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School Psychology (MS, Psy.S.)

psychology student studying

School psychologists are in demand nationwide. Need is especially high in Indiana, with a projected increase of 25% over the next decade. USF is ready to meet that demand as the only institution in Northeast Indiana to offer graduate-level school psychology programs.

Why Become a Licensed School Psychologist?

Step into a meaningful and in-demand career as a licensed school psychologist. USF’s newest program — the only of its kind in Northeast Indiana — will give you the knowledge, experience, and guidance needed to help students thrive. USF offers two degrees in School Psychology.

In today’s diverse, complex world, students of all ages may face academic, emotional, behavioral  and social challenges. School psychologists work with children and teens to help them succeed in the classroom, at home and beyond. To become a licensed school psychologist in your state, you’ll typically need a specialized psychology master’s degree, such as an MS in school psychology.

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Career Outlook & Success

$76,990

Median annual salary for school psychologists (U.S. News & World Report, 2020)

14.7%

expected growth in demand for school psychologists between now and 2029 (BLS, 2019

#2

Best Social Services Jobs (U.S. News & World Report, 2020)

Why USF for School Psychology?

The University of Saint Francis has a long-standing reputation in the region for preparing competent, compassionate educators and health professionals. These strengths come together to support our outstanding, social-justice-focused school psychology programs:

  • Master of Science (MS) in School Psychology (non-licensure)
  • Specialist in School Psychology (PsyS)

Both programs are built to meet the academic standards of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

MS: Master of Science in School Psychology Overview

This option is best for: students wishing to become a licensed school psychologist who do not yet have a master’s degree in a counseling or psychology-related area.

Credit hours: 30 | Completion time: 1.5 years
The non-licensure master of science in school psychology gives you foundational knowledge and skills to continue on to the specialist-level degree program in school psychology (or for other graduate programs).

Students can move from this program directly into the PsyS program.

PsyS: Specialist in School School Psychology Overview

This option is best for: the aspiring licensed school psychologist who has a master’s degree in a related field.

Credit hours: 36 | Completion time: 2 years
This two-year program combines rigorous coursework with extensive field experience to prepare you for the NASP certification exam. The curriculum focuses on personality assessment, cognitive and academic testing, behavioral consultation and school counseling.

1,800+ Hours of Clinical & Classroom Experience

The PsyS program includes a comprehensive clinical and classroom experience, which includes face-to-face time with clients from pre-K to adult.

600-hour Practicum Hours

With three distinct practicum courses, you will gain experience in a variety of settings:

  • Therapeutic Interventions with Children
  • Personality Behaviour and Assessment
  • Psychological Assessment (summer)

1200-hour Internship Experience

During this year-long internship, you’ll serve as a fully functional school psychologist working under the supervision of a professional mentor. Recent placement sites have included:

  • Adams-Wells Special Services Cooperative
  • Fort Wayne Community Schools
  • Northeast Indiana Special Education Cooperative
  • Northwest Allen Schools
  • Wabash-Miami Area Program for Exceptional Children
USF professor taking notes.

Our Faculty

As you prepare to become a licensed school psychologist, you’ll take courses from an expert faculty, including:

  • John Brinkman, Ph.D., with clinical expertise in neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology
  • Kaitlin Cowan, Ph.D., a practicing school psychologist with clinical expertise in Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Monica Heller, Ph.D, an expert in human growth and development
  • Carl Jylland-Halverson, Psy.D, an expert in trauma-related conditions
  • Mike Martynowicz, Ph.D., whose work centers around self-regulation, motivation and learning in educational settings

The practicum experience was extremely humbling. During one of my experiences, I had the opportunity to work with underrepresented minorities within a juvenile center. I was able to learn about their experiences, see how they view the world, and expand my own knowledge on diversity. When I entered into the schools as an intern, I was able to use that experience help guide me when working with students.

Kelly Frederick MS ’20
School Psychology Major

School Psychology Careers

According to the National Association of School Psychologists, about 80% of licensed school psychologists work within public school districts; however, there are other settings where you can make a difference in the lives of school-age children, teens and young adults:

  • Colleges and universities
  • Community agencies
  • Correctional facilities
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Private schools

Licensed School Psychologist: What’s the Next Step?

Earning a doctoral degree in school psychology (Psy.D.) will qualify you to take the Indiana state licensure exam to enter private practice.

School Psychology and School Counseling: What’s the Difference?

Although these two professions sound similar and do share some overlap, school counselors and school psychologists are two distinct careers.

School counselors, also called guidance counselors, are experts in student planning, responsive services, academic achievement, career development and social/emotional development.

School psychologists are mental health professionals with expertise in child development; cognitive, behavioral and personality assessments; and education interventions.

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Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester. Get an idea on what each semester could look like.