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The Missouri Association of School Psychologists

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Meet the School Psychologist

Check out some of our featured members and what they love about MASP!

Becoming a School Psychologist

School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community for all students.

School Psychologists collaborate with School Counselors and Social Workers to ensure mental health services are delivered effectively to all children who need them. MASP has coordinated with the School Social Workers Association of Missouri and Missouri School Counselor Association to help define the roles of these mental health providers in an ideal situation:

The National Association of School Psychologists has surveyed school psychologists across the nation looking at salary information and job responsibilities.


School psychologists are highly trained in both psychology and education, completing a minimum of a specialist-level degree program (at least 60 graduate semester hours) that includes a year-long supervised internship. This training emphasizes preparation in mental health and educational interventions, child development, learning, behavior, motivation, curriculum and instruction, assessment, consultation, collaboration, school law, and systems.

The National Association of School Psychologists sets ethical and training standards for practice and service delivery.

For Undergraduates or Prospective Grad Students

Looking to become a School Psychologist? Missouri has an APA approved and NASP approved doctoral program, a NASP approved educational specialist program as well as a non-NASP approved multicultural educational specialist program.

University of Missouri – Columbia

Ph. D. in School Psychology

Educational Specialist in School Psychology

MIZZOU's School Psychology Program prepares graduates to work with children, youth, families, and educators to promote effective functioning in the areas of learning, behavior, and mental health. Operating from a problem solving framework, our focus is on preparing data-based decision makers capable of intervening to address both individual- and systems-level challenges. Students develop professional competencies in assessment, intervention, consultation, and research/evaluation. 

University of Missouri – Saint Louis

Educational Specialist in School Psychology

The UMSL School Psychology Program provides specialized training in the provision of academic and social-emotional and behavior interventions via a problem-solving approach. In addition, the program’s emphases on data-based decision making, multicultural diversity, program development and evaluation, and facilitation of organizational change prepare future practitioners who can provide an array of effective student- and systems-level school psychological services.

Webster University (located in Saint Louis)

At Webster University school psychologists are prepared to provide culturally-informed comprehensive services in schools; these serves include that of crisis interventionist, prevention and problem-solving specialist, consultant on social-emotional and academic learning, psychoeducational assessment expert, advocate for children's rights and social justice, community outreach coordinator, applied researcher, and children's mental health expert. All courses in the school psychology program help students to apply the knowledge they acquire to professional practice.

Ed.S. vs. Ph.D.

Have you ever wondered what the differences are between specialist and doctoral degrees? Rest assured you are not alone! It is important to become familiar with the career opportunities, advantages, and disadvantages associated with each degree, since this information can assist in guiding your program and degree decision process.

Specialist Degree 

Specialist programs are shorter in duration than doctoral programs, and many students have fieldwork or practicum opportunities in the schools during the first year of coursework. Schools psychologists with specialist degrees are well respected in the field and comprise the majority of currently employed school psychologists in the nation.

  • Minimum graduate entrance requirements: bachelor’s degree
  • Completion time: Typically three years; however, a few programs require four years of graduate coursework including a year-long internship for certification.
  • Career opportunities:
    • According to NASP, a specialist degree is considered the entry-level position for school psychology. A specialist degree in school psychology is generally accepted for certification as a school psychologist across the states, allowing for full professional practice within a public school setting. Some states also require attainment of the NCSP and/or graduation from a NASP-approved graduate program regardless of the degree awarded or hours completed.

Doctoral Degree
In addition to public schools, many doctoral-level graduates may work in a range of settings including mental health centers and clinics, hospitals, universities, research firms, testing companies, or private practice. At a state level, graduates are eligible for licensure as an independent psychologist if they complete the appropriate coursework, document supervised hours of clinical experience, and pass the national licensing examination. Additional requirements vary by state.
  • Minimum entrance requirements: bachelor’s degree
  • Completion time: Typically five to seven years of post-baccalaureate study, including a year of internship.
  • Features:
    • A dissertation is required.
    • Programs incorporate research training into program objectives.
    • Training in a variety of theoretical orientations is available.
  • Career opportunities:
    • Prepares students for careers as either academicians or practitioners.
    • Helps prepare students to sit for the state licensing exam for independent practice as licensed psychologists in a variety of settings.
Learn more about how to select the right graduate program from NASP.

For Graduate Students and Interns

Connect with MASP on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. We're here to support you and continue your professional development. 

MASP provides student scholarships to support school psychology students. 

Also, check out the excellent school psychology graduate associations:

Also, contact us with resources you would like to see us make available to ensure you have a successful internship year.

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MASP is excited to support you and the ethical practice of School Psychology here in the state of Missouri. Please Join Us in supporting each other and the children we serve.

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