School Psychology (MA/SSP)

Master’s Degree plus a Specialist in School Psychology (MA/SSP)

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School Psychology – A Career That Makes a Difference

The Department of Psychology at ECU offers the Master’s of Arts plus a Specialist in School Psychology (MA/SSP). This is a 3-year program, requiring full-time attendance. It requires a minimum of 70 semester hours, with years 1 & 2 on campus and year 3 in a full-time, school-based internship. Our program holds approval by the National Association of School Psychologists and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Admission is for full-time graduate study, beginning in the Fall semester only. There is no distance education option for this program at this time.

Our training goal is to prepare highly-qualified school psychologists to work with children, families, and other professionals within public schools. As a school psychologist, you will:

  • Assess and evaluate individual differences to identify special education needs and intervention strategies.
  • Collaborate with teachers and parents to support children’s success, using research to inform practices.
  • Support mental health needs by providing counseling, skill instruction, and learning/behavior support plans.
  • Develop strong team member and leadership skills to help schools improve services & outcomes.
  • Engage in challenging and diverse activities that change from day to day.
  • Promote appreciation and support for human diversity, social justice, and appropriate education for all children.

School Psychology as a career

What Kind of Credentials Can I Earn with This Degree Program?

Graduates of our MA, SSP program qualify for educational licensure as a School Psychologist in North Carolina. As a NASP-approved program, you will meet the qualifications for NASP’s National School Psychology Certification System, and the educational qualifications for certification as a School Psychologist working in public schools across the U.S.

Some graduates choose to seek additional credentials. Graduates of our MA, SSP program meet educational requirements for North Carolina Board of Psychology licensure as a Psychological Associate. Others have gained credentials as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Both of these are ancillary to the program and may require additional experiences, examinations, or supervision beyond the requirements of our MA, SSP program.

ECU Tuition Costs

The cost of tuition for graduate school at ECU is extremely competitive. Current tuition rates can be found here. We believe that this, in combination with our extremely high rate of successful employment for our graduates, makes ECU an excellent choice.

Where Our Graduates Work as School Psychologists?

We are very proud of the employability of our graduates. For the past 10 years (and longer), we have had 100% find employment immediately after graduation. The majority work in public schools. Nationally, there is a shortage of school psychologists, which means there are many job openings. In fact, US News and World Report has ranked School Psychologist in their “Best Jobs” ranking for several years now.

School Psychologist Overview

FAQs about School Psychology Admissions

  • We admit about 10 new MA, SSP students per year, and we receive about 50 applications per year.
  • Most new students have a Psychology undergraduate major, but some have been admitted with Education majors or other related degrees. The required prerequisite courses are Introduction to Psychology, Statistics, and Research Methods.
  • We rarely admit students with an overall undergrad GPA below 3.0. Please note: The GRE General Test will not be required by the Department of Psychology for the MA Psychology program.
  • What makes an application stand out are strong letters of recommendation from current professors (usually in psychology), who can comment on your readiness for graduate study.
  • We also value previous experiences helping with research as an undergrad, as well as past experiences working with children or families.
  • We use your Personal Statement to examine your writing ability and to evaluate why you want to be a School Psychologist and why you think ECU would be a good fit for your graduate training.
  • We have some departmental Graduate Assistantships (GA) available to new students on a competitive basis. You can mark your interest in a GA during the application process.
  • Forgivable Education Loans for Service (FELS) – FELS provides financial assistance to qualified students enrolled in an approved education program and committed to working in critical employment shortage professions in North Carolina. The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority administers this program. Application for FELS can be made pre-admission and are due March 1st each year.

Life at ECU and in Greenville

East Carolina University is just over one hour east of Raleigh and one short hour to the beach.