Becoming a School Psychologist in NC

Employment as a school psychologist in North Carolina public schools requires a school psychologist license issued by the NC Department of Public Instruction. NC DPI licensure requirements for school psychology include: completion of an approved school psychology graduate program at the sixth-year (specialist) level; passing score on the School Psychology Praxis test.

School psychology graduate programs offering degrees at the sixth-year, specialist, or masters + 30 level (degrees including MS/CAS, MA/SSP, Ed.S, MEd.) generally require two years of full-time coursework and one year (1200 hours) of supervised internship. Doctoral programs in school psychology (Ph.D., Ed.D., PsyD.) typically require at least 4 years of full-time coursework and one year of supervised internship.

There are five school psychology graduate programs in North Carolina:

Appalachian State University

East Carolina University

North Carolina State University

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Western Carolina University

Information about school psychology graduate programs across the US can be found here.

Can I receive school psychology licensure in North Carolina if I completed an out-of-state program?

There are many school psychologists licensed in NC who attended programs outside of NC. If you have the NCSP (Nationally Certified School Psychologist) credential you are eligible for licensure in school psychology by NC DPI. If you completed a school psychology graduate program in another state but do not have your NCSP, you may still be eligible for licensure. Contact the NC DPI Licensure office for more information.

Can I receive school psychology licensure in North Carolina if I have a graduate degree in another area of psychology or a related field?

No. Licensure as a school psychologist in NC requires that you complete a graduate program in school psychology. There is not a lateral entry option for school psychology. However, if you have a graduate degree in another area of psychology, you may be eligible for licensure as a Psychologist or a Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA) through the NC Psychology Board. If you are licensed by the NC Psychology Board, you may be qualified to provide contracted psychological services to a school system or charter school.

Additional information about graduate training and licensure in school psychology:

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP): About School Psychology 

NASP Standards and Certification 

NC DPI Online Licensure Application

NC DPI Licensure Office:, 800-577-7994