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Being a board certified psychologist as a school psychologist


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I'm thinking about completing a PsyD School Psychology program at St. John's. I want to work in a private practice or hospital and I was told by professors in the program that I could do many of the same things that clinical psychologists do if I become a licensed psychologist in my state. Is that true? I'm not particularly interested in research but there aren't any clinical psychology PsyD programs that are APA accredited in New York. Please help.

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9 hours ago, 8215S said:

there aren't any clinical psychology PsyD programs that are APA accredited in New York.

This is not true at all. Yeshiva has a pretty well known clinical PsyD program. LIU has one as well. Pretty sure there are a few more. Have you looked at the APA website at all? There’s a search tool where you can see all APA accredited programs by state. Also, any PsyD is still going to require at least some research. You have to do a dissertation, and many also have other research requirements as well. If you truly have no interest in research, then go the masters route. Part of being a doctoral level provider is the greater ability to assess the research that has been done and implementing it into your practice (hence the scholar-practitioner model of PsyD programs). In order to be able to do that effectively, you need to be knowledgeable about the research process and research methodology, stats, etc. 

Technically, you can get licensed as a psychologist with a school psych doctorate, but you will need to acquire an internship that’s appropriate for clinical/counseling psych through the APPIC match. School psych folks are already often not very competitive for these programs. You would be competing with all of the clinical and counseling psych students in NY and NJ for the practicum sites, so it may be difficult for you to get those non-school clinical hours.  Also, if you are that geographically restricted to just NYC, then you will have a very hard time getting an APA accredited internship because you are then competing against trainees from across the country who all also want to do their internship in an NYC-based training site. 

As an aside, boarding in clinical psychology is an entirely separate process that is done through ABPP and is not a requirement for clinical practice.

OP, based on the myriad of questions you have posted on this site, I would recommend you do some more research into these various degrees and programs and maybe speak to some practicing clinicians. Find someone doing the type of job you want to have, see what their credentials are, and then offer to buy them coffee or something so you can ask them some questions. I wouldn’t just go off info you’re getting from the admissions rep because they have a financial interest in getting you to pay a large sum of money for a degree that, based on what some of your goals are, is going to add an incredible amount of extra difficulty to get you to where you want to be, which is already a difficult path. 

What exactly is it that you want to do in your career? Because for most people, a masters level license is sufficient. And in this case may be more appropriate than trying to sneak into clinical psych the back way through school psych, which, while not impossible, is not as simple as just that. You also likely wouldn’t have covered much of what will be on the EPPP, the national licensing exam, so you’ll be starting out from behind on that as well. And NY is one of the stricter states to get licensed in as a psychologist. 

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I posted this on another post but it applies here too. 

“I’m getting my doctorate in school psychology and most of what is written above is inaccurate regarding licensure as a psychologist. As long as you meet licensure requirements (a graduate from an APA accredited program and internship would meet requirements for every state) you can take the EPPP to be licensed as a psychologist. All psychologists get the same license- you’d be a “licensed psychologist.” This doesn’t matter if you are a graduated from a program in school, clinical, or counseling psychology; they all get the same license. Since my school psych program is both APA accredited and NASP approved, I’ll be eligible for both the NCSP (good if you want to consult with schools) and licensure as a psychologist. I’ll have the same license that a psychologist from a clinical or counseling program would have. The “school” specialization just means that I have had courses on educational law, systems within schools, and academic interventions, which clinical and counseling psychologists would not have. However, clinical and counseling psychologists have more knowledge about counseling methods and personality disorders, generally. I actually plan on working as a licensed psychologist in a children’s hospital alongside other licensed psychologists who have graduated from school and clinical programs after I graduate.

At the same time, if you don’t want to be a licensed psychologist and you only want to work in a school setting, you can go to a graduate program that is only NASP approved and get the NCSP. With this, you are not allowed to practice anywhere but in schools.”


I also want to add that some school psychology programs better prepare their students than clinical psych programs. My school has all three programs- school, clinical, and counseling. We are often competing for the same APPIC internship spots. Last year, several school psych students got the spots in children’s hospitals that the clinical students had ranked 1st. However, students in my program also often end up with way more experience and publications than other school psych students interviewing for APPIC spots, so it depends on the program. I am a fourth year student and my current practicum site is the NICU follow up clinic and integrated primary care in a children’s hospital. My last placement was a private practice. Just make sure you find a good, competitive program and you’ll be fine. (I’m at university of southern Mississippi, but I know of a few other good school psych programs that are competitive.)

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@PsyDuck90 I'm well aware of the APA website, it's how I learned about applying to St. John's School Psychology PsyD in the first place as well as many other programs. I wasn't interested in Yeshiva because of the distance so I never investigated too much into their programs. I'm not against research but I prefer a program that focuses more on practical work which is why the PsyD or scholar-practitioner model appealed to. The scientific model isn't terrible either because it's a good balance of both. I thought that with a clinical psychology degree I would be more well-rounded in helping all age groups and having the opportunity to work in a college full-time when I'm older. I'd be open to doing research if I'm interested in a particular subject.

According to the School Psychology PsyD program director, the match rates are 100% for regular internships, and 99% for APPIC internships. They only have a handful of students attempt APPIC internships and they usually match their first choice, and it's only in really rare cases that they end up without an internship. Believe me when I say that I have spoken to many people about what I should and where I should go. It's true that a lot of administrators could be biased. I feel as thought everyone is a little biased towards something if it related to their own life experiences or careers. I even work alongside clinical and school psychologists, all who have recommended this program. The reason I'm so confused still is for many of the reasons you mentioned and the training I'd be getting in a school psychology program. I like that you can work on research, assessment, interventions, and therapy in a clinical program. In school psych it's main focus is on assessments, report writing, and a little therapy. 

But then I think to myself considering that I only have 1 semester of research experience on if I'll even get into PhD programs. If I don't choose St. John's PsyD program in school psych then I'll be choosing Hunter College's MSW program in social work. I can get research experience from there by working with a faculty member and learn how to work with clients. I could then go for the PhD in clinical psych by applying in my second year. Is it worth the sacrifice?

Throughout this entire graduate application process ever since I graduated last year, my interests and goals have changed. I thought I only wanted the masters, but considering time, my living arrangements, and my how I want to have a career where I have more opportunities, I began to consider the doctorate. Now I have to choose what sounds the best for my career and my current living situation. 

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@SchoolPsychBrit Thanks so much for sharing! I definitely want to work outside of a school setting, which is my I was thinking of the PhD in clinical psych. But the program, is good and it'll take less time to complete the the clinical program. Are all of concerns about being limited in the future as a psychologist career because of me? Is everything I'm doing wort the risk? Thank you so much!

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