The curriculum requirements are designed to ensure adequate preparation in reference to the Program's goals. A total of 74 coursework credits are required, with an additional 21-27 credits being required for research and fieldwork/internship. The Program typically requires four years of full-time, resident graduate study in coursework and fieldwork prior to the pre-doctoral internship. Students are required to have an approved dissertation proposal prior to beginning internship. The Program Handbook includes a detailed listing of course requirements. Those entering the program with advanced degrees may have some requirements waived based on previous graduate work, as described in the Program Handbook.
The School Psychology Program provides a sequence of experiential coursework and field placements starting in the first year with pre-practicum laboratory experiences, practicum, fieldwork, and the pre-doctoral internship. Lab experiences and practicum courses have on- and off-campus components. Post-practicum fieldwork typically occurs during the fourth year and internship during the fifth year. Practicum experiences are closely supervised and directed by program faculty. Post-practicum fieldwork and the pre-doctoral internship allow for a greater degree of independent functioning by the student under field-based supervision, with oversight by the program faculty.
Typically completed during a student’s fourth year, fieldwork experiences call for an assignment of 10 hours per week gaining experience in school psychology science and practice in an education-related setting, with field-based supervision and support by a faculty member. Students may choose a variety of activities, based on their interests. For example, a student may work in assessment or consultation in a school or school system; conduct program evaluations for school, school system, or educational agency programs; engage in consultation or research for a school system; or engage in an administrative or advocacy role in a school psychology-related organization.
A paid, pre-doctoral internship equivalent in length to full-time work for either one K-12 school year or one calendar year, totaling at least 1750 hours, is required after the completion of all coursework. The internship must be completed in no longer than a 24 month period. Internships must either be APA-accredited or conform to the CDSPP Internship Guidelines. [hyperlink to:https://sites.google.com/site/cdspphome/cdspp-internship-guidelines ] Pre-doctoral internships are either: (a) a full-year, school-based internship, or (b) a full-year internship in a consortium arrangement in which at least half is in a school setting. Alternative internship placements are available for students who either: (a) have previously completed a 1200-hour specialist-level school psychology internship, or (b) whose combination of previous internship and work experience as a school psychologist are judged to be equivalent to the required specialist-level internship. Specific requirements for the internship, and policies and procedures pertaining thereto, are detailed in the Program Handbook.
Research involvement is an integral part of the School Psychology Program. Accordingly, students become involved in research activities during their first semester, and continue their involvement continuously prior to their internship year. Students are required to make at least one presentation at a national conference and to submit at least one manuscript for publication prior to earning their Ph.D.
The master's thesis is the culminating requirement for the master’s degree. All students must complete a formal master's thesis in order to earn the M.A.
Doctoral students entering with a master's degree who have not completed an acceptable research project must demonstrate research competency in lieu of doing a master's thesis. This research competency project must be completed and approved by the Program prior to advancement to doctoral candidacy. The Program Handbook includes criteria for evaluating students’ previous research work.
The doctoral dissertation is a major research project designed to both demonstrate the student's research competence and to make a substantive contribution to the research literature. An approved dissertation proposal is due prior to beginning the pre-doctoral internship.