Frequently Asked Questions/CAS
Q. How many students to you admit each year?
A. Out of approximately 30-40 applicants, we accept about 8 CAS students annually, although this number varies somewhat.
Q. What is the length of the CAS program?
A. The CAS program involves three years of full-time study; two years of coursework and one year of internship.
Q. Do you have “rolling” admissions?
A. No. Applications to the CAS program are due January 30. Interviews usually occur sometime in February. All students begin their program in the fall semester, which usually begins during the last week of August.
Q. What are the average GPAs and GREs of successful applicants?
A. During the past several years, the average undergraduate GPA has been about 3.4, and the average GRE Score (Verbal + Quantitative) has been about 1100. These are averages, however, and we do have students with GPAs and GREs both higher and lower than these figures. Students with GPAs lower than 3.0, however, will not be considered for admission.
Q. How are decisions made about which applicants to make offers of admission?
A. The decision-making process involves the simultaneous examination of a number of student variables, including the applicant’s grade point average (GPA), graduate record exam (GRE) results, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and evidence of commitment (e.g., experiences working with children and youth).
Q. What is the “cutoff” for GPAs and GREs?
A. We do not use a “cutoff” system. Rather, these scores as well as other variables (e.g., personal statement, letters of recommendations) are collectively considered in our admission process. We compare applicants in a given year to each other and select the most highly qualified students for interviews.
Q. Can I attend the CAS program part-time?
A. No. The program is designed for full-time students only.
Q. When are classes offered?
A. Some classes are offered during the day, in either the morning or afternoon. Many classes are offered in the evening as well, usually from 4:15 to 7:05 PM.
Q. How often are classes taught?
A. Unlike most undergraduate colleges and universities, graduate classes are typically held once per week for approximately three hours. Occasionally, some classes are taught twice per week.
Q. Do I have to take summer classes?
Yes. CAS students usually take two or three summer classes over the course of the program.
Q. How many students will I have in my classes?
A. The exact number varies by class, but in school psychology classes typical sizes are 5-15 students. Some classes outside of school psychology may have more students, but not many more.
Q. How many classes do CAS students take each semester?
A. Students typically take five classes during the fall and spring semesters, and a few additional classes over summers.
Q. Can I work as well as attend the CAS program?
A. The CAS program is designed for full-time study, and it would not be possible to work full-time and still be a member of the program. Part-time work is possible, but given the rigors of graduate school and a full-time courseload, we strongly discourage students from working during the fall and spring semesters, although we recognize this is sometimes not an option for some students. Rather than working, whenever possible we encourage students to take out loans to finance graduate training and living expenses.
Q. What assistantships and job opportunities are available for CAS students?
A. There is no funding available through the school psychology program for the first two years of study in the CAS program, although the university does offer various assistantships, and interested students are encouraged to visit the UAlbany website (www.albany.edu). During the third and final year of study, all CAS students are provided funding.
Q. What is the relationship between students in the CAS program and students in the PsyD program?
A. There is a high degree of overlap in courses taken by CAS and PsyD students, and faculty do not make distinctions in their expectations for coursework or practica between CAS and PsyD students. There is mutual respect among students of both programs.
Q. Can I apply to both the CAS and the PsyD programs?
A. We strongly prefer that you apply to one program or the other. Applying to both sends the message that you are undecided about which program is the best match for your goals.
Q. Can I transfer or apply to the PsyD program if I am in the CAS program?
A. Yes, students in the CAS program can later apply for admission to the PsyD program. Admission to the PsyD program for CAS students is in no way guaranteed, however. Historically, about 50% of those CAS students who applied for admission to the PsyD program have been accepted into it.
Q. Are internships paid?
A. Yes, ALL third-year, full-time internships are paid. This is not typically the case in many other school psychology programs
Q. Can I complete my internship outside the Albany area, or in another state?
A. No. All CAS internships must be completed in the greater capital region, in approved school districts. This allows our program to provide better supervision of our students, and provides a guarantee that we can provide a stipend for all students during their internship year.
Q. Are CAS students certified as school psychologists following completion of the program?
A. Yes. All graduates of the CAS program are 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 psychologist.
Q. What if I complete the CAS program but want to live and work in another state?
A. Several of our previous graduates have successfully completed the CAS 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 the CAS program are 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 CAS program who desire to live and work in states other than New York have not had any real problems doing so.
Q. What is the job placement rate of graduates of the CAS program?
A. All graduates of the CAS program who have desired employment have full-time or part-time (if that is their choice) positions working as school psychologists.
Q. Where do graduates of the CAS program find employment?
A. CAS program graduates are employed in public or private schools.
Q. What should I do if I apply for admission but do not receive an offer to interview?
A. Although disappointing, many students apply for admission to our CAS program but are not invited to interview. Because of the large number of applicants for limited enrollment slots, this is inevitable and unavoidable. If you apply for admission but do not receive an interview, it is because it was determined by the faculty that other applicants were more highly qualified to receive an interview opportunity. If you do not receive an offer to interview, you are welcome to re-apply to the program the following year.
Q. What should I do if I receive an interview but do not receive an offer of admission?
A. Some students receive an opportunity to interview but do not ultimately receive an offer of admission. When this occurs, it is because the faculty determined that the student in question was not as highly qualified as other applicants, or because of a determination that the applicant would not be a good match for the program.