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 program has had full NASP-Approval since 2009 and has received a three-year extension of accreditation through 2016, at which time the program undergo re-accreditation.

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 click on the REQUIREMENTS button.

Educational Specialist (EdS)

Contact Advisor:

Donald Gouwens

459a Marillac Hall (MH)
p: (314) 516-4773
e: gouwensd@umsl.edu

Deadline to Apply:
Fall - February 15
DESE School Psychologist Certification
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 Ed. S. in School Psychology degree program consists of 60 hours of graduate coursework 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 that utilizes close relationships with faculty and field-based practitioners to develop professional skills.

Admission requirements include a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, current GRE 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 three single-spaced typed pages) and 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. Although 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, fulltime study is recommended and preferred.

Educational Specialist in School Psychology (Ed..S.)


First Year
ED PSY 65303ED PSY 63103ED PSY 62103
ED PSY 65323ED PSY 65503SPEC ED 63253
ED PSY 65453ED REM 67183 
ED REM 67503ED REM 77713 
 12 12 6
Second Year
ED PSY 65363CNS ED 60303 
ED PSY 65403ED PSY 65423 
ED PSY 65903ED PSY 65913 
ED REM 67193ED REM 67303 
 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 II School Psychologist Examination, Problem-Solving Case Study, and Comprehensive Examination.

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Donald A. Gouwens, Psy.D.
Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology, Research, and Evaluation

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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Natalie Bolton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Natalie Bolton received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development from the University of Louisville in 2008. She also has an M.A. in Secondary Education with emphasis in Social Studies Education, and a B.A. in Secondary Education, Social Sciences major in History and minor in Geography.
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Matthew Keefer, Ph.D.

Matthew Keefer is Professor of Educational Psychology in the Department of Educational Psychology, Research and Evaluation at the University of Missouri St Louis.