School Psychology

Students in the school psychology program training to be school psychologists or to work in health-service settings dive deeply into the theoretical foundations of the field while developing the skills they’ll need for the day-to-day work in their fields.

We take an immersion-based approach to education. Employing a research-based and critical approach, students explore the theoretical foundations, methods, and application of psychological principles as they apply to school psychology practice and related fields. They seek to develop and disseminate school psychology knowledge, skills, policies and practices for the benefit of children, family, schools, and society.

We train students to be scientist-practitioners, with a firm grounding in research and scientific practice. These include prevention and implementation science, ecological and contextual models of case conceptualization, focusing on the individual in the context of their environment, and problem solving with a firm grounding in data.

Our training is consistent with the professional, ethical, legal and quality assurance standards of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Specialty Definition of APA Division 16, and the professional training standards of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

Degrees 

The School Psychology programs, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the College of Education, are NASP (Ed.S.) and APA-accredited (Ph.D.) programs* that adhere to a scientist-practitioner model of training with specific foci on prevention and implementation science, ecological and contextual models of case conceptualization, and data-based problem solving. The Future of School Psychology Conferences (2002, 2012) and the document School Psychology: A Blueprint for Training and Practice III (National Association of School Psychologists, 2006) also inform our training model. Moreover, our training model is consistent with the professional, ethical, legal, and quality assurance issues in the field of school psychology as described in the accreditation guidelines and principles of APA, the Specialty Definition of APA Division 16, and the professional training standards of NASP.

Our program adheres to an immersion-based philosophy of education that entails a professional commitment of students to full-time involvement in faculty-supervised research, teaching, and service characterized by:

  1. Intellectual engagement and inquiry in the foundations, methods, and application of psychological principles as applied to school psychology practice and related fields;
  2. Pursuit of research-based understanding and critical appraisal of theories and concepts underlying the foundations and practices of psychology and education and how these intersect with the field of school psychology;
  3. Development and dissemination of school psychology related information, knowledge, skills, policies, and practices for the benefit of children, families, schools, and society.

*Inquiries about the school psychology programs should be sent to schoolpsychology@umass.edu

*The Ed.S. program is fully accredited by NASP through spring 2027. Read the NASP report.

*Questions about our APA-accreditation should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
apaacred@apa.org
www.apa.org/ed/accreditation