School Psychology

School Psychology Master of Science (M.S.)

About School Psychology

Fill an in-demand role in schools and help students thrive.

Take the first step toward a rewarding career as a school psychologist with a master's degree in school psychology from California University of Pennsylvania. The school psychology master of science program is the first phase of a three-year certification program designed for bachelor’s degree holders in psychology or for those who have taken at least 15 credits of psychology coursework, including a statistic’s course. This graduate degree program can be completed in 14 months of full-time study. 

After obtaining a master's degree, pursue school psychology certification preparation at Cal U  in order to practice as a school psychologist. 

Rigorous training will help you go far.

  • Cal U 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).
  • A fast-paced schedule includes an online summer start, followed by face-to-face evening classes.
  • Degree classes cover child psychology, human development, special education and more.


Experiential Learning: Cal U excels in hands-on training. School psychology students complete 300 practicum hours in a school setting and work with real clients in Cal U's on-site school psychology clinic. All core faculty members hold doctorate degrees in school psychology and have extensive on-the-job experience.

In-demand Expertise: School psychologists received highly specialized training that sets them apart from school counselors, social workers and child psychologists. The demand for school psychologists currently exceeds the number of candidates, which means job opportunities are abundant.

Top Accreditation: This graduate degree program is fully approved by the National Association of School Psychologists and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Cal U's education programs have also 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). See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.

Learn more about applying

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.
The projected number of job openings for school psychologist between 2012 and 2022. Job growth rate is 11.3%.
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Degree Benefits

This master's degree equips you with the foundation for becoming a well-rounded school psychologist and prepares you to begin state certification requirements. Courses and field experiences teach you how to perform:

  • Assessments (comprehensive evaluations of disability and risk).
  • Consultations with parents and teachers regarding instructional and behavioral needs.
  • Interventions, including crisis prevention/intervention, and individual and group counseling.
  • Training of teachers, parents and students in problem-solving methods and risk identification.
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Graduate Outcomes

Cal U school psychology graduates easily find well-paying jobs. Most alumni go on to complete state certification at Cal U and are hired as full-time school psychologists in public education systems. Others find employment in mental health clinics or private practices. This program also prepares students for a doctorate degree in school psychology. Alumni employers include:

  • Allegany County Schools, Maryland.
  • Bethlehem Center School District, Pennsylvania.
  • Washington School District, Pennsylvania.
  • Barbour County Schools, West Virginia.
  • Norwin School District, Pennsylvania.

Curriculum, Admission Requirments and Related Program Material

This 36-credit master's degree has a summer start date and is open to both full- and part-time students. Courses teach educational and psychological concepts that are fundamental to effective problem solving in educational settings.



Course Credits
PSY 702*  Psychopathology of Childhood 3
PSY 710*  Principles of Instruction and Intervention  3
PSY 712  Advanced Psychology of Learning 3
PSY 713  Psychology of Growth and Development 3
PSY 721  Advanced Tests and Measurements 3
PSY 741  Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy 3
PSY 752  Fundamentals of School Psychology 3
PSY 756  Consultation and Group Processes with Practicum 3
PSY 761  Statistics and Research Methods in Psychology I: Univariate 3
PSY 762  Statistics and Research Methods in Psychology II: Multivariate 3
PSY 795*  Seminar in Behavior Modification 3
PSY 796  Seminar in Analysis of Research in School Psych (non-thesis option)  OR  PSY 849  Thesis Option (see student manual) 3
Total 36

*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).



Admission Requirements

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

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
California University of Pennsylvania
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.

State Certificate in School Psychology

State Certificate in School Psychology:

A master's degree alone is not sufficient for state certification in school psychology. Cal U's 33-credit post-master's graduate certificate program is designed to follow the master's degree. It enables students to apply for state certification and to practice as a school psychologist.


School Psychology Overview Video

Discover how the specialized field of school psychology is full of big opportunities. Listen to Dr. Angela Bloomquist explain the ins and outs of the profession and Cal U's program.

Cal U campus.

Grants and Graduate Assistantships

The school psychology faculty encourages the use of required research projects to apply for relevant grants and scholarships, and our students often win University grants, such as the Jesse B. Guttman Student Research Grant. Full- and part-time graduate assistantships also are readily available. Full-time graduate assistantship positions cover the cost of in-state tuition.

A psychologist works with a child.

On-Site School Psychology Clinic

Gain hands-on experience on campus. Cal U's School Psychology Clinic is a professional training facility where school psychology graduate students (under faculty supervision) offer psychological testing services to the public and University community, including the assessment of learning disabilities, educational and vocational planning, and behavioral problems.

School Psychology Faculty

Dr. Holiday Adair

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Dr. Angela Bloomquist

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Dr. Rueben Brock
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Carrie Elkin
Associate Professor

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Dr. Justin Hackett
Associate Professor

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Dana Keener
Associate Professor

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Tamare Piersaint
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Rebecca Regeth

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Dr. Kristen Schaffner
Assistant Professor

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