School Psychology

Master’s Program

Department of Education Psychology

Our School Psychology master’s program (Specialist in School Psychology, M.A. SSP) uses the scientist-practitioner model to prepare students in understanding and enhancing the development of children and adolescents in context.

Education and training include strong preparation in the academic foundations of psychology. Students also prepare in the research skills essential to the contribution of new knowledge, and in the competent and ethical professional practice of assessment, intervention, and consultation.

Program Details

Semester Start: Fall, Summer

Deadline to Apply: January 10

GRE Required? No

Location: On Campus

Schedule: Part-time allowed

Length of Program: 6 semesters, 65 hours

Our Master’s / Specialist in School Psychology (MA/SSP) program uses the scientist-practitioner model to prepare school psychologists to understand and enhance the development of children and adolescents in schools while supporting families and teachers. Education and training include strong preparation in the scientific foundations of psychology, in the research skills essential to the contribution of new knowledge, and in the competent and ethical professional practice of assessment, intervention, and consultation. Our graduates are employed in school districts in Texas as well as other states across the country.

The goals that guide the program’s graduate training reflect the Standards for Graduate Preparation of School Psychologists (2010) published by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The course requirements, clinical training, and research experiences were designed to provide preparation in the areas of data-based decision-making, consultation, problem-solving, evidence-based preventive services and interventions, research, ethical practice, and interactions between family, school, and community systems. This knowledge-based foundation prepares students to develop professional skills in culturally diverse practicum and internship settings and align with the candidate performance standards model of NASP, consistent with the Program goal for all graduates to become Nationally Certified School Psychologists and licensed/certified at the state level.

Goal 1: Prepare students for future doctoral study.

Goal 2: Prepare students to work as Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (Texas) and Certified School Psychologists (other states).  

Goal 3: Prepare students to translate research into practice.

Goal 4: Prepare students who are knowledgeable about research and theory in the basic domains of scientific psychology including social, cognitive, biological, developmental, and learning.

Goal 5: Prepare students with an understanding of and ability to integrate multiple theoretical perspectives that are relevant to the teaching, research, and practice of school psychology.

Goal 6:  Prepare students to competently conceptualize, assess, and intervene in child and adolescent learning, behavior, and mental health with a range of culturally sensitive and empirically supported methods that target the individual, family, classroom, and larger social system.

Goal 7: Prepare students to apply relevant legal and ethical principles, as well as cultural sensitivity and self-awareness, to their professional service, and practice.

Practicum and internship training are essential components of the scientist-practitioner model and our program. Students participate in three semesters of school-based practicum beginning in the summer before the second year of study. The goals of the school-based practicum include serving the educational, health, and psychological health needs of children, adolescents, and families as well as supporting teachers and schools.

School Psychology Masters students will be eligible for the Training in Comprehensive, Culturally Affirming Services (TRACCS) program. The TRACCS program focuses on increasing the number and diversity of high-quality, trained providers to address the shortages of mental health services in high-need school districts.

TRACCS, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, prepares future school psychologists to provide evidence-based and culturally affirming mental health services in partnership with Del Valle Independent School District (DVISD). DVISD is located southeast of Austin, Texas and serves a student population that is 84.7% Hispanic/Latinx and 44.3% are classified as emerging bilingual. The population also includes 88.9% of students classified as economically disadvantaged.

TRACCS trainees are provided multi-year financial support, including covered tuition costs, tuition stipend, health insurance, supplies and professional development. We are looking for applicants committed to working in high-need schools. Bilingual (English/Spanish) applicants will be given priority.

Please contact Dr. Jessica O’Bleness with any questions.

As a part of our program, students have opportunities to participate in research within the program, department, or associated research labs. This opportunity helps students develop into empirically-minded school psychologists who understand the process of research and can apply these skills to clinical practice. This training will also prepare students who are interested in future doctoral-level work.

Many students are provided funding for their research work through Graduate Research Assistantships. While these assistantships are not guaranteed for students, many students are able to find funding for their first year in the program. During the first semester, MA/SSP students learn about different research opportunities including possible funding opportunities.

Students entering the program complete a minimum of 62 hours of graduate course work, making them eligible for the MA/SSP in Educational Psychology with a specialization in School Psychology. Students interested in pursuing licensures as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) in Texas may apply for the license while completing their formal internship of at least 1200 hours (600 of which must be in a public school), complete the Praxis School Psychology Examination, and complete the Jurisprudence Examination. For additional information about the requirements to become an LSSP, please consult the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists.

Our program has been approved for National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) candidacy as of July 2020 and is working towards NASP accreditation. The NASP domains and standards described above guide our course, practicum, and internship requirements. The MA/SSP curriculum at The University of Texas at Austin meets the educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) for the state of Texas. 

The School Psychology Program is committed to supporting diversity and multicultural issues in the field. We seek to integrate multiple cultural perspectives into our coursework and practicum training experiences. Students have various opportunities to pursue a specialized diversity emphasis in their research, coursework, and practica. We are committed to a culturally and ethnically diverse student body and to building culturally competent researchers and practitioners who can contribute to enhancing diversity in the field.

We recognize funding your education is a high priority for students. Our MA/SSP students have been very successful in obtaining funding for their education through the program, department, and university. Current students often serve as Teaching Assistants (TA) and Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA), and many of these positions come with partial tuition waivers, health insurance, parking permit, and a stipend. Once accepting an offer to the program, students are included in emails regarding TA and GRA opportunities as well as information about applications for fellowships and scholarships. Some fellowships and scholarships are offered to incoming students based on their qualifications. For the 2020-2021 school year, 94% of the MA/SSP students obtained UT funding through fellowships, TAships, and/or GRAships before or during their first semester.

Students are admitted once a year with an application deadline of January 10 and a final deadline of acceptance of an offer of April 15. The program typically received 60+ applications each year and accepts 4-10 students. In January, approximately 20 applicants are notified of invitations to interview in February. Interview day for 2024 admittance will be virtual and will be held on February 23, 2024. Admission decisions are made by consensus of the school psychology faculty. The selection of students is based on multiple factors, including letters of recommendation, fit between program goals and applicant’s career goals, the personal statement and course grades. Students with a low GPA should explain their performance in their personal statement and show outstanding performance in other areas.  Students are usually notified of their admission decision within two weeks of the scheduled interview date.

All students in the School Psychology program complete a standard scientist-practitioner-oriented school psychology curriculum. Student coursework may vary depending on prior graduate coursework and waivers. Required courses are designed to meet relevant APA and licensure requirements. All required courses must be completed with a grade of at least B-.

Please note required coursework may vary from year to year. Current students should always defer to their Program of Work for course requirements and consult with their faculty advisor / Graduate Advisor for any needed clarifications.

School Psychology Master’s students are required to complete:

  1. Foundation Courses
  2. School Psychology program courses
  3. Out-of-Specialization courses
  4. Practica and Internship

These courses represent core foundational knowledge in Educational Psychology

  • EDP 380C.2 Fundamental Statistics: prerequisite course for all Methods area courses. Recommend students take in the summer prior to or during their 1st semester.
  • EDP 480C.6 Statistical Analysis for Experimental Data
  • EDP 381C.2 Research Design & Methods for Psych and Education (or alternative approved by Adviser)
  • EDP 382D Psychology of Learning
  • EDP 382F.3 Life Span Development

The following Program Courses reflect three areas of training: assessment, intervention, and research, with both didactic courses and those with an emphasis on practice. Students may be able to waive some program courses if they have already completed relevant graduate work in these areas, dependent on department approval. 

Professional Development (3 hours)

  • EDP 385C.8 Law, Ethics, & History of School Psychology

Psychoeducational Assessment and Intervention (7 hours)

  • EDP 483C.4 Individual Testing
  • EDP 383C.6 Academic Assessment & Intervention

Social/Emotional Assessment and Interpersonal Intervention (6 hours)

  • EDP 383C.30 Developmental Psychopathology
  • EDP 383C.8 Social/Emotional Assessment with Children & Adolescents

Behavioral Assessment and Intervention (3 hours)

  • EDP 384C.22 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Children & Adolescents

Family Intervention (3 hours)

  • EDP 384C.12 Family Systems Interventions: Children & Adolescents

Consultation Theory and Process (3 hours)

  • EDP 385C.2 Consultation, Collaboration, and Supervision

Neuropsychological Assessment (3 hours)

  • EDP 382E.2 Biological Bases of Behavior

Multicultural Competency (3 hours)

  • EDP 384C.18 Multicultural Counseling, or alternative approved by School Psychology Area Chair

Program requirements include practica and internship.

Practica (9 hours)

  • EDP 383D Practicum in School Psychology: Level 1
  • EDP 383E Practicum in School Psychology: Level 2
  • EDP 383F: Practicum in School Psychology: Level 3

Internship (6 hours)

  • EDP 393E School Psychology Specialist Internship (2 semesters)

In addition to foundation and program area requirements, students must complete the following additional coursework outside of their program area. These courses are an opportunity to enhance interests and form relationships with out-of-area faculty; course choices must be approved by faculty adviser.

  • 1 course taken outside of the EDP department (3 hours)
  • 1 course taken either in another program area within EDP or outside of the department (3 hours)

This requirement is fulfilled by the required course 382E.2 Biological Bases of Behavior

Students generally take the Praxis II exam in the summer before or during the internship year.

During the final semester of internship, students are required to submit a portfolio of their work. The portfolio should be well-organized and include evidence that the student has successfully completed required internship activities and demonstrated knowledge and skills in the NASP Domains of Competency. Materials in the portfolio include: Emotional Disturbance report, Learning Disability report, Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavioral Intervention plan, Manifestation Determination documents, Counseling and Crisis Intervention, Pre-referral Consultation/Student Assistance Team Involvement, Teacher/Parent Consultation documents, In-service and Research, Diversity Experience, and Professional Exam (PRAXIS).

Photo of faculty member Kizzy  Albritton
Associate Professor

Examines ways that school psychologists can improve the academic, social-emotional, and behavioral outcomes for young children (i.e., preschool) from minoritized and marginalized backgrounds in early childhood settings. Dr. Albritton will be rev...

Photo of faculty member Sarah Kate Bearman
Associate Professor and School/Clinical Child Psychology Area Chair

Dr Bearman's research focuses on the effectiveness and implementation of empirically supported practices for common mental health concerns (anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, and disruptive behavior) in publicly-funded settings that serve historically ...

Photo of faculty member J. Mark  Eddy

J. Mark Eddy's primary area of expertise is the development, refinement and rigorous testing of culturally informed multimodal preventive and clinical psychosocial interventions to improve physical and mental health outcomes for children and families...

Photo of faculty member Jane S Gray
Director of Clinical Training, Counseling and School/Clinical Child Psychology Doctoral Programs

Supports the clinical training of doctoral students, teaches clinically-focused courses and prepares students for psychology internship training. Jane Gray does not serve as a research mentor for students in the School Psychology nor Counseling ...

Photo of faculty member Jessica J O'Bleness
Assistant Professor of Practice, Director of Clinical Training for MA/SSP

Supports the clinical training of MA/SSP students, teaches clinically-focused courses, provides supervision for students, and prepares students for MA/SPP internship. Jessica O'Bleness does not serve as a research mentor for students in the Scho...

Photo of faculty member Erin M Rodriguez
Associate Professor

Dr. Erin Rodríguez studies family, sociocultural, and contextual influences on children’s development and health outcomes, with a focus on understanding and reducing health disparities affecting low-SES Latinx youth. Dr. Rodríguez will be rev...

Photo of faculty member Monica  Romero
Assistant Professor

Investigates culturally and linguistically responsive interventions and assessments for emergent bilingual/multilingual learners. Dr. Romero will be reviewing applications in anticipation of taking a student for Fall 2024.

Laboratory for Leveraging Evidence and Advancing Practice for Youth Mental Health Services (LEAP Lab)

Examines factors that promote and support effective use of empirically supported mental health interventions for youth, evaluates the effectiveness and acceptability of interventions in low-resource settings, and emphasizes research-practice partnerships.

Pediatric Coping and Language Lab

Studies family, linguistic, and sociocultural influences on children’s adaptation to stress and their mental and physical health outcomes.

Jessica O'Bleness

Program Director
Jessica O’Bleness

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