Graduate Catalog 2021-2022

Department of School Psychology

Chair: Robyn S. Hess, Ph.D.

Location: McKee 248

Telephone: 970.351.2731


School Psychology Faculty: Michelle S. Athanasiou, Ph.D.; Achilles N. Bardos, Ph.D.; Robyn S. Hess, Ph.D.; David M. Hulac, Ph.D.; Erin R. Yosai, Ph.D.

The Department of School Psychology is housed within the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and offers graduate training at two levels:

  • Educational Specialist in School Psychology (Ed.S.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in School Psychology (Ph.D.)

As such, the aim of these programs is to develop health service providers in the practice area of school psychology who are able to apply psychological and educational principles to improve the lives of children and families across home, school, and community contexts. Attention is directed toward the development of skills in the assessment of the intellectual, emotional, and social development of children and adolescents; planning and implementing direct academic and social/emotional interventions with a focus on evidence-based and culturally sensitive practice; and providing individual and systems consultation within schools and the larger community. Foundational aspects of psychological practice, including human learning, development, working with diverse populations, research, relevant law, ethical principles and professional practice provide a basis upon which skills in assessment and intervention are built. Students who successfully complete either the Ed.S. or Ph.D. are eligible for state licensure and national certification. Ph.D. graduates are eligible to pursue licensure as psychologists.

Admission Requirements: Application materials must be completed and on file at the Graduate School by December 1st. Graduate School Application materials include: a completed application form and application fee, one official copy of all academic transcripts, one official copy of GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic skills and relevant experience.

  1. All entering students will hold at least a bachelor's degree, should have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, combined GRE Verbal and Quantitative scores of 300, and a minimum of 3.5 on the Analytical Writing subtest.
  2. Applicant must submit Department of School Psychology supplementary materials along with the Graduate School application. This material includes: a supplementary data sheet, current vita, and a written statement regarding the relationship of the program to the personal and professional goals of the applicant.
  3. Finalists for admission are invited to attend an onsite interview.

Applications are evaluated competitively for a limited number of positions. The applicant must demonstrate clear potential for success. Admission decisions for both programs are typically announced within one week of the on campus interviews.

School Psychology Ed.S.

The Specialist program is designed for those students who wish to become school psychologist practitioners. Training is primarily oriented toward the acquisition of those skills necessary for effective functioning in the educational environment as a school psychologist. The program is based on the student entering with a bachelor's degree. A student with a master's degree in an area of professional psychology should meet with their advisor to develop a specific plan of study. A course in abnormal psychology is prerequisite to the program and must be completed prior to or during the first year of study.

This program is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists and leads to licensure as a School Psychologist through the Colorado Department of Education.

School Psychology Ed.S.: Applied Behavior Analysis Emphasis

The Ed.S. in school psychology with an applied behavior analysis emphasis combines the NASP-approved Ed.S. program in school psychology (see Ed.S. School Psychology) with additional required coursework in applied behavior analysis (ABA). Students completing the Ed.S. in School Psychology: Applied Behavior Analysis emphasis will be eligible for licensure as a school psychologist, and will have met the coursework requirements needed to sit for the exam to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). The course sequence is approved by the Behavior Analytic Certification Board (BACB©).

For degree and program requirements, see:

School Psychology Ed.S.

School Psychology Ed.S. - Applied Behavior Analysis Emphasis

School Psychology Ph.D.

The doctoral program focuses on training health service providers in the area of school psychology who possess the following profession-wide competencies: research, ethical and legal standards, individual and cultural diversity, professional values and attitudes, communication and interpersonal skills, assessment, intervention, supervision and consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills. Doctoral students in School Psychology are expected to engage in scholarly work throughout their program of study to gain skill as a researcher. They are expected to work with an approved faculty member for five hours per week for a minimum of four semesters (summers excluded). The program is based on the student entering with a bachelor's degree. Students with advanced graduate degrees in an area of professional psychology may be able to waive some coursework and should meet with their advisors to develop a specific plan of study. A course in abnormal psychology is a prerequisite to the program and must be completed in the first year of study.

The Ph.D. program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association. Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation: Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002, Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail:, Web: The Ph.D. program in School Psychology is also approved by the National Association of School Psychologists.

Doctoral graduates are eligible for licensure as psychologists through the state Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) and as school psychologists through the state Department of Education. Graduates are qualified to assume positions as school-based practitioners, university professors, consultants, educational researchers, and psychologists (after obtaining DORA licensure). 

For degree and program requirements, see:

School Psychology Ph.D.