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School Psychology: MS Program

Mission and Values

The primary mission of the University of Oregon School Psychology Master’s Program is to prepare our students to become skilled practitioners and leaders in the field of school psychology. Our program is intervention-focused, with an emphasis on prevention and early intervention. We seek to recruit and train students who have the desire to make a substantial impact in the fields of school psychology and education at the state, national, and international levels. We are particularly known for and seek to maintain our strong emphasis on state-of-the-art applied research and development efforts in the field of education. Through these efforts, our faculty, students, and alumni help to improve systems of service in schools, and to improve outcomes for children, youth, and their families. Our scientist-practitioner program values linkages across disciplines and systems, and opportunities for such linkages are built into the program requirements. We value the diversity of backgrounds and characteristics that our students bring to the training program, and we actively seek to maintain and increase this diversity. We also value the empowerment of our students, and the perpetuation of a highly collegial program environment, where we strive for positive and cooperative professional relationships among faculty, among students, and between faculty and students.

Program Philosophy

We are behaviorally influenced in our theoretical and philosophical orientations, meaning we focus on observable relations that require low-level inferences. Within this general framework, our individual theoretical orientations range from behavior analytic to social-interactional theory. From these perspectives we strive to train school psychologists as scientist-practitioners, with a data-oriented problem-solving emphasis. Our program is intervention-focused, training graduate students to conduct and evaluate research and to deliver evidence-based interventions to children and youth in schools and in related settings within a behaviorally-oriented perspective and at a variety of levels. These levels of service delivery and intervention include (a) with individuals, (b) within small groups and classrooms, and (c) across entire schools and systems. Although the program prepares graduates to provide effective evidence-based services to individuals and groups who have a wide variety of needs, problems, or deficits, we particularly value primary prevention and early intervention approaches, which seek to provide universal screening and prevention services to all students in school settings, and to detect and intervene early before problems become severe. This emphasis supports an outcomes-driven model of service delivery, which is focused on health rather than pathology, and is focused on desired outcomes rather than on problems.

MS Program Overview

The UO School Psychology Program offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree and a Master of Science (MS) degree in School Psychology. Both our doctoral and master’s programs are approved by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission1 (TSPC), which oversees the educational licensure of school psychologists in Oregon. The doctoral program is accredited by the American Psychological Association2 (APA) and both our master’s and doctoral programs are approved by the National Association of School Psychologists3 (NASP).

Although the Oregon University System does not currently provide a mechanism for awarding a specialist (EdS) degree, the University of Oregon master’s program is designed as a specialist-level program of study. The master’s program requires 3 years of full-time study, completion of a minimum of 93 (quarter) credit hours of program coursework, including a sequence of supervised field experiences, practica, and a 1200-hour internship.

Students who complete the master’s program and pass the required licensure tests are eligible for the Oregon TSPC Initial School Psychologist License, and most other states. Graduates are also prepared to apply for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential, offered through NASP.

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