EdS: School Psychology
Educational Specialist in School Psychology

Innovative education... Engaged educators

Helping All Students Succeed Through Prevention and Early Intervention

School psychologists have specialized training in both psychology and education. They use their training and skills to team with educators, parents, and other mental health professionals to ensure that every child’s academic and social-emotional and behavioral needs are met in a safe, healthy, and supportive environment. School psychologists understand school systems, effective teaching, and successful learning. They provide educational and psychological services in schools that include various combinations of assessment, academic and behavior consultation, individual and group counseling, and development and evaluation of prevention and early intervention programs. School Psychology consistently has been ranked among the top 10 of all professions for many years. In addition to being an exciting and rewarding career, the field has highly favorable supply and demand ratios, as retirement rates have exceeded graduation rates in recent years. Consequently, the job prospects are excellent, especially for specialist level school psychologist practitioners and doctoral level university faculty.

School psychologist certification in Missouri and most other states requires completion of an Educational Specialist in School Psychology (Ed.S.) degree. The Ed.S. degree is a 60-hour, three-year, full time program that includes a yearlong internship. To work as a school psychologist, one must be certified by the state in which services are provided. In most states School Psychologist certification is granted by the state’s Department of Education and supports practice within school or educational settings. The provision of independent psychological services via private practice or community mental health agencies requires a doctoral degree in Clinical or Counseling Psychology and licensure by the State Board of Examiners in Psychology as a Psychologist. The UMSL Ed. S. in School Psychology degree has been a program of National Recognition with full NASP-Approval since 2009. Our current NASP-Approval is effective through Fall 2023.

Please scroll down to view the various program documents provided here including the Ed.S. curriculum, program FAQs, and the required Supplemental Application. For additional information regarding admission and degree requirements, please see the REQUIREMENTS tab below.

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Educational Specialist (EdS)

Contact Advisor:

Donald Gouwens

459a Marillac Hall (MH)
p: (314) 516-4773

Deadline to Apply:
Fall - February 15
DESE School Psychologist Certification
  • NASP-Approved: Program of National Recognition with full NASP-Approval through Fall 2023
  • CAEP Accredited: Through Fall 2019
The College of Education will recommend you to the Missouri Department of Elementary/Secondary Education as a School Psychologists certification and for NASP's Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential at the completion of this program, if you have met all state requirements. To ensure that you have met all state requirements, please contact your advisor.

The Educational Specialist in School Psychology (Ed.S.) degree program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis is a National Association of School Psychologists-approved training program that provides specialized training in the provision of academic and social-emotional and behavior interventions via a problem-solving approach. Special attention is placed upon prevention, early intervention, and assessment of educational outcomes within a cognitive-behavioral theoretical perspective. The UMSL School Psychology Program’s primary goal is to prepare future school-based practitioners who can provide an array of effective student- and systems-level school psychological services to support all students via the following candidate learning outcomes:

A. Data-Based Decision Making

Ed. S. candidates will acquire knowledge of and skills in a variety of assessment models and methods that enable them to develop expertise in collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data for the purpose of making recommendations to improve the academic performance and/or social-emotional development of children and adolescents with whom they work.

B. Improved Educational and Psychological Treatment Outcomes

Ed. S. candidates will gain knowledge of and develop skills associated with a wide-range of research-based academic, behavior, and psychological interventions treatments to promote academic performance and social-emotional behavior.

C. Multicultural Diversity

Ed. S. candidates will acquire knowledge of identity development that facilitates the development of skills to work with a students and families from diverse groups, thereby engaging in culturally-competent practice.

D. Program Development and Evaluation

Ed. S. candidates will gain knowledge of and acquire skills in a variety of data collection and research methodologies that enable them to develop, implement, and evaluate school-based interventions and programs for students, educators, and parents.

E. Facilitation of Organizational Change

Ed. S. candidates will acquire an understanding of the complexity of educational systems and the role school psychologists can play to promote systemic changes and improve services for all children and adolescents.

The Ed. S. in School Psychology degree program consists of 60 graduate semester hours that includes coursework in psychological and educational foundations, psychoeducational assessment, and direct and indirect service delivery. Prevention and early intervention of academic, behavioral, and social-emotional problems through consultation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and systems-level interventions are highlighted throughout the program. The Ed. S. degree is a small-cohort program consisting of 8-12 candidates per cohort that maximizes close relationships with faculty and field-based practitioners to develop professional skills and competencies.

Admission requirements include a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, current GRE General Test scores (Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing scores at or above the 50th percentile), three letters of recommendation, a personal statement describing personal goals (not to exceed five double-spaced typed pages) and a curriculum vita detailing relevant experience with children, adolescents, and families. Prerequisite coursework in the areas of Developmental Psychology, and Psychological Statistics is required for admission. Following initial screening, finalists will be invited for an on-campus interview with the School Psychology Program faculty and current Ed. S. candidates. All required application materials will be considered equally when making admission decisions. Applications are reviewed annually with a February 15 deadline. 

Transfer credit may be granted for graduate coursework completed prior to entering the program, but strict limitations apply. The Ed. S. in School Psychology degree program involves a minimum of three years of intensive study. Though it is possible to complete the first year of the curriculum on a part-time basis, please note that practicum during the second year involves two days per week working in a school with a school psychologist, and internship is a yearlong fulltime supervised experience. Consequently, full-time study is recommended and preferred. Graduates of the program are immediately eligible for School Psychologist Certification from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential from the National Association of School Psychologists. As such, graduates from the program will meet or exceed certification requirements in the majority if not all states in the country.

Educational Specialist in School Psychology (Ed.S.)


First Year
ED PSY 6222 or 62103ED PSY 63103ED PSY 61153
ED PSY 65303ED PSY 65503ED REM 67193
ED PSY 65323ED REM 67103 
ED PSY 65453ED REM 67183 
 12 12 6
Second Year
ED PSY 65403ED PSY 65363 
ED PSY 65903ED PSY 65423 
ED REM 67303ED PSY 65913 
SPEC ED 6437 or 63253ED REM 67323 
 12 12
Third Year
ED PSY 65983ED PSY 65993 
 3 3
Total Hours: 60

In addition to completion of the 60-hour curriculum listed above, candidates for the Ed.S. in School Psychology degree must receive passing scores on the following programmatic assessments: Praxis School Psychologist Examination, two Problem-Solving Case Studies (one academic, one behavioral), and Comprehensive Examination.

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Donald A. Gouwens, Psy.D.
Chair of the Education Sciences and Professional Programs

Dr. Gouwens earned a Doctor of Psychology in School Psychology degree from Central Michigan University in 1994. He is a certified School Psychologist and Licensed Psychologist in Missouri, a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, and is listed in the National Register of Health Service Psychologi...
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Michael W. Bahr, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Dr. Bahr earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from Cardinal Glennon College and a Master of Education Degree in Counseling from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is a graduate of Indiana University's APA-accredited School Psychology Program, where he obtained the Doctor of Philosoph...
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Ruth Schumacher-Martinez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Dr. Schumacher-Martinez earned a B.A. in English Literature with a concentration in Women's Studies from Drake University.  She has an M.Ed in Educational Psychology and a Ph.D. in School Psychology from Loyola University Chicago, an APA-accredited and NASP approved program.