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What Education is Necessary to Become a School Psychologist?

A school psychologist will engage with students and assist teachers and administrators so that everyone can learn in a safe and healthy environment. While a majority of school psychologists, estimated as 81 percent, work in the public school setting, professionals in the field can also work at private schools , hospitals, universities, and community agencies. If you have always dreamed of being a psychologist and you also want to work in the field of education, you may be wondering what type of formal education is required to get licensed in a particular state. Here is your guide to understanding what the best path to take is if you want to get into school psychology.

See Also: 10 Most Affordable Online School Psychology Degree Programs

What Type of Degree is Required to Become a Specialist

In fields where you must be a specialist, you are generally required by the state to complete a specific number of college credits. If you are reading this, chances are that your career goals are to become a school psychologist and you are simply just looking for the best educational path to ensure that you can become a professional in the field. One thing that you will find is that the path that you must take to earn your degree is not as clear cut as you would like to think. There are so many different routes that you can take that it is best to learn about the individual state requirements and the options before you commit. While not all states require specialist-level degree holders, it is typical for a state to require you to complete 60 credit graduate semester specialist-level program in the field and the completion of an internship.

What Types of Specialist-level Graduate Programs Can You Choose From?

Deciding upon a degree and program can be difficult when you start to see how many options there are in school psychology. The first choice will be whether you want to enroll in a doctoral program when you will complete a dissertation or a specialist-level program to prepare you to be a practitioner or an administrator. If you choose not to earn a doctoral degree, there is a chance that you cannot earn your license to practice privately. A specialist degree will, however, qualify school psychologists to work in environments that are not defined by the state as a private practice. You must consider the state laws and requirements first and your career goals in the field second. Here are some of the many formal education degrees you can choose from: * MEd: Master of Education * MS: Master of Science * EdS: Education Specialist * PsyS: Specialist in Psychology * PsyD: Doctor of Psychology * EdD: Doctor of Education * PhD: Doctor of Philosophy * SSP: Specialist in School Psychology * NCSP: Nationally Certified School Psychologist You must decide if earning a specialist degree or a doctoral degree is going to be best for you based on your own career goals. If your goal is to get into an entry-level school psychologist position as quick as possible, earning a specialist degree could be the best path. If you want to eventually practice privately, you should pursue a doctorate. Think about state requirements, about accreditation, and about the quality of the program, and you can decide what is best for you based on the important facts that really matter.

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