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 (

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.

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.

School Psychology Degree Requirements

See the required Master’s and Specialist 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.

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.

Master of Science & Specialist in School Psychology Degree Requirements

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