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DEd in School Psychology: FAQ for Students Who Already Have Their Certificate

  • I have my master’s degree in a field related to school psychology. Do I need another master’s degree in educational psychology before applying to the program?

    You're not required to do another full master’s degree. However, there are courses at the master’s level that do relate specifically to school psychology, and you may be required to take them. You'd still need to do the coursework required to become certified as a school psychologist.

    With my master’s degree, can I go directly into the school psychology doctoral program?

    If you applied now, we'd consider you for our specialist program and possibly the doctoral program. If you were accepted, you may have to spend at least one school year on a full- or part-time basis taking courses that our students take in their first year, if deemed necessary after a transcript review, then a second year finishing the certification courses. That would be followed by a full-year internship in the schools. The doctoral program would start the summer after that internship. After certification, all of our students start working in the schools and finish their doctoral coursework during the summers. It'd take you two to three summers after completion of the certification to finish the doctoral coursework. Another doctoral school internship is done during the school year after completion of all doctoral courses, but most students are able to arrange that at their current work site. After coursework, there are also comprehensive examinations, followed by the dissertation.

    I already have an advanced degree in clinical psychology. How many courses do I have to take to complete the specialist program?

    The answer varies depending on the applicant's background. Standards of the National Association of School Psychologists, the accrediting body for the IUP program, require supervised experience in the schools and course work in specific areas related not only to psychology, but to education and culture of the schools, before one can be considered prepared to work as a school psychologist. A review of the applicant’s transcripts and internship experience is required to answer this question.

    How many credits are required for completion of the program?

    Completion of the certification program requires 33 credits. Additional coursework may be required if deemed necessary after a transcript review of your previous graduate coursework. For the doctoral coursework, students take at least 30 credits of courses over three summers. After completion of all doctoral coursework and passing of the doctoral comprehensive examinations, students complete a six-credit internship and nine credits of dissertation.

    How long will it take to complete the program? Am I required to attend full-time?

    Full-time attendance is required for the certification program. As indicated above, your first year with us may include taking courses in our MEd program so that you match up with our school psychology majors. After that, your next full year of the certification program would be devoted to coursework, and the year after that would be spent completing a full-time internship in the schools. After certification, all of our students start working in the schools, and those pursuing the doctorate finish their doctoral coursework during the following summers. It would take you two to three summers after completion of the certification to finish the doctoral coursework. There is another doctoral school internship done during the school year after completion of doctoral coursework, but most of our students are able to arrange that at their current work site. After coursework, there are comprehensive examinations, followed by the dissertation.

    What's the basic format of the summer doctoral program? Is it a summer-only program?

    The doctoral program in school psychology was created with the busy practitioner in mind. Our summer-only program allows individuals who are  credentialed as school psychologists to complete their DEd without sacrificing their current jobs. However, the summer program is intense, as it is our students’ only opportunity to take the doctoral courses.

    We have two terms each summer. The first is from the first Monday in June until around July 1; the second is from July 5 to approximately August 6. Our students are typically on campus from Tuesday to Thursday at a minimum for that period. It'd take you three summers to finish the doctoral coursework after earning certification as a school psychologist. There is a doctoral school internship that is served in the fall and spring semesters after students complete the doctoral coursework, but most students can arrange their internships at their current work site. Doctoral comprehensive examinations also occur during this year. Finally, there is the dissertation, which starts formally after the comprehensive examinations are passed. Finishing a doctoral program in this manner requires some release from work for 12-month employees. Most out-of-state students come for the 10 weeks of the summer.

    How long are the summer sessions?

    There are two summer sessions: approximately June 1 to July 1, and July 5 to August 6. We expect our students to work it out with their employers to be here for these time periods.

    Is it required that I attend both terms every summer? For a busy practitioner, the first week of June seems like a difficult time.

    We require students to attend both summer sessions until they complete the coursework.

    Can I do the doctoral coursework online?

    No required courses are offered online at the doctoral level. There are some online courses available in the MEd and certification programs. All classes, excluding internship, are held at our Indiana, Pa., campus.

    How will my advisor be chosen?

    MEd and certification students are assigned to a faculty member for advisement. Doctoral students are assigned to the director, Dr. Joseph Kovaleski, as an individual advisor during the first year or so of doctoral studies (post-certification). Doctoral students should choose an advisor by the end of their second summer of doctoral coursework at the latest. That person becomes your individual advisor throughout the rest of your career with us.

    Where do students do their internships? How are internships located?

    Students working toward certification do school psychology internships full time during the last academic year of the certification program. Students locate the internships themselves, although a substantial amount of information about internship opportunities is on file in the department. Although most internships are done in a location no more than a day’s drive away from IUP, some students are approved to serve their internships in other areas. Most students do their internships in Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, or New Jersey. Almost all internship sites provide stipends. Doctoral students are typically able to arrange their internships at their current work site.

    After becoming certified in school psychology, are we able to use our job sites for the one-academic-year doctoral school internship?

    You'll likely be able to use your job site for your doctoral school internship; however, you'll need to identify a doctoral-level, certified school psychologist to supervise you.

    Are resident halls available for graduate students?

    Dormitories are available, but most of our students prefer to find housing off campus. If you would like to live on campus, please visit the Summer Housing and Dining webpage. There is also a program for graduate students planning to stay on campus during the summer for less than one week at a time. More information regarding this housing opportunity can be found on the Short Stay webpage. For students seeking off-campus housing, we provide a list of area housing options during the interview process. Our administrative assistant, Diana Fatula, can offer information about local housing options.