Master of Education/Education Specialist in School Psychology

Dr. Hughes teaching class

The Valparaiso University M.Ed./Ed.S. degree in School Psychology is now approved by NASP!

Program Description
This 68 credit hour program combines coursework from both the Departments of Education and Psychology. Students completing this program will acquire knowledge, dispositions, and professional skills to function in school settings as licensed School Psychologists, and will be trained within the Pragmatic Model of School Psychology. It is the goal of the Valparaiso University School Psychology Program to provide school psychology training in accordance with standards established by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the Indiana Department of Education's Division of Professional Standards. At the conclusion of this integrated sequence of study, students will have earned both the Master of Foundations and the Educational Specialist degree. Graduates of this program will also qualify for licensure as School Psychologists in the State of Indiana.

Program of Study

The Valparaiso University School Psychology Program is designed for completion in three years of full-time study. This includes two years of sequenced coursework, which includes summer months, plus the yearlong 1200 clock-hour internship that is completed under the supervision of a licensed or credentialed school psychologist. Field-training requirements are integrated throughout the entire sequence of the program, and must typically be completed during hours in which elementary and secondary schools are in session.


M.Ed. Education and Psychological Foundations 33 credits
ED 528
Foundations of Literacy Development
3 cr
ED 617
Assessment & Management of the Learning Environment 3 cr
COUN 620 Human Development: Biological & Learned Bases of Behavior
3 cr
COUN 625 Social & Cultural Bases of Behavior
3 cr
SPSY 540
Learning Exceptionalities
3 cr
SPSY 600 Introduction to School Psychology & Educational Systems
3 cr
SPSY 610
Academic Achievement: Assessment for Intervention
3 cr
SPSY 630 Cognitive Ability: Assessment for Intervention
3 cr
SPSY 640
Professional Issues, Ethics, & Law
3 cr
Choose Elective  3 cr
One of the following:
SPSY 660
Consultation in School & Community Settings
3 cr
COUN 575
Human Neuropsychology in Counseling & School Settings
3 cr
Ed.S. Education Specialist Component 35 credits
ED 610 Research in Education 3 cr
ED 612
Decision Making in Curriculum & Instruction
3 cr
COUN 660
Helping Relationships: Counseling Theories
3 cr
COUN 662
Helping Relationships: Counseling Processes
3 cr
SPSY 650
Socialization & Development of Life Skills 3 cr
SPSY 679/681 Practicum in School Psychology 6 cr
SPSY 683/684 Internship in School Psychology 6 cr
SPSY 688
Statistical Interpretation for School Program Evaluation
2 cr
Choose Elective 3 cr
One of the following:
SPSY 660 Consultation in School & Community Settings 3 cr
COUN 575 Human Neuropsychology in Counseling & School Settings 3 cr
Possible Electives
ED 504 Educational Psychology 3 cr
ED 529 Literacy in the Elementary School 3 cr
ED 560 Literacies in the Content Areas 3 cr
ED 690 Seminar in Education 3 cr
SPED 547 Characteristics of Individuals with Mild Disabilities 3 cr
SPED 550 Models of Collaboration & Consultation in Special Education 3 cr
SPED 551 Applied Behavior Analysis 3 cr
SPED 590 Current Issues in Special Education 1-3 cr
SPED 590 Special Topics in School Psychology 1-3 cr
SPSY 690 Advanced Topics in School Psychology 1-3 cr
COUN 545 Community & Health Counseling 3 cr
COUN 635 Introduction to Psychopathology 3 cr
COUN 664 Career Counseling: Appraisal & Intervention 3 cr
COUN 665 Family Counseling & Dynamics 3 cr
COUN 682 Practicum in School Counseling 3 cr
COUN 691 Advanced Topics in Counseling 3 cr
PSY 550 Human Cognition 3 cr
PSY 590 Special Topics in Psychology 1-3 cr

Early Entry Option for VU Undergraduates

Qualified VU juniors and seniors may apply to begin graduate course work in School Psychology prior to graduation.  This unique program allows students to save time and money on their graduate programs.  For more information, students should speak with their academic advisors and contact an admissions counselor at the Graduate School.

What can you expect?
Graduate study at Valparaiso University requires diligence and motivation. The School Psychology program is rigorous, both in its academic challenge and in its demand to prepare students to meet licensure requirements. Students work closely with both faculty and peers. They are assigned faculty advisers who provide course selection and career guidance and who oversee practicum and internship training. Students quickly form peer networks and learning cohort groups with other education and psychology students, a process that enriches the learning experience and increases the overall resources of the group.

Criteria For Admission
In addition to meeting the requirements for admission to The Graduate School, applicants should note the following requirements for both the M.Ed. and Ed.S. components of the program:

  • Applicants are expected to have a background in psychology which includes one course in introductory psychology, one course in human growth and development, and one course on basic statistics. Applicants who do not meet these requirements may be admitted to the program with the understanding that they will complete these courses along with other requirements.

As part of the application process, students must provide:

  • Valparaiso University Graduate Application and School Psychology Supplemental Application;
  • Official transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework.  If you have received an undergraduate or graduate degree from Valparaiso University, you are not required to submit an official transcript from Valparaiso University;
  • Two letters of recommendation;
  • Essay relating graduate study to professional goals. The essay should include a self-assessment of experience and education that would qualify one for undertaking work in school psychology. This essay is in substitution of the general essay required for admission to the Graduate School;
  • Application Fee: $30.

Admission is offered only for the fall semester, with priority given to applications submitted by March 1.

Some seats are still available for Fall 2011; contact the Graduate School to begin your application process today.

Financial Considerations
Students may be surprised to discover the affordable graduate tuition rate at Valparaiso University. Tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year is $560 per credit hour, highly competitive for a private institution of recognized national quality. Full-time graduate students pay a $183 general fee each fall and spring semester. Part-time graduate students pay a $100 general fee each fall and spring semester. Students are also responsible for annual fees associated with a Criminal Background Check and professional liability insurance, both required by the Department of Education. Financial aid is available through student loans. Most students are employed part- or full- time in social service and school settings in the surrounding community during their graduate study. Research and school assistantship opportunities have been available to students in the school psychology program

School Assistantships
Each year, several school assistantships, awarded in conjunction with local school districts, may be awarded to 2-3 full-time students in the school psychology program.  These assistantships provide a stipend of approximately $5,200 and a 1 course tuition benefit each year.  Responsibilities for assistants are worked out with each individual school district and usually require substitute teaching and other activities related to professional development in school psychology.

For more information about the Master of Education/Education Specialist in School Psychology program
To learn more about the Master of Education/Education Specialist program, visit their department website at

Interested students should request an information packet from the Graduate School through our website or by e-mailing

Click here to apply online!