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School of Human Services and Sciences

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Psychology | Specialist (Psy.S.) in School Psychology


Dr. Tania Thomas-Presswood, Program Coordinator

**no longer accepting students**

The Department of Psychology offers a specialist degree program in school psychology (Psy.S.) with a subspecialization in deafness. The program provides a comprehensive plan of studies that integrates respect for diversity, basic psychology, practitioner skills, and educational planning. The faculty is committed to developing competent school psychologists who serve diverse students, including specialization in the area of deafness. The program has a solid core of academic and applied courses supplemented by extensive practica and a one-year internship.

The school psychology program is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and is part of Gallaudet’s Educator Preparation Provider Unit which is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE); therefore, graduates of the Gallaudet program may receive certification as school psychologists in the many states that recognize NASP/NCATE accredited training programs. The program identifies six NCATE Transition Points that serve as benchmarks for monitoring progress through the program: Entrance Into the Program, Awarding the M.A. in Developmental Psychology, Advancement to Practicum II, Advancement to Internship, Awarding the Specialist Degree in School Psychology, and Alumni Status. In keeping with national accreditation practices, school psychology students participate in the university TK20 Assessment System which requires a one-time fee. The completion of the specified school psychology program satisfies the training requirements for school psychology certification in the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Admissions Procedures

Applicants for the Psy.S. in School Psychology must complete the application procedures and meet the requirements for graduate study at Gallaudet University. Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information and a checklist of application requirements.

First Date for Consideration of Application: No set date
Last Date for Completed Application: February 1

Program Specific Requirements


Three Letters of Reference

Required Undergraduate Major

Psychology Major or Minor, or Related Field

Prerequisite Coursework


Child Development

Abnormal Psychology

Program of Study

Core Curriculum

The core curriculum consists of credit hour requirements in all professional areas required by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The School Psychology Specialist Program is fully approved by NASP and as such maintains a core curriculum consistent with current NASP training standards.

Additional Objectives

The additional program objective of training students with an expertise in deafness is framed within the following five special competency areas:

  1. Communication and meeting the communication needs of all individuals whom one serves, which includes the development of American Sign Language (ASL) skill, as well as the ability to assess one’s communication skills and adapt communication modalities to meet the specific needs of each child (ASL, manually coded English, oral/aural approaches, etc.).
  2. Knowledge of deafness issues, including research, technological innovations, deaf culture, diversity within the Deaf community, and resources for families and the professional.
  3. Psychoeducational considerations for children who are Deaf or hard of hearing, including modifications needed in use of standardized and non-standardized test instruments, interpretation of results, socialization issues, family issues, and the impact of additional disabilities.
  4. Specialized psychological assessment and observational strategies for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing across diverse cultural, economic, linguistic, and personal developmental domains.
  5. Knowledge of educational intervention techniques and curriculum adaptations for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

Practicum and Internships

Supervised practicum and internship experiences are available at school and educational programs for deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing children in the metropolitan Washington area and across the United States. A background check is frequently a requirement of practicum and internship sites and will be the financial responsibility of the student before placement is made.

Typical Program of Study and Core Courses

The graduate program in school psychology requires the completion of 72 graduate hours including practicum and internship experiences. The program generally takes three years: two years of course study (including practicum experiences) and a one-year internship.

The first year of the program includes a 30-credit sequence of courses in psychology and related areas, additional sign communication courses, and successful completion of comprehensive examinations in two areas (cognition and behavior disorders). Successful completion of these requirements results in a master of arts degree in developmental psychology. The master’s degree is usually awarded at the end of the first year of study.

The second year includes an additional 30-credit sequence of courses emphasizing school psychological services, successful completion of a comprehensive examination case study and an extensive practicum experience.

The third program year is a full-time school psychology internship placement (12 credits), which may be served in a school or school/clinical setting anywhere in the United States. During the internship year, students must complete two comprehensive internship intervention case studies. Upon successful completion of the internship year the specialist degree in school psychology is awarded.

Available In:

Courses & Requirements

Year 1
Semester 1
Semester 2

Plus Sign Language Courses (6 credits) or waivers


Year 2
Semester 3
Semester 4
Year 3
Semester 5
Semester 6
Courses that must be taken at Gallaudet in the school psychology program:
Elective courses:
Required electives:

A course in diversity and multicultural issues

A course in audiology, and

A course in Research Methods

Daniel Koo
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Admissions Requirements

Hearing Undergraduate