MS & Specialist in School Psychology Courses & Curriculum

  • In MSUM’s NASP-approved program you will earn both a Master’s (MS) degree and a Specialist (PsyS) degree in School Psychology in just two years on campus and a final year of internship (typically paid) in the schools. The Specialist degree (or its equivalent) is the standard for certification in most states.

    A Specialist degree is a degree earned after a person has a Master's degree (or the equivalent of a Master's degree). It is a degree that falls between a Master's degree and a doctoral degree.

    In the MSU Moorhead School Psychology program, students earn the Master of Science (MS) degree after the first 30 credits of coursework. The Specialist degree is earned after an additional 35 credits for a minimum of 65 semester credits of graduate work in school psychology.

    Unless an applicant has a substantially equivalent Master’s degree, students are initially admitted to the Master of Science degree program. The MS includes 30 course and practicum credits, a written comprehensive exam, and the completion of a Plan B project or thesis, plus an oral defense. Students are then admitted into the Specialist degree program, although some courses that will apply to the Specialist degree may be taken while the MS degree requirements are being completed. It is expected that students will complete both the MS and the Specialist degrees.

    Because of our highly structured cohort model, most students complete the MS degree portion of the program during fall semester of their second year while starting to take Specialist degree courses. They complete the Specialist degree coursework along with the 1200 hour internship, national Praxis exam, and a final portfolio and orals during the second and third years of the program.

    Upon completion of all program requirements and the earning of the Specialist degree, graduates may use the degree abbreviation “PsyS.” MSUM School Psychology graduates are also eligible to apply for Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) status through the National Association of School Psychologists.

    Degree Options