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School Psychology (M.A.)
Basic Degree Information/Description
The School Psychology program at UTSA is located in the Department of Educational Psychology, which is in the College of Education and Human Development. The program is designed to provide the academic and practical training necessary to become licensed as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Graduates also will be eligible to apply for certification as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, which is a nationally-recognized professional certification granted by the National Association of School Psychologists. The program includes advanced coursework and field-based experiences related to psychological assessment, counseling, consultation, learning, development, child psychopathology, research, statistics, and professional issues. Students also complete a full-time internship in a school setting. Due to the clinical nature of this program and number of hours required, the degree does not have a Thesis option.
Why pursue an M.A. in School Psychology
School Psychologists work with children and adolescents experiencing a wide range of academic, emotional, and behavioral difficulties. Common roles and functions of the School Psychologist include psychological assessment, counseling, consultation, crisis intervention, research, and program evaluation. School Psychologists work with students, their families, and school staff in order to help students be as successful as possible in school.
- Degree candidates are required to successfully complete a 66-semester-credit-hour program. For a complete list of degree requirements please see the Graduate Catalog.
Admission Requirements and Deadlines
- Required Degree: Bachelor's degree in Psychology, Special Education, Curriculum & Instruction, Sociology, or closely related field.
- Other Degree Requirements: Applicants who lack appropriate academic background in psychology or a closely related field may be admitted conditionally, and specific leveling coursework will be required to address areas of deficiency.
- General University Requirements: A degree seeking applicant must meet university wide requirements.
- Application: A complete Graduate School application.
- Transcripts: Official transcripts from all institutions attended. All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English.
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae: Not required
- Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation are required. The letters should specifically address the applicant's academic and/or professional skills, and potential to succeed in a rigorous graduate program.
- Statement of Purpose: A statement of purpose is required (approximately 500 words) which outlines the applicant's (1) reasons for pursuing the M.A. degree in School Psychology, (2) experiences relevant to the field of psychology or education, and (3) career plans.
- Test Scores: The General GRE is required. Scores cannot be more than five years old. Applicants must obtain a minimum score of 3.5 on the Analytical Writing test. There is not a cutoff score for the Verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning tests; rather, scores on these tests will be balanced with GPA and other criteria.
- Other: None.
- Evaluation of Foreign Credentials: All applicants including non-U.S. citizens (International), U.S. citizens (Domestic), or permanent residents who have earned university-level credit from foreign institutions are required to submit an evaluation from an approved Foreign Credential Agency of transcripts from all foreign institutions attended. If official transcripts are used in the foreign credential evaluation, the official transcript requirement will be considered met. However, if unofficial documents are used in the foreign credential evaluation, final official transcripts must be sent to UTSA.
- An approved evaluation requires a detailed course-by-course evaluation. Summaries will not be accepted.
- The Foreign Credentials Service of America (FCSA) is a private corporation that provides evaluations of foreign school credentials. The application is available at: Application for Credentials Evaluation.
- IELTS: Minimum score of 6.5.
- TOEFL: Minimum scores of 79 or 60 for Internet or paper versions, respectively.
Career Options Available for a School Psychology Graduate
School Psychology has been identified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a specialization that is likely to have faster than average employment growth. In addition, Texas has been identified as a state that will encounter one of the most serious shortages of School Psychologists in the near future. Thus, the job prospects for School Psychologists are very favorable. Minority and bilingual school psychologists are especially needed given the increasing diversity of public schools.
Learning Objectives of the Program
Consistent with the Standards for Graduate Preparation of School Psychologists, developed by the National Association of School Psychologists, students in the School Psychology program at UTSA will demonstrate knowledge and skills in the following areas:
- Professional Practice (NASP Domain 10: Legal, Ethical, and Professional Practice)
- Data-Based Decision Making (NASP Domain 1: Data-Based Decision Making and Accountability, and NASP Domain 9: Research and Program Evaluation)
- Student-Level Services (NASP Domain 3: Interventions and Instructional Support to Develop Academic Skills, and NASP Domain 4: Interventions and Mental Health Services to Develop Social and Life Skills)
- Systems-Level Services (NASP Domain 5: School-Wide Practices to Promote Learning, and NASP Domain 6: Preventive and Responsive Services)
- Consultation (NASP Domain 2: Consultation and Collaboration, and NASP Domain 7: Family-School Collaboration Services)
- Social and Cultural Foundations (NASP Domain 8: Diversity in Development and Learning)