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Psychology Department

Application Instructions

The MA in Applied/School Psychology program is now accepting applications for Fall 2021 admission!

Application deadline: February 15, 2021.

Complete applications received by this date will be given full consideration. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Once you complete your application, you will be assigned a Chico State email address. Communication regarding the status of your application will be sent to this email address. Admission is contingent upon approval by the Psychology Department and the Graduate School.

What are the course prerequisites?

The following five courses must be completed before starting graduate classes in the Fall:

  • Psychology of Learning
  • Cognition
  • Developmental Psychology, Child Psychology, or Child and Adolescent Psychology
  • Statistics for Psychology
  • Psychological Measurement

When you submit your application, only unofficial transcripts are required. However, prior to enrolling in the Fall, official transcripts reflecting passing grades in all prerequisite courses will be required. If you have not already taken each of these courses, include a plan for completing any missing courses.

What documents must I submit to complete my application?

As part of your application, you will be asked to submit the following documents:

  1. Three Written Interview Essays - Follow the detailed instructions given below.
  2. Application for Advancement to Classified Status (PDF)
  3. Unofficial transcripts from every college/university attended since high school.

How do I complete the Written Interview Essays?

  1. Each applicant must answer three written interview questions:
    1. A major misconception about the school psychologist’s job is that school psychologists spend the majority of their time doing special education assessment or individual counseling. Review Who are School Psychologists from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and What School Psychologists Do from the California Association of School Psychologists (CASP). Describe the services you envision emphasizing in your career as a school psychologist.
    2. Identify a recent event (within the previous three months) reported in the local or national news that relates to diversity and preK-12 schools. How would you respond to this event as a school psychologist? Please provide a link to a news article about the event you chose.
    3. Describe your commitment to doing the hard work of studying, learning in the field, and making the changes necessary to develop your professional identity as a school psychologist. Provide evidence of your past personal experiences that demonstrate your commitment.
  2. Each essay should be one, single spaced page with one-inch margins in length. Each essay should be written using 12-point Arial or Times New Roman font. Combine the three essays into a single document and upload this with your application where a Statement of Purpose is requested.
  3. Be sure to review the three rubrics below before you write your essays. We will use the rubrics to score your essays.


    Expand All | Collapse All

    • Rubric for Written Interview Question #1
      School Psychological Services
      Criteria/Scoring4321
      ContentDevelops a full and engaging point of view or perspective, AND demonstrates a strong awareness of comprehensive service delivery for school psychologists.Develops a logical point of view or perspective, AND demonstrates awareness of several areas of service delivery for school psychologists.Implies a point of view or perspective, AND demonstrates some awareness of of 2-3 areas of service delivery for school psychologists.Does not provide an organized point of view or perspective of school psychology OR demonstrates limited awareness of the role of school psychologists.
      ConventionsThe writing is essentially error free.While the writing may show minor errors, the paper follows expected conventions of spelling and grammar for academic writing. Sources are competently cited and/ or documented.Frequent errors in spelling, grammar, sentence structure and/or other writing conventions distract the reader. It is not clear which references are direct quotes and which are paraphrased.Writing contains numerous errors in spelling, grammar, and/or sentence structure, which interfere with meaning.
      Fails to include appropriate citations.
      Clarity and CoherenceWriting flows smoothly from one idea to another. It is easy for the reader to follow the logic of the ideas expressed.Sentences are structured and words are chosen to communicate ideas clearly. Ideas are organized within paragraphs, and transitions between paragraphs make the writer’s points easy to follow.Sentence structure, word choice, missing transitions and/or poor sequencing of ideas sometimes make understanding the writer’s meaning difficult.Sentence structure, word choice, missing transitions and/or poor sequencing of ideas consistently make understanding the writer’s meaning difficult.
    • Rubric for Written Interview Question #2
      Diversity
      Criteria/Scoring4321
      ContentThe applicant acknowledges a responsibility to community regarding diversity issues related to the practice of school psychology, AND expresses a commitment to working towards specific solutions.The applicant acknowledges a responsibility to community regarding diversity issues that may or may not be directly related to the practice of school psychology, AND expresses a commitment to working towards specific solution(s).The applicant demonstrates some insight regarding diversity issues that may or may not be directly relevant to the practice of school psychology, OR discusses a personal sense of responsibility for working toward solutions but does not apply that knowledge.The applicant demonstrates limited awareness of diversity, OR denies personal responsibility to community regarding diversity issues.
      ConventionsThe writing is essentially error free.While the writing may show minor errors, the paper follows expected conventions of spelling and grammar for academic writing. Sources are competently cited and/ or documented.Frequent errors in spelling, grammar, sentence structure and/or other writing conventions distract the reader. It is not clear which references are direct quotes and which are paraphrased.Writing contains numerous errors in spelling, grammar, and/or sentence structure, which interfere with meaning.
      Fails to include appropriate citations.
      Clarity and CoherenceWriting flows smoothly from one idea to another. It is easy for the reader to follow the logic of the ideas expressed.Sentences are structured and words are chosen to communicate ideas clearly. Ideas are organized within paragraphs, and transitions between paragraphs make the writer’s points easy to follow.Sentence structure, word choice, missing transitions and/or poor sequencing of ideas sometimes make understanding the writer’s meaning difficult.Sentence structure, word choice, missing transitions and/or poor sequencing of ideas consistently make understanding the writer’s meaning difficult.
    • Rubric for Written Interview Question #3
      Commitment to Graduate Training in School Psychology
      Criteria/Scoring4321
      ContentThe applicant demonstrates insight into their attitude and approach to learning. Strong, compelling evidence of critical, careful self-reflection is provided. Relevant, specific examples of behavior indicating commitment to graduate training are provided.The applicant demonstrates insight into their attitude and approach to learning. Clear evidence of critical, careful self-reflection is provided. Relevant, specific examples of behavior indicating commitment to graduate training are provided.The applicant demonstrates emerging insight into their attitude and approach to learning. Some evidence of critical, careful self-reflection is provided. Any examples of behavior are general rather than specific.The applicant demonstrates limited insight into their attitude and approach to learning. Little evidence of critical, careful self-reflection and analysis is provided. No examples are provided.
      ConventionsThe writing is essentially error free.While the writing may show minor errors, the paper follows expected conventions of spelling and grammar for academic writing. Sources are competently cited and/ or documented.Frequent errors in spelling, grammar, sentence structure and/or other writing conventions distract the reader. It is not clear which references are direct quotes and which are paraphrased.Writing contains numerous errors in spelling, grammar, and/or sentence structure, which interfere with meaning.
      Fails to include appropriate citations.
      Clarity and CoherenceWriting flows smoothly from one idea to another. It is easy for the reader to follow the logic of the ideas expressed.Sentences are structured and words are chosen to communicate ideas clearly. Ideas are organized within paragraphs, and transitions between paragraphs make the writer’s points easy to follow.Sentence structure, word choice, missing transitions and/or poor sequencing of ideas sometimes make understanding the writer’s meaning difficult.Sentence structure, word choice, missing transitions and/or poor sequencing of ideas consistently make understanding the writer’s meaning difficult.

Is the GRE required for admission to the program?

Due to restrictions imposed by the global coronavirus pandemic, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) requirement is waived for students applying for Fall 2021 admission. Scores from neither the GRE General Test nor the GRE Psychology Subject Test are required. If you do send scores to us we will not accept them and leave them out of the review process.

Who should I ask to write me a letter of recommendation?

Identify three individuals who have agreed to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. When you submit your application you will be asked to provide the contact information of your recommenders. For the Applied/School Psychology program we are specifically looking for recommenders who are familiar with your academic and professional work. Your three letters should therefore consist of:

  1. At least one letter from a professor familiar with the quality of your academic work.
  2. If applicable, one letter from a supervisor or employer in either a clinical, research, or other work/volunteer environment.
  3. The third letter may be written by another professor, a research supervisor, or another employer or colleague who knows you from a professional or volunteer environment.

How do I submit my application?

The entire graduate school application must be completed and submitted online via the Cal State Apply system: https://www2.calstate.edu/apply

What happens after submitting an application?

You will be contacted at your assigned Chico State e-mail regarding the status of your application. If accepted, the department may recommend that you be admitted as either a "conditionally classified" master's degree student (if you have yet to complete some of the undergraduate prerequisites) or as a “classified" master's degree student (if you have met all of the prerequisites).

If accepted, you are required to return the Notification of Acceptance form, sent to you with the acceptance letter from the department, indicating whether you intend to enroll in the fall semester. Failure to do so will result in the loss of your position in the program; however, you may reapply the following year, if you choose.

If you have any questions about your application or the application process, please contact the Applied/School Psychology coordinator, Dr. Leesa Huang.


The information above are instructions for applying to the Masters program in Applied/School Psychology. If you are looking for instructions for applying to one of our other two programs, please go to: