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First Steps

Admission to School Psychology

Students seeking acceptance into the graduate degree programs for Master of Science/Specialist in Education in School Psychology must first be admitted to the Graduate School of the University. Candidates seeking entrance into the Ed.S. respecialization program utilize the same admissions procedure. Instruction and guidance about this process can be found here.

Candidates then seek admission to the program by completing the following:

  • Apply to ESU's Graduate School. This will require you create an account in our application system.
  • Submission of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts.
  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A grade point average of not less than 3.0 overall, or a 3.25 on the last 60 semester hours for the masters program, and 3.50 on the masters program coursework for admission to the Education Specialist degree.
  • Course prerequisites: A minimum of 20 semester hours of psychology or related fields at the undergraduate level. This must include introductory psychology, developmental psychology, descriptive and/or research methods, history/foundations of psychology, and learning/cognitive theory or educational psychology. These may be satisfied by equivalents as determined by core program faculty. It is not uncommon that some prerequisite course work is missing for applicants; certain aspects may be met concurrently with School Psychology Program studies.
    • Individuals with an MS degree in a field related to school psychology may already have met these requirements via related coursework, and should discuss these prerequisites with an advisor during the admissions process.
  • For international applicants whose first language is not English, submission of a TOEFL score which is in the good to high range in reading, listening, speaking and writing and reflects a Lexile range encompassing a minimum of 1350-1400L.
  • Three letters of recommendation (form in Appendix B of the School Psychology Handbook) from professionals who can comment on the applicant’s potential for completing advanced graduate studies. Additional letters (e.g., from friends or family members) which address issues the candidate believes relevant may also be submitted, but the application is not complete without the three letters from professionals that provide the information requested in the form. Instead of using the paper forms, you could ask references to complete the online form here.
  • A statement of purpose or letter of intent. Its purpose is to introduce themselves to the committee, make clear that they understand the profession of school psychology, and should demonstrate that they have the academic background, maturity, and diligence to succeed in the program. The letter of intent helps the admission committee understand the context of the application and facilitates admissions decisions. It should discuss any experience or background relevant to their interest in pursuing school psychology as a profession. It should also explain anything in the application materials that they believe should be elaborated upon. For respecialization candidates, it should make clear your intent is bypassing the MS degree and direct admission to EdS studies as a respecialization candidate. It should also make clear whether you will be working full-time while pursuing the program, and whether our Overland Park or Salina site is your preference for taking weekend-intensive courses.
  • Candidates in the program who have completed an MS in school psychology at ESU, and who have applied to move forward into the EdS program, need a letter of recommendation completed by one core faculty member in the program.

These items are all required: Applications are not considered complete and will not be reviewed until all of these elements have been received.

  • A final requirement is completion of an admissions interview, which often occurs prior to the application being complete (e.g., while respecialization applicants are seeking advising) but which otherwise will occur once application materials are submitted. The interview may be done via phone/Skype/Zoom with a member of the School Psychology Program core faculty.

Although applications are accepted year-round, in order to offer applicants assurance that an admissions decision and enrollment may begin on the desired schedule, applications should meet specified deadlines. Applications should be completed by March 1 to assure a program of study may begin during the fall semester, and October 1 for a program of study which begins during the spring semester. Materials arriving after those dates will be given due consideration, but an admissions decision may not be completed in time for enrollment during the desired semester.

Materials may be submitted, and/or admissions questions directed to:

Attn: School Psychology Admissions Committee
Office of Graduate Studies
1 Kellogg Circle
Campus Box 4003
Emporia, KS 66801
Phone: (620) 341-5403
Fax: (620) 341-5909


Questions specific to the School Psychology Program should be sent to the program's director, Dr. Kaira Hayes, phone (620) 341-5317. Most questions will probably be addressed in the latest program information, included in the Candidate Handbook.