Accredited School Psychology Programs in Florida [Updated for 2024]

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on school psychology programs in Florida. This guide offers valuable information about the various programs and opportunities available in the Sunshine State for those interested in pursuing a career in school psychology.

Florida offers a diverse range of psychology degree options, from specialist degrees to doctoral programs, across esteemed institutions that focus on the well-being and development of children and youth in educational settings.

Join us as we explore the ins and outs of these programs, their curriculums, and the benefits of pursuing a career in school psychology in Florida.

School Psychology Graduate Programs in Florida

Below is a list of Florida-based schools offering school psychology degree programs that can help prepare you for a future career in Florida:

  • University of South Florida
  • Grand Canyon University
  • University of Florida
  • Capella Universty
  • Florida State University
  • University of Central Florida
  • Southern New Hampshire University

University of South Florida

Established in 1956, the University of South Florida is a public educational institution. With an undergraduate population of over 33,000, the university features an urban setting and spans across 1,646 acres. It operates on a semester-based academic schedule. Often referred to as USF, this research-focused university has its main campus in Tampa and additional regional campuses in Sarasota and St. Petersburg.

First-year students must reside on campus, with exceptions for those commuting from select nearby counties, being over 21 years old, being married, or meeting other specific criteria. For off-campus students, USF coordinates a Commuter Student Network and provides bus transportation for those who drive and park in distant lots. On-campus, students can explore over 400 student organizations and a substantial Greek community.

School Psychology Program Information

At the University of South Florida, two distinct school psychology programs prepare students for careers in the field of school psychology.

The Ed.S. degree in Curriculum & Instruction, focusing on School Psychology, comprises a full-time, year-long internship and a thesis. During their first year, most students obtain an MA degree. The Ed.S. program typically requires 3 years to finish.

The Ph.D. program in School Psychology encompasses advanced leadership classes, specialized coursework, a concentration area, an advanced practicum, a 2,000-hour internship, and a dissertation. This program generally takes 5 years to complete: 3 years for coursework, 1 year for dissertation work, and a 12-month internship.

These programs, offered by the College of Education’s Department of Educational and Psychological Studies, cater specifically to school psychology training and adhere to key national accreditation standards, such as the Council for Accreditation of Teacher Preparation (CAEP) and American Psychological Association (APA).

The Florida Department of Education also approves these programs, making graduates with an Ed.S. degree or higher eligible for school psychologist certification in Florida. Certification in other states may be possible for Florida-certified professionals, but reciprocity is not always immediate or assured.

USF’s school psychology programs prioritize hands-on experience, with students participating in school placements early in the semester. During their first year, students spend one day per week in schools, increasing to two days per week in their second year. This practical exposure allows students to apply classroom knowledge to real-world situations.

For Ph.D. candidates, the third and fourth year placements may include clinics, hospitals, or alternative school environments, tailored to each student’s career objectives.

Both programs follows a cohort-based approach, typically consisting of 12-13 students. Both Ed.S. and Ph.D. students will attend classes together within their cohort during the first two years. In the third year, Ed.S. students begin their internships, while Ph.D. students continue with a third year of coursework concentrated on research, therapeutic, and supervisory abilities.

A key advantage of a compact cohort is the establishment of a closely-connected support network among students.

University of Florida

Established in 1853, the University of Florida is a public educational institution. The university has an undergraduate population of over 34,000, with a suburban setting and a campus spanning 2,000 acres. The academic schedule follows a semester-based system. Located approximately two miles from downtown Gainesville, the university’s over 50,000 students contribute to the vibrant college town atmosphere.

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the University of Florida ranks as the third largest university in the state by student population and stands as the fifth largest single-campus institution in the United States. The university is the sole Florida member of the Association of American Universities and is classified as an “R1: Doctoral University – Very high research activity.”

The institution is home to many popular graduate programs through the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, Levin College of Law, and the College of Medicine. Additionally, the university maintains a connection with the Oak Hammock retirement community, providing students with opportunities for employment, internships, and mentorship.

School Psychology Program Information

The primary goal of the two school psychology programs at the University of Florida is to prepare practitioners and scholars who contribute positively to the mental and educational growth of young individuals.

The University of Florida’s school psychology programs adhere to a scientist-practitioner framework, emphasizing the integration of scientific knowledge and practice in all academic and professional preparation opportunities.

Ed.S. Program

The Education Specialist (EdS) curriculum consists of 72 credit hours at the graduate level, incorporating a year-long internship and leading to the EdS degree. The program has full accreditation from the Florida Department of Education and national recognition from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

Graduates of this program typically find employment in schools or other related settings as certified school psychologists.

The majority of EdS degree-holding school psychologists work in K-12 public schools, delivering psychological services to children, adolescents, families, and educational institutions. They offer a comprehensive array of psychological services, both direct and indirect, within school settings.

To acquire the necessary expertise, skills, and mindset for a career as a school psychologist, students participate in practicums and coursework during the initial two years of the EdS program, followed by a full-time internship lasting one year in the third and final year.

Ph.D. Program

The doctoral curriculum involves 122 credit hours at the graduate level, including a year-long internship, early research experience, and a dissertation, culminating in a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) qualification.

The Ph.D. pathway is fully accredited by APA, the Florida Department of Education, and has national recognition from the NASP.

Graduates typically work as certified school psychologists or licensed psychologists in Florida, offering psychological services in educational institutions and other related settings. Additionally, they may engage in research and educate future school psychologists as university faculty members.

PhD degree-holding school psychologists often occupy leadership roles in universities, schools, mental health facilities, and diverse community settings. In addition to working in K-12 public schools, numerous Ph.D. school psychologists become licensed psychologists and provide psychological services in the private sector to children, adolescents, families, educational institutions, and communities. Some also work in university school psychology programs as researchers and educators.

Florida State University

Florida State University (FSU), situated in Tallahassee, Florida, is a renowned public research institution and an esteemed member of the State University System of Florida. With a rich history dating back to 1851, it has been operating on the oldest continuous site of higher education in the state of Florida.

The university encompasses 16 individual colleges and more than 110 centers, labs, and institutes that collectively offer over 360 programs of study, which include professional school courses.

At FSU, the student body comprises over 45,000 individuals from all 50 US states and 130 countries worldwide. Notably, FSU houses Florida’s only national laboratory, the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, and is recognized for the development of the commercially successful anti-cancer drug, Taxol. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) provides accreditation for the university.

Florida State University holds the distinction of being an “R1: Doctoral University – Very high research activity.”

Moreover, the university boasts an array of graduate schools, including a College of Business, College of Law, College of Medicine, and a joint College of Engineering in collaboration with Florida A&M University.

School Psychology Program Information

Enrolling in the M.S./Ed.S. School Psychology Program at Florida State allows you to engage in academic coursework, hands-on practicum experiences, and an internship that ultimately leads to certification as a school psychologist. Graduates from this program work across the nation in various schools, positively impacting students’ lives.

The three-year program has 73 credit hours. In the first year, you will learn important school psychology knowledge and practical skills. During the second year, you will use these skills in real-life learning situations. In the third and last year, you will do a full-time internship in an approved setting. When you finish, you will get both a specialist (Ed.S.) and a master’s degree (M.S.) in Counseling and Human Systems, focusing on School Psychology.

The Florida State M.S./Ed.S. School Psychology Program is fully approved by both the Florida Department of Education and the NASP. Graduates of the program meet the initial educational requirements to practice school psychology in Florida.

Built on the practitioner-scholar framework, the program equips professional school psychologists with exceptional applied skills and the ability to comprehend and apply research to school psychology theory and practice.

With a learner-centered philosophy, the program aims to produce school psychology practitioners skilled in promoting the educational and psychological well-being of children and youth while addressing their diverse needs.

The program underscores the significant role school psychologists play in tackling pressing issues faced by children and adolescents in the 21st century. It embraces the notion that school psychologists’ roles must evolve and expand to effectively promote the educational and psychological well-being of all children and adolescents, given the contemporary challenges they face.

University of Central Florida

Established in 1963, the University of Central Florida is a public university situated in an urban setting with a campus that spans 1,415 acres. With a semester-based academic calendar, this institution has an undergraduate population of over 60,000 students.

Strategically located in the heart of Florida, the university’s main campus is in Orlando, while over 10 regional campuses can be found in various areas such as Daytona Beach, Ocala, and South Lake.

Boasting a substantial Greek system with more than 40 fraternities and sororities, the university also offers over 300 additional student clubs and organizations to engage in.

School Psychology Program Information

The EdS program in School Psychology is tailored for individuals aiming to become certified school psychologists. This specialist degree follows a distinct curriculum designed to fulfill the necessary licensing requirements for the profession.

As a state-approved initial teacher preparation program, students in the EdS in School Psychology should maintain regular communication with their advisors to stay updated on any program modifications resulting from new state regulations.

The school psychology program offers a distinctive blend of psychology and education, focused on two key assumptions:

  • Firstly, school psychologists can apply valuable knowledge from multiple disciplines to address the learning issues of preschool and school-aged children.
  • Secondly, these relevant insights and skills can be utilized through various services such as consulting with educators and parents, providing direct and indirect support to children and young adults, and offering assistance to school and community organizations.

The curriculum integrates both theoretical learning and hands-on experience, with an emphasis on foundational psychological concepts, including human growth, cognition, and inspiration, as well as psychoeducational evaluations, exceptional learners, remediation approaches, and counseling abilities.

A two-semester, full-time, supervised placement in a public educational environment is also part of the program. To earn the EdS degree in school psychology, students must complete a minimum of 74 credit hours beyond their undergraduate degree, and submit a portfolio, practical training, and a research paper at the conclusion of the program.

It’s worth mentioning that before the internship, 62 credit hours are required, while the remaining 18 credit hours, which include the research paper and internship courses, are fulfilled during the internship itself.

Work Opportunities for School Psychologists in Florida

In Florida, school psychologists have access to a wide range of job prospects that allow them to play a crucial role in fostering the educational and emotional well-being of students. These professionals can find rewarding careers in various environments, including:

  • Elementary, middle, and high schools: Both public and private institutions employ school psychologists to offer services such as assessments, interventions, consultations, and prevention initiatives for students, teachers, and parents.
  • Universities and colleges: School psychologists in Florida can contribute to research, teaching, or provide counseling services for students within higher education settings.
  • Mental health facilities: Working in these clinics, school psychologists in Florida can provide psychological support for children and teenagers dealing with emotional, behavioral, or learning challenges.
  • Hospitals: School psychologists may collaborate with medical staff in healthcare environments to address the psychological needs of pediatric patients and support treatment plans.
  • Government departments: Positions within state or federal agencies, like the Florida Department of Education, enable school psychologists to develop policies, offer consultation, or support programs aimed at enhancing educational outcomes.
  • Independent practices: Some school psychologists start their own businesses, delivering consultation, assessment, and intervention services for children, adolescents, and their families.
  • Research institutions and non-profit organizations: School psychologists in Florida can engage in research projects or policy development to improve educational and mental health outcomes for young people.

As Florida continues to prioritize addressing the diverse needs of its student population, the demand for school psychologists in Florida is expected to rise. A career in school psychology within the state offers numerous opportunities to make a positive impact on the lives of children and adolescents across a variety of professional settings.

Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved. Program outcomes can vary according to each institution's curriculum and job opportunities are not guaranteed. This site is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional help.