What is a Master in Education in School Psychology?

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School PsychologyA Master in Education in School Psychology is a graduate level program designed for students with an undergraduate degree who want to work in and for schools. Graduates can work with elementary, junior high or high school students, and some graduates may also find work at the college level. Whether you have a bachelor's degree in psychology, or you just want an idea of the options open to you once you finish your degree, you may want to look at the basics of one of these programs.

Types of Classes

Most graduate programs of this type require that students complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of work, which may include both time in the classroom and time in the field. Even programs that do not have a fieldwork component usually offer students the option of doing an internship. Some of the courses you take deal with research and statistics, but you will also take classes on human development and testing. School psychologists often test students for learning disabilities and to identify issues students have at home and in school.

Writing a Thesis

Earning a Master in Education in School Psychology often requires that you write a thesis. You may earn as many as six credits that count towards graduation for writing this paper. A thesis may be as short as 40 pages or be more than 100 pages long. You will work with your adviser to pick a topic that interests you. Students might write papers on new testing methods, evaluating students or implementing anti-bullying programs in local schools. Your adviser will work closely with you to ensure that you cover all the information and that you write a solid paper that proves you're worthy of graduating.

How Long Does the Program Take?

After spending four years or more working on a bachelor's degree, many students are a little leery about spending more time in school and want to know how long it will take to complete a graduate degree. The average length of time that students spend in graduate school is two years, and many programs let you earn your degree and complete all requirements in two years as a full time student. If you enroll in a program that requires you do some type of fieldwork, you may spend three years working on your degree.

Working After College

You typically need a Master in Education in School Psychology before you can work as a school psychologist, though some schools will let you begin work right after graduation if you agree to complete your advanced degree later. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary among those working in this field is $68,900 a year. The highest 10 percent of all earners make more than $113,000 a year, and most of those workers have some type of advanced degree. The BLS found that the states that offer the highest salaries for these psychologists include California, New York, Texas and Pennsylvania.

Related Resource: Dual-Degree Program

Working as school psychologist lets you help students suffering from problems at home and in school. You can help kids apply to college, graduate on time and take the right classes. Before you can work in a public or a private school at any level, you need to finish a Master in Education in School Psychology program.