settings (PSY 702, PSY 710 and PSY 795) and 3 credits of meeting the needs of English language learners (EDU 650).


Students in the school psychology program receive academic and professional advisement from the program coordinator. Each student is assigned to the graduate academic adviser from the time he/she is accepted into the program of study. Program faculty collaborates with the program coordinator, who then works with students to discuss, monitor and provide advisement as it relates to their program of study.

How to Apply

  • Complete the Graduate School Application online
  • Submit the non-refundable $25 Application Fee
  • Mail official transcript to:
    • School of Graduate Studies and Research
      California University of Pennsylvania
      Box 91, 250 University Ave.
      California, PA 15419
  • Submit unofficial transcripts and other documents by mail (using the address above, email (, or fax (724-938-5712)

Application Questions

Phone: 724-938-4187

For Additional Information

Phone: 724-938-4187

Program Coordinator

Angela J. Bloomquist, Ed.D., Ed.S., M.Ed. (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), B.S. (University of Pittsburgh), Certified School Psychologist, Professor; Specializations: school psychology, assessment, curriculum-based measurement, human development; Research Interests: school psychology job satisfaction, cyberschool and special education
          Web Page:
           Phone: 724-938-4488

Program Faculty

Holiday Adair, Ph.D., M.A., B.A. (University of Akron), Professor

Justin D. Hackett, M.A., Ph.D. (Claremont Graduate University), B.S. (Northern Kentucky University), Assistant Professor

Kirk R. John, Ed.D., M.Ed. (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), B.A. (California University of Pennsylvania), Professor, Pennsylvania Certified School Psychologist, Pennsylvania Licensed Psychologist

Elizabeth Mason, Ph.D. (Ball State University), M.Ed., B.S. (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), Professor,  Pennsylvania and West Virginia Certified School Psychologist, Licensed Psychologist

Rebecca Regeth, Ph.D. (University of New Hampshire), M.S., B.A. (Western Washington University), Professor

Carrie Rosengart, Ph.D. (University of Georgia), M.A., M.S. (University of Georgia), B.S. (Tufts University of Medford), Associate Professor

Dana Schneider, M.Ed., Ph.D. (Duquesne University), B.A. (California University of Pennsylvania), A.S. (Community College of Allegheny County), Assistant Professor

Linda Toth, Ed.D. (West Virginia University), M.S. (Duquesne University),  B.S., (California University of Pennsylvania), Associate Professor, Pennsylvania Licensed Psychologist

For faculty bios, visit: