|Degree Plan Options|
63 Credit Hours
Victoria (traditional semesters)
Katy (mostly evenings, traditional semesters)
|Tuition & Fees|
School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments for all students that strengthen connections between home and school. For a comprehensive description of a school psychologist, please visit the National Association of School Psychologists website.
The UHV Specialist in School Psychology program is dedicated to providing students with a comprehensive, integrated program of study delivered by qualified faculty, as well as substantial supervised field experiences necessary for the provision of school psychological services which positively impact children, youth, families, and the schools that serve them. The training standards within the program are consistent with the standards of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychology (TSBEP) Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) credentialing, which complies with the nationally recognized standards for the practice of school psychology per the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) standards. The UHV Specialist in School Psychology program was granted NASP accreditation by the NASP Program Approval Board starting on 8/1/2021.
The mission of the UHV school psychology program is to train entry-level school psychology practitioners, namely, Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSP), in accordance to the standards set by the Texas State Board of Examiners (TSBEP). The program is designed around NASP standards to prepare students to obtain the National Certification in School Psychology (NCSP) following graduation. With emphasis on best practice application of school psychology, faculty and students are expected to be both consumers and evaluators of empirically-based practice, while providing empirically-based school psychological services to a diverse population of individuals including children, families, school personnel, and other related professionals. Students are trained to adequately assess difficulties students may be having that impact their education, consult with teachers and parents regarding student difficulties and intervene with students through evidence-based academic, behavioral, and counseling interventions. The School Psychology program has a core philosophy that emphasizes student development of competencies in the delivery of practical, empirically sound services to a wide range of children in diverse learning environments. Please read the School Psychology Program Handbook for a comprehensive overview of the program and course sequence.
The School Psychology Program is a 63-hour non-terminal degree, leading to a Specialist in School Psychology degree (SSP), which meets the academic requirements for the Texas Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) credential. With this licensing, you can practice as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) in K-12 public schools. The program takes 3 years to complete for students who follow the recommended course sequence and are enrolled full-time. There are two full years of courses, including summers. The third year of the program students complete their internship. During this time, students are employed full-time and work 40+ hours a week as a School Psychology Intern under the supervision of a LSSP in that district. Please refer to the School Psychology Internship Handbook for more information. Students may enroll in the program part or full time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are your classes held?
70% of our coursework is taught online via Blackboard. The other 30% of our courses are offered either in person or via hybrid methods (combination of online and face to face components). Face to face courses are typically held in the evenings (7-9:45 pm) to accommodate working professionals, except for practicum supervision which is typically offered from 4-6:45 pm. Please refer to the School Psychology Program Handbook and the plan of study to reference course sequence, teaching methods for each course and the course location.
Can I enroll in the program part-time?
Part-time enrollment is available; however, it is important you work closely with School Psychology faculty regarding your course progression as the course sequence often builds upon one another and courses are only offered once per year. If you plan on enrolling in the program part-time please email the program director prior to enrolling for courses so that an individualized course sequence can be created for you.
What types of practical experience do I receive while in the program?
During the program, you will complete a practicum and a yearlong internship. Practicum takes place during your second year of the program after particular courses have been completed. Practicum students work beside an LSSP in a school district of their choosing for a minimum of 20 hours per week (300 hours during the Spring of the 2nd year). During your practicum, you are also completing coursework. Please read the School Psychology Practicum Handbook for a detailed description of the practicum experience. Internship is the culminating experience of the program and takes place after all coursework has been completed, typically during your 3rd year. Interns are full-time employees of a school district of their choosing and intern positions are typically paid. Please refer to the School Psychology Internship Handbook for more information.
Can I hold a full-time job while enrolled in the program?
Past students have held full-time jobs and successfully completed the program. However, please note that past students typically report spending 20-30 hours per week on course requirements. This should be factored into your decision when considering outside employment. Please be aware that traditional full-time employment (Monday-Friday from 8-5) is not possible during your 2nd year in the program when you are required to work in the school setting for your practicum (e.g.,20 hours a week). Practicum positions are unpaid but required by the program. Most students drop to part-time employment if their current job/role is not flexible around their practicum experience. During your 3rd year internship, this becomes your full-time job, as you are employed as an LSSP Intern by a school district. Internships are typically paid and interns generally earn $20-50,000 per year, depending on the district.
What are students in your program like?
We pride ourselves on recruiting diverse students with an array of experiences who contribute to our program and surrounding school districts. The majority of our students live in the Houston area, although many live in Victoria and within rural communities in the Gulf Coast area. About 50% of our students are full-time students, while 50% are part-time. The majority of our students have families, children and prior careers before deciding to come back to school. We have past teachers, speech-language assistants, and businessmen and women who have been successful in our program.
I already have a Master’s degree. Can I transfer credits towards the School Psychology program?
Per the UHV graduate handbook, credit may be transferred only for graduate credit courses completed with a grade of A or B and completed in residence under a graduate degree program at a college or university with recognition in some form from the U.S. Department of Education or the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. These courses must be certified as graduate level by the Office of the Registrar and Student Records of UHV. Credits must be obtained within the last ten years at the time of graduation from the school psychology program to qualify.
If you are transferring credit from another UH institution, up to 50% of the program’s hours could be transferred (a maximum of 31 transfer credit hours). If you are transferring credit from an institution outside of the UH system, up to 25% of the program’s hours could be transferred (a maximum of 15 transfer credit hours).
After being admitted to the program, you will work with the program director and other School Psychology faculty to determine which courses may meet our requirements for transfer credit.
I’ve never heard of a Specialist in School Psychology degree. What is this degree?
Starting in 2006, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board allowed graduate School Psychology programs to grant the Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) degree. The degree reflects the increased number of hours that students obtain, as most School Psychology programs are a minimum of 60 hours. The degree is often viewed as more than a Master’s degree, but less than a Doctorate degree.
UHV sounds great but I’m also interested in other programs. Why should I choose UHV to continue my education?
We pride ourselves on making sure that our students have a wonderful learning experience and become strong school psychology practitioners. Here are some of the reasons our students love our program-
- Small cohorts and class sizes make it easier to get to know your professors on a personal level
- Core faculty members have worked in the schools and continue to work as LSSP’s in the field. They know the challenges you will face and prepare you adequately for your future roles.
- Core faculty members do school-based research. They understand the problems facing children and you have opportunities to get involved in this research if that interests you.
- Our program cost is significantly lower than other graduate programs.
What are the specific admission requirements?
View Graduate Psychology Programs Admission Policies and Procedures
Financial Aid and Funding
For students needing financial assistance during their graduate degree, please visit the Financial Aid office and set up a meeting with one of our financial aid staff to assist you in planning for your graduate degree.
UHV maintains several scholarships that graduate students in the school psychology program may be eligible for. It is recommended that all students complete an application for the Gyda Hallum Scholarship as well as search the list on our Scholarship Homepage.
Small and Rural School Staff
If you are a current school employee in a small and rural ISD in the state of Texas (or are while you attend the program), you may qualify for tuition assistance from Texas Education Agency (TEA). The Small and Rural Schools grant, from TEA, provides funding for current school staff employees to attend graduate school to become a LSSP. Applicants that currently work in a small or rural local educational agencie (LEA), and pledge to continue working in one after becoming licensed, could receive reimbursement for tuition, books, and other costs associated with graduate school enrollment. Applications for students will be accepted by TEA April 1-15, 2022. Applicants for tuition assistance must have already been admitted to a school psychology training program.
Do you work in one of the eligible LEAs? View a list of eligible LEAs. To find employment opportunities in one of these LEA’s please visit their websites, or their regional education service center websites (ex: EC 3 , EC 4). View the TEA Education Service Centers Map. If you have additional questions about the grant or applications, please contact Tammy Utter or Jam Page. Submit your Application for Evaluation Certification Reimbursement Program .
School Psychology and Student Loan Forgiveness
School psychologists may qualify for multiple types of student loan forgiveness. Please visit the NASP website for a list of loan forgiveness options. The federal government offers loan forgiveness to mental health professionals, and those who work in the public sector. For example, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness pays the remaining debt after 10 years of qualifying payments. Read more about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
Read more about the Admissions Requirements for Graduate Psychology Programs.
All applications must be completed by February 15 to be considered for admission for the fall of that year. Students may start the School Psychology programs only during the fall semester.
Typically, initial questions about graduate degrees at UHV, the application process, and procedures can be answered by contacting the graduate recruiter listed below.
For detailed, program specific questions, please email UHV's School Psychology Program Director Dr. Shannon Viola.
Academic Advisor (Current students)