»Ed.S. in School Psychology

The Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) Program in School Psychology is for candidates who wish to work as school psychologists with children from preschool through high school. Chapman University's School Psychology program prepares students to perform a variety of tasks including assessment for intervention, mental health counseling, behavior management and consultation with teachers and parents.

The school psychology degree program builds on the mission of the College of Educational Studies by seeking to prepare knowledgeable, skilled and reflective school psychologists who are effective change agents for individuals, families, communities and institutions.

The Ed.S school psychology program at Chapman is fully approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the International School Psychology Association (ISPA).  The curriculum is built on the NASP Domains of Training and Practice as well as eight “big ideas.”  These include:

  • Collaboration and Cultural Competence
  • Oral Communications
  • Written Communication
  • Self-reflection and tolerance for complexity and ambiguity
  • Commitment to service and advocacy
  • Building solutions for children through an appreciation of their strengths and resources
  • Understanding children both as individuals and as participants in systems

+-Program at a glance

-Approved by NASP since 2005.  A graduate of a NASP-approved program is automatically eligible to become a nationally certified school psychologist (NCSP), pending documentation of an internship consistent with NASP standards and attainment of a passing score on the national school psychology (PRAXIS II) examination.

-Cohort model with entry each fall semester.

-A 69 unit program that can be completed in 3 years of full time study or 4 years of part time study.

-Low student-to-faculty ratio, with close collaboration between students and faculty on research, publications and presentations.

-600 hours of practica and 1,200 hours of internship for a total of 1,800 hours of fieldwork.

-Dual degree program plus credential.  Students can earn a MA in Educational Psychology after two years and an Educational Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) in School Psychology after three years.  Students also earn the California Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology at the same time as the Ed.S. Degree.

-It is strongly recommended that all incoming School Psychology students take (and pass) the CBEST prior to starting the program.  If necessary, students will have until the end of their first fall semester to complete the CBEST requirement.

-Option for an emphasis in Professional Clinical Counseling, which fulfills the educational requirements for the California license as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).

-Option to apply for early admission to the Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in School Psychology.

+-Admissions Requirements

  • Submit an online application (for Summer or Fall 2016)
  • A statement of intent, the prompt can be found within the application.
  • A current resume or curriculum vita that includes information on experiences working with children and/or families.
  • One set of official transcripts from all institutions the applicant has received (or will be receiving) a degree from. 
  • Official GRE Scores.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required. One recommendation must be from someone who has experience with the candidate in an academic setting and knowledge of the candidate’s academic potential. The second recommendation should be from someone who knows the candidate in a work setting, preferably one where the candidate works with children.
  • $60 application fee.

The application deadline for the Summer or Fall 2016 cohort is February 1, 2016

Supporting documents may be mailed to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
Chapman University
One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866

Please contact the College of Educational Studies Admissions Specialist for more information:

Hilary Leath
Administrative Assistant
(714) 744-2142

+-Degree Requirements

Candidates must complete all courses, the field work component, and the demonstration of mastery in order to complete the Ed.S. degree requirements. Please refer to the Chapman University Graduate Catalog for more information.

+-Program Director & Faculty

Program Coordinator

Dr. Kelly Kennedy joined the faculty of the College of Educational Studies in 2007. Dr. Kennedy's scholarly interests include: grade retention, program evaluation, best practices in alternative education settings, delinquency, recidivism of juvenile offenders, strength-based school psychology, culturally competent practice, LGBTQ students, and the international practice of school psychology. 


+-Student Organization

Chapman University Association of School Psychologists (CUASP)

Chapman University and the National Association of School Psychologists recognized the university’s first school psychology student association in 2008.

The Chapman University Association of School Psychologists (CUASP) unites the students in various stages of the program and serves as a medium for mentoring, peer support, and networking for practicum and internship sites. 

The mission of both NASP and CUASP is to promote educationally and psychologically healthy environments for all children and youth by implementing research-based and effective programs that prevent problems, enhance independence and promote optimal learning. This is accomplished through state-of-the art research and training, advocacy, ongoing program evaluation, and caring professional service.

+-International Projects

The graduate programs in Counseling and School Psychology have sponsored short-term travel courses in Guatemala, Cambodia and Vietnam. These study abroad programs afford students practical experience and allow them to provide more culturally competent services to families from these areas that are living and learning in California.

Learn More

+-Hayley Taitz Endowed Fellowship Giving Page

Hayley TaitzHayley Taitz was an exceptional graduate student in the Educational Specialist Degree Program in School Psychology at Chapman University. Throughout her time as a student, Hayley was clearly dedicated to helping youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families as they navigate the educational system.  This fund will support graduate students who are dedicated to serving children with disabilities and their families in the community – just like Hayley.

Click here to support the Hayley Taitz Endowed Fellowship fund

+-Contact Us

Kelly Kennedy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Program Coordinator
(714) 744-7944

Hilary Leath
Administrative Assistant
(714) 744-2142

+-Frequently Asked Questions

View the printable version.

Where are the classes offered for the Ed.S. in School Psychology?

All classes offered is at the Chapman University campus in Orange, CA.  In order to accommodate fieldwork in the schools, all classes are held in the evenings (4-7 or 7-10 pm)


Is the GRE test required? Are there cut off scores for the GRE test?

Yes, the GRE test is required. There are no cut off scores for the GRE test when applying for the Ed.S. in School Psychology program; the faculty consider each applicant’s GRE scores in context with the rest of their application.


What is the committee looking for when reviewing the applications?

The School Psychology faculty take a holistic approach when reviewing the applications and they look at every required piece of documentation. The faculty are seeking to create the best cohort of students who bring a diverse mix of strengths and experiences.  When completing your application, be sure to help the faculty to see your strengths (e.g., years of experience in education?  Currently working with individuals with exceptional needs? Very high GPA/GRE?), and address any weaker areas if possible (e.g., my grades weren’t as strong my first year in college due to x,y,z, but greatly improved once I…). 


Can I apply for the program at any time?

The School Psychology program at Chapman only admits one cohort per year.  We hold on-campus interviews within a few weeks of the application deadline, and make admissions decisions shortly afterward and select a cohort that will begin their coursework that summer or fall.


How many students do you admit annually?  What are my chances of being admitted?

We admit one cohort per year, consisting of about 20 students.  The admission rate changes annually with the number of applications received. 


Are the classes for the program offered online?

No.  All of our classes are offered on campus in Orange, CA. 


How many graduate units can be transferred upon acceptance into the school psychology program?

Per university policy, a maximum of six semester credits (2 courses) can be transferred into graduate programs. All transfer credits must be approved by the school psychology program coordinator.  For more information on the policy, please see Chapman University’s Graduate Catalog. 


Can undergraduate classes take the place of graduate courses offered in the program?

No, upon approval of the program coordinator only a maximum of 6 units of graduate units can be transferred into the program.


Do I have to have an undergraduate degree in psychology?

No.  Our students come from a variety of educational backgrounds.  The vast majority have degrees in psychology, human or child development, sociology, or education.  However, we have had very successful students complete the program with a wide variety of undergraduate areas of study.  If your academic background is in a completely different field (e.g., Chemistry), we strongly recommend that you complete some additional college level coursework in general psychology, child development, and/or education.


What is the Praxis School Psychology test?

To receive national certification under the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) standards (I.e., to become a Nationally Certified School Psychologist or NCSP), a student must pass praxis exam.  This is also a graduation requirement of our program, and is typically taken during the final year of study.  Please see click here for more detailed information about the test.


Does the Ed.S. Program in School Psychology prepare me to work as a school psychologist?

Yes, students who successfully complete the Ed.S. Program are eligible for the PPS credential in school psychology in California. 


How long will it take me to complete this program?

Most students finish the Ed.S. Program in 3 years.  There is also a course sequence for part-time students that takes 4 years.  Although it is not required, many students elect to take summer courses to lighten their course load during the academic year. 


Are students paid for their school psychology internship hours?

During their time in our program, students complete at least 600 hours of school psychology practicum (during 2nd year of program) and 1,200 hours of school psychology internship (3rd year of program).  As these fieldwork assignments are completed within local school districts, there is a lot of variation regarding pay.  Some internships are paid (via salary, hourly wage, or stipend), and some are not.  The number of available paid internships varies annually.  


Does adding the LPCC emphasis make me eligible to work in private practice?

Students who add on the LPCC coursework complete the academic requirements to become a LPCC, but still must complete the mandatory post-graduation fieldwork hours and licensure exam.  For more information about the LPCC license, please see the Board of Behavioral Sciences website: http://www.bbs.ca.gov/lpcc_program/

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Amanda Schlitt School Psychology student

Amanda Schlitt

"I chose to come to Chapman's School Psychology program because of the highly supportive feel to the program. The cohort model and the small, close knit faculty, creates a feeling of family. As we are confronted with challenges, both professional and personal, we know that our family is there to support, encourage, and ultimately help us become the professionals we are all capable of being. I feel secure knowing that the people in this program, students and faculty, care about me as a human, as well as my professional development." 

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