Master of Science & Specialist Degree in School Psychology {22-23}

Program Coordinator: Lisa Stewart, Ph.D, NCSP
Department of Psychology
Bridges Hall 359E

School psychologists are an integral part of the support team available in America's schools. School psychologists use their knowledge of psychology and education to help students of all ages succeed academically and socially. Through their skills in consultation, assessment, intervention, and program evaluation, school psychologists work closely with teachers, administrations, parents, and community agencies to identify and treat student's problems.

MSUM's School Psychology Program meets training standards established by the National Association of School Psychologists and has been NASP/CAEP approved for over 30 years. MSU Moorhead was one of the first programs in the country to receive NASP/CAEP approval.

Master of Science and Specialist Degrees in School Psychology

School psychologists are valued professionals in educational settings who provide a variety of psychological and educational services at the individual, group and systems level. As a National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Approved program, the MSUM Masters plus Specialist degrees in School Psychology provide the level of professional training needed for employment as a school psychologist in PreK-12 educational agencies in Minnesota and in most other states across the country. The curriculum is designed around NASP national training standards and emphasizes the broad application of data-based decision making and evidence-based practice skills. Training emphasizes how school psychologists can use these skills and collaborate with others to promote effective and equitable educational experiences for all children and adolescents.

Admission Requirements

Information on admission requirements can be found on the Graduate Studies webpage.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Master of Science and Specialist in School Psychology will show evidence of knowledge and skills in the following domains which are consistent with the Professional Practice Model of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

  • Data-Based Decision Making
  • Consultation and Collaboration
  • Academic Interventions and Instructional Supports
  • Mental and Behavioral Health Services and Interventions
  • School-Wide Practices to Promote Learning
  • Services to Promote Safe and Supportive Schools
  • Family, School, and Community Collaboration
  • Equitable Practices for Diverse Student Populations
  • Research and Evidence-Based Practice
  • Legal, Ethical, and Professional Practice

Program Delivery Mode
Online Plus: offered entirely online with face-to-face options available for some/all sections

Core Requirements

Masters degree (M) Specialist degree (S)

PSY 575 Applied Behavior Analysis (3) M
PSY 517 Developmental Psychopathology (3) S
PSY 601 Foundations of School Psychology (3) M
PSY 611 Children's Thinking & Learning (3) M or S
PSY 613 Neuroscience (3) M or S
PSY 620 Measurement Theory (3) M
PSY 621 Assessment/Intervention I: Basic Processes (4) M
PSY 622 Assessment/Intervention II: Special Populations (4) M
PSY 633 Statistics/Methods for School Psychologists (2) M
PSY 634 Methods for Evidence Based Practice (2) M
PSY 635 Research Seminar in School Psychology I (1) M
PSY 636 Research Seminar in School Psychology II (1-2) M
PSY 641 Practicum in School Psychology I (1) M
PSY 642 Practicum in School Psychology II (1) M
PSY 650 Working with Families and Children (2) M
PSY 696 Project/Action Research (Plan B) (1-2) M OR
PSY 699 Thesis (1-3) M
PSY 701 Issues in the Practice of School Psychology (2) S
PSY 724 Assessment/Intervention: Social Emotional & Behavioral Health (4) S
PSY 728 Systems Intervention (2) S
PSY 744 Practicum in School Psychology III (1) S
PSY 752 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (3) S
PSY 769 Internship in School Psychology (6) S
PSY 795 Specialist Portfolio in School Psychology (2) S
COUN 520 Basic Counseling Skills (3) S
COUN 682 Trauma Informed & Crisis Management (3) S
SPED 664 Theory and Process of Consultation (3) S

Program Requirements

The School Psychology program requires a minimum of 68 semester credits: 33 credits are required for a non-terminal Master’s degree with an additional 35 credits for the Specialist degree.  The program is designed to be completed over three or four years, which includes a one-year full time internship in the schools.  Students must complete both the Master’s and Specialist degrees to be eligible for licensure/certification as a school psychologist.  On-campus and synchronous remote learning options are available, however remote learning students are responsible for working with program faculty before enrollment to ensure appropriate practicum opportunities are available.  Students begin in the summer semester.  A 3 or 4 day summer campus residency is required for the first two summers.  Admission is limited and competitive. The application deadline is February 1 for both degree programs. Late applications will be considered if space is available.

The Master's degree is completed under Plan A or Plan B.

  • Minimum of 33 credits.
  • Written comprehensive examination.
  • Plan A Thesis or Plan B Project.
  • Oral examination in defense of the Plan A Thesis or Plan B Project.

The Specialist degree is completed under Plan B.

  • Minimum of 35 credits (to total 68 for combined Master's and Specialist Program).
  • Praxis III School Psychology Exam.
  • Plan B Portfolio demonstrating mastery of program objectives.
  • Final oral examination based on Plan B Portfolio materials.

Detailed information on these requirements and department policies and procedures may be obtained from the School Psychology Graduate Program Director.  Students must adhere to ethical standards of the profession, function in an adequate fashion and at an acceptable professional level in the practicum and internship settings, and demonstrate personal qualities consistent with professional norms.