Psychology Career Path: School Psychology
- Action Steps for Students
- Fieldwork and Research in Psychology
- Potential Career Paths
- Recommended Minors & Certificates
- Undergraduate Course Requirements
- What is School Psychology?
- Licensed School Psychologist (Ed.S., CAGS, CAS, Ph.D., Psy.D., Ed.D.)
To become more involved in sales or learn about the profession, here is what students can do:
- Visit the websites of professional organizations, such as Division 16 (School Psychology) of the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists.
- Schedule a meeting with a school psychologist to discuss the profession.
- Read professional journals, such as School Psychology Quarterly, Journal of School Psychology, Journal of Educational Research, and School Psychology Review.
School psychology is a subfield of psychology that focuses on the application of psychological principles to learners of all ages and to the school setting. Some of the goals of school psychologists are to promote high academic achievement, increase positive social skills and behavior, competence, self-esteem, resiliency and respect for others.
The training school psychologists receive prepares them to provide a wide range of services, such as assessment, consultation, prevention, intervention, education, research and program development, mental health care, and advocacy.
School psychologists may work in a variety of settings, including schools, private practice, colleges and universities, community mental health centers, institutional or residential facilities, pediatric clinics and hospitals, public agencies, and in the criminal justice system.
According to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), a specialist degree (e.g., master’s degree totaling 60 semester credits or more) is considered the entry-level position for school psychology. Some states also require attainment of the NCSP and/or graduation from a NASP-approved graduate program regardless of the degree awarded or hours completed.
The purpose of the school psychology track is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of psychology while providing students who want to become school psychologists with the necessary background knowledge to enter a graduate program with this focus.
Students who are interested in pursuing a career in school psychology should be sure to work with an adviser to develop an academic plan that is tailored to their interests. The plan should lead to the completion of coursework that is useful for admission to a graduate program in school psychology.
University and College Requirements
In addition to the suggestions for the school psychology track, be sure to complete all other university and college requirements, including the foreign language requirement.
The center staff recommend beginning the foreign language requirement in the first year. NOTE: Students may begin with a class higher than 1110 depending on foreign language placement test results. It is possible to place out of the foreign language requirement. Therefore, it is recommended that students take the placement test for any foreign language completed in high school.
Required Courses in Psychology
- Psychology B.A. Core Requirements (35 hours)
The following courses are highly recommended for students planning on pursuing a graduate degree in the school psychology:
- PSY 2720 Psychology of Personality (3)
- PSY 3110 Advanced Statistics (4)
- PSY 3120 Tests & Measurement (3)
- PSY 3420 Adulthood & Aging (3)
- PSY 3430 Psychological Disorders of Childhood (3)
- PSY 3440 Psychology of Gender (3)
- PSY 3710 Intro to Clinical & Counseling (3)
- PSY 3910 (volunteer work) and PSY 3940 (undergraduate research)
- PSY 3940 (1-4, 12 max) – Credit for participating in research under the supervision of a faculty member.
It is highly recommended that students interested in school psychology participate in research in a psychology lab and engage in fieldwork in settings related to the student’s particular area of interest.
Additional Recommended Courses
The following course is required as a pre-requisite for students planning to pursue a graduate degree in school psychology:
- EDTE 1000 Intro to Teacher Education (3)
Below are additional courses outside of the Psychology Department that may be relevant to those interested in school psychology.
- EDSP 2710 Introduction to Special Education (3)
- EDEC 1001 Intro to Early Childhood Education (2)
- SOC 3270 Sociology of Education (3)
- HSLS 1080 Introduction to Communication Disorders (3)
- HSLS 3100 Language Development (3)
Note: Be sure to check prerequisites for all coursework.
Students who intend to go to graduate school in school psychology are encouraged to complete courses in Biological Sciences.
There are several different Minors and Certificates that are relevant to the field of school psychology.
Discuss with your adviser which minor is most conducive to your career goals and plans for graduate school.