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  • Master of Science and Specialist in School Psychology
  • Master of Science (MS) and Specialist Degree (PsyS) in School Psychology

    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.

    Program Coordinator: Lisa H. Stewart, Ph.D.
    218.477-4081; or

    Benefits of the School Psychology Program

    • Students earn both a Master of Science (MS) and a Psychology Specialist Degree (PsyS)
    • Upon completion of the program, students are eligible for certification in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, as well as other states
    • Graduates are also eligible for certification through the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) System
    • The job market is excellent for school psychologists in most parts of the country
    • MSUM's placement rate has been 100 percent

    Field Experiences: Practica and Internship

    Starting with the first semester of classes, field-based practica in both first and second years of study provide school-based experience.  Practica are supervised by local educators and school psychologists and are coordinated with on-campus course work so students can immediately apply concepts and techniques learned in class.

    A 1200 hours internship during the third year of study serves as the capstone experience for students' training.  Internships are usually paid positions within school districts or special education cooperatives in the tri-state area, although placements in other states are possible, as well.


    MSUM's School Psychology Program meets training standards established by the National Association of School Psychologists and has been NASP/NCATE approved for over 25 years.  MSU Moorhead was one of the first programs in the country to receive NASP/NCATE approval. 

    Program Requirements

    The School Psychology program requires 65 semester credits taken over three years. The program consists of two years of full-time on-campus course work and a one-year internship. A non-terminal Master's degree is awarded after the first 30 semester credits with the terminal Specialist degree awarded after the remaining 35 credits. It is expected that students will earn both the Master's and the Specialist degrees. Continuous registration from enrollment to completion of Specialist degree (excluding summers) in coursework at MSUM or PSY 698/PSY 798: Continuing Registration is required. Students are admitted only on a full-time basis with attendance beginning in the fall semester. Admission is limited and competitive. The application deadline is February 15 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.

    1. Minimum of 30 credits.
    2. Students who wish to transfer credits from other institutions or have taken courses before admission to the graduate program should refer to the "Residence and Transfer of Credit" section in the Graduate Bulletin for further information.
    3. 3.0 grade point average required for courses submitted for the degree. A grade of "B-" is the minimum allowed in core school psychology classes and a "C-" is the minimum grade allowed in non-core classes.
    4. Written comprehensive examination.
    5. Thesis or Project.
    6. Oral examination in defense of the thesis.

    The Specialist Degree is completed under Plan B

    1. Minimum of 35 credits (to total 65 for combined Master's and Specialist program).
    2. National School Psychology exam.
    3. 3.0 grade point average required for courses submitted for the degree. A grade of "B-" is the minimum allowed in core school psychology classes and a "C-" is the minimum grade allowed in non-core classes.
    4. Portfolio demonstrating mastery of program objectives.
    5. Final oral examination based on portfolio materials.

    Course Requirements

    PSY 517 Child Psychopathology (3)
    PSY 601 Foundations of School Psychology (2)
    PSY 611 Children's Thinking (2)
    PSY 613 Biopsychology (2)
    PSY 620 Measurement Theory (3)
    PSY 621 Assessment/Intervention I: Basic Processes (4)
    PSY 622 Assessment/Intervention II: Special Populations (4)
    PSY 633 Statistics/Methods for School Psychologists (2)
    PSY 634 Methods of Evidence Based Practice (3)
    PSY 635 Research Seminar I (1)
    PSY 636 Research Seminar II (1-2)
    PSY 641 Practicum in School Psychology I (1)
    PSY 642 Practicum in School Psychology II (1)
    PSY 696 Project/Action Research (3)
    PSY 699 Thesis in Psychology (4)
    PSY 701 Issues in the Practice of School Psychology (2)
    PSY 723 Assessment/Intervention III: Early Childhood (3)
    PSY 724 Assessment/Intervention IV: Psychosocial Problems (4)
    PSY 728 Systems Intervention (2)
    PSY 744 Practicum in School Psychology III (1)
    PSY 760 Internship in School Psychology (3)
    PSY 796 Specialist Portfolio in School Psychology (2)
    CNSA 520 Basic Counseling Skills (3)
    ED 664 Theory and Process of Consultation (2)
    SPED 606 Research & Application in Behavior Analysis (3)
    SPED 620 Perspectives and Policies in Special Education (3)
    SPED Elective Course (3)

    Student Learning Outcomes

    Students who complete the Master of Science and Specialist in School Psychology will show evidence of knowledge and skills in:

    • Data-based decision-making and accountability
    • Consultation and collaboration
    • Effective instruction and development of cognitive skills
    • Socialization and development of life skills
    • Student diversity in development and learning
    • School and systems organization, policy development and climate
    • Prevention, crisis intervention, and mental health
    • Home/school/community collaboration
    • Research and program evaluation
    • School psychology practice and development
    • Information resources

    Admission Requirements