The College of Education Educational Specialist degree (Ed.S.) in School Psychology has been designed to equip professionals to directly and indirectly deliver a continuum of educational and mental health services to children and families in the region and beyond, and to work with teachers and other educators in public and private schools and other educational settings to enhance student learning and well-being. This program of study incorporates theoretical and applied approaches across developmental, cognitive, social, and behavioral domains to promote the development of a superior level of professional competence towards the implementation of school psychological services that are empirically supported, data driven, and culturally competent. Graduates of the program are prepared to enhance student achievement and wellness by functioning in multiple roles including treatment, assessment, and consultative modalities, as well as teaching and research roles. The entire program is a four-year, cohort-based model providing future school psychologists with a solid professional and academic foundation reflecting depth and diversity in both psychology and education. Students accepted into the Ed.S. in School Psychology program will also earn a Master of Arts in School Psychology and will be eligible to apply for practice in Illinois.
The master’s degree program (contained within the specialist degree program) typically takes two years of study and involves:
- A minimum of 36 hours of coursework
- A practicum in school psychology (125 hours)
- Completion of a portfolio containing performance-based and knowledge-based evidence demonstrating attainment of the program competencies.
The specialist’s degree program typically takes a total of four years (2 beyond masters including internship) and involves:
- A minimum of 66 hours of coursework (30 hours beyond Master’s)
- An advanced practicum in school psychology (125 hours)
- Completion of a capstone project providing evidence demonstrating completion of program competencies, as well as consultation, intervention planning, and/or program evaluation evidence.
- A passing score on the National School Psychology Examination or State of Illinois Subject Area Test in School Psychology; applicants will be encouraged to take both examinations.
- A two-semester full-time internship which requires 1200 hours, at least half of which takes place in a school setting.
Mode-of-Delivery: Face-to-face (with many web-enhanced courses).
Admission to the program occurs annually (Fall only).
Complete Admissions packets are accepted February 1 through March 15. Meeting or exceeding the minimum admission criteria does not guarantee admission to the program. The minimum criteria for admission are described below. Incomplete application packets will NOT be reviewed for admission. Please submit the following materials together in one envelope to the Psychology Advising Office (G386):
- University Application for Admission.
- $50 application fee.
- One set of official (unopened) transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. Applicants must have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework.
- Proof of having taken the General Test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within five years of intended admission. Applicants are recommended to have GRE combined scores of 316 on the Verbal and Quantitative sections (or a combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 1050 if taken prior to August 2011); and 4.5 on the analytical writing section.
- Evidence of satisfactory professional writing and analysis by one of the following:
- A grade of “B” or higher in PSYC-2102 (Thinking and Writing in Psychology) or its equivalent; or
- A score of 4.5 or higher on the Analytical Writing section of the GRE General test. Applicants not meeting this criterion may have to complete PSYC-3102 or its equivalent prior to or upon admission to the program.
- An essay outlining the applicant’s purpose in seeking a specialist degree in School Psychology and long-term goals.
- Personal Reference Forms from three professionals/professors who can attest to the applicant’s academic and/or professional capabilities in the field of School Psychology.
- Completed Statement of Character Form.
- Proof of basic competency met by one of the following:
- Official evidence of having passed the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) of the Illinois Licensure Testing System;
- Official ACT Plus Writing score report demonstrating a composite score of at least 22;*
- Official SAT score report demonstrating a composite (mathematics and critical reading) score of at least 1030;* or
- Official evidence of having passed the previous Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency within five years.
* The writing subtest must have been taken for the ACT or SAT; however, the writing score is not included in the composite score requirement for either test.
Note: If the applicant holds a valid Illinois Educator Certificate or License and the Illinois Basic Skills test was previously passed for this issuance, the TAP/ACT/SAT test will not be required. In this case, the applicant would need to supply an official copy of their Illinois Educator Certificate or License as verification.
Additional Admission Requirements:
In addition to submitting the elements above for admissions consideration, applicants must:
- complete the specified prerequisite coursework (see below) with no grade below B allowed. If these are not completed at the time of admission, they must be completed prior to attaining candidacy or taking courses for which they are prerequisite;
- pass an Illinois State Criminal Background check (only applicants approved to interview will need to complete this step); and
- complete an admission’s interview (if selected).
Must be completed prior to admission with no grade below “B” allowed. Equivalent GSU courses are in parentheses.