Qualified applicants for the NCSP credential must meet the established standards of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) along with the following criteria:
Applicants must complete an organized program of study that is officially titled "School Psychology" that consists of at least 60 graduate semester/90 quarter hours. At least 54 graduate semester/81 quarter hours must be exclusive of credit for the supervised internship experience. Applicants for the NCSP must provide evidence of meeting coursework requirements through official transcripts sent directly to NASP from the institution. NASP will only accept electronic transcripts—do not mail paper copies.
Completion of a sequence of supervised experiences that occurred prior to and exclusive of the internship is required. These experiences are typically conducted in laboratory or field-based settings and provide for the application of knowledge and specific skills.
Successful completion of a 1,200-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. Individuals who complete a program that does not offer a 1,200-hour internship may complete a field-based internship. For more information see the the NCSP Internship Verification Form (PDF).
*Note: As a result of the Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic and subsequent school closures, NASP and the National School Psychology Certification Board modified the internship requirements to obtain the NCSP credential for those on internship during Spring 2020. Those modifications can be documented using the Alternate Internship Verification Form.
The Praxis School Psychologist exam #5403 measures whether entry-level school psychologists have minimum acceptable competency (knowledge) for professional practice. The Praxis School Psychologist exam is required by numerous state education agencies to work as a school psychologist. This exam was first available in September, 2022. This version of the exam was designed to align with the NASP 2020 Professional Standards. On this version of the exam, NCSP applicants must achieve a passing score of 155.
Test scores remain valid for 10 years after the test. Test scores older than 10 years are considered expired and would require the retaking of the test. Official score reports must be sent directly from ETS to NASP when applying for the NCSP.
The previous version of the exam, the Praxis School Psychologist exam #5402, had a passing score of 147. Note that a higher qualifying score for the #5403 compared to #5402 does not equate to a more difficult version of the exam. Each exam is separate and thus one cannot compare the scores of one version to another. The availability of this exam will end after December, 2023.
Note that during a transition of one version to another, both versions remain available for a period of time to allow candidates to take either version based on their familiarity with the different standards or stage in exam preparation. As long as that individual obtains a passing score on that particular version and applies for the NCSP within 10 years of taking the exam, the score on either version will be accepted.
Application Window for Graduates of NASP-Approved Programs
Effective January 1, 2016, individuals applying for the NCSP credential as a graduate of a NASP-approved program must submit their applications within 10 years of completing the program. Applicants who completed a program more than 10 years ago, regardless of the status of their programs at the time, must apply as graduates of a program without NASP approval.
Applying for the NCSP With a Degree in a Closely Related Field
Individuals with a graduate degree in a closely related field (e.g., clinical psychology, counseling psychology, special education, school counseling) may be eligible for the NCSP, provided they complete a degree program specifically in school psychology. Please note that graduate programs handle applications from those with prior graduate degrees in different ways - for example, some programs limit how many credits from previous degrees can be transferred, or the process for reviewing previous coursework and waiving courses in the new program. Regardless, all programs maintain responsibility for ensuring that all program graduates, regardless of previous coursework, have met the same national standards for school psychology preparation. Please check with the graduate program to inquire about its options.
Become an NCSP
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View a list of Graduate programs approved by NASP's Program Accreditation Board.
View a list of Graduate programs accredited by NASP's Program Accreditation Board.
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