School Psychologist Credentialing Requirements in Hawaii: Become a School Psychologist in HI

The Hawaii Department of Education determines employment eligibility of school psychologists. Graduate education is required. Candidates can demonstrate qualifications by presenting a third party credential or by presenting direct evidence that education and supervision meet state standards. School psychologists are employed at different levels and salary ranks.

Professionals who complete doctoral degrees in psychology have the option of pursuing licensure as psychologists through Hawaii Professional and Vocational Licensing. This is one of the pathways that may be used to demonstrate that requirements have been met at a high level.

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Requirements for School Psychologist (Master’s)

A candidate for School Psychologist Master’s must have at least a master’s degree. There are four pathways (

Master’s in School Psychology: The individual may earn a master’s degree in school psychology through a regionally accredited institution. A 1,200 hour internship is required. A minimum of 600 hours must take place in a school setting; this may be elementary school, middle school, or secondary school. School psychology graduates whose internships fall below the minimum standard may be found eligible if they have completed an additional year of supervised experience.

Master’s in a Related Field: Individuals with master’s degrees in educational psychology, counseling psychology, or other closely related fields may be eligible if their program included coursework required by the state and if they have the requisite experience. The application form (available on the DOE site in Spring 2014) cites the following:

  • Human development and learning
  • Individual differences
  • Psycho-educational assessment
  • Special education and remedial assessment
  • Statistics
  • Research methodology
  • Ethics and legal issues in education or psychology

State-issued Credential: A candidate can demonstrate qualifications by presenting a current license or certification issued by another licensing agency.

National Certification: Qualifications can be demonstrated through a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential issued by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). In order to earn the NCSP, one needs to complete a graduate program of at least 60 semester hours; there must be at least 54 semester hours of coursework excluding internship ( Additionally, candidates must demonstrate mastery of NASP professional standards. A candidate who completes a school psychology program that has not received NASP approval will need to demonstrate competencies through submission of a professional portfolio.

An NCSP must also pass the Praxis II examination for school psychologists. The required score for examinations with test code 0401 is 165. A computer-delivered examination will be introduced in the fall of 2014; the expected threshold score is 147. Candidates can download study resources and register online (

The NCSP credential can make it easier to achieve licensure or state certification in many U.S. jurisdictions. A list of states that accept the NCSP can be accessed through the NASP website (

Requirements for School Psychologist (Doctoral)

According to the National Association of School Psychologists, a candidate can meet educational requirements for School Psychologist (Doctoral) by completing a school psychology program that is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists or accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA); graduates of accredited or approved programs are expected to accrue at least 1,200 internship hours (

Doctoral programs in counseling psychology and other closely related fields can be qualifying if coursework standards are met. The School Psychologist (Doctoral) will need four years of professional experience, but some substitutions are permitted. A graduate of an APA-accredited or NASP-approved doctoral program may credit a qualifying internship as two years. A post-doctoral internship may be credited as one year.

Requirements for Clinical Psychologists Working in the Hawaii School System

Some current (2014) positions posted by the Hawaii Department of Education are for clinical psychologist. A candidate may apply based on licensure by Hawaii Professional and Vocational Licensing/ Board of Psychology, credentialing by an accepted third party, or qualifying education and experience. In all cases, a doctoral degree is required.

A candidate may qualify based on licensure through Hawaii’s Board of Psychology ( To be licensed as a psychologist, an individual must complete a doctoral program that is APA-accredited or meets the Board’s coursework requirements. The candidate will also need to fulfill a supervised practice requirement and pass a national psychology examination (the EPPP). Certain third party credentials are accepted as evidence that requirements have been met. Candidates interested in applying for psychologist licensing may make a request to have application materials sent to them. The Board-issued license also qualifies a professional for private practice in Hawaii and for employment in non-school settings.

A candidate may qualify on the basis of diplomat status through the American Board of Professional Psychology. Information is available on the ABPP site (

A degree in clinical psychology or a closely related field can be accepted if the school was accredited and if the program included a qualifying internship; in some instances, post-graduate internship or experience may be accepted in lieu of traditional internship. A doctoral degree can be accepted if the program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or if it is housed in a regionally accredited institution and meets the standards of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. (The American Psychological Association accredits programs in clinical, counseling, and school psychology.)

The Application Process

A candidate can find application information on ‘Hawaii Department of Education Employment Opportunities’ ( The applicant should select “Classified/Support Services Personnel” and enter ‘psychologist’ in the search.

Candidates must fill out a supplemental questionnaire and include copies of documents that they wish to have considered. Coursework should be documented through official transcripts. Master’s level candidates who are NCSP-certified should include proof of certification; those who are certified or licensed in another state should include a copy of their credential.

Some positions may require a driver’s license; candidates who wishes to be considered for these positions should submit a copy of their driver’s license.

Candidates can expect some preliminary investigation before being placed in the pool of qualified professionals. The Department of Education will provide written notice of eligibility.

Candidates can expect to be asked to have a criminal background check and physical examination before hire.

Additional Information

Policies are subject to change.

The Department of Education can be found online at Applicants can call 808-586-3744 or 800-305-5104.

The Board of Psychology is found online at

The Hawaii Association of School Psychologists, an affiliate of the National Association of School Psychologists, is a resource for the state’s professionals ( HASP provides professional development and networking opportunities. Email contact information is available on the HASP website (