Specialist in Education: School Psychology

Program Director: Dr. James Rust
Jones Hall 207
Graduate Analyst: Anita Hermes

According to the National Association of School Psychologists and the Tennessee Association of School Psychologists, a school psychologist is an expert in psychology and education who serves children in the school setting. It is the goal of the school psychologist to promote quality education for all children, to be a child advocate, and to promote mental health in the school setting. School psychologists provide a wide range of services to students, parents, teachers, administrators, and the community. They may participate in any combination of activities in accordance with their professional training, capabilities, and experience.

The Tennessee Association of School Psychologists states that school psychology services include:

  • consulting with parents, teachers, administrators, and other professional in the community to enhance services to students;
  • identifying the special needs of students and helping to plan their educational program;
  • conducting individual or group interventions;
  • educating youth in study skills, test-taking skills, social skills, stress management, and/or conflict resolution;
  • conducting psychological/academic assessments;
  • conducting teacher in-service sessions;
  • leading parent training workshops;
  • developing crisis management teams; and
  • assisting schools to be in compliance with procedural safeguards.

The school psychology program at MTSU is field based because students work in schools every semester. The program follows a cognitive behavioral theoretical orientation.

The program consists of a 45-hour Master of Arts and a 30-hour Specialist in Education (Ed.S.). State Board of Education licensure and national certification are available. The advanced Ed.S. degree is only available to students who have master's degrees in school psychology. Students from other master's programs in psychology or counseling may be admitted, but they will be required to complete deficiencies. Students are required to be enrolled in at least one field-based course every semester until the completion of the program (excluding summers). Tennessee teacher licensing in school psychology is obtained through MTSU's program. In addition to completing the M.A. and Ed.S. coursework, candidates for licensing must have 1,200 hours of internship, acceptable scores on the school psychology PRAXIS test, and verification of readiness for independent practice by their internship supervisor.

Admission Requirements:

To be admitted to the Specialist of Education in Psychology, School Psychology program, a student must submit the following to the College of Graduate Studies:

Application Deadlines: Applications for Summer/Fall admission must be complete by March 1, and applications for Spring admission must be complete by October 1. Late applicants who meet the admission criteria may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Applicant must

  1. submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at;
  2. submit official scores on the GRE–a minimum of 291 (current scale) or 900 (former scale) on the combined Verbal and Quantitative sections is expected;
  3. submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
  4. submit the supplemental School Psychology program application (found online at;
  5. submit three (3) reference forms (found online at It is recommended that at least two references should be completed by faculty who can attest to the applicant’s academic abilities;
  6. submit a current curriculum vita that includes education and employment history, research involvement, volunteer activities, references, and awards/scholarships;
  7. submit a statement of purpose, including reasons for interest in the field of school psychology and the program at MTSU and a description of professional goals. (Typically two to three [2-3] pages in length.)



Submit Application Materials to:

College of Graduate Studies
MTSU Box 42
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Test Codes for Middle Tennessee State University:
INFS - 6ZR-KJ-37
MBA (Full-time) - 6ZR-KJ-25
MBA (Part-time) - 6ZR-KJ-52
GRE 1466
MAT 1751
Praxis 1466
TOEFL 1466