• Specialist Degree in School Psychology


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  • Master's of Science and Specialist in School Psychology

    Program Coordinator: Olivia Melroe, EdD
    Bridges 360l, (218) 477-4083

    School psychologists provide a variety of psychological services primarily in public school settings. Through their skills in consultation, assessment, intervention and program evaluation, school psychologists work closely with teachers, administrators, parents, and community agencies to identify and treat students' problems. Specialist degree level school psychologists are in demand regionally and nationally. Our program is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), NCATE, and the Minnesota Board of Teaching. Graduates meet the requirements for certification as school psychologists in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and most other states.

    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 698/798: 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.

    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 for Master's Degree

    The items listed below are required for admission to this program; only complete files are reviewed. Send all materials to:
    Graduate Studies Office
    MSU Moorhead
    1104 7th Ave. S.
    Moorhead, MN 56563

    Application Priority Deadlines: February 15 

    1. Baccalareate degree from an accredited institution. No specific undergraduate major required, however, preparation must include a minimum of 12 semester credits in Psychology, or approved related course work, including courses in statistics and development.
    2. 3.0 grade point average or at least 3.25 grade point average for the last 30 semester credits of graded course work.
    3. Completed "Application for Admission to Graduate Study" form.
    4. Official transcripts form ALL colleges and universities attended sent directly from the institution to the Graduate Studies Office.
    5. Non-refundable $20.00 application fee for first-time applicants to MSU Moorhead.
    6. Combined score of 1000 on the Verbal and Quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for tests taken prior to August 2011. For tests taken after August 2011, a combined score of 300. Only official scores are accepted; no more than five years old.
    7. Letter of intent specifying career goals and related interests.
    8. Three letters of recommendation. At least one letter should be from someone who can speak to the candidate's academic skills (use forms provided). A minimum of two letters from academic sources (including someone from the candidate's major) is highly recommended.
    9. A personal or telephone interview is recommended. Interviews are to be done as part of the application process before the application deadline. It is up to the applicant to schedule the interview by contacting the Program Director.

    Admission Requirements for Specialist Degree

    The items listed below are required for admission to this program; only complete files are reviewed. Send all materials to:
    Graduate Studies Office
    MSU Moorhead
    1104 7th Ave. S.
    Moorhead, MN 56563

    Students who have completed the M.S. in School Psychology from MSUM will be considered for admission to the Specialist degree program upon submission of the following:

    1. A completed "Application for Admission to Graduate Study" (submit to the Graduate Studies Office).
    2. M.S. in School Psychology from MSUM*
    3. A letter of interest and intent submitted to the Graduate Studies Office with a copy to the Coordinator of the School Psychology Program.

    For applicants who have completed MSUM's Master's degree in School Psychology, admission decisions will be made by the School Psychology Coordinating Committee (SPCC) and will be based on results of the most recent yearly review of student progress and progress since that review (See School Psychology Student Handbook).

    No student may be admitted prior to completion of the M.S. degree. MSUM students who begin taking Specialist degree classes prior to earning the M.S. degree are cautioned that no more than nine of the credits taken prior to admission to the Specialist degree may be counted toward that degree without prior approval by the SPCC.

    *Applicants who have not been enrolled in the MSUM School Psychology program must submit evidence of satisfactory completion of a substantially equivalent Master's degree. In addition, all of the requirements for admission to the Master's degree program, as described earlier, must be met. If the student is admitted directly to the Specialist degree program, any MSUM Master's degree requirements not met as part of the student's previous degree program must be completed as part of the Specialist degree program. For more information, contact the Program Coordinator.

    Degree Requirements for the Master's Degree

    The 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.

    Degree Requirements for the Specialist Degree

    Degree 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.

    Detailed information on these requirements and department policies and procedures may be obtained from the School Psychology Graduate Program Coordinator.

    Course Requirements

    Master's and Specialist Degrees combined (65 semester credits). Courses not completed as part of the Master's degree are completed for the Specialist Degree.

    PSY 517 Developmental 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 Applied Research for School Psychologists (3)
    PSY 635 Research Seminar in School Psychology (1)
    PSY 641 Practicum in School Psychology I (1)
    PSY 642 Practicum in School Psychology II (1)
    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 545 Remedial and Corrective Reading (3)
        OR SPED 561 Learning Disabilities (3)
        OR SPED 570 Transitional Planning (3)
        OR an equivalent special education methods course of a minimum of 2 credits approved by the Program Director.

    Additional Information

    School Psychology Website
    Graduate Application Form
    Reference Form
    Printable copy of this information in PDF