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Stephen F. Austin State University

Master's Program

Mission, Goals, and Objectives

The Masters in School Psychology Program embraces a practitioner-scientist/scholar model of training in which practice, research, and theory are considered integrated components.

Practitioner: The practitioner is expected to demonstrate a high level of expertise in the professional practice of school psychology. This expertise includes the areas of consultation, assessment, and intervention.

Scientist: The scientist is expected to understand and advance basic knowledge in school psychology. Students are educated to be skilled consumers of research as well as researchers capable of examining relevant problems, both empirical and applied.

The emphasis is on developing applied knowledge in research methods, human growth and development, learning principles, psychopathology, and biological basis of behavior necessary for functioning in the public schools.

School psychology candidates are expected to develop high levels of interpersonal and collaborative skills and apply cultural competence and sensitivity to diversity as they fulfill their professional, legal, ethical, and social roles in education and society. Our school psychology candidates apply technology in their practice and use data-based decisions in individual and system-based service delivery to enhance student development in academic, cognitive, mental health, social and other life skills and competencies.

The Masters in School Psychology Program incorporates the state requirements for licensure as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) and the national training standards for certification as a National Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). The School Psychology program requires 63 semester hours, which includes an internship. The program has full approval (national recognition) by the National Association of School Psychologists through August 1, 2025.

The School Psychology Program Faculty (SPPF) is the governing body. It is chaired by the Program Director. All decisions regarding school psychology student admission, evaluation, retention, and instructional/curricular issues are made by faculty consensus based on accrediting board standards and local policies and practices.

Through coursework and practical experiences, our School Psychology Candidates will provide evidence of meeting the following Program Outcomes:

  1. Practical Knowledge: The candidate will demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of theory, practice, research, and assessment.
  2. Content Knowledge: The candidate will demonstrate basic knowledge of the school psychology profession, specifically: assessment and treatment, prevention and intervention, applied psychological foundations, applied educational foundations, research and scholarly writing, and ethical and legal considerations.
  3. Behavior Assessment: The candidate will identify and operationally define current problem areas, strengths, and needs through assessment, and measure the results of decisions based on those evaluations.
  4. Pedagogical and Professional Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions: The candidate will demonstrate knowledge, skills, and professional work characteristics/dispositions and effectively apply them in practice.
  5. Application of Principles and Procedures: Assessment that demonstrates candidates' knowledge, skills, and dispositions are applied effectively in practice.

Masters Course Curriculum

Students who enroll in the M.A. program will enroll in 9 to 12 credit hours each fall and spring semester, as well as 6 to 9 hours each summer term for two years. Courses are offered in the afternoon and evening during fall and spring, with common course times at 4:30-7:00 p.m. and 7:15-9:45 p.m. Summer courses are offered during the morning and afternoon. This is followed by a one-year full-time internship. The course curriculum is as follows:

SPSY 5301 (formerly EPS 560): Learning and Cognitive Development SPSY 5322 (formerly EPS 589): Thesis Research (Advisor)
SPSY 5302 (formerly EPS 502): Applied Behavior Analysis SPSY 5133 (formerly EPS 590): Thesis Writing (Advisor)
SPSY 5303 (formerly EPS 563): Individual Case Consultation SPSY 5342 (formerly EPS 501): Ethics in School Psychology
SPED 5362 (formerly SPE 562): Instructional Strategies for Exceptional Learners SPSY 5345 (formerly EPS 530): Systems and Interventions in School Psychology
SPED 5367 (formerly SPE 567): Education for Exceptional Children SPSY 5343 (formerly EPS 561): Social Basis of Behavior
SPSY 5311 (formerly EPS 544): Psychoeducational Assessment SPSY 5341 (formerly EPS 565): School Psychology
SPSY 5312 (formerly EPS 545): Individual Intelligence Testing SPSY 5314 (formerly EPS 580): Human Neuroscience
PCOU 5322 (formerly COU 522): Family Counseling SPSY 5344 (formerly EPS 585): Advanced Human Growth and Development
PCOU 5335 (formerly COU 535): Multicultural Counseling SPSY 5351 (formerly EPS 555): Practicum (3 credit hours, 150 hours)
SPSY 5331 (formerly EPS 550): Quantitative Research Methods SPSY 5352 (formerly EPS 595): Internship (6 credit hours, 1,200 hours)

Potential Students

How to Apply - Part 1

This is a checklist for your use only and is not required by the department as part of your application.

PART I: Apply to SFASU Graduate Studies

  • Submit an online application to SFA Graduate Studies.
  • Mail application fee to Graduate Studies (address listed below). Applications will not be processed without an application fee. Please make check/money order payable to: Stephen F. Austin State University.
  • Send an official transcript from every institution you have attended (even if work appears on another transcript) to the Graduate Studies (address listed below).
  • Verify with Graduate Studies that no other items are needed, as the department may not have been notified of changes to Grad Studies application requirements.

SFASU Graduate Studies Mailing Address

Documents in Part I should be mailed directly to:
SFASU Graduate Studies
Box 13024 SFA Station
Nacogdoches, TX 75962

How to Apply - Part 2

PART II: Apply to the School Psychology Program

  • Complete an application and send to Program Admissions Committee, or to the School Psychology department at the address below.
  • 3 letters of recommendation should be:
    • From professors and/or supervisors most familiar with your work
    • On official letterhead
    • Attached to your application or mailed directly from the sender
    • Arrive sealed by the letter writer, regardless of who mails/delivers the letter to the department. (Signatures, stamps or seals across the back are recommended.)
  • Send an official transcript from every institution you have attended to the School Psychology Department at the address below. (Official transcripts are required even if you attended SFA.) Transcripts may be mailed with your application, or they may be sent directly from the school, and must arrive sealed by the registrar's office.
  • Copy of your Vita. A vita is an expanded version of your résumé denoting your academic and professional experiences and accomplishments. Please include educational information (list all institutions attended, dates, majors/minors and degree), work history, research/clinical experience, honors, awards, and volunteer activities.
  • Required Personal Statements (Essays). On separate sheets, please provide full length answers to the following questions and attach to your application. Please respond to each question separately, with each response clearly labeled (e.g., Statement #1) and staple all sheets together.
  1. Write a brief narrative (1-2 pages) describing your educational experience and any awards or honors you have received, including any publications or papers presented. Include a description of any psychological research you have conducted or participated in, including the number of hours per week and the name of your research supervisor.
  2. There are many career paths in psychology and in education. Why have you chosen to pursue a career in school psychology? There are many school psychology programs across the nation. What specifically attracts you to the SFASU school psychology program?
  3. The mission of our program is to prepare school psychologists who will be change agents in schools. Given your knowledge and range of experiences, if you could change one thing in the schools, what would that be? Why? How do you think you might go about creating this change?

Please respond to at least ONE of the following questions: (you may choose to respond to more than one question):

  • In what ways will your background/experience impact your effectiveness as a school psychologist? Specifically address how your background/experience will (a) facilitate and (b) impede or constrain your effectiveness with students, teachers, families, staff, and/or administrators.

  • Identify one obstacle, hurdle, or challenge in your life (academic or personal) that had an impact on the person you are today. Describe the situation, your response to the situation, how it influences your approach to new challenges, and any implications for your work in the program and as a future school psychologist.

  • What else in your life experience/background will make it possible for you (a) to be an effective school psychologist and (b) to make a unique contribution to the SFA school psychology community and, eventually, to the schools, teachers, students and parents you will serve?

School Psychology Program:

Documents in Part II should be mailed directly to:

SFASU, Depart. of Human Services

Attn: School Psychology

PO Box 13019, SFA Station

Nacogdoches, Texas 75962

Application Deadlines

It is recommended application materials (for Graduate School and Program) be received by the School Psychology Admissions Committee prior to the following deadlines:

Fall Admission - January 31

However, interested individuals should apply at any time prior to the start date of the desired semester of entry. Incomplete applications are denied after 90 days and require a new application to reapply.

Financial Support
Financial Support

Current Students

MA Handbook 2020-2021

MA Handbook 2021-2022

Masters Application for Graduation (For Graduate Students only).

Application for Thesis Examination (fillable PDF form)

The application for Thesis Examination Form can be submitted only after the thesis draft is submitted to and approved by the Graduate School. This form must be filed in the Graduate School at least one week before the examination and no later than three (3) weeks before the day of commencement. See the Graduate School web site for specific dates.

The thesis advisory committee also serves as the thesis examination committee. A copy of the final thesis draft must be in the hands of each member of the thesis examination committee and one copy to the Graduate School at least one week prior to the examination. The thesis draft that goes to the thesis director must contain original figures and plates.

The thesis examination is held at a time and place agreed upon by the graduate student and all members of the thesis examination committee. If the thesis examination committee requires changes or additions to the thesis more extensive than just improvements in language, punctuation, format, or illustrations, approval of the thesis shall be delayed until each committee member has a chance to examine a new draft incorporating the changes.

Thesis Proposal Approval Form (fillable PDF form)

Under the supervision of the thesis director, a graduate student prepares a thesis proposal that is then submitted to the advisory committee for approval. After each committee member has signed the Thesis Proposal Approval Form, the proposal and form are submitted to the academic unit head and academic dean for final approval. The Proposal Approval Form, with the proposal attached, is then sent to the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies. The thesis proposal must be submitted the semester prior to the semester of intended graduation. Any research proposal that uses human participants, laboratory animals, or hazardous materials must be accompanied by a memorandum of approval from the chair of the appropriate university committee. These committees are as follows: the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, the Institutional Biosafety Committee, and the Environmental Safety and Health/Radiation Committee.

Thesis Guide and Forms