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School Psychology MS.Ed or Phd


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Hi everyone,


I have been reading this forum for a while. I am thinking of switching careers. I have a MA in Educational Psychology and it doesn't seem to me help much in terms of finding a decent job. I was wondering if I should go for a MS.Ed in School Psychology or Ph.D? I am torn between both. I thought it would be better to be licensed as a school psychologist and settle on a job in a public school than looking for research jobs.


I am looking to apply to schools in NYC like Fordham, CUNY Queens, CUNY Brooklyn, Pace, or St. John's for Fall 2015 (or even Fall 2014 for St. John, anyone have experience with St. John? Is it a good program? They have rolling admissions for some reasons). 


On the other hand I am afraid my application would not look good in terms of the gpa and gre scores.



V.137, Q.146, W.3.5 (I'm thinking of taking it again, I took this 3 years ago)

I spent a year in a graduate school, but did not do well and transferred to another and started my MA all over again. I'm afraid it will look bad. 

I had a B- in a course during my MA, but repeated it and got A- but both grades are shown on the transcript, I don't know how the ad coms are going to look at it or will they recalculate my gpa. With the repeated course, I graduated with a 3.42 in my MA, if I don't count the B- I would have gotten a 3.67



I have done many conference presentations including national conferences (10+). Lead author in a few.

Co-authored in two papers

Five years of research experience focusing on school age children's academics

I also had 8 years experience (from my high school years up until college) as an after school program / summer day camp teacher for K-8th grade in a small non-profit organization.


Any thoughts/feedback would be appreciated.


Thank You

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Hi there,


I can't speak to the quality of the masters program at St. John's (which is what I think you're talking about because the PsyD program definitely does not have rolling admissions) but the PsyD program is great! They give a generous amount of financial aid for a NYC school and the faculty members take a real interest in their students.  The program is also working on incorporating more training in neuropsych testing and providing more opportunities to work with children with ASD if those are things that you're interested in.


As far as the "negatives" that you listed I think that re-taking the GRE is a good step.  You can't go back and change your MA grades and you can't determine how the admissions committee will interpret the re-taking of the course and switching schools but you CAN take control your GRE score!  You could also use a paragraph in your personal statement to explain the change of schools and re-taking of the course if you feel that it needs some explanation.


The research experience, publications and conferences will definitely work in your favor! 


Since you already have your MA in Ed Psych and it seems like most of your experience is research-based I feel like a PhD program would make more sense for you than getting another master's degree.  Can you explain why you're torn between the two degrees?  Maybe there's something I'm not understanding.  


Best of luck!

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Thanks for the feedback. I'm definitely taking the GRE again.

I can't decide if I want to work in a school setting as a licensed school psychologist or continue doing research.

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I'm in the same boat as you ed_psy, even looking at the same schools. I've been working as an elementary ESL specialist for 2 years now, and I decided to pursue school psychology precisely because I love working in a school setting. If you do as well, my vote would be becoming a licensed school psychology. I feel like taking that path still allows you the option of pursuing research in the future (or even the present, if you're the kind who enjoys independent work).


Good luck to you! Your research experience sounds incredibly qualified. I have next to nothing for that. I'm sure you can get great LoRs also, given all your experience. You should get some GRE vocab flash cards though  :P

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  • 4 weeks later...

You should apply for Phd or EDD programs (both are doctoral programs). If you can retake the GRE, retake the GRE. You now have the options to select which scores get sent to the admission office. Also you may want to include more schools in your list (I say apply to at least 8 schools)... Philly and NJ are not too far from NYC.  I'm surprise teachers college is not on your list. Getting into doctoral programs is more about luck if anything else. 


If you do decide not to apply to doctoral programs and instead to EdM programs. Make sure the EdM programs allows you to transfer into their Doctoral program later on. Don't apply to terminal EdM programs. 

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