The NASP-approved School Psychology MA + Certification program provides the education to become a professional school psychologist at the Specialist level (60 credits). The program features opportunities to develop special competencies in areas such as assessment, identifying and treating behavior problems in children and adolescent, utilizing curriculum-based measurement tools to assess school health and student progress, and providing evidence-based therapeutic services to children and adolescents.

A multitude of settings are available for practicum and externship training, including varied public and private schools in Bergen County. The school psychology program is recognized by and registered with the New Jersey State Department of Education. The program holds full NASP approval, and graduates are able eligible to become Nationally Certified School Psychologists upon successful completion of the program.

Program outcomes

The School Psychology Programs (MA/Cert and Psy.D.) adhere to the recommended APA and NASP guidelines and objectives with specifically developed assessments corresponding to the specified objectives.

  • Students will obtain and apply knowledge of varied models and methods of assessment that can be used to identify strengths and needs in understanding problems and monitoring progress.
  • Students will obtain and apply knowledge of behavioral, mental health and collaborative consultation.
  • Students will obtain knowledge of human learning processes and differential learning needs together with the implementation of appropriate strategies addressing strengths and needs of students.
  • Students will obtain knowledge of human development process, to assess the process and to provide direct and indirect services appropriate to presenting needs.
  • Students will obtain knowledge of individual differences and the development of cultural competence, recognizing the importance of context on academic health and mental health of individuals.
  • Students will obtain knowledge of general education, special education and related services and to understand schools as complex social systems.
  • Students will obtain knowledge of and to implement evidence based services for prevention, crisis intervention and psychological intervention to promote mental health and physical well-being of students.
  • Students will attain knowledge of research, statistics and evaluation methods and a demonstration of the application of those skills.
  • Students will obtain knowledge and demonstrate in practice the best practices of the profession of school psychology including ethical, legal and professional standards and engaging in practices reflecting social justice and cultural competence.

Professional Licensure and Certification

Professional licensure and certification requirements may vary state to state, and are subject to change. In addition, separate from educational requirements, state licensure boards may require applicants to complete other requirements. Students should contact the appropriate licensing agency in each home state to obtain the most up-to-date information.

The School Psychology MA certification program has approval through the National Association of School Psychologists through 2025, and, accordingly, the program meets the academic requirements for licensure in all 50 states to be Nationally Certified School Psychologists.

Admission Requirements

Completed applications for admissions are due by March 15 for September admission.

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores. The testing dates schedule can be obtained from Educational Testing Service (http://www.ets.org). Please be advised that due to conditions created by COVID-19, the requirement for the Graduate Record Examination is waived for 2020-2021.
  • Have taken general psychology and statistics, experimental psychology, child development, abnormal psychology, or theories of personality.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation and a personal statement detailing their interest in the field.

Applications are carefully reviewed, and group interviews are conducted for those applicants who meet the school’s criteria.

This is a  full-time program. However, students are able to both work and pursue the degree, since classes are held in late afternoons and evenings.

Applications also will be considered from individuals holding a master’s degree in psychology, education or related fields who wish to obtain certification as a school psychologist. If such applicants meet the academic requirements of the school, a course of study will be determined on an individual basis to meet certification requirements. If you are interested in this opportunity, it is recommended that you have your graduate transcript reviewed by the State Department of Education, as they will perform a transcript review and advise you regarding which classes you need to complete to fulfill certification requirements for School Psychology.

Degree Requirements

  • Satisfactory completion of 60 credits in the courses approved for the school psychology program.
  • Students receiving two or more grades below B– in any graduate course will be placed on academic probation with the possibility of a reduced course load for the next regular semester, and students who do not demonstrate competency on assignments that prepare them for functioning as school psychologists may need to complete remediation assignments prior to enrollment in the next regular semester.  Students receiving a concurrent or subsequent third grade below B– will not be permitted to continue in the program. Maintaining a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of less than 3.2 for two consecutive years may also lead to termination from the program.
  • Upon completion of 36 graduate credits, students must pass a Comprehensive Examination, which examines general knowledge of psychology and a school psychology specialty subsection.
  • Students must complete an 1200-hour externship in a school or school-related setting under the supervision of a certified school psychologist.
  • Students will be dropped from the program for engaging in unethical or criminal behavior (plagiarism, cheating, violation of APA or NASP ethical guidelines, University policy, governmental law, harassment or endangering the welfare of a child).
  • Students encountering serious psychological adjustment problems will be advised to seek professional counseling. If the problems are not ameliorated, the student may be asked to leave the program.

Fieldwork

The MA + Certification program incorporates a range of field experiences that are designed to familiarize students with how schools function as systems and build specific skills needed for effective school psychology practice.  A unique aspect of this program is the fact that students engage in fieldwork in schools beginning in their first semester of the program.  We believe it is essential for school psychologists to understand typical child development and classroom environments before beginning to assess and intervene to address students’ learning, behavioral, and mental health challenges.  For that reason, students in the MA + Certification program complete fieldwork during their first year of training designed to provide them with experiences in general education settings. 

In their second year of training, students begin to develop assessment, counseling, and consultation skills through a series of structured fieldwork experiences in local school districts.  These experiences comprise the foundational assignments for many of the second-year practicum courses, in which students receive didactic instruction and supervised practice administering testing measures, delivering therapeutic services, and consulting with teachers.  In their third year of the program, students engage in a capstone 1200-hour internship experience.  During this time, they are supported by field supervisors and through a yearlong seminar course designed to help them hone their professional competencies. 

FDU is particularly proud to offer paid second-year practicum and third-year internship opportunities through a $1.9M grant from the US Department of Education.  The Supportive Schools Newark project is designed to build a pipeline of school-based mental health providers dedicated to working in high-needs school districts.  Through this collaboration with the Newark Public Schools, second-year students provide trauma-informed therapeutic services to students in grades K-8 under the supervision of FDU faculty and program alumni.  Interns complete a comprehensive 1200-hour training experience that is supervised collaboratively by a Newark school psychologist and FDU’s Coordinator of Field Experiences, Dr. Meaghan Guiney.

In recent years FDU school psychology students in the Master’s + Certification program have completed supervised internships at the following school districts or sites across the tri-state area (those sites offering a stipend are noted):

  • Allendale, NJ
  • Bayonne, NJ
  • Bergen County (NJ) Academies
  • Clarkstown, NY
  • Collingswood, NJ (stipend)
  • Cresskill, NJ
  • Dumont, NJ
  • Green Brook, NJ
  • Leonia, NJ
  • Newark (NJ) Public Schools (stipend)
  • North Rockland, NY
  • Old Bridge, NJ
  • Ossining, NY (stipend)
  • Pascack Valley Regional HS (Hillsdale, NJ)
  • Pearl River, NY
  • Ridge HS (Bernards Township, NJ)
  • Secaucus, NJ
  • Somerville, NJ
  • Benedict’s Preparatory School (Newark, NJ)
  • Toms River, NJ
  • West Orange, NJ
  • Wood-Ridge, NJ

Funding Opportunities

There are some opportunities to serve as a graduate assistant on campus (working daytime hours) and receive partial tuition reimbursement as a component of your pay.  These opportunities do not arise each year, but when they do, our School Psychology students are often highly sought after to fill the roles, which often fit into the schedules of MA/Certification students. 

In addition to the practicum and externship opportunities through the Supportive Schools Newark grant, we have also had great success helping our MA/Certification students find employment as support staff in local school districts. 

We also support our students who apply for awards such as the Frank J. Epifanio Minority Graduate Student Scholarship, which is offered annually by the New Jersey Association of School Psychologists (see www.njasp.org).

Please feel to reach out for more details about any of these opportunities! 

Degree Plan

FALL 2019 ENTRY AND BEYOND

1st Semester

  • PSYC6651     Ethics and Professional Practice in Schools and School Psychology
  • PSYC7819   Introduction to School Learning Problems
  • PSYC6121     Statistics
  • PSYC6111     Theories of Personality

First Semester Student Review

2nd Semester

  • PSYC6129     Research Methods & Psychometrics
  • PSYC7122     Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC8115     Child Psychopathology
  • PSYC7820    Introduction to School Learning Problems (Part II)

Annual Student Review

3rd Semester

  • PSYC7615  Child Assessment I with practicum
  • PSYC7815  Child Assessment II with practicum
  • EDUC6740 Intro to Teaching the Exceptional Child in School/Community
  • PSYC7215 Biological Bases of Behavior and Learning

COMPREHENSIVE EXAM (27 to 36 CREDITS COMPLETED)

4th Semester

  • PSYC8815 Child Assessment III with practicum
  • EDUC6661 The Multicultural Classroom
  • PSYC8910 School-based Consultation with practicum 
  • PSYC8725 Prevention and Intervention with Children and Adolescents

Annual Student Review/Review of Practicum Competencies and Readiness for Externship     

Praxis Examination to be taken in June or September                                                                                            

5th Semester

  • PSYC9110 School/Community Mental Health
  • EDUC6702 Curriculum and Instruction: Theory & Practice
  • PSYC8922 Externship in School Psychology (600 hours)

6th Semester

  • PSYC8923 Externship in School Psychology II (600 hours)

FALL 2018 ENTRY AND PRIOR

1st Semester

  • PSYC6651     Ethics and Professional Practice in Schools and School Psychology
  • PSYC7819     Introduction to School Learning Problems
  • PSYC6121     Statistics
  • PSYC6111     Theories of Personality

First Semester Student Review

2nd Semester

  • PSYC6129     Research Methods & Psychometrics
  • PSYC7122     Developmental Child & Adolescent Psychology
  • PSYC8115     Child Psychopathology
  • PSYC7820     Introduction to School Learning Problems II

Annual Student Review

3rd Semester

  • PSYC7615     Child Assessment I with practicum
  • PSYC7815     Child Assessment II with practicum
  • EDUC6743    Intro to Students with Disabilities in School and Community
  • PSYC8910     School-based Consultation with practicum
  • COMPREHENSIVE EXAM (28 to 36 credits completed) 

4th Semester

  • PSYC8815     Child Assessment III with practicum
  • EDUC6702     Curriculum and Instruction: Theory & Practice
  • PSYC7825     Child Neuropsychology
  • PSYC8725     Prevention & Intervention with Children & Adolescents

NOTE: Praxis Examination to be taken in June or September.

Annual Student Review/Review of Practicum Competencies and Readiness for Externship

5th Semester

  • PSYC9110     School/Community Mental Health
  • EDUC7721    Philosophy of Education
  • PSYC8922     Externship in School Psychology I 600 hours

6th Semester

  • PSYC8923    Externship in School Psychology II (600 hours)

Course Descriptions