There are currently 5.5 million school-age children attending 8,000 schools in California. The need for school psychologists was formally mandated in the 1970s with the passage of Public Law 94-142, requiring that all children with special needs be evaluated, provided with the appropriate support and placed in the least restrictive learning environments possible.
The Doctor of Psychology in Educational Psychology program is designed to meet these needs, providing both assistance to children with special needs and a rewarding career to those who choose the profession of educational psychology. Alliant International University’s Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco Campuses offer a five-year program leading to a PsyD in Educational Psychology: School Psychology Emphasis, with a master’s degree and PPS credential awarded after the second and third year in School Psychology.
The PsyD in Educational Psychology program is offered in an “executive format” for working professionals, with classes meeting on evenings and/or weekends. It involves coursework, passage of two doctoral-level comprehensive examinations (Praxis 2 and a professional practice examination), completion of a professional portfolio, PsyD project, and additional research/applied work.
Specialized Admissions Requirements
This PsyD program is open to applicants who already hold (or are in the process of completing) a master’s degree in school psychology and who either hold a PPS School Psychology Credential or are in the process of completing it. School psychology interns are also eligible. Credentialed school psychologists who currently practice with a master’s-level degree and wish to obtain a doctoral degree will find this three-year program and study format ideally suited to their goals. These applicants will be admitted into the 3rd year and complete the 3rd, 4th and 5th years of the 5-year program.
Curriculum and Degree Requirements
During the first two years of the Advanced Standing PsyD program, students take advanced theory and assessment skills courses as well as advanced school-based research design, program development and evaluation, psychopharmacology, and developmental psychopathology courses. In addition, during each of the six semesters, students will take a course in a special interest area where they will obtain professional writing experience and exposure to APA format. These special focus areas will help expose PsyD students to a diverse array of topics within the domain of applied educational psychology.
At the end of the second year, students will begin to formulate concepts for their PsyD projects within the context of a Doctoral Project Seminar series. Students are expected to complete their doctoral project by the end of the third year. By the end of the second year students will have completed their two comprehensive examinations and portfolio requirements. The third year is comprised of work on doctoral projects, two professional roles courses, two special focus area courses and an optional doctoral level internship for those interested in sitting for the Board of Psychology license exam.
A total of 50 units are required for the PsyD degree. A 10-unit pre-doctoral internship is optional.
The following coursework applies to both the 3-year MA with PPS program and first 3 years of the 5-year PsyD in Educational Psychology program.
MA with PPS, Year 1, Semester 1
MA with PPS, Year 1, Intersession 1
MA with PPS, Year 1, Semester 2
MA with PPS, Year 1, Semester 3
MA with PPS, Year 2, Semester 4
Coursework practicum of 6 to 8 hours per week, for 38 weeks of the year (228 to 304 hours).
MA with PPS, Year 2, Intersession 2
MA with PPS, Year 2, Semester 5
MA with PPS, Year 2, Semester 6
This semester’s coursework is directed toward the PPS Credential.
MA with PPS, Year 3
MA and PPS Credential Completion
Students should apply for the PPS Credential after completion of the MA (43 units) and an additional 17 units of coursework, Practicum and Internship. The PPS credential requires a total of 60 units.
Advanced Standing for Five-Year PsyD Program
During the third year of the MA/PPS program, candidates who are accepted into the PsyD program are simultaneously completing the PPS credential internship and continuing to take courses in the Advanced Standing PsyD program.
All Advanced Standing courses are offered in “executive format” and there is no required sequence to the classes (except for EDP 8001/8002, EDP 9931/9932 and EDP 9901/9902/9903). Candidates are accepted to the Advanced Standing PsyD program only in the fall tri-semester. If candidates complete the seven units offered each Fall and Spring tri-semester, and the four units offered during the first and second summer tri-semester, they can complete the required 50 units within three years. However, because in Years 3 and 4, PsyD courses are offered every other year, candidates who choose to take fewer units each tri-semester will consult with their advisor to ensure completing all courses within the five-year limit. The additional 10 unit doctoral level internship is currently optional.
PsyD in Educational Psychology: Years 3 and 4
PsyD in Educational Psychology: Year 5