School Psychology

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Make Your Next Step Your Greatest Yet

Fairfield University’s Master of Arts (MA) degree and Sixth Year Certificate (SYC) in School Psychology develop competencies in the areas of assessment, consultation, and direct intervention. Your education also reflects the conceptual framework of the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions, emphasizing respect for diversity, the scientist–practitioner tradition, reflective practice, primary prevention, developmental and systems theory, and becoming agents of change.

During your time in the program, you will evolve as a professional through classroom experiences, faculty support, and opportunities to apply your growing knowledge and skills, in school and clinical agencies. You will also learn the importance of self-care to protect against practitioner burnout and to be at your best personally and professionally.

Course Offerings

Multicultural Issues in Counseling 3
Developmental and Remedial Reading and Language Arts 3
Issues in Professional Practice in School Psychology 3
Behavioral Statistics 3
Psychology of Personality 3
Psychopathology and Classification I 3
Treatment Models for School-Age Youth 3
Developmental Psychology I: Theory and Application in Professional Practice 3
Theories of Learning 3
Psychoeducational Assessment I: Behavioral Approaches 3
Exceptional Learners in the Mainstream 3
Comprehensive Examination in School Psychology 0
Total 33
Introduction to Clinical Child Neuropsychology 3
Collaborative Consultation 3
Psychoeducational Assessment II: Standardized Approaches 3
Psychoeducational Assessment III: Clinical Approaches 3
Psychoeducational Assessment IV: Integrated Assessment 3
Psychotherapeutic Techniques for School-Age Youth 3
Practicum I: Assessment and Group Process 3
Practicum II: Counseling and Group Process 3
Internship in School Psychology I 3
Internship in School Psychology II 3
Total Credits 30


Applicants to the School Psychology program must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or the international equivalent) and give promise of meeting the standards set by the School.

The School Psychology program application deadline is December 1. You must apply for and earn a Master's degree in School Psychology before continuing with the Sixth Year Certificate (SYC). Students applying with a Bachelor's degree must apply for the Master's degree first. Please contact Dr. Paula Gill Lopez, program director, with questions.

More About School Pscyhology

Message From the Director

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Message From the Director

Paula Gill Lopez

Dear Prospective Candidate,

School Psychology is an exciting and unbelievably rewarding profession! Being a school psychologist means never having a dull moment. For that reason, it is also extremely challenging. To be a great school psychologist, you have to love it.

Fairfield University's program in School Psychology is designed to provide you with a sound understanding of psychological principles and how they apply to the field of school psychology. Upon admission, you are assigned an advisor with whom you'll plan your program and work closely throughout your course of study. Our faculty love to teach and combine their academic endeavors with practical work in the community.

Our program in School Psychology has a foundation in science, ethical principles of psychologists, and the ideals of a traditional Jesuit education. Our academically rigorous program will challenge and excite you intellectually and personally. The people you meet in your M.A. classes will come from diverse backgrounds and will enhance your learning. Once you move into the Sixth Year Certificate (SYC) program, you'll take classes with an intimate cohort of school psychology students for two years until you graduate.

The tripartite model of school psychology espoused by the program includes consultation, assessment, and direct intervention. In addition to the tripartite model, several paradigms form the core philosophy of the School Psychology program, including emphases on respecting diversity, the scientist-practitioner tradition, reflective practice, primary prevention, developmental and systems theory, and becoming agents of change. There are numerous experiences designed to assist you in the acquisition of these paradigms, some of which are described below.

A unique characteristic of our program at Fairfield is its emphasis on reconciling who you are as an individual with who you are becoming as a school psychologist. Toward this end, you'll develop a professional portfolio to document your personal and professional growth throughout the program. You will also learn the importance of self-care for best practice, developing and practicing a personal and professional mindfulness infused self-care plan throughout the program. You'll also have opportunities to:

  • Conduct research
  • Write articles for publication
  • Participate in school-wide primary prevention programs
  • Interact with school psychologists currently practicing in the field beginning in the first semester
  • Attend events such as:
    • Annual Conversations in School Psychology, which allows you to network with school psychologists in the field, faculty, and alumni
    • Annual Career Night which is a workshop for student interns to have their resumes critiqued and to participate in mock interviews conducted by a panel comprised of Directors of Special Education from districts around the state.
    • New Student Orientation

Finally, the student-created Student School Psychology Association (SSPA) allows opportunities for Fairfield's students to engage in community of practice mentoring by working together on committees, such as the Mentoring and Advocacy Committees.

Please feel free to explore this program site further, and if you have any questions or would like to schedule a time to meet with me for further discussion, just send me an e-mail.

Paula Gill Lopez
Director, School Psychology Program

See photos from a recent self-care workshop Dr. Gill Lopez conducted with local educators at Alumni House. Participants learned strategies for improving the quality of daily life and how bringing focused attention into everyday personal and professional activities can promote well-being.

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Career & Professional Opportunities

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Career & Professional Opportunities

Through Fairfield's Master of Arts in School Psychology, you'll learn:

  • Knowledge and skills to provide assessment services for children with special cognitive, behavioral, or emotional needs
  • Direct intervention skills to counsel individuals, small groups, and those in crisis
  • To indirectly serve children and their families, the entire school community, as well as the neighboring community at large through:
    • Implementing primary prevention programs
    • Engaging in consultee-centered consultation
    • Conducting applied research 

Fairfield University M.A. in School Psychology graduates leave Fairfield with their Masters degree and their Sixth Year Certificate, and are eligible to be endorsed by the University to Connecticut State for an Initial Educator Certificate allowing them to obtain employment in a public school setting with students ranging in age from preschool to twelfth grade.

Learn more about how the University's Career Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

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Our caring and committed School Psychology faculty offer a rigorous course of study, with a broad range of courses that integrate critical reflection and extensive field experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Our Office of Graduate Admissions is available to explain the application requirements and to help you get your application together. You may contact them by submitting a request for information or by phoning (203) 254-4184.

The GREs are not required, however, as part of the application prospective students must have taken one of the following tests: the Praxis Core, SAT, ACT or GRE and provide official scores for their file. Applicants who do not have passing scores on one or more sections may be required to remediate any deficient area. Remediation may include re-taking and passing the sections that were not passed, taking additional coursework, or other remediation activities. If additional courses are required the candidate must complete the coursework at a grade of B (3.0) or above and provide an official transcript to the Dean's Office prior to student teaching or internship. Please see advisor for additional details and recommendations. If students provide their social security number to ETS when registering for the Praxis Core exam, the reported score will automatically be uploaded to their Fairfield application file. Fairfield University's code is 3390.

Tuition and fees for our graduate programs.

Most of our students attend full-time, however our MA program is designed to accommodate students who want to attend part time because many students are working at least part time. During the SYC program, students must attend full-time.

Most of our courses are offered in the evening and a few are offered on the weekends. Weekday courses generally meet once a week for two hours. Weekend courses tend to be full day courses that meet for four or five weekends or weekend days over the semester.

We keep our classes small. The typical maximum class size for the MA program is 20, but class sizes for the CAS program are typically about 12.

Our students come from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds, which adds to the richness of our interactions in class. However, if a student has an undergraduate degree with a major other than psychology, there are course prerequisites that must be fulfilled.

Students who attend full-time take 9 credits each Fall and Spring semester and up to 6 credits in the summer sessions. For full-time students who start in the Fall semester, the program can be completed in about 2 years. For students who attend part-time, the time will vary based on how many courses are taken at a time. Students are required, however, to complete their degree within 6 years after they begin their first course.

Our financial aid office can best answer that question for you. You may reach them by phoning (203) 254-4125 or by e-mailing them, and you can visit the Graduate Financial Aid page.

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