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Welcome to the School Psychology Program!



Graduate Admission Open on October 1

Admission priority will be given to students who submit their application and all materials by December 15th and complete their file by January 12. Applications posted after the priority deadline will ONLY BE REVIEWED if the school psychology program has an insufficient pool of applicants by the Priority Cycle deadline.


SP CLASS 2014 

 Congratulations Class of 2014! 

About the School Psychology Program

The School Psychology Program prepares school psychologists to be systems change agents in culturally diverse schools. More specifically, we aim to provide our graduates with:
  • Ecological and systems perspectives by which to consider problem situations in the schools,
  • Cultural competencies to serve the multicultural populations of public schools,
  • Knowledge and skills to serve both general and special education populations, and
  • Skills to function as advocates, change agents, and consultants in the schools, providing a broad range of culturally appropriate assessment-intervention services.
The program embraces an ecosystemic philosophy-orientation and emphasizes multicultural content, processes, and experiences. In design and content, the program is influenced by these ecosystemic principles:
  • There are problem situations, not problem children;
  • These situations are a result of dysfunctional transactions and reciprocal determinism among, for example, children, teachers, and parents;
  • Culture is brought to the forefront as a base for hypothesis generation regarding the nature of the situation; and
  • Assessment-intervention is unified in response to person/situation characteristics. Individuals as well as groups of individuals are viewed as open and modifiable systems.
Design, Vision, & Outcomes
The SDSU School Psychology Community (i.e., faculty, students, alumni, supervisors) identified seven areas as themes for professional preparation:
  • Professional School Psychology

    History and issues facing the profession, models for organizing broad service delivery, legal and ethical mandates, professional and personal development toward leadership.
  • Research and Program Evaluation

    Basic research skills for consumers of the literature toward application in practice, research and program evaluation skills to guide practice.
  • Social and Cultural Foundations

    Cultural, multicultural, and cross-cultural understanding, ecosystems and social psychology.
  • Educational Foundations

    School as a system and culture; multicultural education; bilingual and special education, and other categorical programs and resources; effective schools, programs, and instruction.
  • Psychological Foundations

    Development; learning and cognition; biological bases; individual differences and human exceptionalities.
  • Assessment-for-Interventions

    Assessment of individual to school-wide situations; ecological, authentic, dynamic, developmental, and behavioral assessment; psychoeducational evaluation.
  • Interventions

    Direct interventions, e.g., individual and group counseling, mediated learning strategies, behavioral interventions; indirect interventions, e.g., consultation, collaboration, advocacy, and program development.

We articulated our vision of each area in a multicultural context and identified outcomes for SDSU school psychologist in each area. See detail in our Visions & Outcomes document. These areas serve as the framework for curriculum development, field experience activities, and evaluation of students’ development of competencies.

The Program provides an integrated sequence of theory, research, and practice in these seven areas over a three year sequence of full-time study followed by a full-time yearlong internship. This integrated graduate-profession program culminates in the Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in School Psychology and the California Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology. Students simultaneously complete and earn: (a) the Masters of Arts (M.A.) degree in Education with Concentration in Counseling, usually at the end of their second year in the program, and (b) the California School Psychology Internship Credential at the end of their third year. The program has held NASP approval since 1989 and is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Specializations in Culture-Specific or Multicultural School Psychology
We have enjoyed federal funding for personnel preparation projects; all focused on addressing educational equity for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Each of these projects provides specialized training and funding for students. We have provided continuous (since 1986) funding and specializations in:
Supervised Field Experiences in the Schools
Consistent with our ecosystems philosophy and the research supporting success of diverse students, we emphasize collaborative and field-based learning in culturally and linguistically diverse schools. We use three types of field experiences: (a) supervised field experiences (placement with a credentialed school psychologist as a supervisor), (b) school-based courses (taught on-site by SDSU faculty), and (c) field based assignments for courses. Supervised field experiences are graded in scope and intensity across all four years. Students complete a sequence of three years of formal field experience, accumulating at least 900 hours in the schools, prior to the 1200-hour culminating internship funded by school districts. The breadth of field experiences allows for the candidate to observe and practice a full range of school psychology roles and functions prior to internship, usually across two school levels (i.e., elementary, middle, and high school). Professional development seminars accompany each of these field experiences and provide critical analysis of best practices, group supervision of cases and activities, and discussion of legal and ethical issues.

Contact Us

Phone: 619.594.7730
Fax: 619.594.7025

Program Office: North Education, Room 189 

Mailing Address:
San Diego State University, College of Education
5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA, 92182-1179

Our Graduates Live Our Vision

More than 200 graduates since 1985 have served as school psychologists in the public schools. Currently 85% are school psychologists; 10% hold administrative positions (e.g., special education program specialists, principals, state department of education consultants); and 5% are full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members in school psychology, special education, or educational leadership. Our practitioner graduates have a variety of leadership roles: 15% are designated lead psychologists in their districts, 10% have taught in our program, 14% have received or are pursuing a doctorate, 5% have held elected positions in the California Association of School Psychologists (including two presidents), and many have been officers in their county affiliates. 

News & Events

2013 Student Award Winners

Showcasing our Student Award Winners: Evelyn Ontiveros (SANDCASP and NASP Award), Boa Xiong (CASP Student Scholarship), and Kieu Tang (NASP Minority Scholarship)

SDSU Making an Impact at NASP 2013

SDSU Making an Impact at NASP 2013 in Seattle, Washington!

Boa Xiong

Boa Xiong Receives the California of Association of School Psychologists (CASP) Cultural and Linguistic Diverse Scholarship 2012!