Specialist in School Psychology

Young people today face numerous challenges, many that can affect their learning and social well-being. School psychology is a career that makes a difference. You will help children and adolescents succeed academically, socially, behaviorally and emotionally.

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

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Why School Psychology at ACU?

The Specialist in School Psychology program at ACU offers training in the field of psychology with an emphasis on the educational setting. 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.

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.

Group of students studying and watching a video for class on their phones

What outcomes can you expect?

  • School Psychologist
  • Behavior Interventionist

Admission Requirements

  • Complete an 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 courses. 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.

See full ACU graduate admissions requirements here.

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

Affordability & Financial Assistance

Scholarships

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

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.

Research Funding

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.

Student Loans

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

 

Degree Details


Required Hours

Program length: 3 years

Credit hours: 60

2020/2021 tuition per credit hour: $1,291


Example Coursework

Organization, Operations and Ethics

Child and Adolescent Psychopathology

Behavioral Interventions

Issues in Education of Exceptional Children


Department

Psychology


Application Deadlines

Fall Priority Review: March 30

Fall Standard Review: August 10

Fall International Students: February 15