Educational Psychology

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School psychology

Our graduates lead, innovate, and transform the field.

School psychologists create learning environments where students, families and school staff feel safe, welcome, and supported. Our program approaches school psychology from a scientific-practitioner orientation and will prepare you to become a leader, innovator, and change agent.

Our program has always been on the leading edge of the field. Today, our focus is on practices and systems change to advance equity. 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, caregivers, and staff to help students thrive and to support social justice by dismantling ineffective, harmful systems

You'll also contribute to the advancement of school psychology practices and policies by creating scholarship that addresses current issues and pushes the field forward.


#9 in U.S. among educational psychology graduate programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2020

Why study school psychology at the U?

  • Challenging, cutting edge training
  • 100% of our students are employed in their field within a year of graduation*
  • One of the strongest, most established programs in the nation
  • Innovative faculty and students who are state and national leaders
  • Faculty commitment to and expertise in diversity, educational equity, student mental health, and social justice
  • Over $10 million in research and graduate training grants
  • Compassionate, nimble in responding to COVID-19
  • Committed to advancing antiracism

*Percentages of students since 2012


  • 85-100% of students present and publish research each year* Check out our recent presentations.
  • Fieldwork in diverse, urban schools. Start your first semester as part of robust peer teams.
  • Accredited/approved by APA and NASP
  • More information on program goals and competencies
  • View the University of Minnesota's School Psychology Diversity Statement.
  • Latest news

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    Dates and deadlines

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    Info sessions

    Watch a recent info session on the MA with specialist certificate and PhD.

    Careers

    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 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.

    Diversity

    Our school psychology faculty are committed to and are experts in diversity, educational equity, student mental health, and social justice. We train students in research-based prevention, intervention, consultation, and assessment which equips them to become change agents in their school communities. Our graduates work with teachers, caregivers, and staff to help students thrive and to support social justice by dismantling ineffective, harmful systems.

    How to apply

    Note: We no longer require GRE test scores for application and admission to the program.

    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.

    Core program faculty

    Faith Miller headshot

    Faith Miller fgmiller@umn.edu | Lab

    Currently accepting doctoral advisees.

    • Multi-tiered systems of support for social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties (SEBD)
    • Evidence-based assessment and intervention for SEBD
    • Data-based decision making
    Amanda Sullivan headshot

    Amanda Sullivan Birkmaier Education Leadership Professor, program coordinator
    asulliva@umn.edu| Lab

    Currently accepting doctoral advisees.

    • 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
    Elyse Farnsworth headshot

    Elyse FarnsworthLecturer and field placement coordinator, specialist advisor
    chri0802@umn.edu

    • 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
    Annie Hansen-Burke headshot

    Annie Hansen-BurkeSenior lecturer, internship consortium director
    chri0802@umn.edu

    • Translation of research to practice through field supervision and practitioner development
    • Leadership development and applied best practices
    • Attention to and advancement of equity in education
    Jessie Kember headshot

    Jessie KemberLecturer
    kembe007@umn.edu

    • Sexual minority youth
    • Resilience
    • Diversity and inclusion

    Affiliates

    Rose Vukovic headshot

    Rose Vukovic rvukovic@umn.edu | Lab

    • Learning disorders
    • At-risk learners
    • Underserved populations
    • Early identification, intervention, and prevention
    • Social justice
    Alisha Wackerle-Hollman headshot

    Alisha Wackerle-HollmanAssistant research professor
    wacke020@umn.edu| Lab

    • Assessment
    • Early literacy and language development
    • Early childhood multi-tiered systems of support
    • Parent engagement and intervention
    • Community based participatory research
    Clayton Cook headshot

    Clayton Cook John W. and Nancy E. Peyton Faculty Fellow in Child and Adolescent Wellbeing
    crcook@umn.edu

    • School mental health
    • Multi-tiered systems of support/response to intervention
    • Emotional and behavioral disorders
    • Whole child assessment and intervention
    Theodore J. Christ headshot

    Theodore J. Christ tchrist@umn.edu | 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

    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: apaaccred@apa.org
    Web: http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/