Specialist in Education

Program description

The specialist in education in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology at Western Michigan University will prepare you for leadership roles in educational administration positions and is appropriate if you are seeking a post-master's degree, but not a doctoral degree. In addition to the Ed.S. degree, a student can be recommended to receive Michigan Administrator Certification.

Application information

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Program features

  • There are two options to choose from or a program of study may be developed based on your goals.
  • Full alignment with the state administrator certification, if the appropriate courses are completed as follows or equivalents as determined by the student's advisor.

  • To support working professionals, ALL required courses are available fully online.
  • After completing your specialist in education degree in educational leadership from WMU, if you are admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy in educational leadership program, at least 30 graduate credits will count toward the 60 credits required for the doctorate in philosophy program, provided they are post-bachelor credits. The minimum required credits to be taken at WMU after admission is 30 credits, including dissertation.

Current student information

Graduation information


Unless otherwise noted all courses are three credit hours.

Option 1: School Administrator Certification Central Office Endorsement (30 credits)

EDLD 6060 – Organizational Change for Complex Systems
EDLD 6630 – Maximizing Human Capacity with Adaptive Personnel Practices
EDLD 6720 – Strategic District Finance and Operations
EDLD 6800 – High Impact District Governance & Community Relations
EDLD 6810 – Law, Policy and Ethics for District Leaders
EDLD 6850 – Dynamic Systems for District Instructional Leadership and Assessment
EDLD 7120 - Professional Field Experience/Internship
EDLD 7200 - Specialist Project (6 credits)
EMR 5400 - Fundamentals of Evaluation, Measurement, and Research

Option 2: K-12 School Administrator Certificate: Building Level Endorsement (38 credits) 

EDLD 6020 - Educational Leadership, Systems and Change
EDLD 6300 - Data-Informed Decision-Making, Research and Evaluation
EDLD 6610 - School Law & Ethics
EDLD 6620 - School Business Management
EDLD 6640 - Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Leadership
EDLD 6670 - The Principalship
EDLD 6730 - Instructional Leadership and Supervision
EDLD 6740 - School Community Relations and Cultural Competence
EDLD 6793 - Principal Internship I
EDLD 6794 - Principal Internship II (2 credits)
EDLD 7200 - Specialist Project (6 credits)
EMR 5400 - Fundamentals of Evaluation, Measurement, and Research

Option 3: Specialized Program
Depending on a student's goals, a specialist in education program of study, equaling at least 30 credits, other than the list of courses noted above may be developed by that student's adviser. This will not lead to State Administrator Certification.

additional information and advising