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Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in School Psychology

Program Overview

MSPP offers a doctoral degree (PsyD) in school psychology that prepares practitioners to assume leadership roles in the field, with an emphasis on the delivery of mental health services in schools as well as development of advanced level practice skills. The initial (MA/CAGS) level of the program provides students with solid foundation of content knowledge, practice skills, and professional behaviors. The PsyD level of the program is designed to enable practicing school psychologists to pursue more advanced and specialized training while working as a school psychologist.

Program information resources including the School Psychology PsyD Program Handbook, Institutional Policies and Procedures Manual (IPPM), Doctoral Project Manual, and Information for Applicants are available to current and prospective students through links on the right hand column of this page. A brief overview of the mission and purpose of the School PsyD Program and a description of applicant eligibility follow below.

Mission and Purpose

The values and programmatic focus of MSPP are reflected in the school's mission statement:

"MSPP strives to be a preeminent school of psychology that integrates rigorous academic instruction with extensive field education and close attention to professional development. We assume an ongoing social responsibility to create programs to educate specialists of many disciplines to meet the evolving mental health needs of society."

Consistent with this mission and focus, the School Psychology PsyD Program has been developed (1) to serve the public need for highly skilled school psychologists and child mental health professionals, and (2) to make doctoral level training in school psychology more accessible and feasible to capable and committed trainees. While the curriculum has a considerable emphasis on development of clinical skills, the role and expertise of a doctoral level school psychologist is distinct from that of a clinical psychologist. Applicants should understand that the MSPP School Psychology PsyD Program prepares graduates to apply advanced expertise and clinical skills in the implementation of school psychological services. This is reflected in the program's philosophy and goals.

Who Should Apply

Individuals in any of the following three categories are encouraged to apply:

  1. The applicant holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, education, or a closely related field; and has a strong record of academic performance and relevant work. Applicants in this category would seek admission as an M.A./CAGS/PsyD student.
  2. If offered admission to the M.A./CAGS program but not the PsyD program, a matriculated student in good standing can apply to the PsyD in School Psychology program after transitioning from the MA to the CAGS level of the program in the fall of Year 2.
  3. The applicant holds a specialist level (e.g., Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study, or CAGS) degree in school psychology and seeks admission to the PsyD program as an advanced standing student. The candidate completes an individualized program that consists of all coursework and other requirements for the MSPP MA/CAGS/PsyD program not credited upon matriculation. While the program is compatible with full-time work as a school psychologist, this makes for a complicated schedule and a challenging workload. Students in the program are encouraged to consider a reduced work schedule (e.g., 3 or 4 days per week).

An individual who earns the CAGS degree in school psychology from MSPP will qualify for licensure as a school psychologist in Massachusetts and in other states in the United States.

The PsyD degree affords the graduate additional value as it (1) provides more advanced training, (2) offers the opportunity to develop areas of specialized expertise, (3) increases the capacity to supervise other professionals, (4) expands opportunities to teach in higher education and conduct research, and (5) may qualify an individual to practice independently as a psychologist.

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Updated 3/10/14

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