Frequently Asked Questions - About School Psychology
What is a school psychologist?
School psychologists use their training in both psychology
and education to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, and
emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals
to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments for all students.
NASP offers an array
of materials on the profession.
Where do school psychologists work?
The majority (81%) of school psychologists work in public
school settings. Others work in private schools, community agencies, hospitals
and clinics, or universities. School psychologists generally work as
practitioners, administrators, and faculty/researchers. A specialist level
degree allows for employment in most states as a practitioner and administrator
(with appropriate administrative credential), while a doctoral degree allows
for practice as a practitioner, administrator, and faculty/researcher.
What education is required?
The majority of states require the completion of a 60 graduate
semester specialist-level program in school psychology including a 1200-hour
internship. Many programs also offer a doctorate in school psychology, which
generally requires 5-7 years of graduate work including a 1500-hour internship
and completion of a dissertation.
There are a few states that continue to certify school
psychologists that graduate from programs of less than 60 graduate semester
credits; however, NASP maintains that the minimum
acceptable education in school psychology is specialist-level training.
What is the difference between a “child psychologist” and a “school
Typically, the term “child psychologist” refers to
doctoral-level clinical psychologists who specialize in children. “School
psychologist” specifically refers to professionals who bridge psychology and
education to address school related issues, including those that concern
children, teachers, parents and families, as well as school organizations.