Educators who pursue the Educational Specialist degree will further sharpen their skills and develop new competencies in instructional leadership. They will also meet the qualifications for the Alabama Class AA certificate in Instructional Leadership. Most educators with an Ed.S. in educational leadership first pursue entry-level curriculum leadership or administrative positions such as assistant principal. Some pursue positions as school principals or district level curriculum leadership jobs after some years of leadership experience.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for the Educational Specialist program, prospective students must have a master's degree (with a minimum GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 for their graduate coursework), a current, Class A certificate in Instructional Leadership, and a minimum of three years of full-time teaching experience. Applicants must apply through the Graduate School, submitting an official transcript from all institutions attended after high school, three letters of recommendation, an MAT or GRE score, proof of Class A certification in Instructional Leadership, and the State of Alabama Department of Education supplement EXP Form verifying three years of acceptable teaching experience. Applicants who earned their M.Ed. in educational leadership at a university other than UAB must be interviewed and submit a portfolio. To ensure their applications are complete, prospective students should review our full list of admission requirements by clicking on the link below.Applications are due March 1 for summer term entry, June 1 for fall entry, and October 1 for spring entry.

Coursework and Degree Requirements

The Educational Specialist degree program consists of (a) educational leadership coursework, (b) course-related field experiences, (c) an advisor-approved Foundations of Education elective. A practicum is also required for those students who obtained a Class A certification in Instructional Leadership prior to September 1, 2008 Core courses include Leading Change; Leading the Adult Learning Community; Management of the Learning Organization; Essential Skills for Organizational Leadership; Law, Ethics, and Policy for Educational Leaders; and Leadership of Special Programs. In deference to the working professionals who enroll in this degree program, courses are organized in a hybrid format of synchronous (face-to-face) and asynchronous (online) class sessions.

Candidates for the educational specialist degree must complete the special education course Introduction to Exceptional Learners (ECY 600) or its equivalent.

Course Sequence

This degree program extends over four semesters or “blocks” of courses.This program features rolling admissions, so students may apply and enter during any term, spring, summer, or fall.

Tentative Course Sequence for Block I

First Eight Weeks

EDL-718 (3 hrs.)
Essential Skills for Organizational Leadership

EDL-718-L (1 hr.)
Field Experience for Essential Skills for Organizational Leadership

Second Eight Weeks

EDL-731 (3 hrs.)
Law, Ethics, and Policy for Educational Leaders

EDL-731-L (1 hrs.)
Field Experience for Law, Ethics, and Policy for Educational Leaders

Tentative Course Sequence for Block II

First Eight Weeks

EDL-728 (3 hrs.)
Management of the Learning Organization

EDL-728-L (1 hr.)
Field Experience for Management of the Learning Organization

EDL-728-L (1 hr.)
Second Eight Weeks

EDL-727 (3 hrs.)
Leading the Adult Learning Community

EDL-727-L (1 hrs.)
Field Experience for Leading the Adult Learning Community

Tentative Course Sequence for Block III

First Eight Weeks

EDL 717 (3 hrs.)
Leading Change

EDL 717-L (1 hr.)
Field Experience for Leading Change

Second Eight Weeks

EDL 732 (3 hrs.)
Leadership of Special Programs

EDL 732-L (1 hr.)
Field Experience for Leadership of Special Programs

Tentative Course Sequence for Block IV

First Eight Weeks

EDL 719 (3 hrs.)
Mentoring and Coaching Skills for School Leaders

EDL 719-L (1 hr.)
Field Experience for Mentoring and Coaching Skills for School Leaders

Second Eight Weeks

EDF Elective

EDF 702 (3 hrs.)
Critical Social Issues in Education

Cohort Model

Cohorts of EdS students are typically established for the Hoover/Over the Mountain area and meet at Simmons Middle School in Hoover, the Cullman/Jasper area and meet at the Cullman Area Career Center, and the Birmingham area and meet on the UAB Campus. Students may choose to join whichever cohort is most convenient for them.

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Educational Leadership Faculty

Related Resources

If you have questions, please contact:

Gary Peters, Ph.D.
Graduate Program Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
EB 232T
205-975-3460