School Psychology Admissions
To apply to the either the M.A./Ed.S in School Psychology program or the Ph.D. in Education program, complete the steps of the UD online graduate application process. Specialist candidates first apply to the M.A. in School Psychology program. Doctoral candidates apply to the Ph.D. in Education program.
Some items specific to the School Psychology program include:
- Transcripts of all previous academic work at the undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) level. Applicants may upload unofficial copies of their transcripts and if admitted, all transcripts will be verified by the Office of Graduate and Professional Education. Applicants who previously attended the University of Delaware still need to upload an unofficial transcript, but do not need to provide official transcripts for verification. Please do not send any transcripts to the School of Education.
- GRE scores are required.
- Three (3) letters of recommendation. Recommendations must be submitted electronically. You may find more information about submitting recommendations online.
Personal statement. The M.A. in School Psychology program and the Ph.D. in Education both require specific questions for the personal statement or essay.
- M.A. in School Psychology applicants should answer the following questions:
- What qualities and experiences do you have that should help make you an excellent graduate student and school psychologist?
- What are your career objectives and how will obtaining your degree in school psychology from the University of Delaware contribute to them?
- Are there any special circumstances related to your academic record that you feel we should know about?
Ph.D. in Education applicants should respond to the following prompt: Applicants should introduce themselves and discuss educational and career goals related to the Ph.D. in Education program and how this program is a good match for their interests. Applicants should identify their area of specialization and potential research interest. While there are no requirements set by the School of Education, personal statements are generally 2-5 pages in length
- M.A. in School Psychology applicants should answer the following questions:
No writing samples or supplemental documents are required.
Resume. All graduate programs require the submission of a resume.
The deadline for all applications to the Ph.D. in Education program is December 15 for study beginning the following fall semester.
The deadline for all applications to the M.A./Ed.S. in School Psychology program is January 15 for study beginning the following fall semester.
Over the past 20 years, nearly all of our specialist students have received financial support in the form of assistantships and tuition scholarships. Decisions regarding financial support are made annually and are based on availability. During the 2017-18 academic year, specialist students with assistantships received a stipend of $19,000 and a tuition scholarship covering 60% of their tuition costs (a small number of students had an assistantship that included 100% tuition, but this is rare). Students in the PhD program typically receive a stipend and 100% tuition. Students on assistantship are under contract for 9 months and work 20 hours per week during this time, including winter session.
Unfortunately, decisions regarding funding tend to come in the late spring and summer, well after students must make decisions regarding admissions (April 15). Therefore, students should be prepared to finance their program through their own resources and loans, recognizing that an assistantship may become available (but is not guaranteed).
The program also has been very successful in securing paid internships for students in Delaware and some other states (e.g., Maryland and Virginia). Be aware that paid internships are rarely available in New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania. The internship stipend typically is around the same amount as assistantship stipends. Again, a paid internship cannot be guaranteed but nearly all students have been offered a paid assistantship over the past 20 years.
The School Psychology program seeks candidates for admission with qualities that will enable them to become outstanding school psychologists. School psychologists must have the skills to analyze educational problems at all levels of the system; design, implement, and evaluate interventions to prevent or solve these problems; and collaborate with families, educators, and community members to promote healthy educational and psychological outcomes for all children. Therefore, we seek candidates who demonstrate the following dispositions:
- Approach new experiences with initiative, enthusiasm, flexibility, dedication, and willingness to learn
- Engage in thoughtful analysis of performance, seek feedback, and incorporate suggestions into work
- Are eager to learn, recognize that learning is never completed, and are committed to lifelong professional development
- Demonstrate excellent critical thinking and writing skills
- Demonstrate responsibility, trustworthiness, reliability, cooperation and respect of others
- Enjoy working with children, parents, and educators
- View all children, families, and educators as having strengths and a capacity to learn and change
- Embrace diversity as a source of enrichment rather than deficit; treat others with respect and a desire to understand their points of view
- Are committed to ethical practices and to serving as agents of renewal and change within schools and communities
- Value working collaboratively with students, families, educators, and the wider community in the pursuit of common goals
- Understand that practice must be based in sound scholarship, viewing themselves as both producers and consumers of scholarly knowledge
- Are committed to the profession of school psychology and seek to make contributions to the field.
Admissions Assessment Process
Several basic considerations guide the admissions process:
- Evidence of the dispositions cited above in the applicant’s written statements, letters of recommendation, and interview.
- A minimum grade point average of at least 3.0 in all undergraduate and graduate course work. (Note, however, that during the past 5 years, all admitted students had a GPA above 3.2 and the average was 3.5.)
- A grade point average of at least 3.0 in all graduate work completed.
- Submission of GRE verbal and quantitative scores. (Note that the scores of students admitted into the program during the past few years have averaged about 1200.)
- Submission of three letters of recommendation.
- Submission of TOEFL scores for foreign student
M.A./Ed.S. students’ applications are reviewed by at least two faculty members and approximately 15 of the most promising candidates are selected for personal interviews. Candidates’ grades, test scores, letters of recommendation, and personal statements are reviewed for evidence of the qualities and dispositions listed above.
Please note that interview dates have been recently updated: Selected applicants will attend one of the interview days conducted on February 5 and 9, 2018. The interview process consists of three components. First, students participate in a small group orientation (usually about 5-8 students are included in a group). During this process, candidates introduce themselves to each other, listen to a presentation about the program from faculty, and ask questions about the program. Second, candidates participate in a series of 15-20 minute interviews with at least two individual faculty members. Third, candidates have the opportunity to talk with current students in the program (while taken on campus tour, during lunch, and during other scheduled times).
Following the interviews, each applicant is rated by 2-3 faculty members and evaluative comments from current students are solicited. Candidates are then 1) offered admission, 2) placed on the waiting list, or 3) not accepted. Each year’s entering class consists of 8 – 10 students
Preparing for the Interview
To prepare for the interview, candidates should consider taking the following steps:
- Learn as much as possible about the field of school psychology and the role and function of school psychologists. Visit web sites for school psychologists, particularly the web site for the National Association of School Psychologists: http://www.nasponline.org. If possible, talk with practicing school psychologists about their work.
- Candidates should be prepared to describe why they wish to become school psychologists.
Consider personal and professional strengths and areas of needed improvement. Candidates should be prepared to describe these.
Direct Admission to Specialist-level
In general, it is not possible to take school psychology courses at UD before becoming admitted. The courses are generally restricted to students already admitted into the program.
The School of Education will accept as many as 9 graduate transfer credits from another institution towards the master’s degree. Applicants should inquire about possible transfer credits early in the admissions process because certain courses may not be taken elsewhere. Transferred credits must be approved by the program coordinator and two other members of the program faculty. Students will be required to submit college transcripts and course syllabi in order for credits to be approved. Such syllabi should indicate that the course covered the same material and requirements as the UD course from which the student is exempted and that the student maintained the same grade standards as required in the UD Masters program (i.e., a grade of B in all courses and a cumulative GPA of 3.5).
Students with a Masters degree in school psychology from another university or with a Masters degree in a related area (e.g., special education, school counseling) may apply for admission to the Specialist Certification portion of the program. To qualify for direct admission (bypassing the Masters in School Psychology portion) the applicant must have 15 or more graduate credits corresponding to required courses in the School Psychology curriculum and meet all other admissions requirements for the Masters. Students admitted directly to the Specialist Certificate level must complete all other M.A. requirements not completed as part of the previous master’s degree and pass the M.A. comprehensive examination within one year of admission. Admitted students also are required to fulfill the program requirement of completing at least one year of studies (exclusive of internship) as a full-time resident.