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Educational Specialist (Ed.S) in Educational Administration

Program Description
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Program Description

A program for advanced work in educational administration leading to an educational specialist certificate.

Applicants will enter the program after completion of the master’s degree in Educational Administration. Completion of the educational specialist program will require a minimum of 30 semester credit hours beyond the master’s degree with an accumulated GPA of 3.5 during the specialist program. Students with a master’s degree in areas other than administration will be required to take additional work equivalent to that required in the administration degree and must meet initial administrative certification.


A. Admission Criteria

Criteria for Admission to the Education Specialist Program (Ed. S.) in Educational Leadership:

  • A completed master's degree in Education Administration or related field from a regionally accredited institution.
  • An academic record of at least a 3.5 grade point average in master's degree work (on a 4.0-point scale).
  • A minimum score of 40th percentile on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or a combined score at the 40th percentile or above on the Verbal or Analytical writing sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • A minimum of at least 5 years of successful teaching and/or administration pre K-12 experience.
  • Two letters of reference from persons who can address wither the academic or professional leadership qualifications of the applicant; on letter must be from his/her supervisor attesting to the applicant's school leadership potential.

B. Admission Process

Applicants must submit the following application materials to the ISU Office of Graduate Studies (unless otherwise noted below):

Submit to Graduate Department of Educational Leadership and Instructional Design:

  1. The admissions application (available in the ISU Graduate Catalog & from the ISU Office of Graduate Studies).

When an application for admission to the Ed. S. program in Educational Leadership is received, it is forwarded from the ISU Office of Graduate Studies to the College of Education and Graduate Department of Educational Leadership and Instructional Design. The department reviews the application for completeness and acceptability. If materials are missing the applicant will be informed in writing.

If the application is complete, the department chair will make a recommendation that the applicant either be accepted as Classified, Conditional, Unclassified, or may reject the application if the applicant fails to meet the required criteria. The application recommendation is then forwarded through the College of Education to the ISU Office of Graduate Studies.

Classified Status may be granted to graduates of accredited institutions who have earned a grade point average of 3.0 or higher for all graduate credits, and achieved and submitted official MAT or GRE scores that meet or exceed minimum requirements (38 or above on the MAT and 35% tile or better in at least one area of the GRE). Conditional Status may be granted to those students who do not have an acceptable GPA, and/or have not yet taken the GRE or MAT test, or achieved scores that do not meet minimum requirements. Unclassified Status may be granted to applicants holding a master's degree who desire to take courses for graduate credit for personal or professional enrichment at the Ed. S. level, but who do not want to pursue an Ed. S. graduate degree. There is no assurance that courses taken under unclassified status may be used later to satisfy degree requirements. See the ISU Graduate Catalog for further detail.

C. Notification of Admission

  1. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance or rejection via a letter from the ISU Office of Graduate Studies.
  2. Applicants for admission to the Master's Program in Educational Leadership will also be notified of their acceptance or rejection via a letter from the College of Education - Graduate Department of Educational Leadership and Instructional Design. The acceptance notice will include a package of informational materials, as well as an advisor assignment.

Program of Study

The Ed.S. degree requires a minimum of 31 credits beyond the master's degree. Up to nine (9) credits may be transferred from other accredited institutions (or from one degree program to another within the institution) with the approval of the student's advisor, and chair of the Graduate Department of Educational Leadership and Instructional Design.

The Ed.S. Program of Study in Education Leadership is as follows:


  • *EDUC 6610 Applied Educational Statistics (3 cr)
    *A candidate must have successfully completed a master's level education statistics course prior to admission to the program or during the first semester of coursework in the Ed.S. program. Credits will not count toward degree requirements.

Educational Administration Emphasis Courses (21 cr)

  • EDLA 6643 School Personnel Administration (3 cr)
  • EDLA 6662 Superintendency (3 cr)

Content Specialization:

  • EDLA 6664 Public School Monetary and Business Policy (3 cr)
  • EDLA 7720 Legal & Ethical Issues in Education Organizations (3 cr)
  • EDLA 7721 Educational Policy & Governance (3 cr)
  • EDLA 7723 Educational Planning & Evaluation (3 cr)
  • EDLA 7724 Data Informed Instructional Leadership (3 cr)

Field Experience:

  • EDLA 6637 Practicum (3 cr)
  • ** EDLA 7751 Case Study/Field Project (1 cr)
    **To be taken during or immediately after the final semester of course work, AND after all Practicum hours and requirements have been met.

Electives (6 credits)

  • Candidates may take graduate courses to meet their needs and backgrounds. Generally, canditates will take Doctoral Core Courses to fulfill required electives.
Program of Study Information

Students are required to draft a Program of Study with their advisor before the completion of their second semester of study. A sample Program of Study can be found in Appendix A and should be used by the student to help keep track of course completion. A final Program of Study must be completed the semester immediately preceding the student's intended graduation. The final Program of Study form lists all requirements that must be completed in order to receive the degree.

Limitation on Course Substitutions/Transfers:
  1. For any course for which a substitution or transfer is sought, a copy of the course syllabus must be submitted, with a transcript, to the student's advisor for preliminary approval and then to the chair of the Graduate Department of Educational Leadership and Instructional Design for secondary approval.
  2. Substitutions must contain the majority of the content included in the courses offered through the ISU Ed.S. program.
Grade Point Average:

The student must maintain a 3.0 grade point average to qualify for the Ed.S. Degree. During the program, two grades of C+ or below in courses required or used to meet requirements for the degree can result in program dismissal in accordance with procedures outlined in the ISU Graduate Catalog.

Course Rotation

Course Rotation PDF

Program Resources

Program Handbook PDF

Program Faculty

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