Specialist in School Psychology (S.S.P.) Major in School Psychology

Major Program

The Specialist in School Psychology (S.S.P.) program is fully approved by the National Association of School Psychologists as a specialist-level degree that includes a 1200-clock-hour internship. The curriculum meets state and national standards for specialist-level training in school psychology. It includes didactic and experiential course work in data-based decision-making, problem solving, evidence-based interventions, and interactions among family, school, and community systems.

School psychology may not serve as a minor for other programs. Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for the following credentials: Licensed Specialist in School Psychology and/or Licensed Psychological Associate from the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists; and Nationally Certified School Psychologist from the National School Psychology Certification Board.

Application Requirements

The items listed below are required for admission consideration for applicable semesters of entry during the 2017-2018 academic year. Submission instructions, additional details, and changes to admission requirements for semesters other than the 2017-2018 academic year can be found on the program’s web page. International students should review the International Admission Documents section of the catalog for additional requirements.

  • completed online ApplyTexas application
  • $40 nonrefundable application fee
  • $50 nonrefundable international evaluation fee (if applicable)
  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • official transcripts required from each four-year institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
  • Background course work in abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, and statistics
  • official GRE scores required with a preferred minimum of 291 (verbal and quantitative sections combined) with no less than 150 in the verbal section and 141 in the quantitative section
    • The GRE may be waived if you hold a master's or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. If you hold a master's or doctoral degree (or the equivalent thereof) from an accredited international institution, the GRE may be waived on an individual basis.
  • departmental application 
  • resume/CV
  • statement of purpose 
  • three letters of recommendation

TOEFL or IELTS Scores

Non-native English speakers who do not qualify for an English proficiency waiver:

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

Degree Requirements

The Specialist in School Psychology (S.S.P) degree with a major in School Psychology requires 69 semester credit hours. 

Course Requirements

Required Courses
SPSY 5300Interviewing, Counseling, and Consulting in School Psychology3
SPSY 5376Psychoeducational Assessment3
SPSY 5377Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Assessment3
SPSY 5387Data-Based Decision-Making in Evaluation and Intervention3
SPSY 5379Child and Adolescent Psychopathology: Advanced Assessment and Interventions3
SPSY 5380Individual and Group Counseling Techniques for School Psychology3
SPSY 5385Ethics, Standards, and Procedures in Professional School Psychology3
SPSY 5386Consultation and Professional Issues in School Psychology3
SPSY 5388Psychometrics for School Psychologists3
SPSY 5389Practicum in School Psychology (Taken three times)9
SPSY 5394Multicultural Issues in School Psychology3
SPSY 5396Biological Bases of Behavior3
SPSY 5398Alternative Evaluation, Intervention, and Student Outcomes3
SPSY 6301Professional Internship in School Psychology3
SPSY 6302Professional Internship in School Psychology3
Electives
SPSY 5382Program Evaluation in School Psychology3
Choose 3 hours advisor-approved electives3
Composite Minor
PSY 5370Learning, Cognition, and Motivation3
SPED 5375Behavior Management: School Application of Applied Behavior Analysis3
SPSY 5355Assessment of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students3
Choose 3 hours advisor-approved electives3
Total Hours69

Master's level courses in Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education, and School Psychology: SPSY

Courses Offered

School Psychology (SPSY)

SPSY 5178. Independent Study.

This course includes individual problems or research topics designed to place emphasis on selected areas of study. It may be repeated for additional credit at the discretion of the department chair.

1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

SPSY 5300. Interviewing, Counseling, and Consulting in School Psychology.

This course includes acquisition of skills for conducting interviews, counseling, consulting, and collaborating with children, adolescents, and adults. The emphasis is upon the development of basic communication skills that can be applied by the school psychologist in a variety of multicultural contexts, with an emphasis on family-school collaboration.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5355. Assessment of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students.

This course will focus on the psychoeducational assessment of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds for purposes of special education eligibility and for instructional decision making. A major emphasis is placed on learning nonbiased assessment methods and procedures to assess language proficiency, intelligence, academic skills and personality-behavioral functioning. Restricted to students in the School Psychology SSP Program. Prerequisite: SPSY 5394 with a grade of "B" or higher.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5356. Psycholinguistics of Second Language Acquisition.

This course will focus on the linguistic and psycholinguistic underpinnings of the bilingual brain. It will provide a comprehensive introduction to the foundations of bilingualism, covering language processing, and language acquisition. Topics will include simultaneous and sequential bilingualism, language selection and switching, cognitive consequences of bilingualism, and the bilingual brain. Restricted to students in the School Psychology SSP program. Prequisites: SPSY 5394 and SPSY 5355 with grades of "B" or higher.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5376. Psychoeducational Assessment.

This course focuses on the administration, scoring, and interpretation of individually administered standardized tests of intelligence, special abilities, and achievement. The theoretical and statistical bases of the tests used, integrative report writing, and learning disabilities are also covered. Prerequisites: Enrollment in a graduate program and consent of the instructor.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5377. Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Assessment.

This course covers the evaluation of personality, mental status, and behavior. This includes the theoretical bases, construction, administration, scoring, and interpretation of structured and projective personality tests with integrative report writing emphasizing the assessment of emotional disturbance and behavior disorders. Prerequisites: PSY 5376 or its equivalent, graduate standing, and consent of the instructor.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5378. Problems - School Psychology.

This course includes individual problems not related to thesis or research problems. It is designed to place emphasis on selected areas of study. It may be repeated for credit.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5379. Child and Adolescent Psychopathology: Advanced Assessment and Interventions.

This course includes the advanced investigation of personality dynamics and diagnosis of psychopathology through advanced projective techniques and structured instruments. Students practice comprehensive report writing emphasizing intervention recommendations. Prerequisites: PSY 5376 and PSY 5377, or the equivalents, graduate standing, and consent of the instructor.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5380. Individual and Group Counseling Techniques for School Psychology.

This course focuses on the acquisition and practice of techniques used in counseling interventions with children and adolescents in school settings. Individual and group counseling techniques are emphasized, along with a review and refinement of techniques for interviewing and consulting with parents. Prerequisites: COUN 5368, COUN 5307, and SPSY 5300.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5382. Program Evaluation in School Psychology.

This course introduces the theory and techniques of program evaluation with an emphasis on K-12 educational settings. It includes program evaluation conceptualization, planning, implementation, methodological and ethical issues, and analyzing and reporting results. Emphasis is placed on experimental and quasi-experimental methods commonly used in the evaluation of educational programs. Restricted to students in the School Psychology SSP program.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5385. Ethics, Standards, and Procedures in Professional School Psychology.

This course includes the presentation of historical foundations, role and functions, and procedures used by psychologists in the school setting. Emphasis includes ethical and legal issues, professional standards, state and federal law, and organization and operation of the schools as applied to the mental health and education of exceptional learners. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the School Psychology Program.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5386. Consultation and Professional Issues in School Psychology.

This course presents models of consultation as they apply to the professional development and ethical position of the school psychologist. The course emphasizes the consultative role in relation to school administrators, guidance and counseling personnel, teachers, parents, students, and referral sources. Prerequisites: Completion of SPSY 5300, SPSY 5385, and concurrent enrollment in SPSY 5389.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5387. Data-Based Decision-Making in Evaluation and Intervention.

This course covers advanced techniques for assessment of special populations, including early childhood, and integration of information from a variety of sources for the development of educational interventions. A problem solving approach that focuses on linking evaluation and intervention processes will be utilized throughout the course. Prerequisite: SPSY 5376.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5388. Psychometrics for School Psychologists.

This course includes theoretical and empirical aspects of psychological measurement, scale development and testing for school psychologists. Topics include the statistical foundations of psychological measurement; stimulus and response-based measurement; social, legal, and ethical implications of testing; test and item bias; score reliability and validity; factor analysis; generalizability theory; and item response theory.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5389. Practicum in School Psychology.

Three practicum experiences occur in a school or agency setting with supervision by on-site and university supervisor. This course must be repeated for a total of nine credit hours. Prerequisites: Completion of SPSY 5385, and SPSY 5376, graduate standing in the School Psychology Program, and consent of the instructor.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

SPSY 5391. Research Seminar.

This course provides students with knowledge of the nature and techniques of social science research. Students will develop research literacy through critical reading and examination of both quantitative and qualitative research. Additional emphasis is given to the relationship and application of science to professional practice.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5394. Multicultural Issues in School Psychology.

The course provides a broad overview of the psychosocial, psychoeducational and multicultural issues surrounding the delivery of psychoeducational services to students in school systems. The course will help the student develop cross-cultural sensitivity when conducting assessments, providing consultation and performing other interventions.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5395. Basic Psychopharmacology.

This course introduces knowledge of psychopharmacology with children and adolescents, including brain-behavior relationships, psychopathology, and research methods, with application to childhood disorders for which medication is often prescribed. Emphasis is placed on informed consultation with parents, teachers, and medical professionals regarding children prescribed psychotropic medications. Prerequisite: Grade of B or higher in the following: SPSY 5300, SPSY 5385, SPSY 5376, SPSY 5382, SPSY 5377.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5396. Biological Bases of Behavior.

This course covers atypical disorders of brain development or function, particularly those likely to be encountered in the practice of school psychology. It includes an overview of neuropsychological and other tests with emphasis on development of a comprehensive assessment and intervention model through interpretation and critique or case studies. Prerequisite: Completion of SPSY 5376, SPSY 5377, graduate standing, and consent of the instructor.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 5398. Alternative Evaluation, Intervention, and Student Outcomes.

This course introduces students to the practice of curriculum based assessment in the context of a problem solving model of psychological services in the schools. Lectures, assignments, and activities develop competencies in the areas of non-traditional assessment, development of academic interventions, and the evaluation of student outcomes.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

SPSY 6301. Professional Internship in School Psychology.

Professional internship may be a continuation of the supervised school based experience or a placement in an appropriate alternative setting with supervision by a licensed psychologist. A minimum of 600 clock hours of experience is required.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

SPSY 6302. Professional Internship in School Psychology.

Professional internship may be a continuation of the supervised school based experience or a placement in an appropriate alternative setting with supervision by a licensed psychologist. A minimum of 600 clock hours of experience is required.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit