The University of Maryland School Psychology Program is a research-intensive, Ph.D. program in professional psychology that embodies the scientist-practitioner orientation. Faculty and students represent a breadth of theoretical orientations, research and professional interests. Program graduates pursue academic/research and practice-oriented careers. Graduates of the Program are eligible for licensure as professional psychologists in Maryland and other states. Graduates also are eligible for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential, awarded by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Because the training program is approved fully by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), graduates are automatically eligible for MSDE certification as a School Psychologist.
We accept both those with or without previously earned master’s degrees. All Program students without a previously earned master’s degree must earn an M.A. with thesis prior to advancement to doctoral candidacy. The Program essentially subsumes a typical “specialist” (M.A. plus Advanced Graduate Specialist Certificate) program that corresponds to NASP standards for training of specialist-level school psychologists, such that doctoral students typically earn the MA/AGS (or AGS only in the case of doctoral students with previously earned master’s degrees) within their doctoral programs.
The School Psychology Program is embedded within the Counseling Psychology, School Psychology, and Counselor Education (COPE) Program Area within the Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE) Department.
Graduates of the University of Maryland Ph.D. School Psychology Program are prepared to pursue a variety of career paths including academic, research or practitioner careers.
Why Choose School Psychology at Maryland?
Our Program stresses the application of psychological knowledge from a variety of theoretical orientations to address educational and mental health issues of students and schools. Program and Departmental faculty are diverse in terms of research interests and theoretical perspectives. Faculty members model a scientist-practitioner approach in the application of psychological knowledge to address school-related prevention, academic, developmental, and mental health issues. Students are encouraged to think simultaneously as researchers and practitioners. Admissions offers are made to applicants judged to have the potential to develop competencies in both research and professional practice.
The Emphasis of our Program
The Program's curriculum includes several especially strong components that mark the Program's graduates. In particular, we provide intensive experiences in both the research and practice components of the discipline. We combine an emphasis on psychological research and the use of research to inform practice with intensive clinical training. Our program includes: an assessment model that integrates both cognitive and personality dimensions; an emphasis on the theory and practice of consultation at multiple levels; and commitment to personal and individual diversity through specific coursework, infusion in the curriculum, and field experiences with culturally diverse populations.
The University of Maryland Ph.D. School Psychology Program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA; next site visit scheduled for 2028), and approved/nationally recognized by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP; next review scheduled for 2023). The training program is housed within the College of Education, which is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). All of the College of Education’s school professional preparation programs are approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).
Accreditation organization contact information is as follows:
American Psychological Association
Office of Prog. Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Web-based listing of APA-accredited programs:
National Association of School Psychologists
4340 East West Highway, Suite 402
Bethesda, MD 20814
Program Approval Board
Web-based listing of NASP-approved programs:
School Psychology Student Organizations
Student Affiliates of School Psychologists (SASP)
Our doctoral students have the opportunity to join SASP, a student-run organization that fosters growth and professionalism among the students in the School Psychology program at the University of Maryland. SASP facilitates an awareness and understanding in the school psychology profession by providing support and developmental opportunities. By providing students with the opportunity to be involved in social activities and conducting research with faculty, SASP refines and strengthens the program's overall mission for maintaining and training quality school psychologists.
More Information on SASP
Program Goals and Objectives
The following goals and objectives operationalize the program’s mission of integrating foundational scientific knowledge, clinical practice, and research experiences.
Goal: Students will develop foundational knowledge and become well-versed in profession-wide competencies via the required course sequence.
- Obejective 1a: Students will be well-versed in foundational scientific knowledge including: (a) history and systems of psychology; (b) affective, biological, cognitive, and social aspects of behavior; (c) research methods, statistical analysis, and psychometrics.
- Objective 1b: Students will gain knowledge regarding professional competencies including (a) research, (b) ethical/legal standards; (c) individual and cultural diversity; (d) professional values and attitudes; (e) communication/interpersonal skills; (f) assessment; (g) intervention; (h) supervision; and (i) consultation.
Goal: Students will demonstrate entry-level competence, provide evidence-based school psychological services, and develop identities as professional psychologists.
Sub-goal 1: Students will demonstrate entry-level competence as specified by the American Psychological Association with respect to “discipline-specific knowledge, profession-wide competencies and learning/curriculum elements required by the profession.”
- Objective 1a: Students: (1) will demonstrate knowledge of theory and research pertinent to mental health service delivery in regard to: (a) psychodiagnostic, psychoeducational, and educational assessment, (b) interventions to address academic and social behavior issues, and (c) individual and group counseling of school-age students; and (2) will demonstrate the ability to apply their knowledge in the foregoing areas to the solution of identified client problems.
- Objective 1b: Students: (1) will demonstrate knowledge of theory and research in regard to: (a) case- and consultee-centered consultation, (b) team-based support systems, and (c) systems-level consultation; and (2) will demonstrate the ability to apply their knowledge in the foregoing areas to the solution of identified client or systems-level problems.
Sub-goal 2: Students will be able to provide evidence-based school psychological services in the context of a multicultural, pluralistic society such that inter-individual differences and differences in culture, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation are understood and respected.
- Objective 2a: Students will demonstrate knowledge of inter-individual differences (e.g., temperament, learning abilities, personality attributes, disability status) and knowledge of the influences of social, cultural, ethnic, experiential, socioeconomic, gender-related, and linguistic factors on students’ development and learning.
- Objective 2b: Students will apply knowledge of such differences in their assessment, consultation, counseling and other professional work in order to ensure effective, equitable, and respectful school psychological services to all of their clients and other service recipients.
Sub-goal 3: Students will develop identities as professional psychologists specializing in school psychology, and practice in accord with professional practice standards and a scientific knowledge base.
- Objective 3a: Students demonstrate knowledge of the historical development of psychology and of school psychology in the context of current developments in the discipline.
- Objective 3b: Students will demonstrate professional identities as psychologists through their membership and participation in professional and scientific organizations, and through their expressed research and professional goals.
- Objective 3c: Students will demonstrate knowledge of, and adherence to, ethical and legal guidelines in all aspects of their professional work.
Goal: Students will understand, generate, and disseminate research in order to contribute to the scientific knowledge base.
- Objective 1a: Students will have an ongoing involvement in all stages of the research process with increasing independence over time.
- Objective 1b: Students will engage in conducting original research and disseminating psychological science via completion of the master’s thesis, doctoral dissertation, and comprehensive requirements.
Our AGS and PhD graduates meet MSDE requirements for certification as a school psychologist. Our graduates are also eligible for the NCSP, Nationally Certified School Psychologist, through NASP.
Per new US Department of Education regulations regarding state licensure disclosure, a determination has not been made as to whether this program meets the requirements for professional certification in any particular state or territory other than Maryland. We are in the process of reviewing state certification requirements and will update this page when more information is available.
For more information visit the graduate admission requirements webpage. Select an area of interest from the various offerings in the College of Education to determine the admission requirements and deadlines. If you are unsure of your area of interest you may request information by submitting an Inquiry Form.
Information about applying to the School Psychology program can be found here.
Also, please refer to the University of Maryland Guide to Applying for guidance on the steps to follow and how to apply for graduate admission. If you have questions or concerns about the administrative process, we ask you to first review their list of Frequently Asked Questions. For questions about the application process, or to check on the completion of your application please contact:
After you apply for graduate admission you may check your application status by logging into the online graduate application using your user name and password. Graduate faculty in the Academic Department you applied to will review your completed application for graduate admission.
Please refer to the Guide to Applying for instructions on how to apply for graduate admission. If you have questions or concerns, we ask you to first review our list of Frequently Asked Questions. International applicants should visit the International admissions webpage for additional information. For questions about the application process, or to check on the completion of your application please contact:
Judy Foster, Coordinator of Graduate Admissions
Office of Student Services, College of Education
After you apply for graduate admission you may check your application status by logging into the online graduate application using your user name and password. Graduate faculty in the Academic Department you applied to will review your completed application for graduate admission. Questions regarding application reviews and decision recommendations should be directed to Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE). Please contact:
Carol Scott, Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education
Academic advisement for graduate students is provided by the graduate faculty in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE). For advising information, please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, Carol Scott at (301) 405-8384 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a list of the College of Education Scholarship opportunities visit: /admissions/ financial-aid-scholarships.
For information about additional funding opportunities, including the Graduate School Fellowship and Graduate Assistantship availability visit: https://gradschool.umd.edu/funding/fellowship-information.
For information about other student financial aid, review the Office of the Student Financial Aid website.
The curriculum requirements are designed to ensure adequate preparation in reference to the Program's goals. A total of 74 coursework credits are required, with an additional 21-27 credits being required for research and fieldwork/internship. The Program typically requires four years of full-time, resident graduate study in coursework and fieldwork prior to the pre-doctoral internship. Students are required to have an approved dissertation proposal prior to beginning internship. The Program Handbook includes a detailed listing of course requirements. Those entering the program with advanced degrees may have some requirements waived based on previous graduate work, as described in the Program Handbook
The School Psychology Program provides a sequence of experiential coursework and field placements starting in the first year with pre-practicum laboratory experiences, practicum, fieldwork, and the pre-doctoral internship. Lab experiences and practicum courses have on- and off-campus components. Post-practicum fieldwork typically occurs during the fourth year and internship during the fifth year. Practicum experiences are closely supervised and directed by program faculty. Post-practicum fieldwork and the pre-doctoral internship allow for a greater degree of independent functioning by the student under field-based supervision, with oversight by the program faculty.
Typically completed during a student’s fourth year, fieldwork experiences call for an assignment of 10 hours per week gaining experience in school psychology science and practice in an education-related setting, with field-based supervision and support by a faculty member. Students may choose a variety of activities, based on their interests. For example, a student may work in assessment or consultation in a school or school system; conduct program evaluations for school, school system, or educational agency programs; engage in consultation or research for a school system; or engage in an administrative or advocacy role in a school psychology-related organization.
A paid, pre-doctoral internship equivalent in length to full-time work for either one K-12 school year or one calendar year, totaling at least 1750 hours, is required after the completion of all coursework. The internship must be completed in no longer than a 24 month period. Internships must either be APA-accredited or conform to the CDSPP Internship Guidelines. Pre-doctoral internships are either: (a) a full-year, school-based internship, or (b) a full-year internship in a consortium arrangement in which at least half is in a school setting. Alternative internship placements are available for students who either: (a) have previously completed a 1200-hour specialist-level school psychology internship, or (b) whose combination of previous internship and work experience as a school psychologist are judged to be equivalent to the required specialist-level internship. Specific requirements for the internship, and policies and procedures pertaining thereto, are detailed in the Program Handbook
Research involvement is an integral part of the School Psychology Program. Accordingly, students become involved in research activities during their first semester, and continue their involvement continuously prior to their internship year. Students are required to make at least one presentation at a national conference and to submit at least one manuscript for publication prior to earning their Ph.D.
The master's thesis is the culminating requirement for the master’s degree. All students must complete a formal master's thesis in order to earn the M.A.
Doctoral students entering with a master's degree who have not completed an acceptable research project must demonstrate research competency in lieu of doing a master's thesis. This research competency project must be completed and approved by the Program prior to advancement to doctoral candidacy. The Program Handbook includes criteria for evaluating students’ previous research work.
The doctoral dissertation is a major research project designed to both demonstrate the student's research competence and to make a substantive contribution to the research literature. An approved dissertation proposal is due prior to beginning the pre-doctoral internship.
Waiver of Program Requirements for Students with Previous Graduate Work
The school psychology program welcomes applicants who have done previous graduate work. Inevitably, individuals with previous graduate work are interested in how such work will affect the requirements of their program. The program's policy on waivers of curriculum requirements is guided by two considerations: (a) that students not be required to engage in needless repetitious coursework when they have satisfactorily acquired the knowledge and skills embodied in a particular requirement, and (b) notwithstanding the first consideration, that graduates of any program in psychology are regarded and evaluated by the professional community on the basis of completion of their most advanced degree. Therefore, it is the Program's responsibility to ensure adequate development of the knowledge and skills that are required of all professional school psychologists.
Coursework: A specific course may be waived by the Program Faculty under the following conditions:
- the previous course for which the student desires credit was a course taught at the graduate level and restricted to graduate students only at a regionally accredited college or university;
- the student earned a grade of A or B in the course;
- review by an instructor of the course to be waived for comparability of content, where applicable; and
- approval by the student's advisor.
Internship: In accordance with accreditation and licensure standards, all students must complete a full-year (or equivalent) pre-doctoral internship regardless of previous professional experience or training. However, the nature (e.g., emphasis of activities, type of setting) of the internship may be modified based on the student's professional background and experience.
Research: A student who has completed a previous master's thesis that involved the collection and analysis of empirical data has satisfied the pre-dissertation research competency requirement. Students who have completed other research projects (including non-empirical master's theses), published or unpublished, will be waived from the research competency requirement if the student's involvement in the research project was equivalent to all of the aspects of the research competency requirement.
Waiver vs. Transfer: Coursework, fieldwork, or research requirements for which a student obtains a waiver do not appear on the student's University of Maryland transcript. Although credits do not appear on the student's transcript, waivers of courses reduce the total number of credits required at Maryland; it is not necessary for students to make up these credits with substitute courses.
Note to Those with Completed Specialist Training in School Psychology: Although individual circumstances vary, students who have previously completed specialist-level preparation as a school psychologist may expect programs that require four years of full-time study at Maryland (including internship); in unusual cases the program for such students can be completed in three years total. The internship year does not, necessarily, require the student to remain in the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area.
Dr. Colleen R. O'Neal, Program Director (email@example.com)
Stephanie Celeste Cerrato, Graduate Assistant (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Carol Scott, Coordinator (email@example.com)
The School Psychology Program faculty is composed of four core full-time members responsible for administering the Program (Drs. Jacobson, O’Neal, Teglasi, and Wang) but other faculty members from the CHSE Department and other Department in the College and University teach courses and serve on thesis and dissertation committees for our students. The core faculty members typically supervise our students’ research and practicum experiences as well as teach. Dr. Jacobson serves as training director. Brief biographies of core faculty are provided below.
Jill B. Jacobson, Ph.D., Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, currently serves as Program Director and Internship Director. Dr. Jacobson is a graduate of the University of Maryland school psychology doctoral program. She earned her B.A. in psychology with highest distinction from the University of Virginia. Previously, Dr. Jacobson has worked as a full-time school psychologist in Fairfax County, Virginia, a school psychology doctoral intern in the Howard County, Maryland, and research analyst conducting educational and social sciences research at ICF International. Dr. Jacobson is a licensed psychologist and Nationally Certified School Psychologist. She is a member of the Maryland Issue Date: Fall 2019 11 Psychological Association (MPA), American Psychological Association (APA), and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). In her current role, she regularly teaches assessment courses, behavioral interventions, and professional development seminars for advanced students and interns. Dr. Jacobson provides individual and group supervision to students at all stages of training. She has helped introduce new technological tools, such as online behavioral rating systems and Q-Interactive for assessment administration, to students and faculty. She partners with local school systems and practitioners to provide applied training opportunities for students and has also provided consultation training to local school psychologists. Dr. Jacobson’s research and professional interests include effective supervision practices, school consultation, and improving school psychology training. Dr. Jacobson has also taught School Consultation for school counseling students and provided supervision for the pre-practicum counseling students.
Colleen O’Neal, Ph.D., Associate Professor, is a graduate of Long Island University’s APA-accredited clinical psychology Ph.D. program. She earned a B.A. in psychology at Cornell University and a masters in child development at Auburn University. She completed an NIH postdoctorate in mental health statistics at NYU and continued at the NYU School of Medicine Child Study Center as an assistant professor conducting school-based intervention research. She recently received a Fulbright Alumni Award, as a team co-leader, to study the prevention of Burmese refugee minority child mental health and promotion of academic competence in Malaysia. She currently serves on the Fulbright refugee higher education and peer review committees for Southeast Asia. She is also the co-coordinator of the emotions preconference at the Society for Research in Child Development. The overarching goal of her research is mental health service equity for minority children. In addition to international mental health prevention among refugee children, her research focuses on the longitudinal study of emotional development, stress, and the prevention of anxiety and depression among low-income, minority children in the U.S.
Hedy Teglasi, Ph.D., Professor, is a graduate of Hofstra University's APA-accredited psychology program, and is Board Certified in School Psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) and a Fellow of the APA (Div. 16), Society for Personality Assessment, and the American Academy of School Psychology. She has held elected office in the American Academy of School Psychology and served as Chair of the American Board of Professional School Psychology. She completed her internship in a public school system, a university-based psychological evaluation and research center, and a family clinic serving the judicial system. She has served as associate editor of the School Psychology Quarterly and as member of several editorial boards, including Psychological Assessment. Dr. Teglasi's research has focused on the impact of temperament and social-information processing schemas on social and emotional adjustment as these relate to assessment and interventions. Her publications include chapters and articles on assessment (including parent conferences and report-writing), temperament, social information processing, and programs for interventions (including bullying, and enhancing social-emotional competence). She is the author of two recent reference texts on the use of storytelling techniques in personality assessment.
Cixin Wang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, received her Ph.D. in School Psychology from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011. She then completed a two-year postdoctoral training at Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University in 2013. Her research interests focus on bullying prevention and mental health promotion among children and adolescents. Her research seeks to: (1) better understand different factors contributing to bullying/ victimization and mental health difficulties, including individual, family, school, and cultural factors; (2) develop effective prevention and intervention techniques to decrease bullying at school; and (3) develop school-wide prevention models to promote mental health among students, especially among culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students.
Emeritus faculty includes those who have been long-standing core members of the school psychology faculty, but who are now retired. Emeritus faculty may continue to advise students who began their work with them, continue an active program of research and scholarship, and serve on thesis and dissertation committees. These valued faculty members do not accept new advisees.
William Strein, D. Ed., Associate Professor Emeritus, graduated from the APA-accredited school psychology program at the Pennsylvania State University. He is a Fellow of APA (Division 16 – School Psychology). Prior to joining the program in 1981, he worked for several years as a school psychologist in public schools in Pennsylvania and Virginia, and served as a visiting faculty member in the school psychology program at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is actively involved in professional organizations both nationally and in Maryland. His research focuses on children's social-emotional learning, particularly children’s self-perceptions of competence. His publications also have addressed work on professional issues in school psychology, including prevention and the application of population-based models to school psychology.
Gary Gottfredson, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, earned his PhD in psychology from the Johns Hopkins University. He was principal research scientist and directed the School Improvement Program and the Program in Delinquency and School Environments at the Johns Hopkins Center for Social Organization of Schools. He is a fellow of APA Divisions 5 and 17 (Evaluation, Measurement and Statistics; Counseling Psychology), the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Experimental Criminology; has served on the APA Task Force on Victims of Crime and two National Research Council committees; chaired the APA Committee on Employment and Human Resources, been president of the APA Division of Population and Environmental Psychology; and has been a member of MSDE's Achievement Initiative for Maryland's Minority Students Steering Committee. His research and publications have focused on educational program development and evaluation, school-based prevention of problem behavior, the assessment of school environments, and psychological assessment.
Sylvia Rosenfield, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, graduated from the school psychology program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously, she was a school psychologist in the Madison (WI) public schools and a faculty member at Fordham and Temple Universities. She has served as treasurer and president of the APA Division of School Psychology, as well as a member of the APA Board of Educational Affairs. She is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Her awards include the NASP Legends Award, the NASP Lifetime Achievement Award, and the APA Distinguished contributions to Education and Training Award; she is a Fellow of APA and AERA. Her research and multiple publications have focused on training and practice in indirect services, particularly consultee-centered and instructional consultation, and school psychology. Recent publications include co-authorship of the Blueprint for Training and Practice III, published by NASP, and a co-edited book on implementation of evidence based practices in schools.
In addition to working with Program faculty, students take courses and may do research with other nationally recognized graduate faculty members in the CHSE Department, and in other departments such as Psychology or Human Development and Quantitative Methods.
Academic deadlines are provided by the Office of the Registrar for the academic year. Students should refer to the deadlines listed in Important Dates prior to the beginning of the degree completion semester.
Students should check with their Department or Program for any deadlines it may have. Please contact:
Carol Scott, Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education
Visit the School Psychology program handbooks and forms page.
The Graduate Student Life Handbook provides information on academics, campus resources, finances, health, job opportunities, and information on how to get involved as a graduate student.
Graduate students in the College of Education are responsible for meeting University and the Graduate School policy, and for meeting Program requirements. The Graduate Catalog is the official listing of Policies governing graduate education at the University of Maryland. The schedule adjustment policy is available from the Office of the Registrar and provides information on adding and dropping courses, penalties, and refund schedules.
Graduate students are required to submit various forms at specific points in the program and as part of the degree clearance process. Please refer to Steps Toward Graduation to determine the steps and forms that are required. The forms for use by graduate students are available here.