Specialist in School Psychology

If you’re inspired by the idea of combining your compassion for others with the professional skills needed to transform lives from an early age, you can fulfill your dream with the Specialist in School Psychology program at ACU.

Accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), this program allows you to take your knowledge of psychology into an educational setting where you will make a visible difference in the lives of children and their families.

Through classroom and hands-on training, you will learn to collaborate with educators, parents and other professionals to create safe, healthy and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school and the community for all students.

Ready to be part of a life-changing profession? Apply now or contact us for more information today.

If you’re inspired by the idea of combining your compassion for others with the professional skills needed to transform lives from an early age, you can fulfill your dream with the Specialist in School Psychology program at ACU.

Accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), this program allows you to take your knowledge of psychology into an educational setting where you will make a visible difference in the lives of children and their families.

Through classroom and hands-on training, you will learn to collaborate with educators, parents and other professionals to create safe, healthy and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school and the community for all students.

Ready to be part of a life-changing profession? Apply now or contact us for more information today.

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What to Expect

You will become immersed in the field during your graduate studies through 600 hours of practicum and 1,200 hours of internship time. Upon completion, you will be eligible to apply to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP) for licensure as a Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) and the National School Psychology Certification Board for national certification.

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Program Structure

Specialist in School Psychology

These are the important details you will need to keep in mind as you prepare your application and degree plan.

Required Hours

Credit hours: 60
Program length: 3 years

2021/2022 tuition per credit hour: $1,343

Example Coursework

Organization, Operations and Ethics
Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
Behavioral Interventions
Issues in Education of Exceptional Children

Minor Available

Yes

Department

Psychology

Application Deadlines

Fall start: Aug. 10
Spring start: Dec. 1
Fall start international students: Feb. 15
Priority Review: March 30

Student Opportunities

As a graduate student in ACU’s Department of Psychology, you’ll have the opportunity to work side-by-side with faculty mentors with the goal of presenting research at professional conferences. Most recently, our students have presented scholarly projects at the American Psychological Association, the Southwest Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, Texas Association of School Psychologists, and the International Christian Association of Psychological Studies.

Career Options

Graduates licensed as LSSPs embrace fulfilling careers as school psychologists or behavior interventionists.

Admission Requirements

Students Studying at Table
  • Complete the online application;
  • Pay the $65 application fee;
  • An official transcript(s) in English (or translated to English) of all previous colleges attended. The transcript must indicate an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university or equivalent;
  • Unconditional admission requires an undergraduate GPA of 3.5-4.0. If an applicant meets all other requirements and has an undergraduate GPA of 3.0-3.49, he/she may be admitted on probation. The condition of probation means that the applicant must make a final grade of B or above in each of the first 4 courses required in his/her program. Failure to do so will result in suspension from the program;
  • Three letters of recommendation. At least two must be from psychology faculty or psychologists who are familiar with the applicant’s academic work;
  • Completion of at least 12 undergraduate semester hours in psychology including: statistics, experimental psychology, abnormal psychology and 3 additional hours that may be physiological, developmental psychology, cognition or principles of learning or an acceptable substitute. The applicant must have made a grade of B or higher in each of the prerequisite course. Prerequisites must be completed prior to enrolling in graduate program courses; they may not be taken concurrently;
  • A written statement (600-800 words) describing professional goals, interests and reasons for choosing to enter the psychology program at ACU;
  • Because all professional psychology programs require students to provide services to clients in practicum sites, non-native speakers of English must pass an interview with two ACU psychology department faculty to establish that the applicant has sufficient skills in English and American culture to provide services to clients in practicum settings;
  • International applicants also must meet the university’s English language test requirements;
  • The Department of Psychology does not consider the GRE or other test as part of its admission requirements.

The Specialist in School Psychology program has been fully approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

Our program offers merit-based scholarships. These scholarships are awarded to students based on prior academic excellence. To be considered, students must submit a completed graduate application (including all supplemental documents) to the Office of Graduate Programs by the March 30th priority deadline. Scholarships may become available after March 30th or for January start-dates.

Average Merit Scholarships

  • $20,000 awarded over the 48-60 hour programs:  $10,000 each year for two years split evenly between fall and spring semesters. This scholarship is typical for the Clinical, Counseling or School Psychology programs.
  • $9,000 awarded over the 36 hour program: $3,000 for each semester for three semesters. This scholarship is typical for the General Psychology program.

Graduate assistantships (GA) provide another form of financial support. GA’s typically work 10hours per week in a combination of research, service, teaching, or in ACU’s Psychology Clinic.

  • GA’s are assigned to a specific faculty mentor for assistance with research or courses. GA’s may be required to attend classes for the course, teach and/or manage lab sections, give students written or oral feedback on their work, and/or hold office hours to assist undergraduate students.
  • A number of our GA’s work in the ACU Psychology Clinic where they gain valuable professional skills that are needed to manage a private practice.
  • The award is $1,650 per semester and is paid bi-weekly during the academic year. It is generally available for up to four semesters.
  • All incoming full time graduate students are considered for graduate assistantships. The application is used to help match students with potential faculty and specific roles within the department that are more teaching or research focused, depending upon the career goals of the student.

Many of our graduate students work with their faculty mentors with the goal of presenting research at professional conferences. Most recently our graduate students have presented scholarly projects at the American Psychological Association, the Southwest Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, Texas Association of School Psychologists, and the International Christian Association of Psychological Studies. Funding is often awarded for travel through departmental and college resources. Additional travel funding is available through our Graduate Student Association.

The vast majority of graduate students qualify for enough federal loans to cover tuition and living expenses, if needed.

For more information about your financial aid and student loan options, please visit our ACU Graduate Financial Aid page.

If you have questions regarding student loan options, please email Jamie Bearden at jamie.bearden@acu.edu .