Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in School Psychology: Applied Behavior Analysis with Embedded M.A. in Education: Educational Psychology and Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology

APU’s M.A.Ed. in Educational Psychology with Ed.S. in School Psychology: Applied Behavior Analysis and Embedded PPS School Psychology Credential program equips school psychology candidates with distinctive and marketable skills and competencies.

For more information: (626) 815-5424

Azusa Pacific University’s Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in School Psychology: Applied Behavior Analysis with embedded Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.): Educational Psychology and Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology program equips school psychology candidates with distinctive and marketable skills and competencies. Candidates acquire knowledge needed to provide intensive behavioral treatment and intervention services for students diagnosed with autism and related disabilities.

This program is a Verified Course Sequence (VCS) approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) and meets the educational requirements for eligibility as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Additional requirements to achieve certification include successful completion of supervised clinical experience, as well as the certification exam administered by the BACB.

The school psychology program is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)—which is transitioning to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)—and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). The two degrees are completed in three years and comprise 89 graduate semester units, 450 hours of practicum, and 1,200 hours of fieldwork/internship. Upon successful completion of this program, candidates can apply to become Nationally Certified School Psychologists (NCSPs) pending passing of the PRAXIS II Exam (School Psychology) with a score of 147 or greater.

Competencies and Skills

This program equips candidates for career advancement opportunities and give them a highly marketable specialty. All coursework is taught by expert faculty who are recognized leaders in the profession with years of clinical and school-based experience. Graduates of APU develop a comprehensive set of competencies to effectively work with students and families of all cultures, SES levels, and learning abilities. In addition, the school psychology program develops compassionate practitioners who apply the following skills and competencies in school systems:

  • Research and evaluation skills
  • Commitment to social justice and advocacy
  • Legal and ethical decision making
  • Psychoeducational assessment for the purposes of intervention
  • Evidenced-based interventions (behavior and academic)
  • Nondiscriminatory assessment procedures
  • Social-emotional/behavioral assessment and intervention through positive behavior supports
  • Knowledge of psychobiology and psychopharmacology
  • Academic assessment and intervention (curriculum-based measurement and response to intervention)
  • Individual and systemic collaboration (homeschool partnerships)
  • Educational and clinically related mental health counseling (individual and group)
  • Crisis prevention and intervention (individual and school-wide)
  • Promotion of safe and nurturing school environments
  • Human development and learning 


Scope and Sequence

Students take courses in the following sequence (students are required to seek academic advisement prior to initial registration).

Year 1
Coursework for Master of Arts in Education: Educational Psychology
Semester 1
EDCO 533Counseling Theories and Techniques 13
EDCO 557Human Growth, Development, and Learning 13
EDPY 624Disabilities in Children (Mild, Moderate, and Severe) 12
EDCO 593Historical Development of School Counseling and School Psychology 13
Semester 2
EDCO 545Positive Behavior Supports and Classroom Intervention 13
EDCO 572Psychobiology and Psychopharmacology3
EDPY 556Academic Assessment and Intervention 12
EDCO 592Foundations and Ethics in Research 13
Semester 3
EDCO 535Professionalism, Ethics, and Law 13
EDCO 528Community, Family, and School Collaboration 13
Students will have located a practicum site.
Year 2
Semester 1
EDPY 681Psychoeducational Assessment I 13
EDPY 690Advanced Individual Research 13
EDPY 682Psychoeducational Assessment II 13
EDPY 636Research and Evaluation in School Psychology 13
EDPY 635ARole and Function of a School Psychologist: Positive Behavior Supports 11
Semester 2
EDPY 683Psychoeducational Assessment III 13
EDPY 637Child Psychopathology Assessment and Treatment 13
EDCO 550Crisis/Trauma Response and Interventions 1, 23
EDPY 633Multicultural and Bilingual Assessment and Intervention 23
EDPY 635BRole and Function of a School Psychologist: Individual/Group Counseling 11
Semester 3
EDPY 635CRole and Function of a School Psychologist: Assessment 11
Total Units55

Students will complete the following in order to earn the Master of Arts in Education: Educational Psychology (M.A.Ed.):

  • Designated M.A.Ed. coursework (49 units)
  • Graduate Research Project
  • 450 hours of practicum

Students may participate in commencement.

Year 3
Coursework for Educational Specialist Degree
Semester 4
EDPY 697Readings in School Psychology1
Select one of the following:5
School Psychology Internship I (600 hours)
School Psychology Internship II (600 hours)
Semester 5
Select one of the following:5
School Psychology Fieldwork I (600 hours)
School Psychology Fieldwork II (600 hours)
Total Units11

Students will complete the following in order to earn the Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) with an embedded Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology:

  • Designated Ed.S. coursework (17 units)
  • 1,200 hours of fieldwork/internship (primary and secondary settings)
  • Passing the PRAXIS II (School Psychology) with a 147 or higher
Applied Behavior Analysis
ABA 503Behavior Analysis in Applied Settings I3
ABA 504Single-Case Designs: Measurement and Experimental Evaluation of Behavior3
ABA 505Behavior Analysis in Applied Settings II3
ABA 515Behavior Change Procedures in Applied Settings I3
ABA 500ABA Fieldwork I1
ABA 524Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis3
ABA 534Behavior Change Procedures in Applied Settings II3
ABA 514Functional Behavior Assessment in Applied Settings3
ABA 510ABA Fieldwork II1
Total Units23

Additional Requirements

  1. Students must earn a passing score of 147 or greater on the PRAXIS II exam to demonstrate their competence in school psychology prior to completion of the program. Upon passing the PRAXIS II with a score of 147 or greater, the student is eligible to apply to become a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP).
  2. Students prepare a Graduate Research Project (GRP), which includes a formal research paper or program evaluation and must be approved by APU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). The GRP content should be related to a topic that the student chooses to study in depth and has relevance to the field of school psychology. The research portion of the project is completed through the following courses: EDCO 592, EDPY 690, and EDPY 636. In addition to the GRP, students are required to present their research findings and paper to a faculty and peer panel.
  3. Students complete a performance-based portfolio during practicum and internship/fieldwork that is evaluated by program faculty and field experience mentors for evidence of skills competency.

Advisory Notes

  • Students intending to pursue two Master of Arts in Education degrees should review the university requirements for additional master’s degrees as stated in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of the catalog.
  • Students cannot pursue the Master of Arts in Education: Educational Counseling as a second master’s degree after completing the requirements for the Master of Arts in Education: Educational Psychology and Educational Specialist in School Psychology.
  • The practicum experience at APU consists of 450 hours (required by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing). A minimum of 300 hours must be completed in a pre-K-12 public school setting. Up to 150 hours may be completed through on-campus agencies (e.g., child study centers, psychology clinics) or community-based agencies (e.g., private schools, community-based mental health clinics). These hours are to be completed prior to beginning fieldwork/internship. The required hours are to be completed under the direct supervision of a credentialed school psychologist with no fewer than three years of experience.
  • At some sites, students may need to delay enrollment until there is a sufficient number of beginning students to provide the appropriate adult learning opportunities. Applicants can obtain detailed information about dates for beginning coursework by requesting an advisement appointment at the Azusa campus or any of the regional campuses.
  • Students in an educational counseling or educational psychology program may request to waive a course (see Waivers), provided that the student can document completion of an equivalent course at another institution in the five-year period prior to requesting the waiver. Department approval of the request is required. If the course accepted for waiver also meets all of the university standards for transfer credit (see Transfer Credit), it may be transferred to meet requirements (up to 20 percent of the total program units may be transferred to meet requirements). If the course accepted for waiver does not meet the university standards for transfer credit (i.e., not applicable to a master’s degree at the university where it was taken, not taken from a regionally accredited institution, etc.), then the student must choose alternative elective courses to satisfy the unit requirements of the degree program.
  • A student has a maximum of five years to complete all coursework, including waivers and transfer of units, beginning the first date of enrollment for coursework in the degree program.
  • Students approaching program completion must obtain a credential application from the credential analyst office in the School of Education. Students must complete all credential requirements to apply for the credential.
  • Students approaching graduation must obtain an Intent to Commence and/or Graduate Form from the Office of the Graduate and Professional Registrar at least 90 days before intended graduation. The registrar will determine whether the student has met all requirements.


University graduate admission and program-specific requirements must be met before an application is complete (see Admission to the University). Program-specific application requirements are available online.

International students should contact Graduate and Professional Admissions for application procedures.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  1. Demonstrate competency in data-based decision making and accountability.
  2. Demonstrate competency in consultation and collaboration.
  3. Demonstrate competency in interventions and instructional support to develop academic skills.
  4. Demonstrate competency in behavior interventions and mental health services to develop social and life skills.
  5. Demonstrate competency in direct and indirect services – school wide practices to promote learning.
  6. Demonstrate competency in school-wide practices to promote behavioral and mental health.
  7. Demonstrate competency in family-school collaboration.
  8. Demonstrate competency in human diversity.
  9. Demonstrate competency in research and program evaluation.
  10. Demonstrate competency in legal, ethical, and professional practice and disposition.
  11. Demonstrate an understanding of basic concepts and principles from the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).
  12. Learn single-subject design and how to collect, display, analyze, and interpret data using continuous and discontinuous measures.
  13. Implement procedures and systems related to behavior change from the perspective of applied behavior analysis (ABA).
  14. Conduct personnel supervision that is behavior analytic in nature.
  15. Apply the industry’s ethical guidelines to their practice in the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA).
  16. Conduct functional behavior assessment. This includes descriptive assessment (review of records, interview, observation, interpretation), functional analysis, and developing intervention plans.
  17. Apply coursework in a fieldwork setting, supervised by a qualified professional.