School Psychology

School Psychology Master's in School Psychology (M.S.)

About the Master's in School Psychology

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

PennWest California’s master's in school psychology graduate program is designed for individuals who want to practice as a school psychologist in Pennsylvania or elsewhere.

It’s a rewarding career path for individuals who want to help children succeed academically, behaviorally and emotionally. As a school psychologist, you’ll identify the barriers a child is facing and form plans to address them. In addition to working directly with kids, you’ll collaborate with parents, teachers and community members. And together, you’ll make sure children are able to reach their highest potential.

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

Experiential Learning

Through PennWest California’s School Psychology graduate program, you’ll gain valuable hands-on, supervised experience.

  • You’ll clock hundreds of practicum hours in a school setting — and you’ll also have the opportunity to work with real clients in PennWest California’s on-site school psychology clinic.
  • Once you’ve completed your classroom-based coursework, you’ll take your knowledge to the field through a 1,200-clock-hour internship, where you’ll further hone your skills under the guidance of a certified school psychologist.

State Certification

By completing the master’s and post-master certificate programs in School Psychology and taking the Praxis II exam, you’ll be eligible to apply for school psychology certification in the state of your choice.


Program Duration: Full-time School Psychology candidates typically complete the master’s plus certificate program in three years. Years 1 and 2: Take three courses per semester and complete 300 practicum hours. Year 3: Complete the 1,200-clockhour internship in the field.

Start Term: Summer

Delivery: This is an on-campus program with some online elements. Face-to-face courses are offered exclusively inthe evenings.

Top Accreditations: Our School Psychology program is fully approved by the National Association of School Psychologists and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredits PennWest California. CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement. See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.


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. 15% projected increase in demand for shool psychologists in the U.S. between 2018-2028.
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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

PennWest California school psychology graduates easily find well-paying jobs. Most alumni go on to complete state certification at PennWest California 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 Requirements 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 722  Individual Psychological Evaluation I 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 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

Regular Admission Requirements

    • 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
PennWest California
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. PennWest California'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 PennWest California's program.

PennWest California 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. PennWest California'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. Michael Baranski
Assistant Professor

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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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Dr. Tamare Piersaint
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Rebecca Regeth

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Dr. Kristen Schaffner
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Darla Timbo
Assistant Professor

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