Learn more about the Education Specialist degree in School Psychology.

About the Program

The EdS is a rigorous graduate degree program that meets the requirements for certification as a school psychologist in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Students who apply directly from a bachelor's degree can earn an MEd after completion of 30 credits of qualifying coursework toward the EdS. In addition to required coursework, students must complete a portfolio, required practicum placements, and a 1,200-hour internship in a school setting.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 4 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The program is designed to be completed in three years of full-time study, with the third year being a full-time internship.

Accreditation: The program is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists and accredited by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Areas of Specialization: The program offers two optional concentrations for study:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Counseling

Job Prospects: Graduates are employed in public and private schools.

Licensure/Certification: Graduates can become Nationally Certified School Psychologists. Certification in School Psychology is awarded after completing the internship and passing the examinations required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Some states certify without the examinations.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Students may take up to, but not more than, 9 credits of graduate study in the program before being admitted to the program. The credits transfer into the program, if the student is admitted. Students completing non-matriculated courses before being admitted to the program are NOT guaranteed admission.

Financing Opportunities: Financial support opportunities may include scholarships, tuition remission, and other financial aid such as grants, loans and federal work study.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: February 1

Applicants should submit all required admissions documents by the application deadline to receive priority consideration for admission and financial support.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained to provide insight regarding the applicant's academic competence. References from college/university faculty are recommended.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A bachelor's degree is required. A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is expected.

International applicants should also submit an official document that validates completion and conferral of a degree, diploma and/or certificate. While not required, international applicants are encouraged to submit transcript(s) to the World Education Services (WES) for evaluation.

Statement of Goals: In two to three pages, indicate your goals and objectives in obtaining a specialist degree and certification as a school psychologist, as well as your reason for seeking certification with a specific focus on the career to which you aspire, your research and practice interests, and your academic and job-related experiences that are relevant to the program.

Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Not required, but scores from the general test taken no more than 5 years prior to application may be submitted. Scores from the GRE Subject Exam in Psychology may also be provided.

Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 79
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 53

Resume: Current resume required.

Interview: An interview with the faculty admissions committee may be required after a complete application is received.

Clearances: A Pennsylvania criminal background check, a federal criminal history check, a child abuse clearance, and a TB test are required upon enrollment. Students must complete and upload documentation of clearances prior to the start of their program.

Other Requirement: Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all accredited institutions attended and/or from which credit was earned must be submitted.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 66 (30 credits MEd; 36 credits post-master's EdS)

Required Courses:

Core Courses
ABA 5302Effective Teaching Strategies and Academic Interventions3
ABA 5303Ethical and Legal Issues3
or SPSY 5303 Ethical and Legal Issues
CPSY 5526Multicultural Counseling3
EDUC 5101Critical Understanding of Social Science Research3
EPSY 5561Development and Learning Over the Lifespan3
SPSY 5667Introduction to Cognitive Assessment3
SPSY 5671Integrative Assessment3
SPSY 5674Social and Emotional Aspects of Behavior and Assessment3
SPSY 5676Applied Behavior Analysis3
SPSY 5771Biological Aspects of Behavior3
SPSY 8773Developmental Psychopathology and Low Incidence Disabilities3
SPSY 8777Theories and Techniques of Counseling for Youth3
SPSY 9551Consultation3
Culminating Courses
SPSY 9487Professional Issues and Practicum (2 terms)6
SPSY 9687Clinical Supervision Seminar in School Psychology6
SPSY 9688Psychoeducational Clinic (2 terms)6
SPSY 9885Internship in School Psychology9
Total Credit Hours66

Optional Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis

The optional 12-credit concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis allows students to meet the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s educational requirements to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA):

ABA 5304Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis3
ABA 5305Single Subject Research Design3
ABA 5306Organizational Behavior Management - OBM3
or PSY 8610 Topical Seminar in Organizational-Social
ABA 8787Seminar on Verbal Behavior3
Total Credit Hours12

Optional Concentration in Counseling

The optional 12-credit concentration in Counseling allows students to meet Pennsylvania’s educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor:

CPSY 5519Group Counseling3
CPSY 5566Professional Issues in Mental Health Counseling3
CPSY 5593Career Counseling and Development3
CPSY 5698Fundamental Counseling Techniques3
Total Credit Hours12

Internship: For certification, an internship with a minimum of 1,200 hours in an approved setting must be completed. A minimum of 600 hours must be in a school setting. The internship can be full-time for a year or half-time over two years.

Culminating Events:
Comprehensive Examination:
The comprehensive examination is an essay examination that covers key areas of Psychology and School Psychology to determine the student's competence and ability to explain key concepts. The comprehensive exam is only required for a student whose GPA is below 3.5 at the completion of MEd coursework.

Portfolio Review:
During the internship year, students must submit a portfolio of professional work for review by the advisor.


Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Dept. of Psychological Studies in Education

College of Education and Human Development

1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6091


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


Office of Enrollment Management


Graduate Advising:

College of Education and Human Development

Program Coordinator:

Dr. Jessica Reinhardt

Psychological Studies in Education Department Chair:

Dr. Shanta Hattikudur