Educational Psychology — School Psychology Concentration (Low-residency)

Program Type
Master’s Program
Master of Science (MS)
Mode of Study

Tuition & fees

Costs include tuition & fees. Out-of-state residents receive a special tuition break. See cost details

Credit hours

67 required credit hours. Most courses are equal to 3 credit hours. Browse course list

Financial aid

Over 150 graduate assistantships available with stipend & tuition assistance, plus scholarship, fellowship & research opportunities. Explore aid


No GRE required. Apply by April 1 for fall 2024 term. View application process & deadlines

Program highlights

  • Meet the statewide demand for school psychologists: We offer the only school psychology training program in the state and our graduates have a 100% job placement rate. Take advantage of our one-time low-residency cohort designed for current educators in Maine.
  • Earn your degree in 3 years through our low-residency program: Complete online courses (some asynchronous and some synchronous on weekday evenings) plus 4 in-person Saturday sessions for test administration training on our Gorham campus.
  • Benefit from field experiences in your own district: Complete 400 hours of practicum and a 1200-hour internship in your current PK-12 school district.
  • Save time: Transfer up to 30 credits from prior graduate coursework.
  • Gain comprehensive training to become a school psychologist in PK-12 schools: We emphasize a collaborative, culturally responsive, data-based problem solving approach to behavioral school psychology.
  • Qualify for state & national credentialing: Apply through the Maine Department of Education (DOE) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
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Two possible certifications

Graduates are eligible to apply for certification as a School Psychologist–Specialist (093) through the Maine DOE and as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) through the National Association of School Psychologists.

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Program requirements

We integrate coursework, field experiences, and applied research opportunities to ensure graduates meet the practice competencies established by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

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Engaged and dedicated faculty

All faculty are credentialed school psychologists, and many are dually credentialed as Board Certified Behavior Analysts® (BCBAs®). All students receive individualized mentoring from full-time faculty.

A school psychologist holds a clipboard and takes notes while listening to a group of students who sit on chairs in a circle.

Experiential learning

Gain hands-on experience through two practicums and an internship in your current PK-12 district. Complete a broad range of psychological services for school psychology practice, plus train in assessment, intervention, and consultation for entry-level professional practice.

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Maine School Psychology CAREs project scholar

During your studies, you can apply to participate in a grant-funded project offering full tuition support and specialized training in culturally responsive rural school psychology practice. Selected participants will complete fieldwork and commit to employment in a rural, high-needs school in Maine.

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A supportive & collaborative culture

You’ll work one-on-one with a faculty advisor who assists with developing an individualized plan of study and provides mentorship. Faculty also facilitate practicum and internship field-placements that meet your unique professional development needs.

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Graduate student support

Our Office of Graduate Studies connects you with opportunities for professional development, scholarships, and graduate assistantships. They also foster our graduate student community through Peer Mentorship and the Graduate Student Board.

Browse resources
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Career opportunities

There are significant shortages of school psychologists in Maine and across the country. 100% of our program graduates are employed in the field, primarily in PK-12 schools.

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Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships offer financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid. We encourage students in graduate degree programs to apply for scholarship opportunities.

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Connect with us

Our monthly Graduate Information Sessions are an excellent way to learn more about the benefits of our program, as well as our admissions and financial process.

Register today
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Blended program option

Our low-residency cohort begins Fall 2024 and requires support from your current district. If you are looking for another option, consider our blended program which offers a mix of online and in-person courses.

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Next steps

Our graduate admissions counselors are here to answer your questions about the admissions process, our academic programs, and student support services.

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Meet us

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Admission information: MS in Educational Psychology — School Psychology Concentration (Low-residency)

The information below is for our one-time low-residency program. Support from your school district is required. See admission information for our traditional blended mode of study.

Application deadlines

Application deadlineFall 2024 term start
FinalExtended to April 1, 2024

Applicants to the MS in Educational Psychology with a Concentration in School Psychology program must meet the minimum requirements below:

  • Employed as an educator in a Maine public school; preferably in a rural, high-need community.
  • An earned bachelor’s or graduate degree from an institution of higher learning accredited by a regional or national accrediting body, and
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in a baccalaureate degree program or 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in a graduate degree program.
    • Applicants who do not meet minimum GPA eligibility requirements may submit a letter requesting special consideration. The letter should provide evidence of their ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who do not meet minimum GPA eligibility requirements may be denied automatically. Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are at the discretion of the program.

Applicants who meet minimum eligibility requirements are not guaranteed admission to the program.

About our one-time low-residency cohort

The Department of Educational and School Psychology at the University of Southern Maine has been awarded a 5-year, $1.6 million grant sponsored by the US Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. The funded project, Maine School Psychology: Collaborative Affiliations in Rural Education (Maine School Psychology CAREs), aims to increase the number of credentialed school psychologists in rural, high-need schools in Maine.

As part of this project, the University is offering a one-time low-residency school psychology program for a cohort of current educators in Maine. Ideal candidates for admission to the program will be current educators in rural, high-need PK-12 public schools whose backgrounds reflect the diversity of students served within their communities.

Admitted students will earn an MS in Educational Psychology with a concentration in School Psychology in 3 years. The degree program is approved by the Maine Department of Education for the preparation of school psychologists, and graduates will be eligible for the School Psychologist-Specialist (093) Certificate. The program of study requires 67 graduate credits, inclusive of 400 hours of practicum and a 1200-hour internship. Admitted students will complete coursework and practicum experiences during the 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 school years and then complete a culminating full-time internship during the 2026-2027 school year.

This project is adopting a “Grow Your Own” strategy to address the critical shortage of school psychologists in Maine. Admitted students will be able to complete their supervised fieldwork (practicum and internship) within their current employment setting; therefore, district administrative support for admission to the program is essential.

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

General requirements

  • Application: Online application
  • Application fee:
    • In-state, out-of-state, and Canadian applicants: Free to apply
    • International applicants: Submit US $50 fee to apply
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Students whose first language is not English may be required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo. Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information regarding test scores and requirements.

Additional requirements

  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that highlights the following:
    • Academic history, including any degree(s) in progress or earned, specialized training, and honors or accomplishment.
    • Professional experience, including relevant employment, volunteer, and practicum/internship experiences and accomplishments.
    • Other relevant experiences, such as involvement in research and student, professional, or community organizations.
    • Other relevant qualifications or accomplishments, such as professional credentials, professional presentations or publications, and awards.
  • Essay: Submit a personal statement that addresses the following:
    • Why are you interested in pursuing training in school psychology?
    • What are your primary professional interests and career goals?
    • Why are you interested in the school psychology program at the University of Southern Maine, and how would this program help you achieve your career goals?
  • Letter of Support from school district: The superintendent or special education director from your school should complete this form with the details of commitment required for this low residency cohort. They also need to send a letter to us recommending you to the program. This letter can be uploaded to the form or sent to
  • Interview. Applicants who meet the minimum requirements may be selected to participate in an interview with program faculty.

Additional Considerations

The Department of Educational and School Psychology conducts a holistic review process that evaluates applicants through a variety of methods. Balanced consideration will be given to applicants’ academic record, professional experiences, interpersonal strengths, and commitment to school psychology as evidenced by transcripts, resumes, essays, professional recommendations, and interviews. We screen applications for evidence of academic and professional readiness, interpersonal excellence, and commitment to the profession of school psychology in December and then invite highly qualified candidates to participate in admissions interviews in January. Applicants may expect admissions decisions by the end of February.

We strongly encourage applicants to consider the admissions selection criteria below when preparing their application materials. These criteria reflect the experiences, skills, and commitments that we consider important for success in graduate school and the profession of school psychology. We apply these criteria flexibly and consider applicants holistically, as we are committed to an equitable and inclusive admissions process and the preparation of school psychologists who represent the rich diversity of the school-age population.

Academic Readiness:

  • Strong GPA, with consideration given to progress over a program of study, performance in psychology and education courses, and letters attesting to preparedness for graduate-level training when GPA falls below minimum requirements.
  • Effective written communication skills.
  • Experience with scholarly or research projects (e.g., successful completion of an academic thesis or other major academic/research/professional project).
  • Specialized training, skills, and credentials (e.g., multilingualism, data literacy, or certifications).

Professional Readiness:

  • Familiarity with the profession and practice of school psychology.
  • Experience volunteering or working in schools or with the school-age population.
  • Leadership and/or community service experience.
  • Goal-oriented with demonstrated perseverance.
  • Effective planning and organization skills.
  • Demonstrates initiative and self-direction.

Interpersonal Readiness:

  • Demonstrates cultural humility.
  • Effective and flexible collaboration and communication skills.
  • Open to new learning and diverse perspectives.
  • Values, accepts, and integrates feedback for personal and professional growth.

Commitment to the Mission of the Program and Profession

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, practica, or internships through their USM program should be aware that their host facility may require a criminal background check, finger printing, and/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 or certification by the state or national credentialing 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.

Students who are pursuing degrees leading to application for professional licensure or certification also should be aware that credentialing requirements vary state-to-state. Students may contact their state department of education certification office and/or state licensing boards to determine whether or not their USM program meets credentialing requirements for professional practice in their prospective states of employment. Successful completion of a program of study at USM does not guarantee licensure, certification, or employment in the relevant occupation.

International student instructions

View additional application requirements

English proficiency test scores

View test requirements

Where to send application materials

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