The University of Northern Iowa School Psychology Program is a NASP-approved, full-time program which consists of two degrees: a Master of Arts in Education (MAE) and an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.), both of which follow a scientist-practitioner model. The MAE in Educational Psychology: Context and Techniques of Assessment is earned after the first full year of coursework (minimum 32 credits) and the successful completion of a literature review. The Ed.S. in School Psychology is earned after completion of an additional 36 semester hours, including a full-time internship and written and oral comprehensive exams.
Eight students are typically admitted to the MAE program each fall. A small number of candidates with a master’s degree in a related field may be admitted directly to the Ed.S. program. The program has been designed in alignment with the training standards of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and has been fully approved by NASP since 1995. Completion of the Ed.S. degree satisfies the State of Iowa Department of Education licensure requirements for school psychologists.
UNI's program has been in existence since the late 1960s when the institution was first authorized to offer graduate programs. The initial program was a 33-hour master’s degree program. In 1978, the program was expanded to a 67-hour specialist in education (Ed.S.) program. This change was consistent with accrediting standards in the profession at that time. From the outset, the program has been approved by the Iowa Department of Education as meeting state standards for certification and licensure of school psychologists. The UNI School Psychology Program is a major contributor to school psychology in Area Education Agencies (AEAs) throughout Iowa. Currently, it is the only program in Iowa emphasizing preparation of specialist-level school psychologists to work in school settings. Approximately one out of three school psychologists in Iowa is a UNI graduate.