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School Psychology


School psychology programs teach people how to treat behavior and social growth problems in schools.

School psychologists learn how to identify students who are at risk or discouraged. They learn to counsel, guide, and encourage students.

School psychology programs include topics such as:


Internships allow students to develop skills. Most school psychology programs require students to complete an internship.


Very few colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in school psychology. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in school psychology. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. An Education Specialist (EdS) degree takes a minimum of three years of graduate study and a one-year, full-time internship. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is highly competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores. Your bachelor's degree may not need to be in psychology if you have taken some courses in the subject.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

A bachelor's degree program in general psychology typically requires that you study the following core courses:

In addition, you usually must choose several (but certainly not all) of the following subjects:

As preparation for graduate school, it helps to include courses such as Foundations of Education, General Biology, or Introduction to Sociology.

Graduate Program Courses

A specialist-level program in school psychology typically includes courses such as the following:

A doctoral degree program in school psychology typically includes more courses such as the above, plus courses on research methods, such as the following:

In addition, graduate programs typically require the following:

A one-year internship is a standard part of the specialist-level program.

Graduate programs often include several practicums, which are supervised experiences of real work in this field. At first you may merely follow a professional around and observe what that person does. Later, you take on more real tasks, including research.

You may have opportunities to work part time as a research assistant or teaching assistant. Although either these activities can extend the amount of time it takes to get your degree, you are paid for the work, your tuition fees may be waived, and they help build your career.

Things to Know

All states require that school psychologists be licensed. Requirements vary by state.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

King-Snohomish Area

Seattle University

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Gonzaga University

Whitworth University