Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology

  • Students working in a group in IUP's child study centerThe Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology is a two-year, post-master’s program that prepares you to become a certified school psychologist. IUP is one of only a few universities in the state to offer an on-campus, specialist-level school psychology program approved by the National Association of School Psychologists.

    Make Your Life’s Work Improving the Lives of Others as a School Psychologist

    There is increased awareness of the need for mental health services in the schools to provide a safe learning environment that supports all students. In this rewarding career, you can make a positive, lasting impact on the lives of children and youth.

    Schools rely on the expertise of school psychologists to assess students and recommend support and intervention when it’s needed.

    You’ll work together with teachers, families, school administrators, and community providers as you bring together resources to help meet the needs of students.

    School psychology offers competitive salaries, a growing job outlook, a flexible work environment in regard to scheduling, and a high degree of job satisfaction, according to the National Association of School Psychologists.

    IUP School Psychology Program has 100 Percent Placement Rate

    Our graduates are sought after in the field. We have a 100 percent internship placement rate for our Educational Specialist degree program. Furthermore, our graduates are equally competitive when seeking employment opportunities across the United States.

    One reason our program is so strong and our graduates are in high demand is that our faculty are all from practitioner backgrounds. With research expertise covering a variety of different areas, the faculty work together to advance the career interests of all students in the program.

    You’ll benefit from their experience as you gain the practical knowledge base to successfully practice as a certified psychologist in primary and secondary education settings.

    IUP: Only School in Western PA Offering On-campus, NASP-Approved EdS Program

    As of fall 2018, IUP is one of only four universities in Pennsylvania that offer an EdS degree that is an on-campus, specialist-level program in school psychology approved by the National Association of School Psychologists.

    Among these four schools, IUP is the only one in western Pennsylvania and the only state-system university.

    The excellent reputation of IUP’s Educational and School Psychology Department combined with the value of state-university tuition make the IUP EdS program an outstanding choice for those preparing for a career as a school psychologist.

    Paths to Certified School Psychologist

    To become a certified school psychologist through our NASP-approved program, you must complete a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and the Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology, followed by a certification exam. Upon completion of the EdS program, you are also eligible to become a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP).

    Post-Master’s Path

    If you have completed your bachelor’s degree as well as a master’s degree in educational psychology or a closely related field, you can enter directly into the EdS program. You’ll take one year of on-campus coursework and practicum experiences and complete a full-year independent internship under the supervision of a certified school psychologist.

    Post-Bachelor’s Path

    If you have a bachelor’s degree and would like to become a school psychologist, you can combine the MEd and EdS degrees for 72 graduate credits. This three-year path covers two consecutive years of coursework and practicum experiences and a full-year independent internship under the supervision of a certified school psychologist.

    National and State Job Outlook Strong for School Psychologists

    While most certified school psychologists work in K-12 public schools, jobs can also be found in private schools, hospitals and medical settings, community-based day treatment clinics, school-based mental health centers, and juvenile justice programs.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook predicts a 14 percent increase in employment nationally for psychologists from 2016 to 2026.

    For Pennsylvania, a 15.7 percent increase is projected for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists between 2014 and 2024, according to data from the Department of Labor and Industry Center for Workforce Information and Analysis.

    The median salary nationally for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists is $75,090, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data for May 2017.