What is a school psychologist? The role of a school psychologist is to assess, consult, and provide prevention and direct intervention services that focus on learning, behavior and mental health problems. The graduate program in School Psychology at the University of Washington stresses the expanded role of the school psychologist beyond testing for special education and offers formal course work and practica in assessment, consultation and intervention/counseling. In addition, the program philosophy is grounded in the scientist practitioner model and offers a strong background in the scientific foundations for the practice of school psychology as well as training in applying current research knowledge and theory to educational services.
School Psychology is one of three study options within Educational Psychology. The others are Human Development and Cognition and Measurement, Statistics, and Research Design. There is also a cross-disciplinary College of Education graduate program housed within the Area of Educational Psychology entitled Learning Sciences, as well as a recently created undergraduate program in Early Childhood and Family Studies.
The Educational Specialist degree program (Ed.S.) is approved by the State of Washington and meets requirements for initial certification (Educational Staff Associate) as a school psychologist in Washington.
The Doctoral degree program (Ph.D.) is APA-accredited and NASP-approved and meets requirements for licensure as a psychologist and for college teaching and research positions. The School Psychology PhD program is a “Master’s inclusive” program. This means that the first two years of the master’s program are also the first two years of the PhD. Thus, those who enter the program without Master’s degree’s in school psychology will follow the Educational Specialist program course sequence until the third year of the program. During the third year, the PhD students will be considered Post Educational Specialist and begin their doctoral course of study and simultaneously complete their Educational Specialist level internship.
The School Psychology Program is comprised of an Educational Specialist (NASP approved) and a PhD program (NASP and APA approved).
The School Psychology Educational Specialist Program is a collaboration among the College of Education (UWCOE), UW Professional and Continuing Education (UWPCE) and the Graduate School (UWGS). Because the Educational Specialist of School Psychology program is fee-based, meaning it does not receive any funding from the State of Washington, its fiscal operations are managed through the UW Professional and Continuing Education branch of the University of Washington.
The impact of UWPCE on your Educational Specialist Degree
The relationship between UWPCE and the School Psychology Program has no impact on your Educational Specialist degree nor on the certification you receive from the University of Washington. The curriculum is developed and offered by the College of Education. The program is accredited and approved in the same way all other degree programs are at UW. The Educational Specialist degree is conferred by the University of Washington’s College of Education.
Course of Study
The course of study leading to an Educational Specialist degree with a specialization in School Psychology is a 3-year program. In the first year students take courses in the scientific foundations for the practice of school psychology:
In addition, they take courses that introduce them to the:
The second year is designed as an integrated on-site practicum experience at the University in which students provide direct and indirect services (birth to 21) under the supervision of the University faculty. Students learn to:
The entire third year is designed as a field-based internship in the schools where interns are supervised by certified school psychologists but also receive additional supervision once a week at the University. Altogether the program requires 118 credit hours.
The Ph.D. program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1992 and approved by the National Association of School Psychologists since 1995. It is designed to prepare school psychologists for leadership roles in:
graduate training programs in school psychology
teaching hospitals and other health agencies providing outpatient services for patients with school-related problems
research settings where investigations are conducted related to learning, development, and behavior of school-aged children.
Altogether the program requires approximately 100 credit hours beyond the Educational Specialist degree and takes approximately four years to complete. The requirements consist of:
Course work in the biological bases of behavior, the cognitive/affective bases of behavior, the social bases of behavior, individual differences, measurement, statistics, research design, professional writing, the history of psychology, and neuropsychological and personality assessment
Research and inquiry seminars and formal presentations
General examination in the area of specialization, two cognates (area of interest to the individual student), and an area of specialization outside education
Continuous conduct of research and scholarly inquiry culminating in a dissertation
One year internship in school or mental health setting
Each student works under the close supervision of a committee chaired by a faculty advisor who is a Core or Collaborating Faculty member in School Psychology. A Core Faculty member serves on all committees chaired by a Collaborating Faculty member. Core Faculty teach professional preparation courses in assessment, consultation, and intervention for school psychologists. Collaborating Faculty teach courses in the scientific foundations of school psychology.
The College of Education Student Services office is located in 206 Miller Hall. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 8-6 pm. They also can be reached at (206) 543-7834 or email@example.com. The Educational Psychology (EDPSY) office is located in Miller Hall room 312.
Admission to the school psychology program is competitive with space limited by faculty size and resources. The School Psychology program is conducted using a cohort model, therefore cohorts enter once per year and they matriculate through the program together. All students in the cohort take the same courses during the first two years, but the course sequences vary in the doctoral program based on the student’s research interests.
Admissions decisions are based on the prospective student qualifications, the competitiveness of the applicant pool, and the resources available to the program. Prospective students should apply to the degree that best fits their interests and plans for the future.
There are three admissions statuses. Admissions to the: 1) Educational Specialist program, 2) Doctoral program without an Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology, and 3) doctoral program WITH an Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology. Admission to the Educational Specialist program means that the incoming student plans to complete the Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology and complete the certification internship during the third year. Educational Specialist students are subject to the tuition rates of the fee-based program.
Direct admission to the doctoral program without an Educational Specialist degree in school psychology means that the incoming doctoral student will be taking the Educational Specialist’s coursework for the first three years of the doctoral program. All students with this admissions status will be subject to the tuition rates for students in the Educational Specialist’s (fee based) program (anchor to Educational Specialist fees below) until their fourth year when they become subject to the doctoral degree tuition rates.
Direct admission into the doctoral program WITH an Educational Specialist’s degree in school psychology means that the incoming student will immediately begin the doctoral coursework and will be subject to the tuition rates of the graduate school: GRADUATE SCHOOL RATE FOR TIER II TUITION
Important note: Educational Specialist and Doctoral program applicants are reviewed under separate admissions criteria. Students who apply to the Educational Specialist program are not considered for the Doctoral program and vice versa. Rather, Educational Specialist program applicants are compared to one another and Doctoral applicants are compared to other Doctoral applicants. Therefore, it is essential that all applicants carefully decide which degree is the better fit.
Student Admission Outcomes and Other Data (Ph.D. Program)
2012-2013 academic year, $675 per credit hour; 2013-2014 academic year, $725 per credit hour; 2014-2015 academic year, $775 per credit hour. For full year tuition, multiply cost per credit times number of credits that year and add fees.
For further information see School Psychology Educational Specialist Degree Admissions Requirements.
Once into the doctoral program (fourth year), tuition rates can be found here: GRADUATE SCHOOL RATE FOR TIER II TUITION (For further information, including Rates and Costs, see School Psychology Doctoral Degree Admissions.
The College of Education endeavors to provide some financial support for graduate students, especially doctoral students, though the availability of resources is limited. Specific information on paid appointments, amounts or stipends, application procedures and deadlines is available from the Office of Student Services. Doctoral students support themselves through part time work in the schools or research assistantships on faculty research projects when they are available.
For further questions, please contact Joan Waiss, School Psychology Program Coordinator at 206-616-6362 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
College of Education, University of Washington
Box 353600 Seattle, WA 98195-3600