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On this page you will find admissions criteria for the School Psychology program and information about the application process.  

Admissions Criteria

To begin the application process, applicants should visit the online application portal for Southern Connecticut State University. Admissions questions for the School Psychology program can also be directed to the School Psychology Program Coordinator, Dr. Natalie Starling.

Admission to the program is based upon the following criteria:

1. Academic background: applicants to the Master's Program must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Applicants to the Sixth Year Program must have a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0.

Although no particular undergraduate major is required, applicants to the Master's Program are required to have taken the following prerequisite courses (completion of these courses is not required to apply to the program but completion is required prior to matriculation):                

   1. Developmental Psychology or Child Development 

   2. Educational Psychology, Theories of Learning, or Cognitive Psychology 

   3. Abnormal Psychology, Abnormal Child Psychology, or  Psychopathology

   4. Statistics

   5. Exceptionality or Exceptional Children (must be a state-approved course).

        The full list of courses in Connecticut that meet the criteria for this requirement are posted on the CT State 

         Department of Education's website.

2. The School Psychology program requires that applicants to the Master's Program must submit evidence of having taken the Praxis® Core exam or provide evidence of having been waived from taking the Praxis® Core exam (see below). The Praxis® Core exam is an essential skills test which is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Waiving the Praxis® Core exam: Students who have already achieved high scores on any of the following tests may be able to waive taking the Praxis® Core exam: Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Graduate Record Exam (GRE), or American College Testing (ACT). Candidates who do not achieve a satisfactory score on Praxis® Core, SAT, ACT, or GRE will be required to participate in remediation that conforms to forthcoming guidelines. For more information about the Praxis® Core exam requirement, to view scores necessary for waiving the Praxis® Core exam, and to complete the necessary forms to apply to waive the test requirement, please consult the School of Education's Admission Requirements web page.

3. For Applicants to the Master's Program: Recommendations from at least THREE individuals who know the candidate in professional and/or academic setting.
4. For Applicants to the Master's Program: Personal essay explaining your reasons for wanting to enter the field of school psychology and the SCSU School Psychology program in particular. This typed/word processed essay should be approximately 250-500 words in length.


5. For Applicants to the Master's Program: A current professional resume or vita.

6. For Applicants to the Master's Program: Admissions interview with the School Psychology program faculty and student representatives, if invited.

Application Process

Last Updated: November 8, 2017

Steps to Admission

For applicants to the Master's Program: In order to be considered for admission to the Master's Program the following fall semester, all admissions materials must be received by January 15th.

For applicants to the Sixth Year Program: In order to be considered for admission to the Sixth Year Program, all admissions materials must be received by August 1st.

In order to apply, please follow the steps below:

1. Make a formal application to Southern Connecticut State University’s Graduate School. The application can be found and completed online. A non-refundable fee of $50 must be paid at the time of submission with a credit card.

2. Follow the directions in the application portal for all application materials. Send official transcripts* from ALL institutions where you have completed coursework. If an applicant is sending official transcripts in hard-copy format, these hard-copies should be sent to:

Southern Connecticut State University
School of Graduate Studies
Application Processing Center
PO Box 8057
Portsmouth, NH 03802

 * If you have attended SCSU, you only need to indicate this on your application; you do not need to send your official SCSU transcript. Applicants to the Sixth Year program must submit ALL prior transcripts with their application to the Sixth Year program, including ALL transcripts submitted at the time of their application to the Master's program.   

3. Upload your mandated admissions testing requirement to the same portal to which you logged in to apply.

4. For Master's Program Applicants Only: Upload your personal essay to the same portal to which you logged in to apply.

5. For Master's Program Applicants Only: Upload your professional resume or vita to the same portal to which you logged in to apply.

6. For Master's Program Applicants Only: Have THREE recommenders upload their recommendations directly into the system via a personalized link sent to them when you applied. At least one recommendation should be from someone who can speak to your academic skills.

Please direct any questions to:
Dr. Natalie Starling
School Psychology Program Coordinator 

Criminal Record Check/Fingerprinting

Applicants considering the School Psychology program must be aware that, upon program completion, they must apply for certification from the State Department of Education. Part of that process involves a background check:

"Connecticut requires that any person (teachers, administrators, special service staff members, teachers aides, custodians, cafeteria employees, etc.) who is hired by a local or regional board of education submit to a state and national criminal history record check within the first 30 days of the date of employment. The process includes the checking of fingerprints by the State Police Bureau of Identification and the F.B.I. The results of the criminal history record checks (both state and federal) are reported to the employing school district. If the district receives notice of a conviction of a crime by a person holding a certificate, authorization or permit issued by the State Board of Education, the district shall notify the Bureau of Certification and Professional Development."

Students in the program can anticipate that they must undergo a background check and be finger-printed before they begin class assignments involving field sites, practica or internship.


Special Education Course Requirement

Connecticut state regulations require the completion of a course in special education for all applicants seeking certification (i.e., students enrolled in our School Counseling and School Psychology programs). The regulations mandate this course be comprised of not fewer than 36 clock hours, which shall include study in understanding the growth and development of children with disabilities, including gifted and talented children and children who may require special education, and methods of identifying, planning for, and working effectively with children with disabilities in the schools.

Almost every university and community college in Connecticut offers a course that satisfies this requirement. Students may take this course at Southern (SED 481 or SED 482) or at another institution. The full list of courses in Connecticut that meet the criteria for this requirement are posted on the CT State Department of Education's Web site.

Applicants to the School Psychology program may still apply if they have not yet satisfied this requirement, however, all applicants must submit an official transcript with a record of having satisfied the special education course requirement prior to matriculation in the program. If the course was completed prior to the Fall of 1998 or if the course was completed out of state, an applicant may also be required to submit a copy of the course syllabus to the university. After this submission, a review will determine if the course satisfied this requirement.

Students who are granted admission to the program and have not yet fulfilled any of the course requirements will be given “Conditional Acceptance” until these requirements are met. Many students opt to take the Special Education Course Requirement course in the summer prior to beginning their school psychology program.



Q: I applied to the program but I have not received confirmation that my application is complete. What should I do?
A: Your application may be incomplete. Our program faculty are not able to confirm your application is complete. Please log into to the portal you used to apply for updates on the status of your application.

Q: I'm not sure if I should be applying to the Master's Program or the Sixth Year Program, what should I do?

A: The Sixth Year Professional Diploma follows the Master of Science in School Psychology. Students who have earned or are in the process of completing their Master's in School Psychology comprise the majority of applications to the Sixth Year Program. The majority of first-time applicants to our program apply to the Master's Program. Applicants who have already earned their Master's in School Psychology at another institution, or who have earned their Master's Degree in a related field, should contact the program coordinator for further guidance.

Q: Is your program full-time or part-time?
A: Both the Master's Program and Sixth Year Program in School Psychology are full-time. The Master's Program is completed in 1 year (including full-time summer study) and the Sixth Year Program is completed in 2 years (4 semesters, with no summer semesters).

Q: My undergraduate major wasn't psychology. Will I need to take the prerequisite psychology courses?
A: Yes. You must complete the courses noted above prior to beginning the program. Note: A completed prerequisite course is not a guarantee of admission to the program.

Q: May I register for graduate courses prior to formal admission?
A: Yes. You are allowed to take up to three courses (9 credits) as a non-matriculated graduate student. Please visit Note: Enrolling in graduate classes is not a guarantee of later admission into the program.

Q. Do I qualify for financial aid as a non-matriculated student?

A. It is recommended that students considering courses as a non-matriculated student who are also interested in financial aid consult the SCSU Financial Literacy & Advising Office.

Q: I've completed all of the prerequisite courses. What would be the appropriate first courses (up to the 9 credits allowed) to take in the program as a non-matriculated student?
A: Choose from any of these: CSP 532, 539, 540, 568, 569, 574, 578, 691. Note: Taking these courses does not guarantee acceptance into one of our programs.