UAB’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers an Educational Specialist (EdS) degree with several concentrations. Each concentration leads to Class AA certification from the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE). Teachers with Alabama Class A certification in ESL may pursue Class AA certification in ESL. If candidates with Class A certification in ESL also hold Class B certification in either elementary or secondary, they can pursue Class AA certification in the same teaching field as their Class B certification.

These concentrations are outlined below; their respective information packets are posted on the Program Information webpage.


Class AA in ESL

All teachers with Alabama Class A certification in ESL are eligible for pursuing Class AA certification in ESL. Before starting this Class AA program, teachers must pass the Praxis in English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). The ALSDE has set the passing score at 149 on the Praxis #5362.

At UAB, the EdS concentration in ESL consists of 30 credit hours. Teachers may request that their National Board Certification in English as a New Language be transferred into UAB’s EdS program and count as two ESL electives (i.e., 6 credit hours).


See UAB's Paying for College webpage for up-to-date cost information.
Example: Based on the 2017-18 tuition, a 30-hour EdS program will cost approximately $14,000. It should be noted that annual increments in tuition and/or fees usually take place.
Financial Aid: Upon taking 5 graduate credit hours per semester, graduate students are eligible for financial aid. For more information about financial aid and obtaining student loans, see UAB's Paying for College page. 

ADMISSIONTo seek admission to UAB's Graduate School as a degree-seeking EdS student: 

Ed.S. Info Packet

Fall admission: July 15

Spring admission: November 15
Summer admission: April 15


  1. Create a Graduate School Application Account.
    1. Click on Sign up (below the Sign in button) if this is your first graduate application since April 2017.
    2. Enter first name, last name and email address on the sign up page. Click Submit.
    3. You will receive an email from the Graduate School with instructions to create your password. Once this step is complete, you will be taken to the online application dashboard where you can begin your application.
      • All future admissions applications to the UAB Graduate School will be created under this account.
      • If you have any questions about the creation of your account through UAB's online application system or experience any issues, please contact the Graduate School at (205) 934-8227 or by emailing them at
  2. Submit a degree-seeking EdS application.
    • Under Degree, select Educational Specialist (EdS), and under Degree program, select Education.
    • Under Concentration, select ESL or TESOL
  3. Pay $50 online with a credit or debit card. 
  4. List three references on your application. When you submit your application, UAB will automatically send an electronic recommendation form to each of your references.
  5. Obtain a passing score on the admission exam - either MAT or GRE.
    • Miller Analogies Test (MAT): minimum of 388 scaled (35 raw)
    • Graduate Record Exam (GRE): minimum of 850 (old) or approximately 190 (new)
      • If you were admitted to UAB for an earlier graduate degree, email Dr. Spezzini ( to see if your test score is still in record and if it is high enough to pursue an EdS.
      • If you took the MAT/GRE less than five years ago and have never sought admission to UAB, contact the testing organization (Psychological Corporation or ETS) and request that an official transcript be sent to UAB.
      • If you took the MAT/GRE more than five years ago, email a scanned attachment of your score report to Dr. Spezzini and ask if it can still be considered.
      • If you often perform poorly on standardized tests, ask Dr. Spezzini for some test-taking strategies.
      • If you have never taken either test or if your earlier score is not high enough, plan to take the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) at UAB where it is offered several times each week. The MAT is shorter, less expensive, and usually more accessible than the GRE. Immediately after you finish the MAT, your unofficial score report will appear on the screen and you will be allowed to print it. To expedite the admission process, email a scanned attachment of this score report to Dr. Spezzini.
  6. Request official transcripts from all colleges attended (even if you took just one course). Request that these transcripts be sent directly to or mailed to SOE Office of Student Services (OSS), 1720 2nd Avenue South-EB 232; Birmingham, AL 35294-1250. NOTE: If you are a former UAB student, you will not need to request a transcript from UAB.
  7. Check your graduate application account for notification of admission from the UAB Graduate School.
  8. Obtain medical clearance from UAB by the middle of your first semester. You will need this clearance to register for your second semester of classes. For more information, go to UAB's Student Health Services Medical Clearance site.
  9. International students must also meet requirements described on the International Student and Scholar Services webpage.

Updated March 18, 2018