About the Program
Where can I find more information about the School Psychology
Find out more information about the School Psychology Psy.D.
Is the School Psychology Psy.D. program
APA accredited and/or NASP approved?
The School Psychology Psy.D. Program is APA-accredited, until
December 2016, by the American Psychological Association (APA), the
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and is
approved by the ASPPB/National Register.
With a degree from St. John’s University in School Psychology, can
I be licensed as a school psychologist or as a
In most states, the state’s department of education regulates the
practice of psychology in the schools, whereas a different state
agency regulates the practice of psychologists' practice in
In New York State, one must be certified by the New York Department
of Education to be employed as a school psychologist by a public
school district. Many states have reciprocity agreements.
To practice psychology outside of the public school setting, one
must be licensed by the NY Psychology Board. New York requires
additional standards regarding training in the provision of health
services. Psychologists who meet all these standards at the
doctoral level are designated as Licensed Psychologists.
All students need to be knowledgeable of and prepare for
practice requirements in states where they want to practice.
Are students certified as school
psychologists following completion of the program?
Yes. All graduates of the Psy.D. program can be provisionally
certified as school psychologists in the state of New York.
Permanent certification as a school psychologist can be obtained
after two years of full-time employment as a school
Are Psy.D. students eligible to become
licensed psychologists following completion of the
All graduates of the Psy.D. program are licensed-eligible as
psychologists. Becoming licensed after completing the Psy.D.
involves a year of post-doctoral supervised practice as well as a
passing score on the state licensing exam.
What if I complete the Psy.D. program
but want to live and work in another state?
Several of our previous graduates have successfully completed the
Psy.D. program and later moved to another state with little or no
problems. In addition to becoming certified as a school
psychologist in New York, graduates of our programs can also become
nationally certified by the National Association of School
Psychologists (NASP). This does NOT mean students are nationally
certified in any state; rather, it means they have met a national
standard of quality. However, about 50% of U.S. states currently
accept national certification for state certification. As such,
students graduating from the Psy.D. program who desire to live and
work in states other than New York have not had significant
problems doing so.
Where do graduates of the Psy.D. program find
Most of our graduates are employed as school psychologists in
public or private schools. Others work in private practice, as
college or university faculty, or in clinic/agency settings. Most
of our graduates combine one or more of these options (e.g., work
full-time as a school psychologist and part-time in private
practice or as a college or university adjunct).
What is the procedure if I attended a
previous graduate program and already have graduate
A student may transfer a maximum of twelve (12) credits from
another accredited university with the approval of the Program
Director and Dean. Requested transfer credits must not have
fulfilled requirements for another degree. Catalog descriptions and
an official transcript copy must be presented to the Program
Director for the graduate courses for which transfer credit is
requested. The Program Director will forward all information to the
Dean's office for final approval. If the grade obtained was below a
"B,” no transfer credit will be allowed. No credit will be given
for pass/fail courses. To request transfer credit, students must
have already completed a minimum of twelve credits in the graduate
program at St. John's. The entire review process takes one to two
months. Transfer of credit must occur before the semester in which
the student will be applying for the comprehensive examination
(first semester of third year).
What is the length of the Psy.D. program
if I am already certified as a school psychologist?
The exact length varies, but generally students who enter the
Psy.D. program, who are already certified, can complete their
coursework, internship, and dissertation in 3-4 years. These
students are considered “advanced standing”.
Can students finish the Psy.D Program in
less than five years? What if they have transfer
Students cannot finish the program in less than 5 years. Students
can lighten their course loads with transfer credits and by going
to summer school. However, with practicum (2nd and 4th years),
externship (3rd and 4th years) and internship (5th year)
requirements, it takes a minimum of 5 years. Each of these
lasts for either an academic school year or 12 months, and must be
completed before the next learning experience can be started.
Individuals without a psychology background will want to examine in
detail the psychology websites, especially the American
Psychological Association (APA) and the National Association for
School Psychologists (NASP). The more information you have about
psychology in general and school psychology in particular, the more
informed decision you can make about applying to graduate school
and the stronger your application will be.
Would I receive my M.S. along the way in the Psy.D.
Yes, Psy.D. students receive their M.S. after completing their
Do your students come straight from
undergraduate or do they typically get experience working or
researching before applying?
Our program has a mix of both. Many of our students do apply
straight from undergrad, but we also have several students in each
year that have one to more years of work experience
Are classes taught in the summer?
The core program courses are taught during the fall and spring
semesters, with the exception of the School Psychology Intervention
Practicum, which Psy.D. students are required to take during the
summer between their third and fourth years. Students may find some
foundation or elective courses, which they may wish to take during
How often are classes taught?
Unlike most undergraduate colleges and universities, graduate
classes are typically held once per week for approximately two to
How many classes do students take each
Students typically take four classes during the fall and spring
semesters of their first, third, and fourth year, and five courses
during the fall and spring semester of their second year. Psy.D.
students also take one course during the summer between their third
and fourth years.
What are the professors like?
The majority of the professors are extremely easy to talk to. There
is a large focus on collaboration among individuals, regardless of
whether the person is a student or professor. Most professors make
every effort to be approachable and leave phone numbers and e-mail
Where can I find a description of the
View the course sequences for the
Psy.D. General Track,
Psy.D. Bilingual Track and
Psy.D. Advanced Standing.
For a more detailed descriptions of the courses, please see our
Is the Psy.D. program research
Psy.D. students are required to complete 50 hours of research in
their first year. This can be anything from their own research
project, to helping fellow graduate students with their
dissertations, to working with a professor who shares a similar
research interest. Psy.D. students are also required to complete a
dissertation (for more information please see our student
handbooks). Some students decide to only complete these two
research requirements, but many of our students engage in further
research on their own, with fellow students, and in collaboration
with faculty. Our faculty are involved in
research and all of our students are encouraged to participate
in research projects, attend conventions, and present at
conventions. St. John’s School Psychology Programs are known for
having a large presence at the national conventions (APA, NASP and
ABCT) every year, in terms of number of students attending and
number of students presenting. Read and learn about the types of
research students and faculty are presenting at
What clinical experience, if any, does the
Psy.D. program provide?
The School Psychology Psy.D. Program does have a strong clinical
component. During the program, students have the opportunity to
take more clinical classes such as Behavior Therapy,
Psychopathology Across the Lifespan I and II, School Psychology
Seminar III: Supervision and Advanced Clinical Interventions to
meet the Mental Health Needs of Students Cognitive Psychotherapies,
Group Therapy, Marital and Family Therapy, Addictive Behavior,
Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy I
and II, and Psychopharmacology. In addition, during the 4th year in
the Psy.D. program, students receive a more clinical experience in
their externship through field placements in psychiatric hospitals,
clinics, and more. For a full list of such placements please click
here. Also in their 4th year, Psy.D. students take practicum
where they provide on-going psychological services to children and
adults at the St. John’s University Center for Psychological
Services. Fourth year practicum is an entire year, and students
will engage in psychological counseling, therapy, and consultation.
Lastly, many of our faculty have a strong clinical background and
collaborations with institutions and organizations that focus
primarily on clinical aspects of school psychology.
What is an Internship?
The fifth-year field placement for Psy.D. students is a full-time
internship that is the capstone experience of the program. For the
Psy.D. students this is necessary for licensing in the state of New
York. Students are required to complete at least 1500 hours (max 45
per week). Psy.D. students are required to complete a minimum of
the NASP requirement of 600 hours (of the 1500 hours for
internship) of supervised internship or equivalent experience in a
school setting where they experience the full range of school
psychological services. The student is expected to work throughout
the entire academic school year of the district. Students must have
their placement approved by the Program Director or the Coordinator
of Field Placements. In addition, the field placement coordinator
will advise and help students obtain internships. To see a list of
students’ internship placements please click
What is an Externship?
Externship is the 3rd and 4th year field placements for Psy.D.
students, and is a part-time internship, three full days per week,
per semester, with a minimum of 750 hours. Some placements may
require individuals to sign a 12-month contract. Students must have
their placement approved by the Program Director or the Coordinator
of Field Placements.
For 3rd year, students are required to extern in a regular
education setting. Externship sites may be in urban or suburban
educational facilities or agencies encompassing either elementary
(Kindergarten through 5th Grade), middle (6th through 8th Grade),
or high (9th through 12th Grade) school levels. The student is
expected to work throughout the entire academic school year of the
For 4th year, students typically have a more clinical experience in
a school or agency. This can include a BOCES special education
program, an agency providing day treatment or residential treatment
serving children or adolescents, an inpatient hospital, a mental
health clinic, or a school for children with physical
To see a list of students’ externship placements please click
Summary of Externship and Internships for the Psy.D. Program
Parallel||Minimum Clock Hours
|PsyD III||3 Full Days (one school year)||752, 753||750a||2 hours|| |
|PsyD IV||3 Full Days (2 semesters)||754, 755||750a||2 hours||Successful Completion of Comprehensive
|PsyD V||5 Full Days (may begin in July or Sept.)||905, 906||1500||2 hours||Course Work Completed Proposal Defended|
Who helps students with externship and
We have a field based coordinator, Dr. McDonough, that solely works
closely with students to assist in finding, applying to, and
monitoring placements. Dr. Bobrow ensures that all placements and
supervisors meet our program requirements, along with certification
and licensure requirements. She also assists students as problems
arise in externship/internship placements.