Educational Psychology

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School psychology

Use scientific thinking to help students succeed

School psychologists create learning environments where students, families and school staff feel safe, welcome, and supported. Our program approaches school psychology from a scientific perspective and will prepare you to become a change agent and critical thinker.

As a school psychology student, you'll learn the foundations of psychology, its research methods, use of statistics, and application. Your training in research-based prevention, intervention, consultation, and assessment will prepare you to work with teachers, parents, and other school staff to determine the level of support needed to help all students succeed.

You'll also contribute to the advancement of school psychology practices and policies by conducting research that addresses current issues in the field.

Why study school psychology at the U?

*Percentages of students since 2012

#10 in U.S. among educational psychology graduate programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2019

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Specialist-level school psychologists: work in public and private schools, preschools, and state departments of education. Recently, our students have found internship placements with Minneapolis Public Schools, Mahtomedi Public Schools, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District, North Suburban Special Education District (IL), and Summit School District (CO).

Doctoral-level school psychologists: work in universities (as faculty), mental health agencies, research centers and think tanks, clinical settings, state departments of education, and independent practices. The program emphasizes preparation of future faculty, so all students are trained not only as researchers, but in higher education teaching, supervision, and mentoring.

School psychologists: in-demand and well-compensated

  • 100% of our students are fully funded and employed in their field within a year of graduation*
  • Expected employment growth: 11% between 2012 and 2022**
  • Mean 9-month salary (full-time, school-based practitioner): $64,000-$71,000***
  • Mean 9-month salary (university faculty): $77,800***
  • Student Admissions, Outcomes and Other Data

*Percentages of students since 2012
**U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
***National Association of School Psychologists

Programs & degrees

Coursework for both degrees includes a year-long internship. Choose between two degree options:

MA & Specialist Certificate (SC) in Education and School Psychological Services (60 credits):

You’ll be eligible to receive your state and national school psychologist credential to work with students in schools.

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) (90 credits):

You’ll be eligible to receive your state and national school psychologist credential, and the license to practice psychology. You can become a university faculty member, conduct research, work with students in schools, or work with children and youth in other settings as a licensed psychologist.


The Department of Educational Psychology is deeply committed to increasing the diversity of our undergraduate and graduate programs, of our teaching and learning, of our research and clinical practice, and of our outreach and service across fields of educational psychology. Visit our diversity page to learn more about our commitment to diversity and resources for supporting diversity and inclusion.

How to apply

Alumni profile

"Going to college wasn’t necessarily valued and wasn’t something my parents made me consider, but here I am now as the first person in my extended family to have a PhD."

Okan Bulut headshot.

Lynn Edwards, PhD '16 Post-doctoral research associate and school psychologist

Read more about Lynn's experience.

School psychology services for school districts

Hire our faculty-led School Psychology Embedded Team to help meet the growing demand for school psychological services. Visit our School Psychology Embedded Teams site.


Theodore J. Christ headshot

Theodore J. Christ | Lab

  • Developing and evaluating assessments and data systems used in schools that:
  • Identify students who are at risk to develop disabilities
  • Design intervention programs to prevent or remediate skill deficits
  • Monitor progress of students and effect of intervention programs
Clayton Cook headshot

Clayton Cook John W. and Nancy E. Peyton Faculty Fellow in Child and Adolescent Wellbeing
Currently not accepting new advisees

  • School mental health
  • Multi-tiered systems of support/response to intervention
  • Emotional and behavioral disorders
  • Whole child assessment and intervention
Faith Miller headshot

Faith Miller | Lab

  • School-based social, emotional, and behavioral assessment and intervention
  • Data-based decision-making
  • School mental health
Amanda Sullivan headshot

Amanda Sullivan Birkmaier Education Leadership Professor, program coordinator| Lab

  • Education and health disparities affecting individuals with and at-risk for special needs
  • Characteristics and outcomes of children and adolescents with disabilities
  • School psychological and special education services for diverse learners

Instructors and affliliates

Elyse Farnsworth headshot

Elyse FarnsworthLecturer and field placement coordinator

  • Implementation of state and federal policy to facilitate early intervention and prevention for at-risk children, youth, and families
  • Evaluation of the effects and outcomes associated with participation services received under federal law
  • Promotion of effective collaborations across systems that serve children and youth
Jessie Kember headshot

Jessie KemberLecturer

  • Sexual minority youth
  • Resilience
  • Diversity and inclusion
Alisha Wackerle-Hollman headshot

Alisha Wackerle-HollmanSenior research associate| Lab

  • Assessment
  • Early literacy and language
  • Parent engagement and intervention
  • Community based participatory research

Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission of Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / Email: