Ed.S. Option

Specialist in Education

The Specialist in Education (EdS) degree awarded by the Department of Educational Leadership Studies offers a practice-oriented, academic program for individuals holding a graduate degree from an accredited institution upon admission to program. Individuals seeking the EdS degree must meet all admission requirements for the specific program to which they apply (e.g., teacher leadership, school technology leadership, principalship, supervisor of instruction, district superintendent) and all admission requirement established by the UK Graduate School. Programs approved by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board that award the EdS degree may also be approved for Rank 1 designation.*

Program-specific courses. EdS candidates must successfully complete all courses that address requirements established by the Department and approved by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board for a specific advanced educator endorsement or certification (i.e., teacher leader, principal, supervisor of instruction, district superintendent) or approved by the University of Kentucky for a graduate certificate (i.e., school technology leadership). Although certification-oriented courses are unique to each program, they all require candidates to complete field-based assignments in schools, district offices, or other appropriate education-oriented settings.

Research-oriented courses and project. EdS candidates must successfully complete program-specific courses related to conducting disciplined inquiry (e.g., action research, quantitative research, qualitative research) and an independently conducted research project. Candidates must develop a research prospectus that is approved by their advisory committee and, if necessary, seek and receive approve to conduct research by the UK Institutional Review Board. All EdS candidates must successfully defend the written report of their field-based inquiry project during a formal oral examination approved by the UK Graduate School.

Credit hours, GPA, and program completion. The EdS degree requires successful completion of at least 30 credit hours of approved coursework. Candidates must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA throughout program enrollment and evidence successful progress toward program completion as defined by the Department. The UK Graduate School requires EdS candidates to complete all program requirements within six years of admission to program.

Contact the appropriate Program Chair or the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Education Leadership Studies for information about entry and exit requirements for the specific advanced certification sought.

Leadership and Principal Core. A total of 33 credit hours constitute the leadership and principal core. Most courses in this area include approximately 60 clock hours of required field/clinical practice during which candidates observe, participate in, or lead school-based activities. Required courses:

  • EDL 702, Leadership for Organizational Learning
  • EDL 703, Leading Organizational Change
  • EDL 704, Politics of Educational Leadership
  • EDL 706, Leadership for Learning-Centered Schools I
  • EDL 707, Leadership for Learning-Centered Schools II
  • EDL 625, School Safety and Discipline Leadership
  • EDL 627, School Finance and Support Services
  • EDL 628, School Law and Ethics
  • EDL 634, Securing and Developing Staff
  • EDL 646, Leadership for School-Family-Community Engagement
  • EDL 661, School Technology Leadership

Scope & Sequence

Year 1 – Fall
EDL 706, Leadership for Learning-Centered Schools I
EDL 751, Foundations of Inquiry
Year 1 – Spring
EDL 661, School Technology Leadership
EDL 707, Leadership for Learning-Centered Schools II
Year 1 – Summer
EDL 627, School Finance and Support Services
EDL 628, School Law and Ethics

Year 2 – Fall
EDL 634, Securing and Developing Staff
EDL 646, Leadership for School-Family-Community Engagement
Year 2 – Spring
EDL 625, School Safety and Discipline Leadership
EDL 702, Leadership for Organizational Learning

Year 2 – Summer

EDL 703, Leading Organizational Change
EDL 704, Politics of Educational Leadership

Defense of Capstone Project (Level 1 Coursework Complete)