Skip to main content
Return to campus fall 2020 and other COVID-19 updates   READ MORE »

Psychology Graduate Program

School Psychology

Our graduate program in school psychology is a three-year program that prepares school psychologists for practice in educational settings. We aim to have annual cohorts of ten students, giving each student one-on-one interaction with their professors and individualized mentoring.

School Psychology

Our graduate program in school psychology is a three-year program that prepares school psychologists for practice in educational settings. We aim to have annual cohorts of ten students, giving each student one-on-one interaction with their professors and individualized mentoring. Through a collaborative relationship with the UW-Eau Claire Human Development Center (HDC), our graduate program is able to provide high-quality training experiences that enhance the professional skills of graduates.

Alumni from our program contribute to the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral success of children and youth in their work as school psychologists. Our graduates have been employed across the nation. This program is fully approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and all graduates of the program are eligible for National Certification as a school psychologist

The school psychology program mission statement

Our mission is to equip future school psychologists with professional knowledge and skills such that they can be effective problem solvers who are able to collaborate with parents and colleagues to support the academic, social, behavioral and emotional well-being of children and adolescents. We prepare school psychologists who are leaders in the field and leaders in the settings in which they are employed. By fostering a collaborative learning community that is respectful of human diversity and responsive to the individual needs of each candidate, we prepare future school psychologists who are committed to lifelong learning and professional development.

Having accessible, approachable, and knowledgeable professors, and having relevant coursework and applied practice all combined to create a beneficial and comprehensive training program.

school psychology alumni survey response

Everything you need to know about our program

  • Total undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • GRE verbal score of 146 or higher
  • Recommended undergraduate classes:
    • Learning Principles and/or Behavior Modification
    • Developmental Psychology
    • Research Methods
    • Statistics
    • Foundations of Measurement

Go to the online application or connect with our admissions office.

Our application will require:

  • Application Fees
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Scores
  • On campus interviews, typically completed in February.
  • Transcripts. Send official from each institution where a degree was obtained (except UW-Eau Claire) and from any institution from which graduate coursework was completed that may be considered for transfer credit. Transcripts should be mailed directly to the Admissions Office.
  • Personal Statement. Describe your experience working with children and working with individuals from diverse backgrounds, interest in school psychology as a career, professional goals, and personal strengths. The personal statement can be uploaded to the online application.
  • Letters of Recommendation. Please submit three letters of recommendation from faculty familiar with your undergraduate or graduate work. One employer may be substituted for a faculty member. Letters of recommendation should address experiences that demonstrate a readiness for graduate level academic work;communication skills (oral and written); maturity, independence and ability to work with others; ability to work with children and youth; and interest and motivation for pursuing a career in school psychology.

Goal 1: To prepare specialist level school psychologists who incorporate data-based decision-making in all aspects of practice.

Goal 2: To prepare specialist level school psychologists who are effective, collaborative problem solvers.

Goal 3: To prepare specialist level school psychologists with foundational professional knowledge in psychology and education.

Goal 4: To prepare specialist level school psychologists who understand, consider, and respect human diversity in all aspects of service delivery.

Goal 5: To prepare specialist level school psychologists to provide services consistent with professional, ethical and legal standards.

Goal 6: To prepare specialist level school psychologists who engage in reflective professional practice.

Goal 7: To prepare specialist level school psychologists who demonstrate a positive impact on the academic, cognitive, social, emotional, behavioral, and adaptive functioning of students.

The usual period of study including internship is three years. Some coursework is completed during winterim (January term) and summers. Each semester students are expected to enroll in 12 to 16 credits. The program is not designed for part-time students; however, students with an interest in completing the program on a part-time basis should seek more information from the Program Director. Students earn two degrees in the School Psychology program, the Masters of Science in Education and the Education Specialist Degree: 

Master's of Science in Education

Graduate students earn a Master's degree upon successful completion of the first year of coursework (31 graduate credit hours), a school-based practicum, and a written comprehensive examination. The first year of study enables students to acquire foundational professional knowledge and skills for practice, including knowledge of school psychology as a profession, contributions of educational and developmental psychology to applied practice, and research methods in school psychology. Students also master beginning skills in data-based decision making, behavior intervention, and consultation.

Education Specialist Degree

The remaining two years of full-time study involves 37 additional graduate credit hours of advanced training, including a year-long full-time internship. In the second year of study, professional competencies in intervention, consultation, and data-based decision-making are further enhanced through advanced practicum placements in the public schools, in a multi-cultural practicum placement, and in the Human Development Center. Students also complete the national certification examination for school psychologists (NCSP) in the spring semester of their second year of study. 

Upon successful completion of 31 additional credits in the second year of study and attainment of a passing score on the NCSP exam, students qualify for the Initial Educator License in Wisconsin, or an equivalent license in another state. The granting of the license qualifies students to enroll in the internship. The internship year includes1,200 hours of supervised, full-time professional practice (or continuous half time practice) in a public school. Upon successful completion of the internship and faculty-supervised research project, students earn the Ed.S. degree. UW-Eau Claire school psychology graduates meet all eligibility requirements for and are encouraged to apply for National Certification as a School Psychologist.

National Certification as a School Psychologist

The NASP National School Psychology Certification System grants national certification of school psychologists (NCSP), which is considered the highest level of recognition in the field. Although national certification is not required for practice, it does reflect the school psychologist's rigorous training and competencies. Obtaining the NCSP makes school psychologists eligible for increased salary in some school districts, and some states grant parity to the NCSP for initial or renewal of school psychology licenses. UW-Eau Claire school psychology graduates meet all eligibility requirements for and are encouraged to apply for National Certification as a School Psychologist.

Exciting. Challenging. Rewarding. School psychology is an ideal career for individuals interested in helping children and youth develop and learn to their fullest potential. School psychologists engage in challenging and diverse professional activities on a daily basis. They use their expertise in behavior, learning, and mental health to collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create supportive learning opportunities for children and youth. To practice professionally, school psychologists are typically licensed or certified by a state's department of education or department of licensing.

School psychologists are typically employed in educational settings including preschools, private schools, and public schools, and work with children and youth from birth through age 21. The employment demand for school psychologists is exceptionally strong and growing. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics (2014), school psychologists will experience expanding job opportunities throughout the next decade. The mean salary for a full-time, school based school psychologist is $64,168 for 180 day contracts and $77,801 for 200 day contracts. Graduates of our program have been readily accepted for employment throughout most of the country.

To learn more about the career of school psychology, visit the National Association of School Psychologists website.

All children and youth can experience problems related to learning, social relationships, decision-making, or emotional functioning. School psychologists are uniquely qualified members of educational teams who work with others to resolve short and long term difficulties experienced by students. Following intensive, specialized graduate preparation, school psychologists apply expertise in behavior, learning, mental health practices to help children succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. They make important contributions toward efforts to improve educational outcomes for all students, promote positive behavior and mental health, support diverse learners, create safe, positive school climates, and strengthen family-school partnerships. To promote positive outcomes for children and youth, school psychologists often partner with families, and school and community professionals. Specific professional activities include providing direct support and intervention to students, consulting with teachers and families, and collaborating with school administrators and community providers.


To learn more about the career of school psychology, visit the NASP website.

"The opportunity to work closely with knowledgeable professionals, as well as to receive direct and immediate feedback contributed to my overall development."


"I have found that many of my current colleagues did not have as much training in behavior interventions and Functional Behavior Assessments as I did at UWEC."


"Being able to participate in the Human Development in addition to my school based experiences was highly beneficial."


"Overall, I felt as though I was given just the right amount of academic knowledge mixed with real world knowledge."


"The assessment courses were very helpful, and I felt very competent to interpret data from the moment I started my internship."


"My involvement with the Human Development Center provided me with real-life experience and practice with a true evaluation process, collaborating with team members, families and community members, and how to facilitate a meeting with a diverse group of people."


"The interactions I had with faculty and fellow graduate students was priceless.I believe this was one of the largest contributors to my immediate readiness following for internship."


"Very good quality instruction in counseling and mental health."


"I found that the clinic-based practicum, as well as the school-based practicum placements, prepared me the most for being ready to practice independently as a school psychologist."

We want to hear from you

Please enter your name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter a valid phone number

Please enter a message