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Becoming a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP)

Qualification Standards

To qualify for national certification, a school psychologist must meet the established standards of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP): Standards for Graduate Preparation of School Psychologists (formerly Training and Field Placement Program in School Psychology), Standards for the Credentialing of School Psychologists, Principles for Professional Ethics, and the Model for Comprehensive and Integrated School Psychological Services.These documents are contained in the NASP Professional Standards.

Certification Requirements

This is provided only as an overview of our requirements. Detailed requirements are included in our certification applications

Coursework Requirement

Completion of a 60 graduate semester/90 quarter hours through an organized program of study that is officially titled “School Psychology.” At least 54 graduate semester / 81 quarter hours must have been exclusive of credit for the supervised internship experience.


Successful completion of a 1200-hour internship in school psychology, of which at least 600 hours must be in a school setting. The internship must be recognized through institutional (transcript) documentation. Until December 31, 1994, internships with institutional documentation are accepted. Individuals who graduate prior to December 31, 1994 from a training program that does not offer a 1200-hour internship may complete a Field-Based Internship. Additional information available from the NSPCS.


Find information on the new version of the Praxis™ School Psychologist Test (5402) and implications for the NCSP credential.

Applicants must achieve a passing score (147) on the National School Psychology Examination #5402 administered by the Educational Testing Service. Test scores remain valid for ten (10) years after the test. Test scores older than ten (10) years are considered expired and would require the re-taking of the examination. Applicants who took the exam between 2008 and 2014 must have achieved a passing score of 165 or higher. Those who took the exam prior to its revision in September of 2008 must have achieved a passing score of 660 or higher. The School Psychologist test, code 5402, is administered through the Praxis Series of Educational Testing Service. ETS's Study Companion contains content outlines, sample questions with rationale for the best answers, and test-taking strategies.

First-Time Applicants Completing NASP-Approved Programs

Effective January 1, 2016, individuals applying for the NCSP credential as a graduate of a NASP-Approved program must submit their application within 10 years of completing the program. Previously, those completing NASP-approved programs could apply through that process regardless of when they completed the program. Read More.