shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

COVID-19 campus response and Return to Learn news and updates.



News Highlights

Page address:

School Psychology Doctoral Program Awarded Accreditation

Minnesota State Mankato program is one of just two doctoral programs of its kind in Minnesota.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 2-16-2016

In the photo, Minnesota State Mankato faculty member Carlos J. Panahon (standing), an associate professor and program director of the University's School Psychology Doctoral Program, engages students in a classroom discussion. (Minnesota State University, Mankato photo.)

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato’s School Psychology Doctoral Program, which accepted its first cohort of students for classes in the fall of 2008, has been notified that it has received full accreditation by the National Association of School Psychologists.

The accreditation, effective Feb. 1 and valid for seven years, means that Minnesota State Mankato graduates can now obtain state licensure as school psychologists without having to secure national certification.

Kevin Filter, a professor of psychology at Minnesota State Mankato who helped develop the University’s School Psychology Doctoral Program, said gaining accreditation was recognition of the program’s excellence.

“We are proud to have met all of the rigorous national standards for training of doctoral-level school psychologists,” said Filter. “This is a validation of the program development process that began in 2004 and of the trust that students and the university have placed in the program.”

Barry Ries, Minnesota State Mankato’s associate vice president of research and dean of graduate studies, said the accreditation was a reflection of many faculty members’ efforts.

“This approval recognizes many individuals who have worked hard over eight years to build this program for our students,” said Ries. “Because of the training and mentoring provided by faculty, our alumni are already doing great things in the profession.”

Students in Minnesota State Mankato’s School Psychology Doctoral Program complete over 2,000 hours in the field before graduating, and Filter said there is a high demand for program graduates in various professional settings. He said that of the Minnesota State Mankato graduates, most are working in school districts as school psychologists, while others have taken positions as University faculty members or in a mental health clinic setting.

The first two graduates of Minnesota State Mankato’s School Psychology Doctoral Program were granted degrees in May 2013, and the program now has 13 graduates and 18 current students. All students in Minnesota State Mankato’s program are required to take a national licensure exam, and according to Filter, all of the program’s graduates have a 100 percent pass rate on the exam.

The doctor of psychology—school psychology (Psy.D.) degree is a doctoral degree that emphasizes professional practice skills. For students who enter the program with bachelor’s degrees, the School Psychology Doctoral Program is a five-year program. For students who enter the program with master’s degrees, it may be possible to complete the doctoral program in less than five years.

Minnesota State Mankato’s School Psychology Doctoral Program is one of just two doctoral programs of its kind in the state of Minnesota (the other is at the University of Minnesota). It’s the third institution in Minnesota to have gained accreditation by the National Association of School Psychologists, according to a list published on the association’s website. The University of Minnesota’s doctoral program is fully approved, and its specialist (master’s degree level) program is approved with conditions. Minnesota State University Moorhead has full approval for its specialist (master’s degree level) program.

For more information, contact Filter by phone at 507-389-5828 or by email at

Minnesota State Mankato offers four doctoral programs through the University’s College of Graduate Studies and Research. Doctoral degrees offered include a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree, a doctor of education—counselor education and supervision (Ed.D.) degree, a doctor of education—educational leadership (Ed.D.) degree and a doctor of psychology—school psychology (Psy.D.) degree.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,193 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

Email this article | Permanent link | Topstories news | Topstories news archives