School Psychology

Program Type
Doctoral Program
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Mode of Study

Tuition per credit hour

$445 for both in-state & out-of-state residents. See details and other costs

Credit hours

109 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 opportunities. Explore aid


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

Program highlights

  • Gain comprehensive training to become a school psychologist: We emphasize a collaborative, culturally responsive, data-based problem solving approach to behavioral school psychology.
  • Earn your degree on your terms: Complete the PsyD program in 5 years, or study part-time.
  • Take advantage of a flexible schedule: We offer a blend of online and in-person courses. Most live classes meet on weekday evenings, with 5 seminars held during daytime hours on Tuesdays.
  • Benefit from diverse field experience: Complete 600 hours of practicum and a 1500-hour internship in PK-12 schools and related settings
  • Qualify for state and national credentialing: Upon graduation, apply for certification through the Maine Department of Education (DOE) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
  • Save time: Transfer up to 45 credits from prior graduate coursework.
  • Meet the nationwide demand for school psychologists: We offer the only school psychology training program in the state and our graduates have a 100% job placement rate.
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Career opportunities

Our graduates have had a 100% job-placement rate since 2016. With significant shortages of school psychologists in Maine and across the US, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) reports the demand continues to increase.

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Comprehensive practicum & internship

Our 600-hour practicum experience and 1,500-hour pre-doctoral internship include a planned sequence of educational and training experiences to promote the hands-on development of professional-level competencies.

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Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for multiple professional credentials, including certification as a School Psychologist-Doctoral (093) through the Maine DOE and national certification as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

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Program requirements

Through an integration of coursework, field experiences, and applied research opportunities we ensure graduates meet the practice competencies established by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the standards of the American Psychological Association (APA).

“I can honestly say that the School Psychology Program at USM has been one of the most challenging and rewarding pursuits in my life.
Through it I have found a number of organizations, projects, and professional positions to learn more about and be involved in. This has allowed me to individualize my learning and career path to specialize in what I am passionate about, all while learning the fundamentals of school-based assessment, intervention, and collaboration.”

— Hilarie Fotter Kennedy ’19, PsyD
A headshot of Hilarie Fotter Kennedy.
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Faculty expertise

Our core program faculty are credentialed school psychologists. Many faculty are licensed psychologists and Board Certified Behavior Analysts® and hold leadership positions for organizations such as the Maine Association of School Psychologists the Maine Psychological Association.

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Supported dissertation process

You’ll receive individualized mentorship and supervision from your faculty advisor throughout the dissertation process. After a topic has been approved, you will be supported by a three-person dissertation committee.

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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.

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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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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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Admission information: PsyD in School Psychology

Application deadlines

Application deadlineFall term start
FinalDecember 1

Applicants to the PsyD program must meet the minimum requirements below:

  • An earned bachelor’s or graduate degree from an institution of higher learning accredited by a regional or national accrediting body
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) in a baccalaureate degree program or 3.25 (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.

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 accomplishments.
    • 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.
  • Essays: Two essays are required. Applicants must respond to the following prompts in two separate essays:
    • Essay 1: 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?
    • Essay 2: Submit an additional personal statement that addresses the following:
      • What experiences have prepared you for success in a doctoral program?
      • How do you intend to apply your doctoral training to contribute to the profession and practice of school psychology?
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s ability to succeed in graduate school and a career in school psychology.
    • Only professional letters of recommendation will be accepted. Letters from professors, professionals in the field of school psychology, and/or supervisors from employment/internship settings are recommended. Letters from family members and friends will not be accepted.
  • Interview. Highly qualified applicants will 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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