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School Psychology: Ed.S. - Education Specialist

The program prepares students to serve as certified school psychologists, with core knowledge and skills in providing the comprehensive assessment, intervention, and consultative services necessary for healthy child and youth development.

At a Glance

Program Results

Ed.S. - Education Specialist

School Psychology

Career Objective

  • Our graduates become nationally-certified school psychologists in preK-12 schools, helping to fill a critical shortage of these roles in Virginia and across the United States.

Best Suited To

  • Individuals who are committed to providing culturally responsive school psychological services to youth in diverse settings.
  • Individuals interested in the intersection of education and mental health through the lens of prevention, assessment, and intervention.
  • Individuals who want to become certified as a school psychologist.

Program Type

  • Full Time


  • In-Person

Estimated Length

The typical length of study is 3 years, including a one-year internship.

Application Deadline

Fall Entry:

  • February 1





About This Program

UVA will enroll its first cohort in its new Education Specialist (Ed.S.) program in School Psychology for the fall of 2024.

The Ed.S. in School Psychology program is grounded in the scientist-practitioner model of training. The program prepares graduates to deliver comprehensive, culturally responsive school psychological services (i.e., prevention, intervention, assessment, and consultative services) to diverse student populations in educational settings. The program prepares graduates to engage in data-based decision-making to design and implement evidence-based interventions to promote academic, behavioral, and mental health success. We offer specialized training in evidence-based interventions to prevent and intervene on the most pressing academic and mental health challenges in today’s youth. Students will learn to collaborate and partner with youth, families, school staff and administrators as well as multi-disciplinary community partners to promote learning and create safe and supportive environments for youth development. Graduates of the program will be prepared to advocate for, and engage in, equitable and culturally responsive programming for youth. Our graduates will be critical thinkers who will integrate research findings into their daily work as school psychologists.  


In this program, we:  

  • Emphasize a contextual understanding of the well-being and mental health of children, youth, and young adults
  • Take a strengths-based approach to understanding youth, families, and systems  
  • Commit to preparing diverse, culturally responsive practitioners who are prepared to work with diverse youth and families.
  • Value and respect all aspects of human diversity (including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, linguistic differences, ability, and the intersection of these identities)  
  • Train students to advocate for and work toward creating equitable opportunities and access for all students    

Our program is unique in that graduates will not only be prepared to deliver and be leaders in comprehensive school psychological services but will receive specialized training in mental health prevention and intervention for youth. Students will take courses such as Introduction to Psychotherapy, Child Therapy, and Psychological Interventions in Schools, and will complete applied training experiences in educational settings and gain exposure to the delivery of psychological services across multiple contexts (e.g., schools, community mental health clinics).  

Program Overview

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements that apply specifically to this program are listed below:

  • Online application form and application fee;
  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university;
  • Transcript of undergraduate record;
  • Statement of professional goals of 500 words or less describing how the program mission and Ed.S. degree aligns with their professional goals (see Professional Goals Statement Prompt section on this page for more information);
  • Resume or CV demonstrating applied or research experiences relevant to the practice of school psychology; and
  • Three letters of recommendations, including one with substantial knowledge of the applicant’s academic accomplishments.

Applicants who have completed a graduate degree or graduate-level coursework in school psychology or a related discipline may be eligible to transfer up to 6 credits, as determined by the student’s advisor and the program director.

Visit our Graduate Admission page for the full admission process.

Graduate Admission

Application for admission is made to the School of Education and Human Development Office of Admission & Enrollment. For more information about the graduate admission process, please visit our Graduate Admission page.


To learn more about specific courses taken as part of the completion of this degree, visit the Graduate Record website. These webpages represent the official repository for academic program requirements. 

Students in the Ed.S. in School Psychology program will be required to complete a total of 73 credits as follows:

  • Thirty-seven (37) credits of core coursework (13 courses);
  • Twelve (12) credits of required coursework (4 courses); and
  • Twenty-four (24) credits of field-based learning (3 courses).
    • These 24 credits of field-based learning include a practicum in the spring of year 1, a year-long practicum in year 2, and a full-time year-long internship in year 3.


The internship consists of a year-long, full-time placement in a pK-12 educational setting under supervision of a certified school psychologist. Students complete a minimum of 1200 hours and gain experience providing the full range of comprehensive school psychological services.

After completing the first 31 credits in the program, students receive an M.Ed. in School Psychology en route to earning the Ed.S. in School Psychology (typically earned after their first year), which will aid students in meeting national certification requirements for school psychologists. There is no admission option for just the M.Ed.

School Psychology Course Descriptions

Information on courses that are part of the Ed.S. in School Psychology curriculum can be found on the UVA Graduate Record website.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Ed.S. in School Psychology will be able to:

  • Design, implement, and evaluate school psychological services incorporating culture and context to facilitate family, school, and community partnerships
  • Evaluate the influence of individual differences, abilities, identities, and systemic factors to inform culturally responsive, evidence-based school psychological services
  • Select, implement and evaluate interventions targeting social-emotional functioning, resiliency, and positive behavioral and mental health based on individual and ecological factors that influence human learning, cognition, and development
  • Administer psychoeducational assessments and evaluate these and other data (e.g., school records) to inform delivery of culturally responsive and equitable school psychological services
  • Develop and apply knowledge about consultation and supervision when implementing school psychological services (e.g., collaborating with individuals, families, systems; supervising trainees)
  • Select, implement, and evaluate academic interventions based on individual and ecological factors that influence human learning, cognition, and development
  • Apply knowledge of systems structures and educational (general and special) program to school psychological practice
  • Apply research principles to design and assess multitiered prevention and evidence-based strategies for creating safe and supportive schools
  • Interpret and apply research design, statistics, and measurement data to inform and improve school psychological practice
  • Evaluate, synthesize, and apply ethical, legal, and professional standards to inform the domains of practice (e.g., assessment, intervention, consultation) within the field of school psychology. 

Professional Goals Statement Prompt

As part of the online application, you will need to submit a professional goals statement of 500 words or less describing how the program mission and EdS degree align with your professional goals. The full prompt is:

Please describe your reasons for applying to the Ed.S. in School Psychology program. Your response should describe (1) how your prior experiences (e.g., professional, educational) are consistent with the goals of this program and (2) align with your future career plans. When answering these questions, you must describe how and why this program will help build upon your prior experiences and help you reach your career goals. 

Now accepting applications. Apply here.

Ed.S. in School Psychology News

Program Faculty

Julia Blodgett

Julia Blodgett

  • Associate Professor
  • Clinical Psychologist
Dewey Cornell

Dewey Cornell

  • Virgil S. Ward Professor of Education
Jason T Downer

Jason T. Downer

  • Professor
  • Director, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning
Scott Gest

Scott Gest

  • Chair, Department of Human Services
  • Professor
Michael Lyons

Michael Lyons

  • Associate Professor
  • Clinical & School Psychology Program Director
Micah Mazurek

Micah Mazurek

  • Novartis U.S. Foundation Professor of Education
  • Clinical Psychologist
Robert C Pianta

Robert C. Pianta

  • Batten Bicentennial Professor of Early Childhood Education
Erica Rouch

Erica Fornaris Rouch

  • Research Assistant Professor
  • Director of Autism Services
  • Clinical Psychologist
Lora Henderson Smith

Lora Henderson Smith

  • Assistant Professor
Antoinette Thomas

Antoinette R. Thomas

  • Professor of Education
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Counselor Education Program Co-Director
Elena Tuerk

Elena Tuerk

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Clinical Supervisor & Lecturer
Amanda P Williford

Amanda P. Williford

  • Batten Bicentennial Professor of Early Childhood Education Associate Director for Early Childhood Education
  • CASTL Clinical Psychologist
Matthew Yoder

Matthew Yoder

  • Associate Professor
  • Director of Psychological Services, Sheila C. Johnson Center
Katy Zeanah

Katy Zeanah

  • Interim Degree Coordinator, Ed.S. in School Psychology Program
  • School Mental Health Outreach Manager
  • Clinical & School Psychologist; Clinical Supervisor

Contact Us

Katy Zeanah

Katy Zeanah

  • Interim Degree Coordinator, Ed.S. in School Psychology Program
  • School Mental Health Outreach Manager
  • Clinical & School Psychologist; Clinical Supervisor


As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)). Although California does not participate in SARA, it allows students to enroll in out-of-state programs.

Upon completion of the Education Specialist in School Psychology at the UVA School of Education and Human Development, graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state.

Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C))

Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402)

In spring 2024, The University of Virginia’s Ed.S. in School Psychology is seeking both National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) accreditation “Candidacy Status” and to offer an approved Virginia Department of Education school psychology endorsement program. Decisions are expected in fall 2024.