• Flexible schedule: Our programs can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis.
    • Master’s program: All courses are held in the late afternoon and evening, to accommodate working professionals and students completing fieldwork. Half of the courses are offered online.
    • Doctoral program: Most courses are held in the late afternoon and evening. Several advanced doctoral seminars are held during the day on Tuesdays.
  • Affordable tuition: All students, including those from out-of-state benefit, are eligible for USM’s affordable in-state tuition rate.
  • Transfer your graduate credits: We allow students with prior graduate-level coursework to transfer eligible credits into our programs, which may reduce program completion time.
  • Career advancement: There is a nationwide demand for school psychologists at both the specialist and doctoral level.
  • Gain diverse field experience: You’ll complete 600 practicum hours and 1500 internship hours, and gain experience in multiple settings to meet your individualized learning and career goals.
  • Expert faculty: Our faculty are dually credentialed in school psychology and applied behavior analysis. Many are also licensed psychologists.
  • Qualify for state and national credentialing: Both degree programs qualify graduates to apply for certification through the Maine Department of Education and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
    • Doctoral students may qualify to apply for licensure as a psychologist after completing a postdoctoral internship.
  • Gain additional training in applied behavioral analysis (ABA): Our curriculum has a unique emphasis on ABA. You also have the option to take additional courses and seek qualifying supervised experience, which leads to eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Examination®.
  • This program will prepare students to be eligible for licensure within the State of Maine. Visit the UMS State Authorization and Licensure page to learn more about the licensure requirements in other states and territories, and for contact information to inquire further about the licensure requirements associated with this program.

Master of Science in Educational Psychology with a concentration in School Psychology (MS)

  • Degree completion timeframe:
    • Study on a part-time or full-time basis.
    • Full-time students complete the program within 4 years. This includes:
      • 3 years of courses and practicum: 9 credits in the Fall and Spring semesters, and 6 credits in the Summer.
      • 1 year of internship.
    • You may complete up to 6 credits at the University before enrolling in the program.
  • Transfer credits: You may transfer up to 30 graduate credits, which may reduce program completion time. Transfer credits must meet specific criteria.
  • Course schedule: All courses are held in the late afternoon and evening to accommodate working professionals.  
  • Course format:
    • Half of our courses are held on campus, and half are held online.
    • Some online courses are streamed in real-time (synchronous), offering you the opportunity to connect remotely with faculty and classmates at the same time each week.
    • Some online courses are asynchronous, providing you the flexibility to choose when and where to complete your coursework each week.

Doctor of Psychology in School Psychology (PsyD)

  • Degree completion timeframe:
    • Study on a part-time or full-time basis.
    • Full-time students complete the program within 5 years. This includes:
      • 4 years of courses and practicum: 9 credits in the Fall and Spring semesters, and 6 credits in the Summer.
      • 1 year of internship.
    • You may complete up to 6 credits at the University before enrolling in the program.
    • Transfer credits: You may transfer up to 45 graduate credits, which may reduce program completion time. Transfer credits must meet specific criteria.
  • Course schedule: Most courses are held on weekday afternoons and evenings to accommodate working professionals. Several advanced doctoral seminars are held during the day on Tuesdays
  • Course format: Per professional licensing standards, the majority of our courses are held on campus to allow face-to-face connection with faculty.

Our graduates from the past 5 years have a 100% job placement rate. According to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the demand for school psychologists in Maine and throughout the US continues to increase.

  • Graduates with a master’s degree typically work as school psychologists in PK-12 public or private schools.
  • Graduates with a doctoral degree pursue diverse careers in PK-12 public and private schools, residential clinics and hospitals, higher education, juvenile justice programs, and private practice.      

Students in both degree programs complete 600 practicum hours and 1500 internship hours. Our faculty work individually with students to place them in field settings that align with their location, professional experience, and career goals. Our students gain experience in multiple settings over the course of their studies.

Learn more.

The University of Southern Maine (USM) School Psychology program qualifies graduates to apply for state and national credentialing as school psychologists, which permits delivery of the full scope of school psychology services.

Master’s of Educational Psychology with a concentration in School Psychology (MS)

Graduates of the master’s program are eligible to apply for the following credentials:

Graduates of the master’s program are eligible to apply for the following credentials:   

  • State Certification as a School Psychologist: Graduates are eligible to apply for state certification as a School Psychologist-Specialist (093) through the Maine Department of Education (MDOE).  
  • National Certification as a School Psychologist: Graduates are eligible to apply for national certification as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
    • By the end of their internship year, students must submit a portfolio that provides evidence of mastery of knowledge and skills across all tens domains of practice established by NASP. When applying to NASP for NCSP certification, our graduates can submit this same portfolio.
    • As part of NASP standards, students must earn a qualifying score of 147 on the Praxis® School Psychologist Examination. We recommend that students take the Praxis Exam during their final internship year.
  • Graduates who complete 2-3 additional courses and complete qualifying supervised experiences are eligible to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Examination®.

Graduates of the doctoral program are eligible to apply for the following credentials:   

  • State Certification as a School Psychologist: Graduates are eligible to apply for state certification as a School Psychologist-Specialist (093) through the Maine Department of Education (MDOE).  
  • National Certification as a School Psychologist: Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for national certification as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
    • By the end of their internship year, students must submit a portfolio that provides evidence of mastery of knowledge and skills across all tens domains of practice established by NASP. When applying to NASP for NCSP certification, our graduates can submit this same portfolio.
    • As part of NASP standards, students must earn a qualifying score of 147 on the Praxis® School Psychologist Examination, which addresses the ten domains of practice established by NASP. We recommend that students take the Praxis Exam during their final internship year.
  • Graduates who complete an acceptable post-doctoral internship also are eligible to apply for licensure as a psychologist within Maine and many other states.
  • Graduates who complete 3 additional courses and complete qualifying supervised experiences are eligible to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Examination®.

Our faculty are experienced clinicians who hold professional credentials in both school psychology and applied behavior analysis (ABA). Several are also licensed psychologists. As practitioners in the field, our faculty have extensive experience providing school psychology and behavior-analytic services to school-aged children.

Our core faculty members are frequently published; they co-authored the 2019 Guilford Press publication Conducting School-Based Functional Behavioral Assessments.

The University of Southern Maine (USM) School Psychology program is approved by the Maine Department of Education (MDOE), and the course of study requirements are designed to meet the guidelines for comprehensive training in school psychology as outlined by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Our master’s and doctoral programs qualify graduates to apply for state and national credentialing as school psychologists.

Our faculty and alumni hold memberships with many professional associations in psychology and behavior analysis, and we encourage our students to explore opportunities offered by these organizations.

Each student works individually with a faculty advisor who assists with developing an individualized plan of study and provides one-on-one mentorship for applied research. Faculty also facilitate practicum and internship field-placements that meet each student’s unique professional development needs.

With a focus on clinical practice, our curriculum reflects a philosophical commitment to evidence-based practice, collaborative problem-solving, data-based decision-making, and behavior analysis.

Coursework addresses broad content areas such as:

  • Academic, cognitive, and behavioral assessment
  • Academic, social-emotional, and behavioral intervention
  • Consultation and family-school-community collaboration
  • Progress monitoring and applied research
  • School-wide practices to promote learning, mental health, and safety
  • Diversity in development and learning
  • Ethical and legal standards in education and psychology

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

In addition to a focus on behavior analysis in our curriculum, our students have the option to take additional courses, which can lead to credentialing in behavior analysis.

  • Master’s Program: Our master’s students can qualify to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Examination® by completing three additional USM courses and completing qualifying supervised practice outside of the program.
  • Doctoral Program: Students may enter the PsyD program with either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree. There is an option to earn a Master’s in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis during your studies. Students who earn this “master’s along the way” and complete qualifying supervised practice outside of the program are eligible to apply to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Examination®.

The School Psychology program endorses four primary practice models and philosophical approaches:             

  1. Evidence-based practice. This is the organizing theme that permeates the training program and defines a best practices approach to service delivery. Within this model, school psychologists utilize assessment methods and interventions that are empirically-based. This means that school psychologists (a) rely exclusively on assessment methods that have been demonstrated to be reliable, valid, and accurate, and (b) endorse and apply only those interventions that have been subjected to scientific analysis and have yielded socially meaningful outcomes.                                                                                                                         
  2. Problem solving. School psychologists utilize a collaborative problem-solving approach as the basis for all professional activities. The problem-solving framework is applied to a continuum of services that include assessment, intervention (e.g., consultation, counseling, social skills training, positive behavioral supports), and program evaluation.
  3. Data-based decision making. School psychologists utilize reliable and valid assessment data to (a) determine students’ eligibility for services, (b) design student and systems-level interventions, and (c) monitor students’ progress and evaluate program outcomes. Emphasis is placed on the use of criterion-referenced, curriculum-based, and behavioral assessments to address the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs of referred students.
  4. Applied behavior analysis. School psychologists conduct functional assessments to inform the design of individually-tailored, behavior-analytic interventions that promote meaningful improvements in students’ academic, social, emotional, and behavioral functioning. School psychologists collaborate with families and school-based teams to design, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions.

As the only school psychology training program in the state, we offer a Master of Science (MS) in Educational Psychology with a concentration in School Psychology and a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in School Psychology.

If you don’t see an answer to your question below, please contact us

Can I complete courses at the University before I begin the program?

  • Yes. Students who are applying for either the master’s or the doctoral program may complete up to two courses, for a total of six credits, before enrolling in the program.
  • Contact us to learn more about which courses can be completed.

Can I maintain full-time employment while studying in the program?

  • Our programs are designed to accommodate working professionals. Each program can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis.
    • Master’s program: All courses are held in the late afternoon and evening. Half of the courses are offered online.
    • Doctoral program: Most courses are held in the late afternoon and evening. Several doctoral seminar courses are held during the day on Tuesdays. Many employers allow a flexible schedule in order to complete the daytime courses.
  • To learn more about program schedules and completion timeframes, see our Program Delivery.

Can I transfer graduate credits into the program?

  • Master’s program:
    • You may transfer up to 30 graduate credits, which may reduce program completion time. Transfer credits must meet specific criteria.
  • Doctoral program:

If I begin studying in the master’s program, could I transfer to the doctoral program?

  • Yes. You must apply and be admitted into the doctoral program in order to transfer. We allow up to 45 credits from the master’s program to be transferred to the doctoral program. We highly recommend that you apply to transfer prior to your internship year, because the internship credits do not transfer.

Where do students typically complete their practicum and internship?

  • Our faculty work individually with each student to select fieldwork sites based on location preferences and learning goals. As we work with students to identify their unique professional development needs, we consider and contact sites in Maine and New Hampshire. For a list of sites where our students have completed fieldwork in the past several years, visit Beyond the Classroom.

Must the internship be completed in Maine?

  • Students may complete their internships in other states, pending approval by program faculty.

Is the internship paid?

  • Master’s program: We strongly advocate that our field placement sites provide a stipend to the students interning through our master’s program. However, this cannot be guaranteed.
  • Doctoral program: We expect that pre-doctoral interns are paid a minimum stipend of $16,500, but actual stipends vary significantly by site.

Are there graduate assistantship positions available?

Are there scholarships and financial aid available?

What degrees are required to enter the PsyD program?

Our PsyD in School Psychology program curriculum reflects the practitioner-scientist model of professional training for psychologists, providing our graduates with a firm grounding in both research and practice. You’ll find that research is an integral aspect of the doctoral program. Research is included in coursework, your practicum and internship, optional graduate assistantships, and the dissertation.

The dissertation process is typically completed during the final pre-doctoral internship year.

Support and Mentorship

Our students receive individualized mentorship and supervision from their faculty advisor throughout the dissertation process. After a topic has been approved, students are supported by a three-person dissertation committee comprised of two core faculty members as well a practicing psychologist, a faculty member from another department or college at the University, or a faculty member from another university.