MS & Specialist in School Psychology Courses & Curriculum

School psychologists apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. They provide assessment, support, and intervention services to students; partner with families, teachers, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments; work with school administrators to improve school-wide policies; and collaborate with community providers to coordinate services for students (nasponline.org).

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 (currently pending approval of recent changes). MSU Moorhead was one of the first programs in the country to receive NASP/CAEP approval.

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 national training standards and emphasizes the broad application of data-based decision making and evidence-based practice skills in collaborative settings that lead to effective and equitable educational experiences for all children and adolescents.

Student Learning Outcomes
Students 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).

  1. Data-Based Decision Making
  2. Consultation and Collaboration
  3. Academic Interventions and Instructional Supports
  4. Mental and Behavioral Health Services and Interventions
  5. School-Wide Practices to Promote Learning
  6. Services to Promote Safe and Supportive Schools
  7. Family, School, and Community Collaboration
  8. Equitable Practices for Diverse Student Populations
  9. Research and Evidence-Based Practice
  10. Legal, Ethical, and Professional Practice

Degree Requirements for Redesigned Curriculum 2022

These are the required Master’s and Specialist courses for students starting Summer 2022. See the curriculum plan yearly schedule for information about the sequencing of the courses and course load if you plan to complete the program under the 3-year (2 year and an internship) or 4-year (3 year and an internship) plan.

School Psychology Master's Degree Program Courses - Total credits 33

PSY 575 Applied Behavior Analysis (3)
PSY 611 Children's Thinking (3)
OR
PSY 613 Biopsychology (3)
PSY 601 Foundations of School Psychology (3)
PSY 620 Measurement Theory (3)
PSY 620L Measurement Theory Lab (0)
PSY 621 Assessment/Intervention I: Basic Processes (4)
PSY 621L Assessment/Intervention I: Basic Processes Lab (0)
PSY 622 Assessment/Intervention II: Special Populations (4)
PSY 622L Assessment/Intervention II: Special Populations Lab (0)
PSY 633 Statistics/Methods for School Psychologists (2)
PSY 634 Methods for Evidence Based Practice (2)
PSY 635 Research Seminar I (1)
PSY 641 Practicum I (1)
PSY 642 Practicum II (1)
PSY 650 Working with Families & Communities (2)

AND

PSY 699 Thesis (3)
PSY 636 Research Seminar II (1)
OR
PSY 696 Research Project (2)
PSY 636 Research Seminar II (2)

School Psychology Specialist Degree (PsyS) Courses - Total credits 35

PSY 611 Children's Thinking (3)
OR
PSY 613 Biopsychology (3) (whichever was not taken for M.S.)
PSY 517 Child and Adolescent Psychopathology (3)
PSY 701 Issues in School Psych (2)
PSY 724 Assessment/Intervention: Social Emotional & Behavioral Health (4)
PSY 728 Systems Intervention (2)
PSY 752 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (3)
PSY 744 Practicum III (1)
PSY 769 Internship (6)
PSY 795 Portfolio (2)
COUN 520 Basic Counseling Skills (3)
COUN 682 Trauma Informed and Crisis Management (3)
SPED 664 Theory & Process of Consultation (3)

School Psychology Program Requirements

The School Psychology program requires 68 semester credits taken over three or four years, which includes a one-year full time internship in the schools. A non-terminal Master's degree is awarded after the first 33 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. Students begin in the summer semester. Core program classes can be attended on campus or online (some synchronous, some asynchronous) with a 2-3 day summer campus residency required for two summers. If students are completing the program from a distance the student is responsible for working with program faculty to ensure appropriate practicum opportunities are available. 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.
  • 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.
  • 3.0 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. • Written comprehensive examination.
  • Thesis or Project.
  • Oral examination in defense of the 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).
  • National School Psychology Exam.
  • 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.
  • Portfolio demonstrating mastery of program objectives.

Final oral examination based on portfolio materials.

*Please note these requirements will not be official until they are listed in the 2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin when it is released in July 2022.