School Psychology is a great career (see US News and World Report summary). There are many openings in BC and elsewhere, and starting salaries are excellent. With a Masters degree in school psychology, the most common job is as a School Psychologist (see NASP (National Association of School Psychlogists web site) and job prospects are excellent. School Psychologists are in high demand, although many of our graduates also find employment as mental health workers, behaviour interventionists, or educational consultants. In addition to working in schools, school psychologists work in a variety of other settings, including mental health, child development centres, and children’s hospitals. With a Masters degree in School Psychology from UBC, you'd be eligible to apply for registration as a psychological associate with the College of Psychologists of BC, certification with the BC Association of School Psychologists, and as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist.
School Psychologists who work in schools are district employees, so salaries can vary depending on where you work. Most school districts pay school psychologists at or above the teacher range, which are averaged on the Education Canada Network web site. The training for School Psychologists would place you at six or more years of education. Many districts also provide an additional stipend for School Psychologists, so the pay is often $2000 - 5000 extra, with excellent benefits and retirement plans. In addition, there is a shortage in the field, which can work to your advantage in terms of availability and salary leverage. Salary for School Psychologists working in non-school settings such as private agencies, mental health, hospitals, etc. can vary considerably with the site.
Applicants for all SCPS programs (M.Ed., M.A., and Ph.D.) are required to completethe GRE with minimum scores of 153 in verbal and 144 in quantitative or 500 in both verbal and quantitative categories for GRE administrations before August 2011. The psychology subject exam is optional and not required. Applicants for whom English is not their primary language should write the GRE but inform the admissions committee of this fact.
No, you do not need to be a teacher or have a teaching certificate for the School Psychology program at UBC. You do need evidence of successful work experience with school age children and youth. This can be met in a number of ways, including working as a teaching assistant, behaviour analyst or interventionist, coach, classroom volunteer, camp counsellor. Most applicants include one letter of reference from someone who can comment on their suitability for work with children and youth based on prior experience.
A minimum of 18 credits in psychology, education, special education or related disciplines is required. Upper-level coursework (courses at the 300, 400, or 500 level) are required in the areas of both statistics and research methods. If your university does not offer upper division coursework in statistics and research methods, you need to address that you have completed advanced undergraduate level statistics in your program or at your university. Coursework in measurement is recommended but not required. More detailed information on masters prerequisites can be found Admissions Requirements page. Students are encouraged to have background or coursework in areas most relevant to school psychology practice (e.g., child development, learning, exceptional students, classroom management, behaviour disorders, abnormal psychology). It is not necessary to have a degree in psychology or education to apply.
The prerequisite is a M.A. in school psychology from UBC or equivalent to UBC's coursework (69 credits). If you are interested in the Ph.D. but do not have these requirements, you can apply to the masters program and then can request to apply for the Ph.D. from within the program.
Students in the M.A. program complete an additional course in statistics and a research thesis. Students in the M.Ed. program complete a more intensive graduating portfolio. All other aspects of the program are the same for the M.A. and M.Ed. degrees.
All students are asked to identify faculty members and the areas of research that are of most interest to them, as part of the application process. M.A. and M.Ed. students apply to the program in general and are assigned to a program advisor at the time of admission. Masters students work with their program advisors to develop their program of study and to explore potential research directions and possible research supervisors. Doctoral students also apply to the program in general, however, given the research focus of the PhD program, availability of a suitable research supervisor and applicant fit with faculty interests and expertise is a significant consideration.
No. Both the masters and doctoral programs require full-time study on campus prior to internship. Students are enrolled in two years of full-time study on campus in both the masters and doctoral programs.
Yes. In year one of the masters program, students take classes in May, June, and July. In year two, students take classes in May and June. There is more flexibility in the summer programming for doctoral students.
Though we are not able to guarantee funding for all students at the time of acceptance, a wide array of funding options are available. Many students receive fellowships based on academic merit from provincial and federal agencies (e.g., SSHRC, CIHR, Ministry of Education). Other students work as Graduate Academic Assistants (GAAs) and Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs). In recent years, it has been our experience that any student who desires funding is able to find it through GAA and/or GRA positions.