Educational Psychology

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Admissions: School Psychology PhD and MA/Specialist Certificate

Admissions requirements

Test scores

  • Average undergraduate G.P.A. (PhD): 3.78
  • Average undergraduate G.P.A (MA/SC): 3.74
  • Average GRE (PhD after 2011): Verbal: 162; Quantitative: 158
  • Average GRE (MA/SC after 2011): Verbal: 159; Quantitative: 156
  • Minimum English Language Exam Scores (non-native English speakers only):
  • TOEFL

    • Minimum overall score: 79
    • Writing: 21
    • Reading: 19
    • Paper-based TOEFL: 550

    IELTS: 6.5

    MELAB: 80

Number of students accepted

About one half of the students admitted each year are for the PhD degree and the other half for the MA/Specialist degree. Approximately 30% of PhD applicants were admitted for fall 2016.

Additional student admissions, outcomes and other data

Get more information to help you make an informed decision about entering the program on the Student Admissions, Outcomes and Other Data page

Timeline

Before you apply

For any questions you may have, look to our frequently asked questions or our program handbook.

We love meeting future students! If you have a question that was not answered in the resources above, make an appointment with us.

MA program: Contact Elyse Farnsworth (chri0802@umn.edu).

PhD program: Contact Amanda Sullivan (asulliva@umn.edu).

November 15: application deadline

All application materials must be received November 15 for admission in September of the following year. Files not complete by November 15 will not be reviewed. We urge you to apply early and complete the GRE as soon as possible. Year-long course sequences make mid-year entrance into the program impossible.

December: review process

The admissions committee considers a variety of factors including your prior academic achievement, GRE scores, relevant employment and life experiences, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and compatibility of your clinical and research interests with those of the program and faculty.

January: admissions decisions

Interviews typically occur at the beginning of January. The date on which you will hear back from the program will vary based on the volume of applications received.

Applicants who are recommended for admission by the program will receive a letter from School Psychology indicating our decision. The Graduate Admissions Office will then make a final review of your documents and will inform you of the final decision via the email address you provided on your graduate application

Alumni profile

"One of the great things about the University of Minnesota is that it tends to attract highly motivated students. I was passionate about becoming a school psychologist and was surrounded by people in my cohort as well as the cohorts above and below me that felt similarly."

Virginia Clinton headshot.

Ethan Van Norman, PhD '15 Assistant professor, Lehigh Unviersity

Read more about Ethan's experience.

How to apply

Start your graduate application

Upload and submit all application materials, including transcripts, directly to the graduate application. For additional information on how to apply, visit the Graduate School website.

Graduate school application

Required fields: Program Selection, Term Selection, Biographical Information, Personal Background, Academic History (including transcripts), Test Scores, Employment, Materials (including: Personal Statement, Resume/CV, Graduate Program Supplemental Application (Critical Issue Essay), and three letters of Recommendations

Optional fields: Diversity Statements are optional but highly encouraged. Extenuating Circumstances Statement will be taken into consideration if submitted. A Writing Sample and Description of Research are not needed.

Application fee

Visit the Graduate School website for more information

Transcripts (Academic History)

Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the graduate application under the "Academic History" section. International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English. Please do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts, there is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review.

If you are admitted, the University will then request official copies of this material.

More information about transcripts and credentials

Test Scores

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores

GRE General Test scores should be entered in the "Test Scores" section. You do not need to take any GRE subject tests. Please have official scores sent to Institution Code 6874. We do not have minimum required GRE scores. See above for average scores of admitted students.

More information about the GRE

English language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)

Report your TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB scores (non-native English speakers only).

Letters of recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required. Acceptable recommendations will come from current or former professors who can assess your potential for graduate work. Other recommenders, such as employers, are also acceptable. You will enter your recommenders name and email into the application. They will be sent directions on how to upload tehir letter directly into your application.

Get more information and troubleshooting tips

Materials

Required Materials

Personal Statement

Describe, as specifically as possible, the following with subheadings for each (not to exceed 1 page, single spaced):

  • Your reasons for applying to this program.
  • Your career objectives.
  • (PhD applicants only) Your research interests and specialized expertise to be developed during graduate study.
  • (PhD applicants only) How your research interests relate to the work of one of more of the program faculty who advise doctoral students.

Upload the essay under "Personal Statement" in the Materials section.

Resume/CV

Upload it under "Resume/CV" in the Materials section.

Graduate Program Additional Material
Program application

Download and complete the program application form [WORD] and upload it under "Graduate Program Additional Application" in the Materials section.

Critical Issue Essay

Upload a typed essay addressing each of the following questions (not to exceed 1 page, single spaced):

  • What is the role of a school psychologist?
  • What are the most critical educational issues school psychologists can help address?
  • How would you like to contribute to addressing these issues in your future career?

Upload the essay under "Graduate Program Additional Upload" in the Materials section.

Optional Materials

Diversity Statement

Submitting the diversity statement is optional, but highly encouraged, especially for applicants who have experienced hardships or obstacles to complete their previous undergraduate or graduate education (e.g., coming from diverse ethnic, racial, or educational backgrounds; coming from a low-income background; being a first-generation college student). This statement may be used to nominate exceptional applicants for graduate fellowships.

Tip: Tell your story. If you learned from obstacles you personally overcame, write about them. If you grew up with privilege, write about how you discovered your privilege. It might be tempting to write about someone else’s experience, an entire group’s experience, or diversity and inclusion in an abstract way. However, most often, admissions teams want to understand how you personally came to be empathetic, reflective, resilient, and aware of systematic inequalities. Describe how your background, experiences, and achievements will contribute to the program and the University’s goals of promoting excellence through diversity.

Upload the essay under “Diversity Statement” in the Materials section in the graduation application.

Extenuating Circumstances

You may upload a brief statement explaining any extenuating circumstances that may have affected your grades or your test scores under "Extenuating Circumstances Statement" in the Materials section.

Common Ground Consortium Statement

If you wish to be considered for a Common Ground Consortium fellowship for African–American students, please be sure to indicate this on your program application, and then upload a statement briefly addressing the following question: Given that the University of Minnesota is a public grant institution, it is imperative that CGC scholars can both benefits personally from their membership in the program as well as further the university’s founding mission to contribute to scholarship that benefits the local and greater communities. Please note that this essay is reviewed by a college committee not involved in the school psychology admission process. The CGC selection committee does not review program essays in their decision process. Instead, they review only the CGC essay. Therefore, you are encouraged to view your CGC essay as a standalone essay. You may choose to integrate material from your other essays into the CGC essay so that the reviewers better understand your goals and interests. It’s also likely important that you will provide a more competitive essay if you address how your racial identity is related to your experiences and goals, and how participating in the CGC, wherein a central goal is to support Black grad students and create a community of Black graduate students.

Please describe how your participation as a CGC scholar would do the following:

  • Enhance your graduate student experience
  • Prepare you for your chosen career
  • Benefit the public

Upload the essay under "Graduate Program Additional Upload" in the Materials section.

Writing Sample and Description of Research

Please do not submit any other materials besides those requested above. In particular, writing samples are not requested and will not be reviewed. Failure to follow directions will not be evaluated favorably when application materials are reviewed.

Funding

Respecialization

Applicants interested in respecializing in school psychology, either by completion of (a) the specialist certificate in order to qualify for a state or national school psychologist credential, or (b) a doctorate in school psychology following completion of a previous doctorate in a separate field of psychology, should apply through the standard program admissions process. In general, individuals will be required to complete all school psychology courses, as well as any required educational psychology coursework not satisfied by their previous coursework. In all cases, practica and internship will be required. Individuals seeking the specialist certificate may be required to complete a research project if their previous degree did not require research or previous theses/dissertations were not applicable to school psychology. Individuals seeking the doctorate may be required to complete both a pre-dissertation research project and dissertation if their previous research was not applicable to school psychology. Interested individuals may contact the program coordinator with questions regarding the applicability of previous degrees or coursework.

Graduate School diversity statement