Become a Licensed School Psychologist with this Specialist Degree
This post-bachelor's School Psychology Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree is designed for college graduates who wish to become School Psychologist practitioners. The aim of the program is to develop professionals who are able to apply psychological and educational principles to improve the psychosocial environments of children (ages birth-21) and their families. The face-to-face portion of courses are held on weekends to fit a working schedule. This program is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
Develop a Broad Philosophy of Practice
Because of the size and varied backgrounds of our School Psychology faculty, this program does not promote any one philosophy of practice. You will be taught a range of practices and have the ability to apply what works for you for various situations.
Choose the Applied Behavior Analysis Emphasis Option to Add BCBA® Preparation
This graduate program prepares educators to become leaders in schools and communities in the area of applied behavior analysis. Because the ABA coursework is an Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI®) verified course sequence, those who complete this emphasis will fulfill the coursework and graduate degree requirements to take the examination for certification as Board Certified Behavior Analysts® (BCBA).
A Rewarding Career That is in Critical Demand
You will develop skills to assess, intervene and counsel children (ages birth–21) and their families. Program graduates are eligible for state licensure and national certification as School Psychologists for full credential recognition in K-12 schools. All job-seeking graduates of our School Psychology programs have found employment in the field upon graduation, many at their internship organization. Most importantly, School Psychologists have acquired the skills to improve children's lives.
School Psychologist: The #2 Social Services Job
See why U.S. News and World Report ranks School Psychologist so highly in their Best Social Services Jobs.
- No Emphasis: 70
- With ABA Emphasis: 77
Time to Completion:
3.5 years including 1 year paid internship
Delivery Option & Start Term:
Denver + Online (Hybrid): starts Spring term 2020
Please note that we do NOT have a completely online delivery of this program.
Kathrine Hak, Ph.D., BCBA-D
This Educational Specialist degree is a post-bachelor's program that prepares graduates for full School Psychology licensure. The credits and time to completion include a paid internship phase that helps you progress into your School Psychology role with valuable supervised practice. It takes most students 2.5 years to complete academic and applied coursework, followed by the one-year internship.
- The School Psychology EdS program (with no emphasis) is 70 credit hours.
- The School Psychology EdS – Applied Behavior Analysis Emphasis program is 77 credit hours.
Required for All Students
For an example of upcoming courses, visit an example Current Program Students page.
The non-emphasis and emphasis programs are very similar, sharing 67 credit hours of the same coursework, and a national exam.
Psychological & Educational Foundations (37-40 Credit Hours)
- APCE 607 Theories of Counseling (3)
- APCE 625 Applied Developmental Science (3)
- APCE 628 Concepts and Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (3) – 45 hours in Concepts & Principles of Behavior Analysis
- APCE 629 Measurement and Experimental Design in Applied Behavior Analysis (3) – 25 hours in Measurement (including Data Analysis); 20 hours in Experimental Design
- APCE 640 School-Based Psychological Consultation (3)
- APCE 655 Family, School, and Community Contexts (3)
- APCE 656 Systems-Based Behavioral Health (3)
- APCE 667 Intervening with Trauma and Crisis in the Schools (3)
- APCE 670 Principles of Psychometrics and Assessment (3)
- APCE 747 Psychological Aspects of Academic Programming & Intervention (3)
- APCE 763 Legal and Professional Foundations of School Psychology (4)
- APCE 781 Evaluation of Psychological Services (3) – this course is only for non-ABA-emphasis students.
- EDSE 630 Applied Behavior Analysis I (3) – 30 hours in Identification & Assessment; 10 hours in Intervention & Behavior Change Considerations
Applied Practice in School Psychology (21 Credit Hours)
- APCE 618 Practicum in Child, Adolescent and Family Interventions (5)
- APCE 644 Assessment I: Cognitive and Academic Functioning (5)
- APCE 647 Assessment & Intervention for Social & Emotional Problems in Children & Adults (5)
- APCE 779 Practicum in School Psychology (6)
Multicultural Understanding (3 Credit Hours)
Supervised Field Work / Internship (6 Credit Hours)
- APCE 789 Internship in School Psychology (6) – 3 semesters of 2 credit hours, resulting in 1200 hours of supervised experience working with a variety of populations and roles.
National School Psychology Exam
All students must take and pass the National School Psychology Examination.
Applied Behavior Analysis Emphasis Option
The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements (see below) before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.
The Applied Behavior Analysis sequence includes some coursework that is also taken by non-emphasis students (APCE 628, APCE 629, and EDSE 630) along with the following additional courses. The ABA courses are generally offered completely online. The ABAI-verified content hours by category are listed after each course.
- APCE 631 Applied Behavior Analysis II (3) – 45 hours in Fundamental Elements of Behavior Change & Specific Behavior Change Procedures
- EDSE 632 Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis (3) – 45 hours in Ethical & Professional Conduct
- EDSE 633 Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis (4) – 10 hours in Behavior Change Systems; 10 hours in Implementation, Management & Supervision; 30 hours Discretionary
Note: these 10 credit hours, minus three credit hours from above (APCE 781) that are not taken, make the ABA Emphasis version of the program 77 credit hours instead of 70.
Additional Requirements by the BACB® For Your BCBA Credential
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB) is an organization that credentials behavior analysts who have...
- Completed an ABAI-verified course sequence such as this one;
- Accrued sufficient field experience hours [To qualify at the BCBA level, the BACB requires supervisees to complete 1,500 hours of Supervised Independent Fieldwork in behavior analysis - UNC can provide some support for supervision hours for master's students to contribute to this requirement] and;
- Demonstrated proficiency in the field via the BCBA examination. UNC will provide simulated exams and other student exam preparation tools for all students.
For full details, see the official program listings in the UNC Graduate Catalog:
- Visit the School Psychology department page for this program, with additional information applicable to all program locations. Some deadlines and course sequences may not apply to off-campus programs.
- Learn more about the UNC School Psychology Faculty.
- Students who already have a graduate degree in behavior analysis, education or psychology, and are only interested in the BACB-verified course sequence can instead pursue the Applied Behavior Analysis (Graduate Certificate; BCBA-Related).
- School Counseling (Master's)