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DEd in School Psychology: FAQ for Students with a Bachelor's Degree

  • With my bachelor’s degree, can I go directly into the doctoral School Psychology program?

    The School Psychology program at IUP is a multiple-entry-level program, allowing students to pursue an M.Ed. in Educational Psychology, post-master’s certification as a school psychologist, or a D.Ed. in School Psychology. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree are invited to apply to our M.Ed. program, and, during completion of master’s-level coursework (first year), students may apply for admittance into our certification or doctoral program. Students admitted to the doctoral program after completion of their master’s coursework will earn certification as a school psychologist as they progress toward the doctorate. Students may also apply to the doctoral program while pursuing certification as a school psychologist (second and third year).

    Do I need a teaching certificate to apply to the program?

    You don't need a teaching certificate or teaching experience to apply to the master’s program. Although students currently enrolled in the program have different majors, some experience with psychology is beneficial but not mandatory.

    How many credits are required for completion of the program?

    Completion of the master’s coursework requires 33 (thesis option) or 36 credits (non-thesis option). To complete the certification program, an additional 33 credits are required. For the doctoral coursework, students take at least 30 credits of coursework 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 on a full-time basis?

    Although students may pursue the master’s (M.Ed.) program on a part-time basis, most choose to attend full time. Full-time attendance is required for the certification program (second and third years). The second year of the program is devoted to coursework, and the third year is spent completing a full-time internship in the schools. A full-time student can obtain certification in School Psychology from IUP in three years. 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 is the basic format of the summer doctoral program? Is the doctoral program a summer-only program?

    The doctoral program in School Psychology at IUP was created with the busy practitioner in mind. Our summer-only program allows individuals credentialed as school psychologists to complete their D.Ed. 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 term is from the first Monday in June until around July 1, and the second term is from just after July 4 to approximately August 6. Our students are typically on campus from Tuesday to Thursday at a minimum for that period. It would 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 terms after students complete the doctoral coursework, but most of our students are able to 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 twelve-month employees. Most out-of-state students come for the ten 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 that time period.

    Is it required that I attend both terms every summer? 

    We require that students attend both summer sessions until you complete the coursework.

    Can I do the doctoral coursework online?

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

    How is the selection of the individual advisor made?

    M.Ed. and certification students are assigned to one of the faculty members 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 a doctoral dissertation advisor by the end of their second summer of doctoral coursework at the latest. That person becomes the student’s 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 third academic year of their 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 to their interns. Doctoral students are typically able to arrange their internships at their current work site.