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Master of Science in School Psychology with PPSP Credential (California Only)

The Department of Pupil Personnel Services-School Psychology offers a graduate degree leading to the Master of Science in School Psychology and a recommendation for a Pupil Personnel School Psychology credential (PPSP). Candidates cannot get a master s degree without a credential. This program is aligned with California Commission for Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) standards and prepares candidates in California for the position of school psychologist. Graduates of this program generally seek employment as a school psychologist in P-12 school districts and must hold a PPSP credential for public school employment.

Students taking courses online are advised that there is a program requirement for students to meet on 8 Saturdays onsite to engage in experiential, hands-on training for the 4 assessment courses: PED 671-674. No make-up sessions will be available for these Saturday sessions; students missing a sessions may be significantly delayed from completing the program.

Candidates enrolled in the degree and credential program are not awarded the master s degree until they have completed all coursework including practicum and internship and successful completion of the PRAXIS exam. Course equivalence cannot be granted for life experiences.

Applied Behavior Analysis Information

The program includes the five-course sequence in applied behavior analysis which is designed to prepare candidates for the certification examination sponsored by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

Upon successful completion of this five course sequence, the candidate will have met the BACB academic requirements for taking the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam. Also, a candidate may receive a certificate of completion from National University. This is not professional certification by the BACB and does not entitle candidates to claim they are BCBAs upon completion. Also offered on a limited basis and under very specific conditions, is an Intensive Practicum, not part of the academic requirements for taking the BCBA exam. The Intensive Practicum is designed to meet BACB experiential requirements for taking the BCBA exam.

Information about becoming certified through the BACB can be found at

For additional information on credential requirements, please see the School of Education Credential Information section of the catalog.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Evaluate various methods of assessment in order to make data-based decisions.
  2. Analyze consultative/collaborative relationships with school staff, parents, and community agencies in support of student success.
  3. Examine societal influences on academic and social behavior.
  4. Analyze how systemic school approaches can affect student outcomes.
  5. Appraise principles related to prevention in the context of their ability to improve services provided to students.
  6. Examine strategies related to family systems that support student success.
  7. Evaluate strategies that mitigate individual differences, abilities, disabilities, and other diverse characteristics in order to enhance services for students.
  8. Compare and contrast current research methodologies used in school psychology and related fields.
  9. Conduct research using relevant design, statistics, measurements, data analysis, and program evaluation methods to improve student outcomes.
  10. Interpret the ethical, legal, and professional standards necessary to engage in sound decision making.
  11. Design a crisis intervention plan that includes responses that address both individual and school-wide emergency concerns.


(20 courses; 90 quarter units)

To receive a Master of Science in School Psychology, students must complete at least 90 quarter units of graduate work. A total of 13.5 quarter units of graduate credit may be granted for equivalent graduate work completed at another institution, as it applies to this degree and if the units were not used in earning another advanced degree. Students are not awarded the master’s degree until they have completed all graduate and credential coursework, including internship and research (PED637). Course equivalence cannot be granted for life experience. Students must complete all coursework with a GPA of 3.0 or better within seven years. Any courses taken more than seven years ago must be repeated.

Core Requirements (20 courses, 90 quarter units)
Candidates are required to complete ALL 450 hours of practicum prior to starting their internship. Candidates must complete the practicum experience under the supervision of a credentialed and experienced (three years) school psychologist. National University school psychology candidates will complete school-based practicum during the PED 678 course (3-month course).
Core Requisite(s):
Optional Elective (1 course, 4.5 quarter units)