The University of Alabama School Psychology Program is designed to provide exemplary graduate training in research, application and practice related to learning, development and mental health of children and youth, as well as their families, educators and other professionals who work with them. The School Psychology Program admits candidates to the master’s (MA), educational specialist (EdS), and PhD graduate degree programs. The degrees in school psychology prepare candidates for direct school-based practice and, for PhD candidates, careers in academic and other settings as faculty members, researchers, and practitioners. The degree programs in school psychology focus on the provision of school psychology services that are based on a strong foundation of research and application related to learners and learning processes. The school psychology degree programs include an integrated and sequential program of study with comprehensive coursework and supervised field experiences. Candidates participate in courses and seminars in assessment and data collection; interventions and decision making, prevention and consultation, professional school psychology, sociocultural foundations, psychological foundations, human development, educational foundations, statistics and research and other areas. Candidates are required to participate in extensive practicum, internship and research experiences.
Two options are available for the MA degree: On-campus option and distance learning option. In the on-campus option, our MA degree is incorporated into program requirements for candidates in our EdS and PhD degree programs. The MA degree is required and built into our program of study, and students admitted to the EdS or PhD program receive the MA along the way during their programs. After about one-and-one-half years into their graduate programs of study, EdS and PhD candidates have completed the 33 graduate credits for the MA degree during the course of their EdS or PhD programs. EdS and PhD students then go on to complete the additional coursework, practica and internships for their EdS or PhD degrees.
The distance learning option (blends online classes with intensive campus weekends and is offered through the College of Continuing Studies: http://bamabydistance.ua.edu/degrees/eds-in-ed-psych-school-psychology. The distance learning program does NOT hold NASP approval. Currently, only applicants who hold a valid bachelor’s-level Professional Educator Certificate in a teaching field or a valid master’s-level Professional Educator Certificate in another area of instructional support will be considered for the distance program.
Applicants to the on-campus program are encouraged to complete their applications by January 15 for admission the following fall semester. Statement of purpose and letters of recommendation consistent with goals of the program, GRE score of 300 or above and a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale are needed for regular admission. Applicants may be considered for admission in some circumstances if they meet either the GPA requirement OR the GRE score requirement, but not both.
Applicants to the distance learning program are encouraged to complete their applications by April 15. Statement of purpose, vita/resume and letters of recommendation consistent with goals of the program, GRE score of 300 or above and a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale are needed for regular admission. Applicants may be considered for admission in some circumstances if they meet either the GPA requirement OR the GRE score requirement, but not both. In addition, distance learning applicants must meet admission requirements established by the Alabama State Department of Education:
- valid bachelor's level or master's level professional educator certificate in a teaching field OR valid master's level professional educator certificate in another area of instructional support,
- two years of acceptable educational experience, and
- fingerprinting/background clearance
Requirements for certification and licensure in School Psychometry vary from state to state. Students are expected to determine the requirements for the state in which they intend to practice before beginning the program.
Graduates who met admission criteria above and obtain the MA degree in Educational Psychology-School Psychometry in the distance learning program may be eligible for Alabama Class A certification in School Psychometry IF the following prerequisites are met:
- a passing score on comprehensive exams, and
- a minimum GPA of 3.25 on all program courses (effective for candidates unconditionally admitted to a Class A School Psychometry program July 1, 2017, and thereafter.)
Graduates of the on-campus MA degree are not eligible for Alabama Class A certification in School Psychometry. Because on-campus students obtain the MA degree along the way during their EdS or PhD program, they may use the certification requirements outlined or the EdS and PhD degrees.
Additional information is in the Degree Requirements section of this catalog.