Prospective School Psychology Graduate Students

Selecting a graduate program that leads to a career in school psychology is a difficult task. The NC State University offers two graduate programs that lead to licensure as a public school psychologist or as a doctoral-level licensed Health Service Provider-Psychologist. Many prospective graduate students are interested in helping public school children and adolescents achieve academic and social-emotional learning goals within public school settings. The master’s program with a certificate of advanced studies (MS/CAS) provides the training necessary to accomplish these goals. Other graduate students are interested in becoming private practice school psychologists, community mental health service providers, academics, and/or researchers. Earning a PhD is the way to position oneself for these occupations. The NC State University School Psychology Program provides important aspects in your training that should be considered: (a) a small program with close working relationships with your adviser and other students, (b) specific clinic experiences with three licensed psychologists and an associate, (c) extensive clinical training experiences, and (d) a faculty with an extensive breadth of expertise.   

  • Close Working Relationships with Faculty: With approximately 20 PhD students and about 10 master’s CAS students and 4 faculty members and 3 clinicians, graduate students receive considerable individual attention in all facets of their training. Faculty work closely with students to assure they develop the professional skills they need to work as scientist-practitioners in schools and other settings (e.g., universities, hospitals, or specialized treatment facilities for children).
  • On-campus Training Clinic: An on-campus training clinic is associated with NC State's School Psychology Program. Students' initial training takes place in the Psychoeducational Clinic where they work side-by-side with clinicians under close supervision. As students become more confident and skilled, they take on more clinical responsibilities. When students have developed basic skills in assessment, working with parents, and designing and implementing interventions, they further develop their applied skills training in school-based and/or clinic settings.
  • Range of Practicum Experiences: There are five required practica for the PhD students and four for the MS/CAS students. The practica provide guided experiences that are sequenced in skill development. The first two take place in the Psychoeducational Clinic. Later practica require students to work in schools and for PhD students with families. Both PhD and MS/CAS students engage in activities such as assessment, intervention, and consultation with teachers and parents. All students begin a full-year practicum in the schools their second-year after completing clinic cases. MS/CAS students apply for their internship the following year.
  • Additional Opportunities for Applied Experiences: In addition to the applied experiences that students receive during their required practica, PhD students have several opportunities to extend their applied experiences. For example, many students take advantage of advanced practica experiences in settings such as Wake Medical Center, Duke University Medical Center clinics, the Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication related handicapped Children (TEACCH) program, the Central Regional Psychiatric Hospital and other settings. 
  • Faculty with a Breadth of Expertis: As a group, the NC State School Psychology faculty represent a broad range of research and practice areas. Interest areas include reading interventions, community engagement and diversity, effective school practices for supporting students in multi-tiered systems of support, the effects of discipline practices on students, social dynamics of elementary and middle school students, the impact of students’ classroom social dynamics on their social, behavioral, and academic functioning, support and advocacy for children in foster care, interventions to promote positive parenting practices and strengthen the parent/child relationship, protective factors for children’s social-emotional health, and advocacy for young children who have experienced maltreatment and homelessness.
  • Research: All School Psychology faculty actively conduct research, giving students the opportunity to learn research by doing it. By being actively involved with research, students also regularly publish and present at conferences with faculty. Although each student who is admitted to doctoral study has a specific advisor, and he/she is expected to complete their thesis and dissertation with his/her advisor, all students are also welcome to work with other faculty, if they would like to broaden their research experiences.
  • Location of NC State: In addition to the benefits of living in a culturally diverse and constantly growing metropolitan area that has excellent opportunities for enjoying the arts, dining, music, outdoor recreational activities, and other types of entertainment, there are also many professional advantages of living and working in Raleigh, NC. For example, as part of the research triangle, Raleigh provides students with opportunities to connect with the many education and research-related organizations in the area. Also, because Raleigh is the capital of NC, students can take advantage of observing legislative action in the areas of education and psychology. For students interested in knowing more about Raleigh and the surrounding area, the following links may serve as a starting point:

The Independent

Raleigh Chamber of Commerce

The Research Triangle

Related to information and strengths of our School Psychology program, please also be sure to visit our page of Frequently Asked Questions and/or contact a current NC State School Psychology student about questions you may have.