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Specialist in Psychological Services, S.Psy.S.

Minimum Totals for Graduation: 70 hours

Specialist in Psychological Services

This is a three-year, full-time, 70-hour graduate program, designed specifically to meet NASP accreditation standards, leading to the Master of Arts degree in Psychology and the Specialist in Psychological Services. Students complete coursework that prepares them to be knowledgeable in the following core content areas: Psychological and Educational Foundations, Research Methods, Psychological and Educational Assessment, Intervention Strategies, and Professional School Psychology. A full-time internship is completed during the third year of the program. The program is designed to be completed in three years. Students are expected to take no more than five years to finish.

Although this is a three-year graduate degree, applications will be accepted from students who already have taken graduate work, including the master's degree, at Central Michigan University or at other approved institutions. Credit will be given for such work in accordance with university regulations, provided it is consistent with the School Psychology curriculum.

This program meets the Michigan requirements for certification as a School Psychologist as defined by the State Board of Education and for national certification (NASP). In addition, this program will permit certification as a School Psychologist in the majority of states.

Admission Requirements, Retention & Termination Standards

Admission Requirement Snapshot

GPA: 3.0

Entrance Exam: GRE

Application Deadline: December 15 (Fall)

See Admission Requirement Details Below


Admission is competitive with approximately 8 to 10 students accepted each year.

An acceptable master's degree or 15 semester hours of undergraduate psychology or the equivalent as determined by the department, a 3.0 overall grade point average, and scores from the Graduate Record Examination taken within the last five years are required for admission Students who are deficient in certain subject areas will be expected to make up these deficiencies in addition to the normally prescribed graduate coursework for the degree.

Program Requirements

Progress through the program is based on satisfactory grades (a grade point average of "B" or better overall) and satisfactory evaluations of pre-professional functioning (e.g., appropriate interpersonal skills, ethical and professional conduct). Serious and persistent difficulties in preprofessional functioning may result in dismissal from the program (see Student Handbook, School Psychology Program). For admission to 790, a student must have earned a "B" or better grade in all assessment, intervention, and consultation courses. In addition, a student must earn a "B" or better grade in PSY 791 and have an approved thesis proposal prior to admission to PSY 795.

At the master's degree level, a thesis and oral exam over the thesis are required. At the specialist degree level, the student must demonstrate professional competencies in working with students, parents, and school personnel. This requirement will be met by the student's satisfactory completion of a supervised internship (PSY 795, Internship A; PSY 796, Internship B).

Required Course for Master's Degree (34 hours)

34 hours chosen from Required Courses I-VI below:

Required Courses I (19 hours)

PSY 605Assessment of Affective and Behavioral Disorders of Children and Youth


PSY 655Introduction to Intelligence Testing


PSY 656Advanced Intellectual Assessment


PSY 667Assessment and Development of Academic Skills I


PSY 767Assessment and Intervention for Developmental Disabilities


PSY 798Thesis


Required Courses II (3 hours)

PSY 511Statistics in Psychology


Required Courses III (3 hours)

Social Basis of Behavior

SPE 550WITeaching Diverse Students in Educational Settings


Required Courses IV (3 hours)

Human Development

PSY 624Advanced Developmental Psychology


Required Courses V (3 hours)

Cognitive Basis of Behavior

PSY 680Learning


Required Courses VI (3 hours)

Biological Basis of Behavior

PSY 587Physiological Psychology


Note: Course substitutions can be made in Required Courses III through VI with the approval of the student's advisor and program director.

Additional Required Courses for the Specialist Degree (36 hours)

Additional Required Courses II (30 hours)

PSY 562Therapeutic Intervention: Foundations


PSY 662Advanced Therapeutic Interventions


PSY 677Assessment and Development of Academic Skills II


PSY 760Seminar A: School Services


PSY 766Seminar: Consultation Skills


PSY 780Behavior Therapy


PSY 790Practicum I A: Professional Services


PSY 791Practicum I B: Professional Services


PSY 795Internship in School Psychology A


PSY 796Internship in School Psychology B


Electives (6 hours)

Hours of coursework are chosen with the approval of the student's advisor.

Total: 70 semester hours