Apr 12, 2024  
2014-2015 EIU Graduate Catalog 
2014-2015 EIU Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School Psychology

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Program Mission: The purpose of the Specialist in School Psychology  program is to prepare competent professional school psychologists to serve children, teachers, and parents in an age of societal, educational, and professional change.  Students interested in pursuing careers in school psychology are admitted into the Specialist in School Psychology program. The specialist’s degree is generally considered to be the equivalent of a master’s degree plus an additional 30 hours.  It, or its equivalent, is recognized by the National Association of School Psychologists and most states, including Illinois, as the appropriate entry-level degree for the practice of school psychology.

Accreditation:  The school psychology program is fully approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and National Council Accreditation of Teacher Education. Students are guaranteed state certification upon successful completion of the specialist’s degree and the state certification exam. In addition, the program has been approved by the National Association of School Psychologists.

Admission Requirements: To be eligible for degree candidacy, applicants must meet all of the requirements for admission to the Graduate School (see “Admission to Graduate Degree and Certificate Programs”). A limited number of students are accepted each year and admission to the program is competitive.  Prior to consideration for acceptance, the applicant must provide evidence of admission to the graduate school and submit test scores for the GRE (general) test. In addition, the departmental application and three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s abilities and promise in the area of school psychology should be provided to the school psychology committee. A personal statement of reasons for wanting to enter the profession, related strengths and experiences, as well as long-term goals, is also required. Students may be asked to complete an interview.

If the following entrance requirements are met, the applicant may be eligible for acceptance into the School Psychology Program.

  • A 3.0 (4.0 scale) grade point average in all undergraduate courses and a 3.25 in undergraduate psychology;  OR
  • A composite (verbal, quantitative, analytical writing) score at the 50th percentile or higher on the Graduate Record Exam - General Aptitude Test;” OR
  • A score at the 50th percentile or higher on the psychology portion of the Graduate Record Exam;  OR
  • In an unusual situation where the above criteria are not met, the applicant may submit a petition to the school psychology committee for review. Probationary admission may be granted based upon the individual circumstances set forth in the applicant’s petition.
  • Program Prerequisites: Applicants must present a transcript from an accredited institution showing completion of the following courses:  introductory psychology; experimental psychology; statistics; abnormal behavior; child psychology; learning or behavior analysis/ modification; personality theory.      

Deficiencies may be made up concurrently with the graduate program and will extend the length of the program. Petitions for waiver and/or substitution may be made to the departmental school psychology committee. Screening of applicants begins on February 15. Applicants should submit all materials (including GRE scores) before that date.

Degree Audit: The graduate plan of study is the EIU Degree Audit, which is generated automatically in the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) at the time of degree or certificate candidacy. Modifications of the standard EIU Degree Audit are submitted by the graduate coordinator to the certification officer in the Graduate School at the time modifications are approved. The Degree Audit serves as an unofficial summary of requirements for the program. Degree and certificate candidates are advised to review the comprehensive summary of the Degree Audit process specified on the “Requirements for All Degree and Certificate Candidates” section of the Graduate Catalog. Individual programs may require candidates to submit plans of study in addition to the Degree Audit, candidates should consult with the program coordinator.



Degree Requirements

Degree requirements include those outlined for the specialist’s degree by the Graduate School (see “Requirements for the Specialist’s Degree”).  The Specialist’s Degree in School Psychology requires a minimum of 66 semester hours at the graduate level.  In addition to traditional course work, the specialist’s degree includes 12 hours of internship, 9 hours of practicum, and at least 6 hours of thesis.  The plan of study leading to state certification and the specialist’s degree includes the following:

Residency Requirement

The residency requirement is fulfilled by enrollment for at least eight semester hours in a single semester or at least six semester hours in each of two terms (semester or summer sessions of at least eight weeks duration).

Time limit

The final 32 semester hours of the approved program must be completed within a six-year period preceding the date of the awarding of the degree.

Academic Progress

Students must maintain a minimum of a 3.25 grade point average for retention in the program.  Failure to maintain a 3.25 average during one academic semester will result in probation during the following term. Failure to achieve a 3.25 average during the probationary term will result in immediate dismissal from the program.

Comprehensive Examination

Students must complete the National Association of School Psychologists national certification examination prior to graduation.


Four types of field/clinical experiences are built into the program.  Early in the student’s program, a 150-clock-hour placement in a classroom is made to acquaint the student with the operations of a public school.  This is followed by a semester of clinical practicum through the Psychology Department’s Child Study Center.  During the final semester of course work, students are enrolled in a field practicum in which they complete 150 hours in the schools.  This practicum is taken concurrently with consultation and psychotherapy classes.  The field experience component culminates in a full school year internship (a minimum of 1,200 clock hours) in a site which meets the requirements set forth by the Illinois State Board of Education.  During this time the student works under the direct supervision of a practicing school psychologist in a school setting and receives periodic supervision from a faculty member of the school psychology program.


Each student must complete an acceptable research project following departmental and University guidelines.  The final approval of the project rests with the student’s graduate committee. Regulations governing the writing of the thesis are available in the Graduate School Office.

Graduate Assistantships

Information on graduate assistantships may be obtained by contacting the Coordinator of Graduate Studies or Chair, Department of Psychology, Physical Sciences 1151, EIU

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