School Psychology Program Mission

The mission of the University of Washington’s School Psychology Program is to prepare scientist-practitioners whose practice of psychology is grounded in scientific knowledge and focused on enhancing the socio-emotional and educational competence of school age children.

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 Program Overview

The Educational Specialist degree program (Ed.S.) is approved by National Association of School Pschologists (NASP). The program also meets the requirements for initial certification (Educational Staff Associate) as a school psychologist in the state of Washington.

The School Psychology Doctoral degree program (Ph.D.) is APA-accredited and NASP-approved and meets requirements for state level licensure as a psychologist and  prepares graduates for college teaching, clinical, and research positions. The School Psychology PhD program is a “specialist inclusive” program.  This means that the three years of the specialist degree program are embedded into the 5-6 years of the PhD.  Thus, those who enter the program without a Masters or Specialist 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 begin their doctoral course of study and simultaneously complete their Educational Specialist level internship. For additional information on the PhD program, click here

Educational Specialist of School Psychology

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.The School Psychology program teaches Ed.S. students how to work with children and adolescents’ educational and social emotional needs.  School psychologists frequently work in school settings providing assessment, intervention and consultation services to students, teachers or parents.  The educational specialist program is a three-year full-time program that is comprised of two years of coursework and practicum and a third year 1200 hour internship.

Learn more about courses and program requirements»

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:

  • human learning
  • development during early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence
  • personality theory
  • individual differences
  • multicultural issues
  • families
  • research methods
  • statistics.

In addition, they take courses that introduce them to the:

  • field of school psychology
  • ethical, legal, and professional standards of practice
  • group and behavioral intervention
  • consultation (indirect service delivery) and interdisciplinary collaboration.

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 18) under the supervision of the University faculty. Students learn to:

  • administer and interpret intellectual, cognitive, academic, and neuropsychological tests
  • assess social and emotional functioning and adaptive behavior
  • interview parents, children, and teachers
  • observe children in the classroom
  • test clinical hypotheses
  • generate recommendations for interventions
  • write psychological reports
  • provide oral feedback and consultation
  • counsel individual children and their parents.

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 124 credit hours.

Educational Specialist Program Tuition

The Educational Specialist Program has a tuition structure that is based on program credits. The following rates apply for the respective academic years:  2016-17 academic years, $767 per credit hour.  To estimate the full year tuition, multiply the cost per credit by the number of credits that year and add the corresponding fees.

Click here to learn about School Psychology Educational Specialist Admission Requirements»