School Psychology

Beyond the Classroom

Two students in class

The University of Southern Maine (USM) School Psychology programs integrate coursework and field experiences for an authentic learning experience that prepares graduates to provide the full scope of school psychology services.

Practicum and Internship Highlights

  • Professional practice: Students in both the master’s and the doctoral programs complete 600 practicum hours and 1500 internship hours.
  • Broad experience: Students gain experience in multiple settings with a diverse range of clients, providing exposure to varied school psychology practices.
  • Support and mentorship:
    • Our faculty work individually with students to select field placements that align with their location, professional experience, and career goals.
    • Faculty support students’ acquisition of professional competencies by facilitating regular group supervision sessions.
    • Students work directly with an on-site, credentialed school psychologist, who provides training and feedback.

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

The practicum experience offers opportunities to integrate and apply knowledge and skills acquired through your coursework, under the supervision of a credentialed school psychologist.

The practicum is divided into two sections – Practicum 1 is introductory and Practicum 2 is advanced.

Time Commitment

  • The practicum includes 600 hours. This is equal to 6 credit hours.
    • This is divided into Practicum 1 and Practicum 2.
  • Students typically choose to complete 100-200 practicum hours each semester (equal to 1-2 credit hours per semester), over the course of 3-6 semesters.
  • Students typically begin their practicum in the Spring semester of their first year or the Fall semester of their second year.

Placement and Supervision

  • Practicum placements include public schools, private schools, and related settings that provide school psychology services.
  • Our faculty work individually with you to select field sites that align with your location, your professional experience, and your career goals. Over the course of your Practicum 1 and 2, you’ll gain experience in multiple school settings.
  • You’ll receive support and supervision from a University faculty member as well as an on-site credentialed school psychologist.

What Practicum is Like

  • Practicum 1: This is designed as an introductory supervised experience and provides you with the opportunity to gain familiarity with the culture, systems, and educational practices of local schools. You’ll shadow a credentialed school psychologist and observe classroom activities, offering opportunities to connect USM coursework to real-world experience.
  • Practicum 2: This is an advanced experience and provides you with supervised practice in psychological assessment, intervention, consultation, and other aspects of school psychology. You’ll administer primary school psychology services under the direct supervision of a credentialed school psychologist.

The internship is the culminating training experience during which you will integrate and demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the program of study. This is an opportunity to further develop professional-level competencies in the areas of assessment, intervention, consultation, and applied research.

Time Commitment

  • The internship includes 1500 hours. This is equal to 9 credit hours.
  • The internship spans one academic year.
  • Students engage in the internship after completing the practicum and all required courses.

Placement and Supervision

  • Internships occur at public schools, private schools, and related settings that provide school psychology services.
  • Our faculty work individually with you to select field sites that align with your location, your professional experience, and your career goals.
  • You’ll work directly with a credentialed school psychologist who provides at least two hours-per-week of individual, face-to-face supervision. This includes mentoring and evaluation to facilitate your attainment of professional competencies.
  • You’ll join bi-weekly group supervision with other interns at the University.

Key Aspects of the Internship

The internship is an intensive training experience that exposes you to the diverse roles and responsibilities of a school psychology practitioner. It provides broad training in all domains of school psychology practice and offers experiences that are consistent with the program’s commitment to achieving meaningful academic, social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes for diverse individuals by engaging in evidence-based practice, data-based decision-making, and collaborative problem-solving.

The internship includes participation in continuing professional development activities, such as in-service meetings, professional association groups, and regional and national conferences.

Upon completion of the internship, students are expected to demonstrate mastery of professional competencies in the following goal areas:  

  • Assessment  
  • Intervention  
  • Consultation and collaboration  
  • Educational systems  
  • Research  
  • Ethical and legal standards  
  • Communication, interpersonal skills, and other professional behaviors

Doctor of Psychology in School Psychology (PsyD)

The practicum experience offers opportunities to integrate and apply knowledge and skills acquired through your coursework, under the supervision of a doctoral-level school psychologist.

The practicum is divided into two sections – Practicum 1 is introductory and Practicum 2 is advanced.

Time Commitment

  • The practicum includes 600 hours. This is equal to 6 credit hours.
    • This is divided into Practicum 1 and Practicum 2.
  • Students typically choose to complete 100 practicum hours each semester (equal to 1 credit hour per semester), over the course of 6 semesters.
  • Students typically begin their practicum in the Spring semester of their first year or the Fall semester of their second year.

Placement and Supervision

  • Practicum placements include diverse settings, such as public K-12 schools, special purpose private schools, psychiatric hospitals, private practices, and university-based counseling centers.
  • Our faculty work individually with you to select field sites that align with your location, your professional experience, and your career goals. Over the course of your Practicum 1 and 2, you’ll gain experience in multiple settings.
  • You’ll receive support and supervision from a University faculty member as well as an on-site doctoral-level school psychologist.

What Practicum is Like

  • Practicum 1: This is designed as an introductory supervised experience and provides you with the opportunity to gain familiarity with the culture, systems, and educational practices of local schools. You’ll shadow a doctoral-level school psychologist and observe classroom activities, offering opportunities to connect USM coursework to real-world experience.
  • Practicum 2: This is an advanced experience and provides you with supervised practice in psychological assessment, intervention, consultation, and other aspects of school psychology. You’ll administer primary school psychological services under the direct supervision of a doctoral-level school psychologist.

The internship is the culminating training experience during which you will integrate and demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the program of study. This is an opportunity to further develop professional-level competencies in the areas of assessment, intervention, consultation, supervision, and applied research.

Time Commitment

  • The internship includes a minimum of 1500 hours. This is equal to 9 credit hours.
  • The internship spans one calendar year.
  • Students engage in the internship after completing the practicum and all required courses.

Placement and Supervision

  • Internships are completed in diverse settings, such as public K-12 schools, special purpose private schools, psychiatric hospitals, private practices, and university-based counseling centers. At least 50% of internship hours must be completed in school settings.
  • Our faculty work individually with you to select field sites that align with your location, your professional experience, and your career goals.
  • You’ll work directly with a licensed school psychologist who provides at least two hours-per-week of individual, face-to-face supervision, and at least two hours of additional learning activities. This includes mentoring and evaluation to facilitate your attainment of professional competencies.
  • You’ll join bi-weekly group supervision with other interns at the University.

Key Aspects of the Internship

The internship is an intensive training experience that exposes you to the diverse roles and responsibilities of a school psychology practitioner. It provides broad training in all domains of school psychology practice and offers experiences that are consistent with the program’s commitment to achieving meaningful academic, social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes for diverse individuals by engaging in evidence-based practice, data-based decision making, and collaborative problem solving.

The internship includes participation in continuing professional development activities, such as in-service meetings, professional association groups, and regional and national conferences.

Upon completion of the internship, students are expected to demonstrate mastery of professional competencies in the following goal areas:  

  • Assessment  
  • Intervention  
  • Consultation and collaboration
  • Supervision  
  • Educational systems  
  • Research  
  • Ethical and legal standards  
  • Communication, interpersonal skills, and other professional behaviors

Field Placement

Our faculty work individually with students to select fieldwork sites that are a good fit in terms of locations and learning opportunities. The sites listed below include those at which we placed students in the past few years. As we work with each student to identify their unique professional development needs, we consider and contact additional sites in Maine and New Hampshire.

  • AOS 92 (Winslow, Maine)
  • Biddeford Schools (Biddeford, Maine)
  • Brunswick School Department (Brunswick, Maine)
  • Camden-Rockport Schools (Camden, Maine)
  • Eastern Maine Counseling and Testing Services (Bangor, Maine)
  • Falmouth Schools (Falmouth, Maine)
  • Foreside Behavior Associates (Falmouth, Maine)
  • Goodwill Neurorehab (Portland, Maine)
  • Lewiston Public Schools (Lewiston, Maine)
  • Maine Child Psychology (Belgrade, Maine)
  • Margaret Murphy Center for Children (Lewiston/Auburn, Maine)
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District (Palmer, Alaska)
  • MSAD 60 (Berwick, Maine)
  • MSAD 75 (Topsham, Maine)
  • Mt. Blue Regional School District (Farmington, Maine)
  • Portland School District (Portland, Maine)
  • RSU 2 (Hallowell, Maine)
  • RSU 5 (Freeport, Maine)
  • RSU 10 (Dixfield, Maine)
  • RSU 12 (Somerville, Maine)
  • RSU 14 (Windham, Maine)
  • RSU 18 (Oakland, Maine)
  • RSU 23 (Old Orchard Beach, Maine)
  • RSU 73 (Jay, Maine)
  • SAU #3 (Berlin, New Hampshire)
  • Saco School Department (Saco, Maine)
  • Scarborough Public Schools (Scarborough, Maine)
  • Seacoast Mental Health Center (Portsmouth, New Hampshire)
  • Southern Maine Administrative Collaborative (Biddeford, Maine)
  • Spring Harbor Hospital/Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders (Westbrook, Maine)
  • University Health and Counseling Services (Portland/Gorham, Maine)
  • Yarmouth School Department (Yarmouth, Maine)