School Psychology

School Psychology Post-Master Certificate

About School Psychology Post-Master Certificate

Unlock children's full potential with a career as a school psychologist.

The Research Committee of the National Association of School Psychologists has predicted a national shortage in school psychologists through 2025. Fill this important role and make a difference in students' lives with a graduate certificate in school psychology from PennWest California.

This 33-credit post-graduate program can be completed in five semesters, and is designed for students who have completed a master's degree in school or educational psychology. It fulfills all eligibility requirements needed to apply for state certification and, in turn, to practice as a school psychologist in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

Top standards prepare you for success.

  • PennWest California education programs have been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
  • This program is recognized by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
  • All core faculty members hold doctorate degrees in school psychology and have extensive experience in the field.


Intensive Internship: School psychology is an applied specialty. Integral to the certification program is a minimum 1,200 clock-hour internship, 800 hours of which must be completed in a school setting. Most internships provide stipends ranging from $4,000 to $26,000.

State Certification: Students are eligible to apply for Pennsylvania state certification and can practice as a school psychologist after successfully completing: a master's degree in school psychology, all certificate courses, all internship requirements, and the Praxis II exam. For info on licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania, visit PennWest California's state authorization webpage.

Top Accreditation: This graduate degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredits PennWest California. CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement. See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.


1,200 hours 
All PennWest California school psychology post-grads must complete a minimum 1,200 clock-hour internship in collaboration with a certified school psychologist.
The average salary of a school psychologist is higher than many other social service jobs within the education system. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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Degree Benefits

Gain the educational and clinical skills you need to support students.

  • Complete at least 800 internship hours in a school system and 400 hours in a related setting (a clinic or hospital).
  • Learn how to improve classroom strategies.
  • Resolve learning and behavioral problems.
  • Work with students with disabilities, as well as gifted students.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of school services.
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Graduate Outcomes

Demand for school psychologists is high and is expected to grow at least through 2022. Graduates of PennWest California's school psychology program often find jobs through their internships and immediately start careers in elementary or secondary schools, hospitals, clinics or social agencies. Current alumni employers include:

  • Peters Township School District, Pennsylvania.
  • Charleroi School District, Pennsylvania.
  • Canon-McMillan School District, Pennsylvania.
  • Laurel Highlands School District, Pennsylvania.

Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs

The state certification in school psychology has a fall start date with classes offered in the evenings three times per week. Courses focus on psychological assessment, consultation, counseling, behavioral interventions and research/evaluation. The final two semesters are dedication to an intensive on-site internship.



Course Credits
EDU 650  Supporting English Language Learners
PSY 720  Neuropsychology  3
PSY 723  Individual Psychological Evaluation II 3
PSY 728  Practicum in School Psychology 3
PSY 734  Assessment of Personality and Behavior 3
PSY 742  Techniques of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Practicum 3
PSY 762  Statistics and Research Methods in Psychology: Multivariate 3
PSY 773  Internship in School Psychology 6
PSY 774  Internship in School Psychology 3
PSY 798  Seminar in Professional School Psychology 3
Total 33

Admission Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements

    • 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

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions 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

Provisional Admission:
Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

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 

How to Apply:

  • Complete the Graduate School Application Deadline to apply - February 28th for mid-March decision
  • Submit the nonrefundable $35 Application Fee
  • Mail official transcript to:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
PennWest California
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419

For additional information:
Phone: 724-938-4187

Out of State Students:
All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification.

Related Programs
  • Master of Science in School Psychology:
    For students without prior graduate work in school psychology, PennWest California's master's degree can be combined with the certificate program for a comprehensive three-year degree with certification in school psychology.
PennWest California Quad.

School Psychology Success Story

Meet Nicole Vernon '13. She completed the internship portion of PennWest California's school psychology certificate at Monongalia County Schools in West Virginia. The school district there was so impressed with her knowledge and work ethic that they offered her a full-time job as the school psychologist for the county.

School Psychology Overview Video

Discover how the specialized field of school psychology is full of big opportunities. Listen to Dr. Angela Bloomquist give an overview of PennWest California's school psychology program.

A psychologist works with a child.

On-Site School Psychology Clinic

All of PennWest California's post-graduate students in school psychology work with real clients, from preschoolers to adults, in PennWest California's on-campus School Psychology Clinic. The facility is equipped with the latest technology to enhance faculty supervision and training, enabling graduate students to gain the confidence and experience that helps them excel in their internships and stand out in the job market.

School Psychology Certificate Faculty

Dr. Angela Bloomquist

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Dr. Rebecca Regeth

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Dr. Kristen Schaffner
Assistant Professor

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