About School Psychology

School psychologists have specialized training in both psychology and education. They use their training and skills to collaborate with educators, parents, and other mental health professionals to ensure that every child learns in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. School psychologists understand school systems, effective teaching, and how students learn. Today's children face more challenges than ever before. School psychologists provide solutions for tomorrow's problems through thoughtful and positive actions today.

The training requirements to become a school psychologist are a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours, including a year-long internship.  Training emphasizes preparation in mental health, child development, school organization, learning, behavior, and motivation. To work as a school psychologist, one must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which services are provided. The National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB) also nationally certifies school psychologists. (Answer adapted from the NASP web site).

School Psychology was ranked the #3 best social service job in the United States. The School Psychology profession also was ranked #18 in STEM professions and #36 out of the best 100 jobs in the U. S. by U.S. News & World Report

The Education Specialist Degree program (Ed.S.) in School Psychology is a 60 unit (plus 6 prerequisite units) course of study, including 4 units of practicum and 6 units of fieldwork, that prepares individuals to receive a California Pupil Personnel Services credential in school psychology, and offers those who complete the program an Education Specialist Degree. It is more advanced than a master's degree which is typically based on a minimum of 30 units.

School Psychologists and School Counselors often worked closely together to meet the academic and social emotional needs of school-aged youth.

School Psychologists typically work more closely with students with disabilities, including conducting initial and three-year assessments of their needs. They also provide direct and indirect services such as consultation, counseling, crisis response preparation, and systems change. The CSULB School Psychology program awards the Education Specialist degree (Ed.S.) and recommends candidates for the Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. 

The School Counseling program prepares counselors to work in elementary, middle, and high school settings (K-12). Emphasis is placed on meeting the academic, social-emotional, and career readiness needs of all students. Typically, this is a school employee who provides direct services through individual and group counseling, classroom lessons, academic advising and crisis response. School counselors also provide indirect services on behalf of students through interactions with others including referrals for additional assistance, consultation and collaboration with parents, teachers, and other educators.  In addition to the MS in Counseling degree, candidates are recommended for the Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Please visit the School Counseling website to learn more about this program.

The Education Specialist Credential prepares candidates to teach individuals in the areas of Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe disabilities. Completion of the program leads to the issuance of the Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. For additional information, please visit the Teacher Preparation Advising Center.

The Education Specialist Degree program (Ed.S.) is a graduate degree-granting program in School Psychology. In addition to receiving the Ed.S. degree, students who complete the program are recommended to receive the Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Students completing this program are employed in PreK-12 education to provide direct and indirect psychological and academic support to students.

Please see Why Choose CSULB? webpage.



Please see the Application Process webpage.

Visit the GSO Tips & Tutorials for Applying page for an application flow chart, advice on how to be a competitive applicant, and free resources and tips on the statement of purpose, letters of recommendations, and resume.

No, the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential in School Psychology is offered in conjunction with the Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology. Individuals desiring the PPS credential in School Psychology must apply for admission to both the Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology and PPS in School Psychology program in order to earn the credential. All of the coursework for both the degree and the PPS credential overlap.

The GRE requirement is waived for admission consideration.

The GPA requirement is a minimum 3.00 overall grade point average in last degree (not credential or certificate) earned from an accredited institution of higher education. For more information please the Eligibility Requirements. 

Two. The program admissions committee has instructed you to input the names and email addresses for only two recommenders. Therefore, please do not input more than two recommenders.  For additional information on recommendations, please visit the Online Application Submission website.

The application deadline is also the deadline for the letters of recommendation. Please note there is a short buffer period in which recommender(s) may submit evaluations after the application deadline. Please make sure your recommender submits the recommendation as close to the deadline as possible for full consideration. For additional information on recommendations, please visit the Online Application Submission website.

No. Students typically complete the pre-requisites during the summer prior to their first fall in the program, or during their first year if they do have an approved equivalent. 

No. This program does not have rolling admissions, and all applications are reviewed after the application deadline.

Admission to the School Psychology program is highly competitive (acceptance rate is less than 20% of the total number of applicants). It is essential for applicants to adhere to application guidelines. Please visit the Application Process page for additional information.

Graduate school fees are set by the CSU Board of Trustees each academic year. The current fee structure may be found on the Enrollment Services web site. The approximate cost as of Fall 2023 is $21,954 for the entire School Psychology program for California residents (4 semesters at "7 units or more" + 2 semesters of "6 units or less").

The CSULB school psychology program is committed to diversity. There is no single prototypical student. Rather, faculty seek a diverse group of students whose unique experiences add to the curriculum and instruction of the program. Public school experience, bilingualism, and/or experience with cultural and language minority youth are a definite asset to an applicant. A strong academic record such as good grades or experience conducting research in educational settings will also increase your chances of being admitted to the program.


Degree Requirements

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are not able to review transcripts in advance of being offered admission to the program

If you have earned a master’s degree in behavioral science from an accredited university, you may be able to utilize 9 units as a specialization. All students, regardless of having previously earned a master’s degree, are required to complete a culminating activity (e.g., thesis or comprehensive exam).

To obtain a general idea of courses that may be equivalent to our prerequisite and/or core courses, please review the official catalog description of the course you took at another university and compare it to the CSULB official catalog description of the course you wish to waive. If the descriptions are similar, it may be equivalent. Please note, however, that there is no guarantee that a course taken at another university will meet our course requirement.

Students offered admission to the program will meet with an advisor who will advise regarding potential course equivalencies and how to start the course equivalency process. 

The program is designed to be completed in 3 years. Upon admission, an advisor will provide each student a program plan. Please see the Program Requirements page. 

Our program and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) require students to complete a minimum of 1,200 hours of school psychology fieldwork. In their last year in the program, students may be eligible to apply for an internship credential. The internship credential is awarded by CTC and is generally required by districts who are offering a paid internship. In short, all graduates of the program complete a fieldwork experience; some hold internship credentials and others do not.

Basic Skills Requirement

Applicants must demonstrate they have met the Basic Skills Requirement. For additional information, please see Basic Skills Requirement for School Psychology.

Certificate of Clearance

Students must obtain a Certificate of Clearance prior to completing any fieldwork assignments. Certificates of Clearance are issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) to credential program candidates. Title 5 regulations require that an application for Certificate of Clearance be filed to determine whether or not a candidate meets the state standards for character and fitness to be an educator in California's public schools. Students who currently hold a credential in California are exempt from this requirement. However, proof of holding a current credential is required.

NCSP Praxis Exam

All School Psychology students must take the National School Psychology Examination (Praxis Test from ETS) prior to completing the program. Students must ensure that their scores (Overall Score and Test Category Scores) are forwarded by ETS to program faculty and the Credential Center.

Students who opt to take comprehensive exams as their culminating degree activity must obtain a passing score of 147 on the Praxis exam to successfully meet the requirements of the culminating activity. Students who opt to complete a thesis as their culminating degree activity must sit for the Praxis, but are not required to obtain a passing score of 147 to successfully meet the requirements of the culminating activity.

A passing score on the Praxis allows candidates to obtain certification as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). For additional information regarding the National School Psychology Examination, please visit the Praxis Exam website.


Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to remain in good standing in the program. Failure to do so may place the student on academic warning. Students must earn passing grades in all courses.


Other Inquiries

Generally, yes. Each state has its own licensure requirements, but most graduates of the CSULB program meet the requirements of other states. Students are encouraged to pursue the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). This credential can facilitate obtaining licensure in other states.