Certificate in School Psychology

Program length 2 to 4 years
Semester hours 18 (plus 43 prerequisites)
Cost per semester hour $690*
Tuition cost for entire program $12,420 (total tuition for 2-4 year program, not including missing prerequisite coursework)
Accreditation National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE); approved by Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) of the state of Oregon
Format In-person
Location Portland Center (near Tigard)

*All stated financial information is subject to change.

NCATE Accredited

Certificate in School Psychology

A school psychologist is equipped to understand the physiological, psychological, relational, spiritual and educational needs of K-12 students

George Fox’s certificate in school psychology program is designed for those who already hold a master’s or doctoral degree in a mental health field and wish to pursue licensure in the school psychology profession.

The certificate program, or Initial School Psychology Licensure Preparation Program, prepares graduates to work in public and private schools, to test and assess students, and to analyze test results discerning need areas for children in Oregon and throughout the country.

Upon completion, you will …

  • Be equipped to understand the physiological, psychological, relational, spiritual and educational needs of K-12 students
  • Demonstrate and articulate the core dynamics of school psychology in concert with how personal faith informs one’s identity and practice as a professional school psychologist
  • Be equipped to use appropriate individual and group testing and assessment tools in the areas of academic skills, learning aptitude, social skills, personality and emotional development
  • Be prepared to assist in strengthening the working relationships between educators, parents and community resources
  • Possess the cross-cultural skills to work with a variety of students of different ages, diverse backgrounds, and varied developmental stages, cognitive, emotional and physical abilities
  • Be equipped to work in schools, private institutions, community clinics and faith-based organizations
  • Demonstrate foundational counseling skills
  • Be prepared to meet the requirements for the Initial School Psychology License as defined by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC)

Program Requirements

The Initial School Psychology Licensure Preparation Program is generally two to four years in length, with 43 semester hours of prerequisite coursework and 18 semester hours of coursework required as a minimum for graduation. Of those 18 hours, three are in spiritual integration course work, nine in core counseling and school psychology coursework, and six in internship hours.

Of the 18 semester hours required for the Initial School Psychology Licensure Preparation Program, a minimum of 13 hours must be taken in resident study at George Fox University. The first one to three years are classroom course work and the last year is a full-time internship in a public school.

Prerequisite Coursework

All prerequisite coursework must have been completed within the last 10 years. Transcripts of previous graduate work and supportive documentation will be evaluated by the Graduate School of Counseling (GSC) faculty committee to verify completion of the following prerequisite courses:

GCEP 500 Introduction to Couple and Family Therapy 3
GCEP 501 Principles and Techniques of Counseling 3
GCEP 502 Clinical Practicum 3
GCEP 510 Human Growth and Development 3
GCEP 520 Personality and Counseling Theory 3
GCEP 543 The Exceptional Child 3
GCEP 544 Academic Assessment 4
GCEP 545 Cognitive Assessment 4
GCEP 546 Test and Measurement 3
GCEP 547 Personality and Behavioral Assessment 4
GCEP 550 Group Theory and Therapy 3
GCEP 551 Program Evaluation Research Designs 2
GCEP 566 Research Methods and Statistics 2
GCEP 567 Cultural Foundations and Social Justice 3

Prior courses taken may potentially be accepted, upon approval, as prerequisite hours required to complete the program. Waivers of prerequisite coursework* might vary greatly from student to student. In addition to the prerequisite coursework, all students must complete the required 18 semester hours of coursework listed in the academic catalog curriculum plan.

*Applicants for the Initial School Psychology Licensure Preparation Program may petition the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) if they are dissatisfied with a denied waiver request.


All classes are held at the university’s Portland Center location.


Advantages of the George Fox Certificate in School Psychology program …

  • Courses taught from a systemic perspective inclusive of family, community and cultural dynamics
  • Opportunity to interact with students who are pursuing other mental health professions
  • The combined expertise of the counseling, education and psychology departments
  • An environment that encourages the integration of faith and learning
  • Post-graduate certificates for additional employability and specialization
  • Full time, accessible, widely trained faculty
  • A convenient Portland Center location
  • Evening and weekend course work for the working adult

Why Choose Our Program?

At George Fox, we offer the EdS in school psychology because it is more extensive preparation for school psychologists, provides necessary preparation to pursue licensure and a NCSP (Nationally Certified School Psychology) credential, and ensures that graduates can begin a career in school psychology.

Additionally, many employers prefer or require an EdS degree for school psychologists, and the EdS degree usually puts graduates at a higher pay scale. See the comparison between an MA in school psychology and an EdS below.

Master’s Level (MA) Specialist Level (EdS)
  • Less than 60 graduate semester hours; typically around 36 hours
  • Typically requires two years of full-time study at the graduate level
  • Usually no internship is required
  • Career options in school psychology are limited to none.
  • Not eligible for the NCSP (Nationally Certified School Psychology) Credential
  • Minimum of 60 graduate semester hours
  • Specialist-level degrees alert employers of your more extensive preparation
  • Three years of full-time study at the graduate level, including internship
  • 1,200-hour-full-time internship completed on a full-time basis over one year
  • Entry-level degree for school psychology leading to acceptance for certification or licensure to provide full professional practice within schools or educational settings
  • Eligible for the NCSP (Nationally Certified School Psychology) Credential
  • Usually puts graduates at a higher pay scale

For further detail, we encourage you to utilize this resource provided by the National Association of School Psychologists: nasponline.org/Documents/About School Psychology/Overview of Differences Among Degrees in School Psychology.pdf

Employment Outlook

Graduates of the program can expect favorable job prospects, according to U.S. News & World Report, which ranked school psychology No. 14 on its “100 Best Jobs of 2013” list. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects overall employment of psychologists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026