School Psychology

School psychology is a behavioral science that aims to improve the academic performance of students, as well as their social, behavioral and emotional well-being. Read on to learn about the requirements and career options for school psychologists.

Inside School Psychology

School psychologists, also known as educational psychologists, work in elementary and secondary schools, helping children deal with learning, behavioral and emotional difficulties. Often working with parents or teachers, these professionals try to transform academically frustrated students into confident learners. This may involve evaluating students to identify their issues and developing personalized learning strategies. Additionally, school psychologists aim to create a positive educational experience for students by developing more effective academic and counseling programs.

Education Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that school psychologists typically must hold an education specialist degree in school psychology, though some states will accept those with a master's degree ( The specialist degree consists of at least two years of graduate-level study followed by one year of internship. Courses may examine student assessment, learning theories, exceptional learners, special needs students and interventions. School psychologists must also obtain and maintain licensure by the state in which they practice. Listed below are examples of degree options for potential school psychologists.

Distance Learning Options

Some schools offer distance learning opportunities for school psychology students; however, such online programs are rare. Below is a sampling of articles to help you consider your online learning options.

Career Options

School psychologists work in K-12 public and private schools as well as other educational institutions. Below are a few articles that detail the options and conditions of a career in school psychology.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS predicted an 11 percent increase in employment for school, counseling and clinical psychologists from 2012-2022. Job growth will be due to an increasing awareness of the connection between mental health and learning and, in effect, an increased demand for school psychology services. Those who hold specialized degrees from top universities could benefit from greater employment prospects. The BLS reported that, in May 2013, school psychologists earned a mean salary of $72,710.

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