Frequently Asked Questions/PsyD

Q. How many students to you admit each year?

A. Out of approximately 50-60 applicants on average, we typically accept 5 students annually, although this number varies somewhat.

Q. What is the length of the PsyD program?

A. For those students entering with a baccalaureate degree, the PsyD program involves five years of full-time study; four years of coursework and one year of internship. Students who transfer in with graduate coursework completed in school psychology may be able to complete program requirements more quickly.

Q. Does this mean most students complete the PsyD program in five years?

A. No. In addition to four years of coursework and a predoctoral internship, PsyD students are required to complete a data-based dissertation. The typical time for program completion from start to finish is about 5 ½ years (the national average is 7 years).

Q. What is the program’s policy on transfer credits?

A. Only graduate-level courses will be considered for possible transfer. Up to 45 credits may be transferred from other graduate programs. Decisions as to which courses will transfer are not made until applicants are admitted into the PsyD program.

Q. What is the length of the PsyD program if I am already certified as a school psychologist?

The exact length varies, but generally students who enter the PsyD program who are already certified can complete their coursework, internship, and dissertation in 3-4 years.

Q. Do you have “rolling” admissions?

A. No. Applications to the PsyD program are due January 2. Interviews usually occur sometime in February. All students offered admission 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 3.5, and the average GRE Score (Verbal + Quantitative) has been about 1150. These numbers often vary, however, depending on the particular applicant pool.

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 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 PsyD 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. PsyD 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 PsyD students take each semester?

A. Students typically take four classes during the fall and spring semesters of their first two years, and fewer courses their third and fourth years. They also take a few additional classes during the summer.

Q. Can I work as well as attend the PsyD program?

A. The PsyD 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. Additionally, the university requires that all students receiving assistantships cannot work either part or full-time during fall or spring semesters. Violation of the rule may lead to revoking assistantships.

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. Is funding available?

A. Funding, both in the form of a tuition waiver and a stipend, has historically been offered to almost all PsyD students for four years. The current stipend is $7500 per year.

Q. What are the requirements to receive funding?

A. The program typically provides graduate research assistantships to all full-time doctoral students for the academic year during the first two years of study. In the first year, students serve as a research assistant to one or more faculty members, and in their second year students teach a section of an undergraduate course. Additionally, students typically receive stipends for field placement experiences during their third and fourth years, as well as for their internships during their fifth year. Further, student assistance usually includes tuition remission at or near 100%. Most often, no funding is available for summer courses, and students are also responsible for purchasing books and any course or university fees. Although historically all full-time students have been funded at or near total costs, financial support cannot be guaranteed – a situation which is identical across other programs in the country.

Q. Are PsyD students certified as school psychologists following completion of the program?

A. Yes. All graduates of the PsyD 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. Are PsyD students eligible to become licensed psychologists following completion of the program.

A. Yes. All graduates of the PsyD program are licensed-eligible as psychologists. Becoming licensed after completing the PsyD involves a year of post-doctoral supervised practice as well as a passing score on the state licensing exam.

Q. What if I complete the PsyD program but want to live and work in another state?

A. Several of our previous graduates have successfully completed the PsyD 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 PsyD program are also 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 PsyD program who desire to live and work in states other than New York have not had significant problems doing so.

Q. What percentage of students who begin the PsyD program eventually graduate from it?

A. Nearly all students admitted to the PsyD program successfully graduate from it.

Q. What is the job placement rate of graduates of the PsyD program?

A. All graduates of the PsyD program who have desired employment have full-time or part-time (if that is their choice) positions.

Q. Where do graduates of the PsyD program find employment?

A. Most of our graduates are employed as school psychologists in public or private schools. Others work in private practice, as college or university faculty, or in clinic/agency settings. Most of our graduates combine one or more of these options (e.g., work full-time as a school psychologist and part-time in private practice or as a college or university adjunct).

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 PsyD 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 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 qualified as other applicants, or because of a determination that the applicant would not be a good match for the program.

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