School Psychology M.S. Program
Practice, Training and Research
Required Field Experiences
The M.S. program in School Psychology requires both practicum and internship experiences. An on-site school psychologist supervises practicum experiences, conducted in a manner consistent with the current legal-ethical standards of the profession of school psychology, and supplemented by the Program’s Coordinator of Field Placements, who is responsible for establishing and maintaining the various field placements, and maintaining contact with site supervisors.
Practicum involves a developmental sequence of weekly, supervised experiences in schools, community agency sites, or the department’s campus-based Psychological Consultation Center (e.g., child anxiety team). Master’s level students complete 600 hours of field-based practica prior to internship.
All students are required to complete a one-year full-time internship. For specifics of the internship requirements for each program, see the Program Handbooks on our website.
Students are provided with a variety of ways of being introduced to and participating in research. These include:
- participating in faculty led research groups
- participating in School Psychology Research Interest Group meetings
- attending and presenting work at professional conferences
- working on writing projects for publication, with faculty and other students
- conceptualizing, designing, conducting thesis and dissertation projects
A unique aspect of the program is the School Psychology Research Interest Groups (SPRIG) taken under PSY 615A. The research interest groups are organized into three inter-related formats: Combined, Cohort, and Topical.
The Combined SPRIG consists of biweekly meetings of all students and provides a combined interest forum for students to present their research competencies and to improve their design and exposition. It also provides opportunities for those who wish to present at a professional conference to practice this presentation in advance. Some students use this opportunity to brainstorm about research hypotheses or designs for a particular study.
Occasionally the Combined SPRIG meetings are divided into Cohort SPRIGs, consisting of all students divided into groups according to program and level allowing for support during similar stages of research experiences.
Topical SPRIGs are comprised of smaller groups of students who meet biweekly with a faculty member to discuss and plan research in specific areas. Students of all levels participate in these groups, providing a type of apprenticeship and mentoring atmosphere, within which faculty and more advanced students model research skills and newer students gain confidence in their own competencies while learning to generate research questions for projects, presentations, theses, and dissertations.