School Psychology

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is a school psychologist?
2. Do I need a bachelor's degree in psychology or another advanced degree to apply to the School Psychology program?

3. If I already have a Master's degree in counseling or social work, can I count the classes I took in that program toward the Psy.D. in School Psychology to become certified or licensed in school psychology?
4. May I take certain School Psychology Program classes before I apply or am admitted to the Psy.D. program so I can see if I like the program or while I await an admissions decision?

5. Are Psy.D. internships paid?
6. Must the internship be done in Maine?

7. What credentials are needed to practice school psychology in Maine?
8. Are there any jobs for school psychology practitioners in Maine and elsewhere?

1. What is a school psychologist?

School psychologists are professionals with specialized training in the application of psychology methods in school settings.  School psychology professionals must complete advanced training beyond a bachelor's degree.  Some school psychology professionals have a master's degree, some a specialist degree, and some a doctorate.  While the specific duties of each professional vary according to the school setting, the major focus of school psychology work includes assessment, interventions, and consultation for academic and emotional/behavioral difficulties.

2. Do I need a bachelor's degree in psychology or another advanced degree to apply to the USM School Psychology program?

No. Individuals may apply to the Psy.D. program with any earned bachelor's degree.  Applicants do not need to have majored in psychology.

3. If I already have a Master's degree in counseling or social work, can I count the classes I took in that program toward the Psy.D. in School Psychology to become certified or licensed in school psychology?
Maybe. The Psy.D. in School Psychology requires 111 credits, culminating in a 2,000 internship in school psychology. School Psychology students who have a prior graduate degree which included coursework that overlaps with School Psychology program requirements, may be able to transfer certain courses; no more than 45 credits of the Psy.D. Program can be waived.

4. May I take certain School Psychology Program classes before I apply or am admitted to the Psy.D. program so I can see if I like the program or while I await an admissions decision?

Yes, non-degree students may take only up to 2 classes prior to applying to the Psy.D. in School Psychology program. Up to 2 of he following courses may be taken prior to admission and without being a matriculated student:

HRD 668: Human Growth and Development
SED 540: Nature and Needs of Learners Who are Exceptional
SPY 601: Behavioral Principles of Learning
SPY 671: Physical Bases of Behavior

Once an application for admission to the Psy.D. program is submitted and complete in the Office of Graduate Admissions, individuals who are seeking admission may request to take up to two (2) more School Psychology courses prior to being admitted as a matriculated student.  Such applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  Successful completion of any USM graduate course does not guarantee that an applicant will be admitted to any of the USM graduate programs.

Applications to take up to two additional classes while admissions decisions are pending should be sent to:



Dr. Rachel Brown, Director
Educational and School Psychology Programs
University of Southern Maine
8 Bailey Hall
Gorham, ME 04038
rachelb@maine.edu
(207)228-8322

5. Are Psy.D. internships paid?

Yes. The stipend amount for an internship varies a great deal according to the site's features, but the minimum stipend for a Psy.D. intern is $15,000.  Program faculty assist students in finding an internship that is matched to the student's needs and interests.

6. Must the internship be done in Maine?

No. Students can complete their internships in other states, pending approval by program faculty.

7. What credentials are needed to practice school psychology in Maine?

There are two credentials which allow school psychology practice privileges in Maine. These are:

Certified School Psychologist (CSP): Granted by the Maine Department of Education to those with a specialist or doctoral degree from a school psychology training program approved by the National Association of School Psychologists or the American Psychological Association or other applicants who meet specific critera.

Licensed Psychologist (LP): Granted by the Maine Board of Examiners of Psychologists and open only to those with a doctorate in psychology from an approved training program. Grants public and private practice privileges for all areas of psychology in which the licensee is properly trained. Requires a pre-doctoral internship and 1500 hours of supervised post-doctoral experience. Applicants must pass the EPPP exam and pass a jurisprudence examination from the Board of Examiners of Psychologists.

8. Are there any jobs for school psychology practitioners in Maine and elsewhere?
Yes. Although often unadvertised, there is usually a shortage of school psychology practitioners in Maine. Most of the shortages are in rural areas, but there are annual part and full-time openings in Southern Maine and elsewhere. Nationally, there is a shortage of school psychologists.