Master of Arts (MA): School Psychology Degree Overview

Oct 16, 2019

Students in a Master of Arts (M.A.) in School Psychology program study theories and practices related to the development and behavior of individuals in academic settings. Students learn about intervention strategies, problem solving methods and evaluation techniques.

Essential Information

Students who want to apply to the Master of Arts in School Psychology programs must have completed undergraduate education. Most school psychology programs require students to participate in an internship or field experience in which they shadow a professional school psychologist or assist faculty in research. The program may also include practicum experiences. Applicants enrolling in M.A. in School Psychology programs will need to have previously obtained a bachelor's degree and have prior coursework in psychology. Common required topics may include statistics, research design and general psychology. Some programs may also require applicants to submit Graduate Record Examination scores. To graduate with a master's degree in school psychology, it typically takes a full time student three years.

Master of Arts in School Psychology

School psychology applies the principles of psychology, such as assessment and therapy, to an educational setting. Additionally, programs may teach skills in facilitation, counseling and consulting. Students gain an understanding of educational foundations, psychological perspectives and ethical issues. They may also study counseling and intervention services, human behavior, educational history and psychological evaluation. Other topics of study include:

  • Behavioral assessment
  • Social-emotional assessment
  • Learning disabilities
  • Multimodal therapy
  • Play therapy

Popular Career Options

Master's degree holders have the theoretical knowledge in psychology and assessment to qualify for careers as school psychologists. They can pursue careers within educational settings where they work with children, adolescents, teachers and families. Graduates can search for positions as:

  • School psychologists
  • Educational consultants
  • Intervention strategists

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the employment of school psychologists is expected to increase by 15% from 2018 to 2028 ( The median annual salary of clinical, school and counseling psychologists was $76,990, as estimated by the BLS in May of 2018.

Licensure and Continuing Education Information

Licensure requirements for school counselors vary by state, but they typically include completing of a master's degree program, obtaining clinical experience and passing a state exam, according to the BLS. Individuals can continue their education by pursuing a doctorate program in educational psychology or a related area. In general, doctorate programs build on the principles and theories previously learned, and they engage students in additional research.

School psychology is a great field for students who are interested in combining a background in psychology with a focus on education and student well-being. A Master's of Arts in school psychology program will allow students with a bachelor's degree in a relevant field to transition into this area of specialization.

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