Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in School Psychology

William James College offers a doctoral degree (PsyD) in school psychology that prepares practitioners to assume leadership roles in the field, with an emphasis on the delivery of mental health services in schools as well as development of advanced level practice skills. The initial (MA/CAGS) level of the program provides students with solid foundation of content knowledge, practice skills, and professional behaviors.  The PsyD level of the program is designed to enable practicing school psychologists to pursue more advanced and specialized training while working as a school psychologist. 

Program information resources including the School Psychology PsyD Program Handbook, Institutional Policies and Procedures Manual (IPPM), Doctoral Project Manual, and Information for Applicants are available to current and prospective students through links on the right hand column of this page.  A brief overview of the mission and purpose of the School PsyD Program and a description of applicant eligibility follow below.

Mission and Purpose

The values and programmatic focus of William James College are reflected in the school's mission statement:

"William James College strives to be a preeminent school of psychology that integrates rigorous academic instruction with extensive field education and close attention to professional development. We assume an ongoing social responsibility to create programs to educate specialists of many disciplines to meet the evolving mental health needs of society."

Consistent with this mission and focus, the School Psychology PsyD Program has been developed (1) to serve the public need for highly skilled school psychologists and child mental health professionals, and (2) to make doctoral level training in school psychology more accessible and feasible to capable and committed trainees.  While the curriculum has a considerable emphasis on development of clinical skills, the role and expertise of a doctoral level school psychologist is distinct from that of a clinical psychologist. Applicants should understand that our School Psychology PsyD Program prepares graduates to apply advanced expertise and clinical skills in the implementation of school psychological services. This is reflected in the program's philosophy and goals.

Philosophy and Goals

The Doctor of Psychology in School Psychology at William James College prepares professional school psychologists through rigorous academic study integrated with intensive supervised clinical practice. Consistent with a practitioner-scholar model, we stress core values of experiential education, social responsibility and personal growth.  Trainees develop attitudes and competencies that enable them to work effectively and respectfully with diverse types of students and families, school personnel, other professionals, and members of the community. In keeping with this philosophy, program goals are as follows:

  1. Graduates will be able to apply a broad foundation of knowledge and theory in the field of general psychology to their professional practice, enabling them to apply a scientific, evidence-based perspective to their understanding of human behavior.
  2. Graduates will apply a solid foundation of practice-related knowledge, skills, and attitude in delivering a comprehensive array of school psychological services.
  3. Graduates will assume leadership roles in their work environments and within the professional community, applying a systems perspective to optimize their impact.
  4. Graduates will exercise and model professional behaviors and attitudes that optimize their effectiveness as practitioners and mentors.
Who This Program is For

Individuals in any of the following three categories are encouraged to apply:

  1. The applicant holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, education, or a closely related field; and has a strong record of academic performance and relevant work. Applicants in this category would seek admission as an MA/CAGS/PsyD student.
  2. If offered admission to the MA/CAGS program but not the PsyD program, a matriculated student in good standing can apply to the PsyD in School Psychology program after transitioning from the MA to the CAGS level of the program in the fall of Year 2.
  3. The applicant holds a specialist level (e.g., Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study, or CAGS) degree in school psychology and seeks admission to the PsyD program as an advanced standing student. The candidate completes an individualized program that consists of all coursework and other requirements for our MA/CAGS/PsyD program not credited upon matriculation. While the program is compatible with full-time work as a school psychologist, this makes for a complicated schedule and a challenging workload. Students in the program are encouraged to consider a reduced work schedule (e.g., 3 or 4 days per week).

An individual who earns the CAGS degree in school psychology from William James College will qualify for licensure as a school psychologist in Massachusetts and in other states in the United States.

The PsyD degree affords the graduate additional value as it (1) provides more advanced training, (2) offers the opportunity to develop areas of specialized expertise, (3) increases the capacity to supervise other professionals, (4) expands opportunities to teach in higher education and conduct research, and (5) may qualify an individual to practice independently as a psychologist.

Career Outlook

Advantages of a Graduate School Education at William James College

94% of Graduates receive jobs in their field within 6 months of graduating

Job Outlook: Percent (%) Change in Employment for 2012-2022 Bureau of Labor Statistics
Marriage and Family Therapist Up 31%
Mental Health Counselor Up 29%
Clinical, Counseling & School Psychologists Up 11%

US News & World Report Best Social Service Jobs Best Jobs US News Best Jobs Logo
School Psychologist No. 1 No. 31
Marriage and Family Therapist No. 33 No. 76
Mental Health Counselor No. 38 No. 97

Median Salaries* Data from 2009 APA Salary Survey and US News & World Report

American Psychological Association Logo
US News Best Jobs Logo
Clinical Psychologist $87,015
School Psychologist $67,880
Mental Health Counselor $47,000
Marriage and Family Therapist $46,240
* Licensed mental health professionals have the opportunity for additional income through private practice.

Our Difference: Percent (%) of Graduates to obtain a job within 6 months of graduation

William James College
MA in Counseling Psychology 100%
MA/CAGS in School Psychology 100%
MA in Forensic and Counseling Psychology 100%
MA in Organizational Psychology 88%
PsyD in Clinical Psychology 87%

NASP Convention 2015

NASP Convention 2015