May 28, 2023  
2016-2017 EIU Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 EIU Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School Psychology (Master of Science)

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Program Mission: The Master of Science in School Psychology is required as the first step toward completion of the Specialist’s in School Psychology which is the requirement for the preparation of competent professional school psychologists who serve children, teachers, and parents in an age of societal, educational, and professional change.   Candidates who successfully complete the MS in School Psychology at Eastern Illinois University have the option to continue on and complete the Specialist Program or may consider the alternative of pursuing a doctoral degree.

Accreditation:  The school psychology program is fully approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and fully recognized by the National Council Accreditation of Teacher Education. 

Students are guaranteed state certification upon successful completion of the specialist’s degree and the state licensure examination. In addition, the program has been approved by the National Association of School Psychologists, which guarantees candidates a national certification upon passing the examination for the Nationally Certified School Psychologists (NCSP).

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”).  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. If the following entrance requirements are met, the applicant may be eligible for acceptance into the MS in School Psychology Degree Program in route to the Specialist in 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.

Program Prerequisites: Applicants must present a transcript from an accredited institution showing completion of the following courses:  introductory psychology; statistical Methods; child psychology/Human Development; Abnormal Psychology, Learning or Behavior analysis/ Modification. 

Candidates with a Master’s Degrees other than in psychology will be considered for admission as long as they meet the admission requirement and program prerequisites described above.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements for the Master of Science in School Psychology:  Degree requirements include those outlined for the Master of Science degree by the Graduate School see “Requirements for the Master’s Degree”).  The Master of Science in School Psychology requires a minimum of 35 semester hours at the graduate level. 


A minimum of 21 semester hours of the non-thesis option is required in residence. Residence is defined as credit for courses taught by Eastern Illinois University faculty. Also, a minimum of 22 semester hours of the non-thesis option must be in courses numbered 5000 or higher.

Time Limitation

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

Candidates in the Master of Science in School Psychology are required to pass the comprehensive competency test administered by the program faculty. 


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. 


Thesis is not required for the Master of Science in School Psychology.  Thesis is required for candidates who advance into the Specialist in School Psychology Program.

Graduate Assistantships

Candidates for the Master of Science in School Psychology will compete for Graduate Assistantships similar to other programs. 

Academic Standing for Graduate Assistants
Graduate assistants must meet the GPA, enrollment and other requirements in order to continue assistantship eligibility.

Contact the program coordinator for details.


In summary, candidates who enroll in the Master of Science in School Psychology program are individuals who are pursuing a specialist or doctoral degree in school psychology, i.e., their goal is to earn at least the entry level degree, Specialist, to practice in the public school setting.  Therefore, the requirements for the Master’s program are identical to the requirements for the Specialist’s program, up to 35 credit hours.  The majority will continue with the Specialist program, and a few will exit the program with a Master of Science in School Psychology to pursue a doctoral degree. 

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