Department of Psychology

Postdoctoral Respecialization Certificate in School or Clinical Psychology

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The Psychology Respecialization Certificate program offers psychologists with existing doctoral psychology degrees in areas other than clinical or school psychology the opportunity to respecialize in either school or clinical psychology so that they may ethically practice in these areas. To be more specific, the program's mission for admitted students is to fulfill the current doctoral requirements of the Hofstra University doctoral programs, specifically the PsyD program in School-Community Psychology for the School respecialization or the PhD program in Clinical Psychology for the clinical respecialization. By meeting these requirements, enrollees are demonstrating competence as professionals trained to the standards of an APA-accredited program in the respective area of study chosen, as both Hofstra programs are APA accredited. Furthermore, both programs meet the New York state requirements for licensure as a psychologist.

Application Status:

  • For academic calendar year beginning fall 2021:
    Respecialization in School Psychology – Applicants will be considered 

    This program is indefinitely suspended:
    Respecialization in Clinical Psychology – Applicants will not be considered.

Prior Education:

As described later under admission, your prior educational coursework and experiences will be assessed as part of the admission process for the Respecialization Certificate. However, specific coursework found to be acceptable/equivalent to doctoral course requirements are for the internal purposes of fulfilling the requirements of your program for the respecialization certificate. 

The Respecialization Certificate program in psychology is not responsible for coursework taken elsewhere that is found to be unacceptable for licensure in any state, including New York state, nor is it responsible for licensure requirements of other jurisdictions. It is incumbent upon the candidate to always check with the appropriate state or provincial psychology board as to the appropriateness of your educational history and any program and/or coursework you are enrolled in. Enrollment in this program does not guarantee licensure as this is an issue of state or provincial government.

Doctoral degrees that are not named in the discipline of psychology (e.g., cognitive neuroscience or behavioral management) may not be acceptable to the New York State Psychology Board regardless of respecialization. Furthermore, doctoral transcripts must reflect appropriate levels of coursework to obtain a doctorate regardless of postdoctoral coursework. Again, it is incumbent upon the candidate to check with the appropriate psychology board in the jurisdiction where licensure is being sought.


  1. A doctorate in the discipline of psychology from an accredited university.
  2. Evidence of academic excellence.
  3. A personal interview to determine that the program and the applicant's professional goals are congruent.
  4. Evidence that New York state recognizes the doctorate as psychology for licensure purposes, if applicable.

All applicants must possess a doctoral degree in psychology, typically from an accredited educational institution. The program's experience has found that degrees and/or dissertation projects earned from non-accredited institutions may not be recognized by the New York State Psychology Board. It is best to consult with the psychology board in the jurisdiction where you plan on getting licensed prior to any educational endeavor. As stated previously, this program is tailored to meet the requirements of New York state licensure.


Transcripts, syllabi, and other educational materials of candidates will be reviewed to ascertain the appropriateness of your application for admission. The core faculty of either the School or Clinical Psychology programs will determine your appropriateness for admission based upon vitas, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and interviews. As these programs run within existing doctoral programs, the issue of faculty sufficiency to take on additional students into small classes, clinics, supervision sessions, etc., will also limit the number of students who may get admitted into either program.

Plan of Study:

New York state psychology licensure allows for independent practice with the public as a health service provider. Therefore, the respecialization certificate requires that the same competency standards for the doctoral programs be applied in the case of a respecialization student, regardless of the doctoral degree already in the possession of this individual.  

A proposed curriculum will be tailored to the deficits in your education to meet the two previously stated standards of the program: 1) Competence skills at the doctoral level, and 2) Fulfilling the licensure requirements for New York state licensure. There is no preset number of credits to obtain these goals.

Candidates possessing degrees in more closely allied areas of study to clinical or school psychology (e.g., developmental psychology, experimental psychopathology) may have less required coursework than candidates with more divergent areas of psychology study which are less applied or unrelated to the desired respecialization field.


New York state, as in most all states, requires an internship of one year or its equivalent in a two-year period in order to become licensed. This is not a requirement that our program can waive. This issue will be discussed with you when your program is proposed. Students will not be enrolled in this program simply to meet the NYS internship requirement.


The Respecialization Certificate program is not a distance learning program. Competencies for practice are judged in person by professors and supervisors. Class attendance at Hofstra University is mandatory.

Program Completion:

Upon the successful completion of all program requirements as laid out in the candidate's personal plan of study, a Certificate of Respecialization is awarded. This certificate and the candidate's transcript are proof that additional educational specialization occurred to bring this candidate to a level of competence to practice as a licensed psychologist in either school or clinical psychology. However, as stated above, completion of the respecialization program does not guarantee licensure.