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School Psychology, Master of Science

Psychology

Overview

Earn a master's degree in School Psychology from St. John's University in New York City! 

In response to the growing need for school psychologists to ensure the mental health and safety of our children, there has been an increasing demand for qualified psychologists to serve in schools and other academic institutions.

You can prepare for this thriving field through the Master of Science in School Psychology Program at St. John’s University. Offered by St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the program educates students to become New York state certified school psychologists. 

The M.S. in School Psychology is fully approved/accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and has been since 1999. The program is due for review during the Fall 2022 semester. Information about our program's admission and outcomes data is available.

Professional licensure and certification requirements often vary from state to state. St. John’s University has not determined requirements for individual states beyond New York. If you reside or plan to reside outside New York you are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate state licensing agency in that state to seek information and guidance before beginning the program.

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Program Description

Completion of the 66-credit Master of Science program in School Psychology qualifies students for a provisional New York State certificate that authorizes practice as a school psychologist. This certificate is valid for five years from the date it is issued. After two years of experience, a school psychologist receives a permanent certificate in the field of pupil personnel services.

The program offers both a general track and a bilingual track of study. A listing of program requirements for each track is accessible in Courses section below.

Graduation Requirements
The program requires the satisfactory completion of 66 credits, a comprehensive examination and the PRAXIS II examination, taken in the spring semester of the third year. Students also need a grade of at least a "B" in PSY 761 or 761B, 762 or 762B, 752 or 752B, and 753.

Financial Aid  
Graduate assistantships are available on a competitive basis for qualified incoming students with strong academic records. 

Department Faculty

Please see a list of our Psychology faculty.

Admission

Applicants must:

  • Possess a baccalaureate degree
  • Satisfy the department that his or her undergraduate preparation indicates a high potential for successful advanced study in psychology
  • Submit transcripts of undergraduate and any prior graduate work
  • Have completed a minimum of 24 undergraduate credits in psychology, including courses in Introductory Psychology, Statistics, and a laboratory course
  • Submit three to five letters of recommendation, one of which must be from an individual who will address the matter of the applicant's research potential
  • Submit two papers from psychology courses or practical experiences: one a laboratory or research-related paper written in formal, academic, or scientific language (usually in APA style). For example, a research proposal, thesis, literature review, experiment results write-up, redacted/de-identified psychological report. The second is a term paper (from any undergraduate course and can be written in a non-scientific style)
  • Provide a clearly written statement of educational and professional goals
  • Submit acceptable scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (general). In light of the impact of COVID-19, the GRE requirement has been temporarily suspended

Students accepted for admission to the Master in Science program with any course deficiencies must remove these deficiencies prior to matriculation.

The Master in Science program may be undertaken on a part-time basis with a minimum of six credits per semester.

All students matriculating into the program must complete a criminal background check. Please see the Graduate Bulletin for more information.

The priority deadline for admission to the M.S. School Psychology is March 15.  Applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed based on the availability of limited space in the program.

Apply now.

Assistantships

A limited number of Graduate Assistantships and Administrative Assistantships are awarded on an annual basis to qualified graduate students. Graduated Assistantships are generally appointed to the Department of Psychology. Additional assistantships are available in both academic and non-academic departments throughout the University. Recipients are required to maintain full-time course of study, and work 18 hours per week in their respective department. The assistantships provide tuition remission for a maximum of 15 credits and in some cases, a stipend. Recipients are prohibited from outside employment for the duration of their contract with the University.

Interested students must complete the Application for Graduate Assistantships/Doctoral Fellowships. Two letters of recommendation are required. Generally, Graduate Assistants have been selected based on academic achievement. Individual departments may have specific criteria for the consideration of assistants; the applicant should contact the Graduate Division of St. John's College for more information.

Applicants for assistantships must also complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application; both forms are available in the Office of Financial Aid.

Department Contact

Courses

The program offers two tracks:

  • General Track
    • Full-Time Course Schedule

 

  • Bilingual Track
    • Full-Time Course Schedule

General Track - Full Time Course Schedule

First Year Fall Semester
661Psychoeducational Assessment I3 credits
665Introduction to School Psychology3 credits
666Interviewing & Case Formulation3 credits
Either 726 or 727Psychopathology Across the Lifespan I / Psychopathology Across the Lifespan II3 credits
Total credits completed12 credits
First Year Spring Semester
662Psychoeducational Assessment II3 credits
671Child & Adolescent Personality Assessment3 credits
Either 726 or 727Psychopathology Across the Lifespan I / Psychopathology Across the Lifespan II3 credits
749Behavior Therapy: Assessment, Treatment, & Consultation3 credits
Total credits completed after the first year24 credits
Second Year Fall Semester
603Statistical Design in Research3 credits
620Cognitive Psychology of Academic Learning3 credits
627Cultural Diversity in Psychological Services3 credits
711Practicum in School Psychology I3 credits
716Psychoeducational Consultation 3 credits
Total credits completed after the second year39 credits
Second Year Spring Semester
623Developmental Psychology3 credits
648Physiological Psychology3 credits
659Psychological Measurement and Scaling3 credits
712Practicum in School Psychology II 3 credits
715Assessment, Diagnosis, and Remediation of Learning Disabilities3 credits
Total credits completed54 credits
Third Year Fall Semester
615Research Methods in School Psychology3 credits
752School Psychology Internship Seminar I: Professional Issues3 credits
Elective 3 credits
Total credits completed after the third year63 credits

Note: General Track MS Students are allotted (1) elective that can be taken during the summer, fall, or spring of their third year.

Third Year Spring Semester
105Comprehensive Examination0 credits
753School Psychology Internship Seminar II: Psychological Interventions3 credits
Total credits completed66 credits

Note: Students will be required to spend five days per week in a school setting working under a Certified School Psychologist who is also a Licensed Psychologist.

The PRAXIS: School Psychologist Examination and the Comprehensive Examination are taken during this semester. Students will receive the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in School Psychology once they have completed all required coursework and passed the PRAXIS and the Comprehensive Examination (passing score is 147).

Bilingual Track - Requirements

  • Students interested in completing the Bilingual Program in School Psychology must take the NY state bilingual tests (one in their second language and another test in English, if foreign born).
  • Evidence of completion of these tests must be provided prior to entering the program or by the completion of the first semester of enrollment.
  • Bilingual courses can be taken by students not officially in the bilingual track with approval of the program director.
  • The change of official track designation will occur only after passing the state mandated test.
  • The curriculum requirements for the bilingual school psychology program meet the requirements for Bilingual Certification by the NYS Education Department in the following manner:
  • Twelve courses (36 credits) in the general school psychology program are also required of students in the bilingual program.
  • The following four courses in the program were altered to reflect material required by the New York State Department of Education for Bilingual Certification:
    • Developmental Psychology (623) includes more discussion of cross-cultural perspectives in child development.
    • Interviewing and Case Formulation (666) includes readings in counseling and interviewing culturally diverse children.
    • Child and Adolescent Personality Assessment I (671) includes instruction on the use of a new personality test standardized with Hispanic youth (e.g., TEMAS).
    • School Psychology Internship Seminar I (752B) includes instruction on the state education department's regulations concerning the assessment and placement of bilingual children.
  • Practicum I & II (761B & 762B) provides practicum experience in serving bilingual children and their families for students in their second year prior to their internship. These courses are similar in structure to the courses taken by the regular school psychology program (761 & 762) with one exception. That is, the students in these courses are supervised by a bilingual school psychologist and trained to provide school psychological services to bilingual children and their families.
  • Three courses (9 credits) are also required for students in the bilingual program. These include: "Psychoeducational Assessment of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children" (662B), "Cultural Diversity in Psychological Services"(627), and "Psycholinguistics and the Practice of School Psychology with Bilingual Populations" (729), Nondiscriminatory Assessment and Field Assessment (754).

Bilingual Track - Full Time Course Schedule

First Year Fall Semester
661Psychoeducational Assessment I3 credits
665Introduction to School Psychology3 credits
666Interviewing & Case Formulation3 credits
Either 726
or 727
Psychopathology Across the Lifespan I
Psychopathology Across the Lifespan II
3 credits
Total credits completed12 credits

 

First Year Spring Semester
662BPsychoeducational Assessment of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children3 credits
671Child & Adolescent Personality Assessment3 credits
Either 726 or 727Psychopathology Across the Lifespan I
Psychopathology Across the Lifespan II
3 credits
749Behavior Therapy3 credits
Total credits completed after the first year24 credits

 

Second Year Fall Semester
603Statistical Design in Research3 credits
620Cognitive Psychology of Academic Learning3 credits
627Cultural Diversity in Psychological Services3 credits
711BPracticum in School Psychology I - Bilingual3 credits
716Psychoeducational Consultation3 credits
Total credits completed39 credits

 

Second Year Spring Semester
623Developmental Psychology3 credits
648Physiological Psychology3 credits
659Psychological Measurement & Scaling3 credits
712BPracticum in School Psychology II - Bilingual3 credits
715Assessment, Diagnosis, and Remediation of Learning Disabilities3 credits
Total credits completed after the second year54 credits

 

Third Year Fall Semester
615Research Methods in School Psychology3 credits
752BSchool Psychology Internship Seminar I: Professional Issues Bilingual3 credits
729Psycholinguistics and the Practice of School Psychology with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations3 credits
Total credits completed63 credits

 

Third Year Spring Semester
105Comprehensive Examination0 credits
753School Psychology Internship Seminar II: Psychological Interventions3 credits
Total credits completed after the third year66 credits

Note: Students will be required to spend five days per week in a school setting working under a Certified School Psychologist who is also a Licensed Psychologist.

The PRAXIS: School Psychologist Examination and the Comprehensive Examination are taken during this semester. Students will receive the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in School Psychology once they have completed all required coursework and passed the PRAXIS and the Comprehensive Examination (passing score is 147).
 

 

Career Outcomes

Completion of the 66-credit Master of Science program in School Psychology allows the student to qualify for a provisional New York State Certificate that authorizes practice as a school psychologist. This certificate is valid for five years from the date of issuance; with the accumulation of two years of experience as a school psychologist, a permanent certificate is issued in the field of pupil personnel services. 

Professional licensure and certification requirements often vary from state to state. St. John’s University has not determined requirements for individual states beyond New York. If you reside or plan to reside outside New York you are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate state licensing agency in that state to seek information and guidance before beginning the program.

Although the M.S. program has been designed to train the student for professional practice, it is academically oriented as well and provides sound preparation for further graduate work.

The program will prepare graduates to:

Demonstrate effective consultation and collaboration skills, using consultative models for problem-solving.

  • Demonstrate satisfactory performance in working individually with parents, teachers, or the schools to address a student’s behavioral, social/emotional, psychological, or academic difficulties.
  • Justify the reason for a referral and indicate the different perspectives of the school administration, teachers, parents, and child.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the community resources and assist with recommendations.
  • Communicate assessment conclusions and recommendations to other agencies.

Demonstrate efficient development of cognitive/academic skills.

  • Demonstrate competency in constructing Individual Education Programs (IEPs),
  • Conduct Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBAs) by working directly with children to remediate areas of academic deficiency.

Demonstrate understanding of student/client socialization and life skills development.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the diagnostic criteria for varied psychological disorders and their long-term implications
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the framework for conceptualizing behavior and the strategies used to increase adaptive behaviors in children/adults.

Demonstrate knowledge of cultural and linguistic diversity and its impact on the many functions of the school psychologists.

Demonstrate understanding of school and systems organization, policy development, and climate.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of responsibilities, impact of the profession, ethical standards, and legal issues that need to be considered in the practice of school psychology
  • Identify strengths and barriers in the school system and the community that may have an impact on the efficacy of an intervention.

Demonstrate effective skills in prevention, crisis intervention, and mental health.

  • Demonstrate skills in early identification and prevention of behavioral and academic problems.
  • Demonstrate competency in administering intellectual, academic, personality, behavioral, family and systemic assessment instruments, and in conducting classroom observations.
  • Score assessment instruments and integrate findings in a psychological report.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in using data to develop interventions and recommendations through direct and indirect learning experiences
  • Demonstrate competency in making treatment and placement recommendations based on the assessment data.
  • Write reports that present, integrate, interpret assessment data, and offer recommendations.

Demonstrate effective collaboration between school, home, and community.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of various ecologies on student learning, using a multi-systemic approach.
  • Demonstrate competency in providing feedback on the results of evaluations and recommendations to parents, teachers and when appropriate, the child.
  • Demonstrate skills in consulting with parents and teachers.

Demonstrate skills in research and program evaluation.

  • Demonstrate skills in critical evaluation of research in a specific area.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills in using information technology in research and course work.
  • Evaluate the psychometric properties of various academic, intellectual, and behavioral assessment instruments and psychotherapeutic interventions.
  • Demonstrate effective selection of assessment strategies, inventories, and interviewing techniques to complete a comprehensive psychological evaluation.

Demonstrate an understanding of school psychology practice and development.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the ethical and legal standards of the profession and of ethical practice.
  • Demonstrate strategies for resolution of ethical conflicts that may occur in providing psychological services.
  • Participate in professional seminars

In addition, for the Bilingual School Psychologist,

  • Demonstrate satisfactory performance in all required coursework necessary for certification as a Bilingual School Psychologist in the State of New York
  • Demonstrate satisfactory performance on the NYS Bilingual Extension Assessment (BEA)