School Psychology Specialist

Attain New York State certification

Alfred University's MA/CAS program offers both extensive practical experience and in-depth coursework. You will be placed in a school each semester completing course assignments and practicum. The MA/CAS in School Psychology is the only non-doctoral degree in psychology through which individuals can be certified in New York State.


Campus Locations

Main Campus - Alfred, NY


School Psychology Specialist (MA, CAS)

MA/CAS Course Sequence

First Year

First Semester

  • PSYC 601 Foundations of Cultural Diversity (1)
  • PSYC 603 Foundations of School Psychology (3)
  • PSYC 607 Learning and Cognition (3)
  • PSYC 626 Psychological and Educational Measurements (2)
  • PSYC 627 Norm-Referenced Testing I (3)
  • PSYC 636 Foundations of Interpersonal Effectiveness (3)
  • PSYC 637 Introduction to Group Dynamics (1)
  • PSYC 656 Field Experience in School Psychology (1)

Total Credits 17

Second Semester

  • PSYC 606 Advanced Developmental Psychology (3)
  • PSYC 629 Social-Emotional Assessment (3)
  • PSYC 632 Norm-Referenced Testing II (3)
  • PSYC 638 Psychotherapy and Behavior Change (3)
  • PSYC 639 Exceptionality in Learning and Behavior (3)
  • PSYC 657 Field Experience in School Psychology II (1)

Total Credits 16

Second Year

Third Semester

  • PSYC 628 Academic Functioning (3)
  • PSYC 646 Consultation and Prevention (3)
  • PSYC 658 Clinic Practicum I (3)
  • PSYC 671 Statistical Analysis and Research Design I (3)
  • PSYC 695 Professional Practice Seminar (3)

Total Credits 15

Fourth Semester

  • PSYC 609 Physical Bases of Behavior (3)
  • PSYC 642 Advanced Topics in School Psychology (3)
  • PSYC 652 Behavior Assessment and Intervention (3)
  • PSYC 651 Academic Interventions (2)
  • PSYC 659 Clinic Practicum II (3)
  • PSYC 664 Practicum in Academic Interventions (1)

Total Credits 15

Third Year

Fifth Semester

  • PSYC 667 Internship in School Psychology I (9)

Sixth Semester

  • PSYC 668 Internship in School Psychology II (9)

Minimum Total Credit Hours Required for the Program: 81

The program consists of two years of full-time study followed by a full year internship. Due to our strong practical focus, our students spend at least some time in a school during every semester. In addition, students work at our division's outpatient mental health clinic, the Child and Family Services Center, for their second-year practicum. At the end of their first year, students must pass a written qualifying examination in order to move to the second year.

MA/CAS Handbook

Admission to the program is based upon a holistic assessment of your academic and professional accomplishments.

You must present evidence of successful completion of undergraduate coursework in the following subject areas:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Statistical and/or Experimental Methods

And at least one of the following areas:

  • Developmental (Child and Adolescent) Psychology
  • Personality Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology

Other courses, such as Tests and Measurements, Learning or Educational Psychology or other courses in Education are looked upon favorably.

Practical experiences in Psychology or Education, as well as any other relevant experiences, are seen as valuable preparation for the program.

To apply, the following must be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office:

  • Application form and fee
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  • GRE is optional for admission
  • Brief personal statement of your program interest
  • Statement of research interests (for the Psy.D. program only)
  • Because of the high level of maturity, sensitivity, independence, and flexibility necessary in the program, an on-campus interview is required. You will be contacted for an interview once all application materials have been reviewed.

Application Deadlines

Master's/Certificate of Advanced Study (Specialist): February 1st - priority deadline

Applications are considered after February 1st on a case-by-case basis until the class is filled

For More Information

Lindsey Gertin
Assistant Director of Admissions

All full time students entering graduate programs in School Psychology, Counseling, College Student Development and Education at the University are granted a general graduate assistantship for $3,000, which requires the student to work 5 hours per week for a professor or university division. Students are responsible to the faculty or staff member to whom they are assigned. Letters offering the assistantships are sent to all accepted students with their acceptance letters. The first year positions may involve working for faculty members or in university offices. Second and third year positions are more likely to make use of student's school psychology-related skills.

There are a small number of competitive assistantships providing 100% of tuition that are earmarked for students their second and third years of the program.

The Office of Student Financial Aid assists graduates in obtaining additional forms of assistance whenever possible.

Alfred University is known for its emphasis on field experience. Practica are associated with most of the major core courses, and give students an opportunity to understand the complexities of school systems, practice applied skills, and become familiar with the role of the school psychologist. In the course of training, you will gain experience at all educational levels in schools with diverse pupil populations relative to cultural-ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, and economic levels.

In the Schools - every semester

  • First and second semesters:
    • You will be placed in a local public school one day per week
    • Learn the roles of the school psychologist
    • Practice skills learned in class
    • Supervised by an on-site school psychologist, in coordination with a School Psychology faculty member
  • Third semester:
    • You will return to field placement school to complete your projects associated with the Consultation and Prevention course
  • Fourth semester:
    • You will be involved with planning, conducting, and evaluating an academic intervention in a local school district (associated with the Practicum in Academic Interventions course)

In the Child and Family Services Center

Second year students complete a two-semester practicum at the Child and Family Services Center (CFSC), which is both a training clinic and outpatient mental health clinic run by our division. Students may provide assessment, counseling, play therapy, family therapy, and group therapy to individuals and families from the underserved rural communities surrounding Alfred. We also have a newly trained therapy dog, Blue, to use in animal-assisted therapy. If appropriate, students also provide consultation at clients' schools.

The CFSC contains state-of-the-art digital recording and observation capabilities. All treatment rooms are equipped with microphones and video cameras that are wired to a control room which contains monitors through which faculty supervisors and students can observe sessions in real time. Live supervision utilizes wireless netbook communication or a telephone intercom system between the faculty supervisor and student. Sessions can also be digitally recorded and archived so that faculty supervisors and students may review sessions in order to improve skills. Students engage in collaborative problem-solving with their peers and faculty supervisor, and stay well informed about cases through direct observation, videotapes, and group supervision.

During the Internship

The final year of the program consists of a full-time internship in a public school system.

This experience is the culmination of the student's classroom learning and previous fieldwork and allows the student to perform the duties of a school psychologist under the supervision of an on-site school psychologist and a School Psychology faculty member.

Most of our students complete their internships within New York State, but students may choose to seek internships in any state. During their internship, students return to campus three times per year for seminars and group supervision activities. Students generally receive a stipend from the school in which they intern.

Our mission is to prepare school psychologists for professional practice in schools and related child and family settings.

Our program strives to produce school psychologists with the personal qualities, interpersonal skills and awareness, and the ethical sensitivity predictive of success in a broad array of social, economic, and political contexts.

  • Develop an understanding of service delivery programs within a context respectful and appreciative of individual, family, and cultural diversity.
  • Develop an awareness that their personal characteristics and interpersonal skills affect the quality, social validity, and acceptability of the services they provide.
  • Abide by ethical standards as they relate to the historical foundations of the school psychology profession and the current guidelines for practice.

We also strive to produce school psychologists competent to access a broad range of theoretical and practical approaches with sufficient depth to be effective, flexible practitioners.

  • Develop proficiency in data-based decision-making using traditional and alternative approaches to the assessment and evaluation of children's academic, behavioral, and emotional problems.
  • Develop proficiency in the design and development of programs to intervene both directly and indirectly with children's academic, behavioral, and emotional problems. These programs will include academic strategies, behavior modification, crisis intervention, and counseling techniques that are implemented in a timely manner.

Another goal is to produce school psychologists who have an understanding of the basic principles of human cognitive and emotional development and their relationship to the functioning of children within a school setting.

  • Develop an understanding of the development of both normal and exceptional children.
  • Gain knowledge of general and special education services and legal guidelines, as part of understanding the educational and sociopolitical climate of their school districts.
  • Develop skills in consulting and communicating with school professionals and parents.
  • Develop skills in the prevention and remediation of academic and emotional problems in children.

Our final goal is to produce school psychologists competent in the comprehension and application of research to professional practice.

  • Acquire a foundation in the scientific knowledge base of psychology and education, as well as an ability to evaluate and utilize research in their practice.
  • Develop proficiency in ongoing program evaluation, so they make informed decisions based upon objective data in developing services for children.
  • Develop a knowledge base which includes the updated and appropriate use of information technology in their practice.

Alfred University's School Psychology graduates are extremely successful in obtaining employment.

Graduates of the program often receive multiple job offers, with recent starting salaries reported to range from $38,000 to $46,000 for the Master's Program. Our graduates are working in New York and over 20 other states, ranging from Florida to California and Hawaii. They are working in rural, urban, and suburban locations.

The success of AU graduates relates to a number of factors, including:

  • The active maintenance of an AU job network through alumni and professional contacts of the program faculty.
  • Increased training, allowing school psychologists to serve in a wider variety of roles, in a variety of settings.
  • Federal and state legislation which has resulted in increased hiring of school psychologists.
  • A continuing national shortage of school psychologists.

Our MA/CAS graduates have found employment as psychologists in:

  • Public and private schools
  • Preschools
  • Mental health agencies

For more information about psychology as a profession visit the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) website.

School Psychology graduate students work closely with the Career Development Center in seeking employment.

For more information about outcomes and other program data, please visit this link: Program Annual Report and Student Outcomes Data

Similar Programs

Students interested in the School Psychology Master's program may also consider the following similar programs:

All Graduate Programs