School Psychology Program
College of Education and Human Development
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125-3393
Answers to Questions Frequently Asked by Applicants
What makes UMass Boston unique? A major strength of the program lies in its faculty. Almost all classes are taught by full time faculty in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology who have published on topics related to school psychology, regularly present at national conferences, have been honored with state and national awards, and are active leaders of professional organizations. The school psychology faculty have, on average, 10 years experience as practicing psychologists. UMass Boston is also unique in the diversity of its student body. Our students range in age from 23 to 50, many of our students are ethnic or racial minorities, and many of our students are bilingual. Most students have work experience in related fields. The diversity of our students and the work experience of our faculty greatly enrich classroom discussions and learning opportunities.
Admissions process. The School Psychology Program admits approximately 18 new students each fall. Admission is competitive, since far more candidates apply than can be admitted. Only a portion of applicants are invited to campus for interviews in March. An on-campus interview is strongly recommended. If a candidate cannot possibly come to campus a phone interview is possible, but we will also telephone references. We notify applicants of our decisions by April 1st and request that accepted applicants notify us of their decision whether or not to attend UMass Boston by April 15th.
GRE. We do not have an absolute cutoff for GRE scores, but we do find they provide very helpful information to supplement other information. Because the GRE quantitative measures skills in high school level math, many applicants find it helpful to take time prepare for the GRE by taking a course, buying a preperation book, or both. Information regarding test sites and dates can be found at ETS. The psychology subject test is not required.
Time commitment. Attending graduate school is a considerable commitment of time and energy. For each course, in addition to class time, students can expect to spend 6 to 10 hours per week completing readings and assignments. Students who are employed in positions with limited responsibility can manage four courses per semester. Those whose employment carries considerable responsibility should take fewer. It is important to plan ahead how you will budget your time.
Expenses. Similarly, attending graduate school is a financial commitment requiring advanced planning. Fees and tuition can be found here.
Graduate Assistantships are available but require the ability to work on campus during the day. GAs typically assist faculty with research five (or ten) hours per week in return for a stipend, tuition remission, and 25% (or 50%) reduction in the curriculum support fee.
There are four school psychology assistantships are available within the department Administrative Assistant, Katie.McMullin@umb.edu and should be submitted at the interview along with a resume. Faculty members will contact you directly to interview you during the summer.
In addition, many students work as research assistants for research centers, particularly the Center for Social Development and Education and the Institute for Community Inclusion. To apply for an assistantship at the Center, Center for Social Development and Education, review their information at and then send a cover letter and your resume to Joanne Kersh, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate at Joanne.Kersh@umb.edu. To apply for an assistantship at the Institute, review their information by clicking here and then send a cover letter and your resume to Katie.McMullin@umb.edu.
Teaching Assistantships with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction are also sometimes available for those applicants who already have a graduate degree in education.
Finally, many of our students work as Graduate Assistants for other campus groups.
Classes. Program courses meet once a week at 4 PM or 7 PM. Most classes are limited to 18 students. Practicum and internship classes have approximately six students in each section.
Full-time/Part-time status. Students autonomously determine whether they are full- or part-time. Students who carry 12 credits per semester can complete the M.Ed./Ed.S. program in six semesters and two summer sessions. The usual length of time required to complete the Ed.S. alone is two years, although this varies according to the number of graduate courses taken that are equivalent to courses required by our program (it is helpful to bring course descriptions to the interview to better assess this variable). Part-time students progress at their own pace and have six years to complete the degree.
Non-degree courses. Up to two program courses can be taken as a non-matriculated student prior to admission and transferred in. Non-degree registration is completed in the month before classes begin (that is, in August for the fall and January for the spring). The contact person is Kevin email@example.com
Meeting with faculty before the formal interview. Unfortunately we do not have the resources to meet with prospective applicants individually, outside of the interview process in March. However, every fall there is an Open House in October and a Graduate Showcase in November, and prospective applicants may meet with faculty then. Specific dates, times, and locations will be posted on UMass Boston's home page.
Course required for students with previously earned master’s degrees. With a master's degree in a related field applicants can apply for the Ed.S. only degree, and can be waived from equivalent required courses (such as introduction to counseling). The Ed.S. is a minimum of 30 credits but since all requirements must be met more are usually required. Applicants with masters degrees can review the descriptions of the required courses in the Graduate Bulletin and compare them to their own graduate courses to obtain a rough idea of which courses they would have left.
Fieldwork. Fieldwork provides students with the opportunity to apply professional skills and knowledge in an education-based setting. Prior to the internship, students should expect to devote approximately one day per week to field work required for pre-practicum and practicum assignments. Students who are already employed in schools can generally complete this work at their place of employment. Those who are not employed in schools can complete these activities at our partnership schools.
Internship. The Internship is five days per week, and a weekly seminar supplements the internship. We have a many school districts eager to have our interns. The internship is usually unpaid and students must take a leave of absence from daytime employment during that year.
Because every year we have more than 100 applicants for 18 positions it is important that the University of Massachusetts Boston School Psychology Program accept only applicants who have serious commitments to the field of school psychology and to becoming a school psychologist. The attached Employer Agreement Form is the vehicle whereby applicants who are already employed in professional positions (such as guidance counselors, adjustment counselors, behavior specialists, and school child study team leaders) demonstrate such a commitment. In addition to your signature, it requires a commitment on the part of your employer to help you arrange your work life to permit you to meet the program’s requirements. In particular, the year long internship cannot be completed while you are carrying another title. Your title must be school psychology intern.
It is not necessary to return the Employer Agreement Form if you are not currently employed in a professional position. However, if you are, it is appropriate to demonstrate your and your employer’s commitment to the field of school psychology by completing and bringing this form to your interview.
University of Massachusetts School Psychology Program
Employer Agreement Form
By their signatures, the undersigned indicate an understanding of the commitment entailed in entering the University of Massachusetts Boston School Psychology Program. Initially, this involves release to attend classes in Boston that start at 4 PM and completing attendant requirements. It also requires field work (pre-practica and practica) in schools taking approximately one day per week. At the end of the program, it requires completing a full school year internship during which your title is school psychology intern. Furthermore, the internship work must consist of:
- A total of 1200 clock hours (a full academic year) supervised by a licensed school psychologist with at least three years of experience as a school psychologist.
- At least the first 600 hours must be in schools that serve normally developing children and adolescents and lead to a diploma. They should also serve individuals with special education needs, those eligible for services under Section 504, those who are at risk, and those who are bilingual or English Language Learners.
- At least 10% of the time must be spent at each level: elementary, junior high/middle school, and high school. This minimal distribution is required because the school psychology license awarded enables an individual to work with students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
At each level, experience in the full range of school psychology activities covered by the license including the following:
- Consultation (e.g., instructional consultation, behavioral consultation, pre-referral intervention, program development liaison to outside agencies, court cases). At least 20% of the time at each level in this area.
- Intervention (e.g., individual counseling, group counseling, classroom activities, behavioral contracts, crisis intervention, violence prevention, peer mediation, parent support groups). At least 20% of the time at each level in this area.
- Assessment (e.g., parent and student interviews, cognitive assessment, achievement testing, social and emotional assessment, functional behavioral assessment, curriculum-based assessment, report writing). At least 20% of the time at each level in this area.
- Training (i.e., conducting an in-service program for teachers and other school personnel, providing behavior management training for paraprofessionals), and
- Research (i.e., assisting to write a grant or conduct a program evaluation).
The school psychology internship cannot be completed while employed in another position.
Therefore, the undersigned verify that provisions will be made for completing the school psychology internship either through reassignment as a school psychology intern or via release/leave of absence.
Supervisor Signature Printed name date
Employment site Position email
With my signature, I verify that I plan to take a leave of absence from my current position in order to complete the internship in school psychology, or that I am not currently employed.
Applicant Signature Printed name date
Employment site Position email