Ed.S. in School Psychology

Total units required for Ed.S.: 100-107

Program Description

The Specialist in Education, School Psychology (Ed.S.) is an advanced degree that requires students to have completed both the Master of Arts (MA) in School Psychology or its equivalent, and the Pupil Personnel Services School Psychology Endorsement Credential. Completion of the Ed.S. requires additional coursework (beyond  the MA and Credential requirements) focused on identifying and addressing school-related issues that arise during school psychology practice. The School Psychology program at CSUS is approved as a Specialist level program by the National Association of School Psychologists.

Note: If students are to graduate under the provisions of this catalog, they must maintain continuous enrollment from the date of classification to the date of graduation. Students who are planning to be absent for more than one semester must file a Leave of Absence request and have it approved prior to the absence.

Admission Requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student in the Specialist in Education (Ed.S.): School Psychology, requires:

  • a baccalaureate degree
  • a minimum 3.0 overall grade point average (if GPA is below 3.0, student may be accepted conditionally)
  • proficiency in written English composition as demonstrated by either passing the California State University, Sacramento, Writing Placement for Juniors exam or equivalent, or passing ENGL 109W (or its equivalent) with a grade of C or better
  • satisfying the Basic Skills Requirement (or having registered for the CBEST examination). For more detailed information, visit the CTC website.  Example of ways to satisfy Basic Skills Requirement include:
    1. Pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)
    2. Pass the CSET Multiple Subjects plus Writing Skills examination
    3. Pass the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP) or the CSU Placement Examinations
    4. Achieve qualifying score on the SAT or ACT (see the CTC website)
    5. Score a 3 or above on specific AP examinations (see the CTC website)
    6. Earn a grade of "B-" or better in specific college or university courses as detailed on the CTC website.
    7. Applicants can “Mix and Match” options, as detailed on the CTC website.
  • provision of Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores (no minimum score required; however, strong GRE scores will counter balance a low GPA)
  • completion of prerequisite courses addressing the following topics or their equivalents (contact a school psychology advisor for more information on equivalent experiences):

a. Abnormal psychology 
b. Introduction to counseling 
c. Descriptive statistics
d. Issues of diversity

  • experience working with diverse learners in a K-12 school setting (30 hours minimum, which includes work with special needs students)
  • completion of a course in applied psychometrics/psychological testing/psychological measurement is recommended

Applicants who have deficiencies in admission requirements that can be removed by specified additional preparation may be admitted with conditionally classified graduate status. Any deficiencies will be noted on a Prerequisite Guidance Form and must be resolved before advancement to candidacy (typically within the first year of full time study).

Admission Procedures

All students must file the following with the Sacramento State Office of Graduate Studies, River Front Center 215, (916) 278-6470:

  • an online application via Cal State Apply for admission; and
  • one set of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State.

For more admissions information and application deadlines, visit the Office of Graduate Studies website.

In addition, each applicant must complete a separate application for admission to the School Psychology Program:

  • the program's application is available online;
  • two letters of reference (references will submit letters online);
  • one set of transcripts;
  • evidence of experience working or volunteering in schools and/or working with youth;
  • evidence of knowledge of the profession of school psychology;
  • evidence of strong written communication skills (obtained via writing samples);
  • evidence of strong oral communication skills (obtained via an interview with a current school psychology graduate student, practicing school psychologist, and core school psychology faculty member).

Department applications are due by February for admission the following Fall Semester. Applications are only accepted and processed once per year, during spring semester for admission the following fall.

Minimum Units and Grade Requirements for the Degree

Units required for the Ed.S.: 100-107

Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0. No single course in which a student receives a grade below "B-" will be counted as credit toward the degree unless the student has petitioned for acceptance of the course, and the petition has been accepted and approved by School Psychology Program faculty. 

Note: A minimum of 21 of these units must be taken in residence at California State University, Sacramento. Use of extension courses must be approved by the advisor. Enrollment in Special Problems (EPSY 299) will only be granted under exceptional circumstances.

Advancement to Candidacy

Students must advancement to candidacy prior to enrolling in EPSY 239 and EPSY 540 or EPSY 542. School psychology students are typically automatically advanced to Ed.S. degree candidacy upon completion of their MA in School Psychology (having already completed Advancement to Candidacy Forms before earning the MA in School Psychology).

Students who already hold an appropriate master's degree at the time of admission to the School Psychology Program, and who do not want to earn a second master's degree, but do wish to earn the Ed.S degree must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy, indicating a proposed program of study. This procedure should begin (typically as soon as the end of the first year in the program) as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • been assigned an advisor;
  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements;
  • completed 24 units of School Psychology Program coursework content knowledge elective units with a minimum 3.0 overall GPA; and
  • completed the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) by passing EPSY 201, Legal Aspects of Special Education, with a grade of "B" or higher. 

Advancement to Candidacy forms are available in the Department office and on the Office of Graduate Studies website. The student fills out the form after planning the a degree program in consultation with a faculty advisor and approved by the the Graduate Coordinator. The completed form is then returned to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval. Note deadline dates posted by the Office of Graduate Studies for submission of this form.

Culminating Experience Requirements

Enrollment in the Ed.S. Seminar (EPSY 239) and the Ed.S. Thesis (EPSY 540) or Ed.S. Project (EPSY 542) courses require students to file and have approved a Reservation Form, for these courses the semester before intended registration. This program follows the guidelines provided by the American Psychological Assocation's most current edition, for formatting of projects and thesis. The office of Graduate Studies, River Front Center, Room 215, (916) 278-6470, offers formatting guides and templates on their website.

Graduation Procedures

Prior to graduation, an application for graduation must be filed in the Office of Graduate Studies by the specified deadline. All course work leading to this degree must be completed within a seven year period. Be sure to attend to deadline dates posted by the Office of Graduate Studies for submission of this form.

Program Requirements

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterUnits
EPSY 201 Legal Aspects of Special Education 3
EPSY 231 Group Process in School Psychology 3
EPSY 221 Equity Considerations for School Psychologists 3
EPSY 245 Psychology In The Schools 3
EPSY 248 Human Development and Learning 3
Second Semester
EPSY 250 Educational Research 3
EPSY 241 Counseling and Psychotherapy for School Psychologists 3
EPSY 242A Cognitive Assessment 3
EPSY 242B Cognitive Assessment Lab 4
EPSY 440 Practicum in Individual Counseling/School Psychology 3
Third Semester
EPSY 240 Functional Assessment of Behavior 3
EPSY 243A Assessment Practicum A 3
EPSY 244 Social, Emotional and Behavioral Assessment 3
EPSY 246A Preventive Academic Interventions 3
EPSY 439A Early Fieldwork in School Psychology 1 - 10
Fourth Semester
EPSY 243B Assessment Practicum 3
EPSY 246B Preventive Mental Health Interventions 3
EPSY 247 Assessment of Special Needs 3
EPSY 439B Early Fieldwork in School Psychology 1 - 10
EPSY 249 Special Seminar: School Psychology 1 - 3
Fifth Semester
EPSY 239 Education Specialist Seminar 3
EPSY 441A Internship in School Psychology 3 - 15
Sixth Semester
EPSY 441B Internship in School Psychology 3 - 15
EPSY 540 Education Specialist Thesis: School Psychology 4 - 6
 Total Units68-114