MS Educational Specialist Program

In Fall 2019, the department’s School Psychology program began enrolling students for a new Master of Science Educational Specialist Certificate (EdS) program.

For the EdS program, students will complete the program in 3 years (which includes 2 years of coursework and a 1-year internship), as opposed to the 5 years required in the PhD program.

Graduates of the EdS program will be prepared to work in schools and related educational settings as school psychologist practitioners and will be eligible for licensure as a school psychologist by the Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction. Employment prospects for school psychologist practitioners are accelerating. Of all psychologist specializations, job prospects for school psychologists are among the best.

The EdS program emphasizes sophisticated training in cutting-edge evidence-based practices. Training prepares graduates to be leaders in school districts who design and implement innovative practices to maximize positive outcomes for children, youth, families, and schools.



Applications for Fall 2021 enrollment are due December 1, 2020.

To apply for the EdS program within the Department of Educational Psychology, applicants should check “EdS” on the supplemental application.

Prospective students will need to complete an online application and submit their undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE test scores and other items.

Please find all of the EdS application requirements as well as information about tuition and funding here.



There are two important policies applicable to students enrolled in the EdS program:

Graduate Assistantship Policy:

Students enrolled in this program are not permitted to accept 33.3% or greater teaching assistantships (TA), project assistantships (PA), research assistantships (RA), or other appointments that would result in tuition remission. Students can accept TA, PA, RA, and other appointments as long as the total appointment does not equal or exceed 33.3%. Stipends, scholarships, and hourly work are permissible. For more financial assistance information, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid website

Program/Course Enrollment Policy:

Students in this program cannot enroll in other graduate programs or take courses outside of the prescribed curriculum.


The EdS program has a tuition structure that is based on program credits. The following rates apply for the 2020-21 academic year, based on resident status. To estimate the full year tuition, multiply the cost per credit by the number of credits that year and add the corresponding fees as indicated below.

Tuition Resident/In State: $807.95 per credit + segregated fees

Tuition Minnesota Resident: $1,235.23 per credit + segregated fees

Tuition Nonresident/International: $1,640.88 per credit + segregated fees

*Note that after 8 credits per semester no additional tuition or fees are applied (e.g., enroll in 12 credits you are charged for 8 credits maximum).


Initial residence determinations for tuition purposes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are made by the Office of the Registrar’s Residence Counselors, based on the provisions of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2) which governs residence status for tuition purposes. In general, you must be a bona fide resident of Wisconsin for at least 12 months prior to enrollment to be eligible for in-state tuition. More information on residency can be found on the UW-Madison Registrar’s page

Training Grants

The School Psychology Program is fortunate to have three federal training grants supported by the Office of Special Education Programs through the U.S. Department of Education. The training grants provide financial support for EdS students with scholarship funding that can be used to offset tuition costs. All three opportunities provide for cross-collaboration and interdisciplinary training with other graduate programs.


  1. Project LEADSS (Leading Educators to Advance School-Based Services in Mental Health) (#H325K200050) is a training grant focused on preparing school psychology EdS and social work MSW students to lead interdisciplinary school mental health (SMH) practices. The focus is on training master’s-level pre-service school psychology and social work graduate students to demonstrate the competencies needed to (a) assess/identify school mental health (SMH) concerns for K-12 students (b) implement SMH evidence-based interventions across settings, and (c) use evidence-based supervision skills and practices to promote the adoption and implementation of district wide SMH services. This project addresses a critical need to prepare school psychology (SP) and social work (SW) personnel to provide services for school aged children with mental health concerns and apply evidenced-based practices in supervision. The specific aims for Project LEADSS are to recruit and train a total of 20 high-quality graduate student scholars and benefit special education service delivery by (a) recruiting high-quality SP and SW trainees who will gain expertise in SMH and supervision skills; (b) alleviating personnel shortages in both areas; and (c) training students in an interdisciplinary approach, with specific competencies in leadership, assessment, intervention and supervision. Project contacts: Dr. Kristy Kelly (PI;; Dr. Jennifer Asmus (Co-PI; or Dr. Amanda Ngola (Co-Investigator; Trainees who accept this funding should have an interest in developing supervision and collaboration skills necessary to provide improved mental health functioning for students in grades K-12. Project LEADSS SP Flyer


  1. Project CASTLE (Clinical Assessment, Screening, Treatment and Leadership in Evidenced-based Practices for Children with Autism) (#H325K190100) will be accepting EdS level school psychology and master’s level speech-language pathology students. Project CASTLE will prepare future school psychologists and speech-language pathologists to provide leadership and services for children with autism.  This is an intensive 2-year training program that emphasizes evidence-based practices and interdisciplinary collaboration with seminars covering autism assessment and intervention as well as practicum placements in school and clinic settings to utilize learned skills.  Scholars chosen to participate in this program will receive a scholarship as well as advanced leadership training through the Wisconsin Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program administered through the Waisman Center.  For more information about CASTLE please contact: Dr. Jennifer Asmus (Pi; or Dr. Lindsay McCary (Co-PI; Trainees who accept this funding should have an interest in deepening their leadership and collaborative skills to provide high quality assessment and intervention in school-based settings to children with ASD.


  1. RtI Training Grant (Response to Intervention and School Teams: Training Pre-service School Psychologists and Special Educators to Be Team Problem Solvers) (#H325K180161) The consistent selection and implementation of evidence-based interventions (EBIs) to maximize opportunities for children with behavior difficulties to benefit fully from the many social and learning opportunities available through the general curriculum remains an important challenge. The role of the school psychologist and special educator has expanded over the past several years to meet this challenge. In an effort to provide improved quality and quantity of personnel who can work effectively within school based Problem Solving Teams (PSTs), the RtI training grant serves elementary children with or at risk for behavior disabilities by training EdS level school psychology and master’s-level special education graduate students. School psychology and special education graduate students will be trained to work in interdisciplinary teams to learn how to perform effectively as part of problem solving teams (PSTs) involved in response-to-intervention (RtI). Training will focus on the following components of PST functioning: (a) identification and response to student needs, (b) data-based decision making, (c) evidence-based prevention and intervention, (d) student progress monitoring, (e) collaborative

PST planning and decision making, (e) family and community involvement. For more information please contact Dr. Jennifer Asmus (PI;, Dr. Thomas Kratochwill (Co-PI) or Dr. Kimber Wilkerson (Co-Investigator; Trainees who accept this funding should have an interest in deepening their leadership and collaborative skills to provide improved education opportunities to students with significant behavioral challenges.

As a stipulation of these federally funded traineeships, upon exiting the training program, you must subsequently maintain eligible employment: 1) on a full-time or fulltime equivalent basis; and 2) for a period of at least two years for every academic year for which scholarship assistance was received.

To learn more about the field of school psychology and job opportunities, visit the website of the National Association of School Psychologists.

To read about our School Psychology Program, visit our website.

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