Counseling Psychology and Special Education
Counseling Psychology and Special Education
Department Information: 
340 MCKB

The Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education prepares educators and professionals who work with individuals, small groups, and organizations/systems. The programs offered in the department all pursue at least two common goals. The first is to help individuals enhance the quality of their lives through meaningful personal, educational, and career development. A second common goal is to assist people in overcoming barriers to learning and to experience success and happiness in life.  These barriers include unsupportive environments and individuals' difficulties in thinking, learning, making decisions, relating to others, understanding the impact of their behavior, and so forth.

Faculty implement a scientist-practitioner model through which students and faculty enhance learning through research and inquiry. Further, in dealing with those whom they serve, students apply the principles learned from research evidence. Since their work is often highly personal, it is essential that students possess and develop integrity, using professional standards of ethical conduct. They must also develop the knowledge and skills essential to promote positive change in individuals struggling with important aspects of their lives. The settings in which graduates typically serve include public and private schools, colleges, and universities.

Each program assists students in planning individual course work, receiving supervised practical experience, and obtaining appropriate credentials (certification and licensure).

Three degrees are offered through the Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education: Special Education—MS; School Psychology—EdS; and Counseling Psychology—PhD.

The average number of students admitted varies by program as follows:

Special Education 6 every year

School Psychology 12 every year

Counseling Psychology 6 every year

Chair:  Ellie L. Young
Counseling Psychology Graduate Coordinator:  Aaron P. Jackson
School Psychology Graduate Coordinator:  Terisa Gabrielsen
Special Education Graduate Coordinator:  Cade Charlton

Resources & Opportunity: 

Computer Laboratories. The University's remote server provides access to a wide variety of computer programs including SPSS, SAS, and M+.

Graduate Student Project and Research Laboratory. Space is provided for graduate students who are working with faculty on research, evaluation, and development projects.

Study Areas. Graduate study areas are available in the CPSE Graduate Lab, the McKay School of Education Technology Education Computing Lab, and the Harold B. Lee Library.

For a more detailed description of the graduate program requirements, view the department Web page.

Financial Assistance: 

Graduate Assistantships. Graduate assistantships include working with selected faculty members on research projects, curriculum development, and other assignments for 5 to 20 hours per week. Several other organizations on campus, such as the Counseling and Psychological Services, often request students to serve as graduate assistants.

Scholarships. All students matriculate in one of the graduate programs will receive partial-tuition scholarships based on merit and/or need.  These scholarships are awarded through the initial years of the program, prior to internships year.

University Financial Aid. Other sources of financial aid are available to students through the Financial Aid Office, A-41 ASB, Provo, UT 84602-1009. International students can contact the International Students Services Office at, then select the "Scholarship" link.

BYU Graduate Studies offers several sources for support such as Graduate Mentoring Awards and Graduate Student Research Fellowship Awards.