Psychology Department

Application Instructions

Applications for the MA in Applied/School Psychology program for Fall 2023 will open in October 2022.

Application deadline: February 10, 2023, for admission in the fall semester.

Applications received by this date will be given full consideration. Only completed applications will be considered. Communication regarding the status of your application will be sent to the e-mail address you provide when filling out your Cal State Apply application. 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. Two Written Interview Essays - Follow the detailed instructions given below.
  2. An optional third Written Interview Essay - Follow the detailed instructions given below.
  3. Application for Advancement to Classified Status (PDF)
  4. Unofficial transcripts from every college/university attended since high school.
  5. Your plan for completing any missing prerequisites before you enroll in the fall (if needed).

How do I complete the Written Interview Essays?

  1. Each applicant must answer two written interview questions (a & b), and may choose to answer a third, optional question (c).
    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 one year of the application deadline) 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. (Optional) Please share any additional evidence of your commitment to and readiness for graduate training as a school psychologist that you would like us to consider as part of your application. For example, if your GPA is on the low side, you might provide additional information to help us understand why your performance in grad school is likely to be stronger than your GPA would predict. Or, if you have been out of school for a while, you might provide context for why you are choosing to return to school now. Or, you fill in the blank with what it is important for us to know about you as a potential school psychology graduate student that we didn’t know to ask.
  2. Each essay should not exceed 4000 characters. We reccomend composing your essays in a separate document so you can check your character counts. Then, copy and paste each essay into the appropriate section of the online application. Do not upload your essays as a separate attachment. Your essays will only be reviewed if they are submitted within the online application.
  3. Be sure to review the rubrics for the required essays before you write your essays. We will use the rubrics to score your essays. There is no rubric for the optional essay.


    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.
      AND/OR
      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 make it difficult to understand what the writer is saying.
      AND/OR
      Instructions regarding length/ content/ formatting were not followed.
    • 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.
      AND/OR
      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 make it difficult to understand what the writer is saying.
      AND/OR
      Instructions regarding length/ content/ formatting were not followed.

Is the GRE required for admission to the program?

Scores form neither the GRE General Test nor the GRE Psychology Subject Test are required. Scores from the MAT are not required. If you do send scores to us we will 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?

Applicants will be notified of admissions decisions at the e-mail address they provide in Cal State Apply by April 15th. If accepted, the department may recommend that you be admitted as either a "conditionally classified" master's degree student (you have yet to complete some of the undergraduate prerequisites) or as a “classified" master's degree student (you have met all of the prerequisites). Remember, all prerequisites must be completed before you start our program in the fall.

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 coordinators, Dr. Leesa Huang or Dr. Donna Kreskey.


The information above is for people applying to the Master's program in Applied/School Psychology. If you are interested in applying to one of our other two programs, please go to: