Jul 14, 2024  
2013-14 Graduate Catalog 
2013-14 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, Pre-Specialist in Education: School Psychology Concentration, M.A.

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James O. Rust, Coordinator
(615) 898-2319

The Department of Psychology  offers programs which lead to two graduate degrees: the Master of Arts with a major in Psychology and concentrations in Clinical, Experimental, Industrial/Organizational, Quantitative Psychology, and Pre-Specialist in Education: School Psychology and the Specialist in Education with a major in Curriculum and Instruction and concentration in School Psychology. The department also offers a minor at the graduate level.

The School Psychology program includes two degrees. Program completion and endorsement for a State Department of Education license require successful completion of both degrees. The M.A. portion of the program comes first. The Ed.S. is an advanced degree. It is only available to students who have master’s degrees in School Psychology. Respecializing students from other master’s programs in Psychology or Counseling may apply, but they will be required to complete deficiencies.

The School Psychology program is field-based. As such, a student is required to be continuously enrolled in at least one field-based course every semester from the completion of PSY 6140  until the completion of the program. PSY 6960 PSY 6980 PSY 7080 , and PSY 7810  are field-based courses. The policy excludes summer sessions.

Tennessee teacher licensing in school psychology is obtained through MTSU’s program. Licensing requires (1) completion of the Ed.S. with a concentration in School Psychology, (2) 1,200 hours of internship in school psychology, (3) acceptable scores on the School Psychology Praxis II Test, and (4) verification of readiness for independent practice by an internship supervisor. The School Psychology PRAXIS II test assesses the following areas: a) diagnosis and fact finding; b) prevention and intervention; c) applied psychological foundations; and d) ethics and legal considerations.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Arts in Psychology with Pre-Specialist in Education: School Psychology concentration requires

  1. an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. Most applicants have completed 15 semester hours of psychology classes prior to admission to their graduate programs. Those applicants without 15 semester hours of undergraduate psychology may be admitted to the programs but must complete those credits in addition to their graduate programs.
  2. an acceptable grade point average in all college work taken (at least 3.00).
  3. completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with acceptable scores.

NOTE: Students who do not meet admission requirements may be admitted conditionally to a specific concentration. Students admitted conditionally must maintain a 3.25 GPA in their first semester (9 hours minimum) of required graduate courses in their concentration areas.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Application Deadlines: Applications for Summer/Fall admission must be complete by March 1, and applications for Spring admission must be complete by October 1. Late applicants who meet the admission criteria may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Applicant must

  1. submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php).
  2. submit official scores on the GRE–a minimum of 291 (current scale) or 900 (former scale) on the combined Verbal and Quantitative sections is expected.
  3. submit official transcripts of all previous college work.
  4. submit the supplemental School Psychology program application.
  5. submit three (3) reference forms (found online at www.mtsu.edu/schoolpsychology/admissions.php). It is recommended that at least two references should be completed by faculty who can attest to the applicant’s academic abilities.
  6. submit a current curriculum vita that includes education and employment history, research involvement, volunteer activities, references, and awards/scholarships.
  7. submit a statement of purpose, including reasons for interest in the field of School Psychology and the program at MTSU, and a description of professional goals. (Typically two to three [2-3] pages in length).

NOTE: Admission to graduate study is competitive and not automatic for students meeting minimal admission requirements. Students are selected from a pool of qualified applicants. Each year the number of students admitted to the program depends on the availability of adequate faculty supervision.

NOTE: Applicants to the School Psychology programs should contact the department for a special application and reference forms.

Degree Requirements

Candidates for the Master of Arts degree in Psychology with a concentration in Pre-Specialist in Education: School Psychology must

  1. be able to meet the demands required for professional work in psychology. Therefore, students may be subject to dismissal from the Psychology Department if they (a) commit a serious breach of ethics or gross pro­fessional negligence or (b) present evidence of impaired psychological functioning that would present a danger to themselves or others in a professional role. Students who are dismissed may reapply and will be considered for readmission on a competitive basis. Students who reapply may be asked to provide evidence of improved ability to meet performance requirements. See each area coordinator and program handbook for readmission policy.
  2. be continuously enrolled in at least one field-based course every semester from the completion of PSY 6140  until the completion of the program, with the exception of summer sessions.
  3. demonstrate knowledge of the core areas of psychology by completing the following courses prior to entering the School Psychology program or during enrollment in the program (relevant courses offered at MTSU are listed in parentheses):
    1. testing (PSY 6100  and PSY 6101 ; PSY 4260 or equivalent is a prerequisite);
    2. abnormal psychology (PSY 6400 );
    3. learning (PSY 6440 );
    4. developmental (PSY 6120 PSY 6130 , or PSY 6410 );
    5. research methods (PSY 6640, 3 hours).
  4. complete a total of 44 semester hours (see Curriculum section below for specifics). Only 30 percent of the total number of hours may be dually listed (5000-level meeting in conjunction with 4000- or 3000-level) courses; students without at least an undergraduate minor in psychology (at least 15 hours) will be required to complete up to 15 hours of additional psychology coursework that will not count toward the M.A. degree.
  5. complete PSY 6280  and PSY 6290 .
  6. successfully write and orally present a written thesis evaluated by a committee of Psychology faculty in conjunction with PSY 6640 .
  7. pass a written comprehensive examination prepared by the faculty in the student’s concentration (may be taken no more than twice).
  8. maintain professional liability insurance (coverage amount at the student’s discretion) throughout enrollment in the program, with a current insurance binder filed with the department at all times.


Candidate must complete 44 hours in the following course of study:

Program Notes

Candidate must

  1. file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to the completion of 21 credit hours;
  2. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which candidate intends to graduate.

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