School Psychology

PsyD in School Psychology

The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in School Psychology provides school psychology practitioners with advanced training in the areas of psychological assessment, interventions, and applied research in an evidence-based, behavior analytic perspective. The focus of the Psy.D. includes advanced training in school psychology that goes beyond what a student typically acquires during master's-level training. Psy.D. students are expected to demonstrate their research and scholarship through the completion of a dissertation. The Psy.D. course of study includes 111 credit hours. During the final portion of the program, students complete a 2,000 clock hour pre-doctoral internship. Following completion of the Psy.D. program, graduates will be eligible for state certification as a school psychologist, and national certification as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Following completion of a 1,500 clock-hour post-doctoral training experience, graduates will also be eligible to apply for licensure as a psychologist.

School Psychology Program

Those students admitted to the Psy.D. with a bachelor's degree are required to complete at least 111 credit hours. Admitted students with a prior graduate degree may request a transcript review to determine if any prior courses can be transferred. Transfer credits will be applied to the Psy.D. program.

Total Required Credits: 111

Biological Aspects of Behavior
   SPY 671 Physical Bases of Behavior

Cognitive and Affective Aspects of Behavior
  SPY 670 Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior

Social Aspects of Behavior
   SPY 673 Social Foundations of Behavior

History and Systems of Psychology
     SPY 709 History and Systems of Psychology

Psychological Measurement
   HCE 605 Psychological Measurement and Evaluation

Research Methodology
   EDU 600 Research Methods and Techniques
   SPY 751 Advanced Research Seminar
   SPY 759 Psy.D. Dissertation

Techniques of Data Analysis
   SPY 697 Statistics I
   SPY 698 Statistics II

Individual Differences in Behavior
   SPY 620 Introduction to Multi-Tier Systems of Student Support for General and Special Education
  SPY 679 Diversity in the Science and Practice of Psychology

Human Development
  HCE 668 Human Development

Dysfunctional Behavior/Psychopathology
   SPY 674 Child and Adolescent Psychopathology

Professional Standards and Ethics
   SED 540 Learners Who are Exceptional in General Education
   SPY 609 Professional Ethics in Psychology

Theories and Methods of Assessment and Diagnosis
   SPY 604 Functional Behavioral Assessment
   SPY 672 Assessment of Academic Achievement
   SPY 675 Indirect Behavioral Assessment
   SPY 677 Cognitive Assessment

Effective Interventions
   HCE 620 Fundamentals of Counseling Theories
   SPY 606 Behavior Therapy
   SPY 601 Behavioral Principles of Learning
   SPY 605 Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis
   SPY 727 Advanced Academic Intervention Methods
   SPY 729 Advanced Interventions for Individuals with Behavioral and/or Developmental Disabilities
   SPY 730 Advanced Behavior Therapy

Consultation and Supervision
   HCE 681 Clinical Supervision
   SPY 607 Consultation in School Psychology

Evaluation of the Efficacy of Interventions
   SPY 602 Clinical Research Methods

Practica
   SPY 693 School Psychology Practicum I
   SPY 694 School Psychology Practicum II

Internship
   SPY 788 Pre-doctoral Internship in School Psychology

Electives
   Chosen from the graduate catalog

For course descriptions, please click here: http://usm.maine.edu/sehd

Tk20 Subscription 

All undergraduate and graduate students who matriculate into an Educator Preparation program or pathway in USM summer 2013 or later are required to subscribe to the Tk20 online data management system. The subscription allows students to use the system for assessment, advisement, field-experience and career portfolio management. The subscription fee of $103 covers some of the expenses related to the administration and assessment of the program. For loan purposes, it will be eligible for consideration as part of costs. The subscription is a one-time payment and must be made by each student during the first semester of program or pathway matriculation (check with individual programs and pathways for specific subscription timelines). Subscription instructions are posted on the Office of Educator Preparation web site: http://usm.maine.edu/educatorpreparation 

Please note Professional Education Council Policy:  In order for USM’s Education Preparation Unit program completers to be recommended by the institution to the state for certification or licensure, the candidate must provide evidence of meeting all certification requirements including proficiency on the standards relevant to his/her state approved professional program and this evidence must be compiled and assessed with in the context of the Unit’s data management system (i.e., Tk20). 

Minimum Requirements: In addition to meeting the minimum admission requirements of the University, to be eligible for admission to the Psy.D. program, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • An earned bachelor's degree from an institution of higher learning accredited at the time the credits were earned by a regional and/or national accrediting body and recognized as accredited by the U.S. Department of Education, and have earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) in a baccalaureate degree program;
  • Minimum combined score on the Verbal and Quantitative subtests of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) of 300 points.

The Psy.D. admissions process requires a date-specific formal interview. Candidates to be interviewed will be selected on the basis of the above information.

Students may also apply to the PsyD at the post-master's level. If an applicant has a prior earned graduate degree it must be from an institution of higher learning accredited at the time the credits were earned by a regional and/or national accrediting body and recognized as accredited by the U.S. Department of Education, and have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) in the graduate degree program,

Application Deadline

December 1.  Late applications are not accepted.

  • Candidates should submit all application materials to the USM Office of Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104-9300 by the application deadline.

Application must include:

  • A submitted online graduate admission application;
  • The application fee of $65.00;
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine system. A transcript is official when it comes directly from the institution. If an applicant is submitting an official transcript, it must be in a sealed envelope from the institution indicating that it is an official document. If the envelope has been opened prior to arriving at the Office of Graduate Admissions, it is no longer considered an official transcript;
  • Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's ability to study at the graduate level. Recommendations are easily submitted using our online application form. You will need to provide the name and email address for each of your recommenders during the application process. Once you submit your application, an email will be automatically generated to your recommenders directing them to fill out the electronic letter of recommendation;
  • Two essays (see below);
  • Certification of finances (international students only);
  • Official GRE test score (see below);
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores (if English is not first language); and
  • Current resume.
  • In addition the above submitted materials, applicants must complete a free Tk20 Application in order for your application to be reviewed. The link to the instructions can be found here: http://usm.maine.edu/sites/default/files/educatorpreparation/How-to-Create-Free-Admission-Application-Account-in-Tk20.pdf

Special Essay Instructions

Psy.D. in School Psychology program applicants are required to complete two essays and both should be submitted as part of your application. For Question 17 of "Application for Admission to Graduate Study" all Psy.D. applicants must answer both of the following questions with separate essays for each question:

  • The USM School Psychology Program embraces a behaviorally-based model for assessment and intervention. Briefly describe your understanding of behavioral theory and how comfortable you are working with that model.
  • Describe what is meant by the term "evidence-based practice." What role should evidence-based practice play in the delivery of school psychological services?

Testing Requirements

Applicants must have earned a score of either 1,000 points or above (for tests taken before 9/1/2011) or 300 or above (for tests taken on or after 9/1/2011) on the combined Verbal and Quantitative subtests of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Applicants whose native language in not English must have earned a score of at least 550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), 79 or higher on the Internet-based test, or 213 on the computer-based test, or an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher.

Transfer Policies

Students admitted to the school psychology program can request permission to transfer up to 45 graduate credits toward the Psy.D. in school psychology. For each graduate course the student wishes to have considered for transfer credit the student must:

  • Have obtained a grade higher than a B-,
  • Have completed the course in question no more than six years prior to beginning doctoral study in school psychology at USM. (When students have developed initial competence in a professional practice area through coursework completed more than six years prior to entry into the program, and when students have continued to update their competency through professional experience (which may include, but not be limited to, relevant professional employment, supervision and continuing education) the Program may, at its discretion, consider coursework for waiver that was completed more than six years prior to entry into the Program.
  • Submit a course equivalency request (CER) form to the Program Director. This request must include the following:
    • a brief (two- to three-sentence) rationale for why the course should be considered equivalent,
    • a transcript (copy is acceptable) documenting the student's grade for the course in question and the semester it was taken,
    • the prior graduate course number and name and the USM course number and the name of the USM course that the student wishes to be considered as equivalent,
    • the syllabus for the graduate course and relevant supporting documentation (list of required and suggested readings, reports, papers, tests, etc.).

The request will be reviewed by the Director and referred to the faculty designee who has expertise in the area of instruction. The Director or faculty designee may ask for additional information from the student, including an official transcript, or consult with the previous instructor or other sources. The designee will then make a recommendation to the school psychology faculty and the faculty will vote to determine whether the course is considered equivalent. The student will be informed about the faculty's decision by the Program Director. The result of the request will be documented in the student’s local program file.  For students seeking accompanying certification as BCBA, the applicable transfer course(s) must be transferred from a program that is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

Transferred credits will be noted on the student's USM transcript and counted toward the student's degree. Once approved, the program will notify the USM Registrar to enter the official transfer onto the student's record.

Graduate students in APA-accredited doctoral-level school psychology programs at other universities may transfer into the program if they take their final 45 hours, or two years full time, and not including the internship or dissertation requirement, in USM's school psychology program.

Professional Licensure and Certification Notice

Students who are pursuing degrees leading to application for professional licensure or certification, and/or who will be participating in clinical placements, internships, or practica through their USM program should be aware that their host facility may require a criminal background check, finger printing, or drug screening. In such situations, each student is responsible for obtaining and paying for the background check or other screening process and for delivering required documentation to the facility. Although the University will make reasonable efforts to place admitted students in field experiences and internships, it will be up to the host facility to determine whether a student will be allowed to work at that facility. Students should further be aware that a criminal record may jeopardize licensure by the state certification body. Students may consult the certification body corresponding to their intended occupation for more details. Successful completion of a program of study at USM does not guarantee licensure, certification, or employment in the relevant occupation.

Master's in Educational Psychology with a Concentration in School Psychology (terminal)

In extreme circumstances if a Psy.D. student is unable or chooses not to complete all program requirements, the student may be eligible for the M.S. in school psychology degree. Psy.D. students seeking to earn the M.S. instead of the Psy.D. in school psychology may apply to transfer into the M.S. program by completing the following steps:

  • Complete an application for the M.S. program that includes the same GRE scores, transcript(s), and letters of recommendation submitted for the Psy.D.;
  • Submit a letter with the M.S. application requesting admission to the M.S. that summarizes the reasons why the student wishes to obtain the M.S. instead of the Psy.D. as the terminal degree;
  • Pay a $15.00 re-application fee with the M.S. application.
  • Provide the above information to the Office of Graduate Admissions no later than December 1 of the year preceding the requested transfer.

Master's Along the Way

Students who enter the Psy.D. at the post-baccalaureate level can earn a master's degree along the way to the doctoral degree. These students who wish to obtain the M.S. in Educational Psychology with concentration in applied behavior analysis "along the way" to the Psy.D. need to do and understand the following:

  • Understand that once the M.S. degree is awarded no changes to the transcript of the courses for that degree can be made.
  • Complete an Application for Degree form and submit it to the Registrar's Office prior to the deadline for the desired degree date.