FAQs: School Psychology Program

Answers to Questions Frequently Asked by Applicants

What makes UMass Boston unique? Major strengths of the program lie in its faculty. The full time faculty in School Psychology 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. Adjunct faculty likewise have impressive credentials and experience. 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 some 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.

What is the admissions process like? The School Psychology Program admits approximately 18 new students each fall. Admission is competitive, since far more candidates apply than can be admitted. Only complete applications received by the January 2 deadline undergo the paper review. That review determines which applicants are invited to campus for interviews in March. An on-campus interview is strongly recommended. However, candidates who cannot possibly come to campus can arrange for telephone interviews. The Admissions Committee notifies applicants of decisions by April 1st.  The Committee requests that accepted applicants notify us by April 15th of their decision whether to attend UMass Boston.

How important are GRE scores? The Admissions Committee does not have an absolute cutoff for GRE scores, but the scores provide very helpful information to supplement other documentation. Because the GRE Quantitative Reasoning test measures skills in high school level math, many applicants find it helpful to prepare for it by taking a course, buying a preparation book, or both. Information regarding test sites and dates can be found at ETS. The psychology subject test is not required.

Can I keep my current job while attending graduate school? Because courses in the program are taught at 4:00 and 7:00pm, many students are able to work while doing their graduate studies. Yet attending graduate school is a considerable commitment of time and energy. For each course, students can expect to spend 6 to 10 hours per week outside of class completing readings and assignments. During the first year of full-time study, students who are employed in positions with limited responsibility can manage four courses per semester. Those whose employment carries considerable responsibility should take fewer. During the second year, the practica (SPY G 685 and 686 as well as the optional 687) require at least one day per week in a school. Those who are employed full time may need to use accumulated vacations and sick leave to satisfy that requirement. It is important to make a plan for budgeting your time.

How much do graduate studies cost at UMass Boston? Attending graduate school is a financial commitment requiring careful planning. Fees and tuition can be found here.

Are there Graduate Assistantships? Unfortunately the Department of Counseling and School Psychology no longer offers Graduate Assistantships (GAs). Please feel free to apply for GA positions within other departments at UMass Boston. 

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 departments.  They have their own application forms and procedures. 

How large are the 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 6 students in each section.

How long does it take to complete the program? Nine credits a semester is the minimum course load considered to be full-time. Students who carry 12 credits per semester can complete the entire program (i.e., both the MEd and EdS levels) in six semesters and two summer sessions. For those admitted with a master’s degree in a related field, the usual length of time required to complete the EdS alone is two years, although this varies according to the number of graduate courses taken previously that are equivalent to courses required by our program. Part-time students progress at their own pace and have six years to complete the degree.

Can I transfer courses into the program? Please visit our transfer credit page for more information.