Specialist in Education Application Requirements

Application deadlines

Applications are reviewed on a rolling admission basis - (no deadline)

Note: There are no "conditional admissions" for this Ed.S. program.  Students must meet the minimum requirements noted below to be admitted to the program.

Application requirements

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Within this online application system, applicants for the Ed.S. in educational leadership must include:

  1. A professional resume or curriculum vita
    • This must include a summary of the applicant’s leadership experience.
    • Applicants must have at least three years of professional career or leadership experience.
  2. Three recommendations
    • These must be obtained from three different individuals in a position to address the applicant’s ability to successfully complete advanced graduate level work.
    • Applicants must request such recommendations from within the online system. The recommenders will respond via the online system as well.
  3. A written narrative
    • Applicants must clearly describe their professional goals and how this specialist degree program fits with those goals.
    • This narrative should be no more than four double-spaced pages and will be considered as a writing sample.
  4. Education history information
    • Applicants must have a master's degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or better as indicated on an official transcript.
    • Applicants must submit an official transcript from the institution from which you received your Bachelor degree, as well as a transcript from institution(s) where any graduate level courses or degrees have been taken/completed. Applicants are not required to submit an official transcript of courses taken/completed at Western Michigan University.
  5. English language proficiency scores (international applicants only)
    • As required by WMU, international applicants must provide proof of English competency, unless they have successfully completed either four years of upper secondary school or one year of full-time tertiary (university-level) education. See WMU English language requirements for more information.
    • English proficiency scores may be reported within the online application system and official scores must be sent to WMU (and received by the application deadlines for this program).
    • Desired minimum English language proficiency scores for this Ph.D. include: 7.0 on IELTS; 233 on TOEFL (CBT), 577 on TOEFL (PBT), or a 90 on TOEFL (iBt), with the following minimum subscores on the TOEFL (iBT): 22 in reading, 20 in listening, 24 in speaking, and 24 in writing. Students not meeting these desired minimums may still apply for the program; however, lower scores will be a factor in the admissions decision.
    • Students not meeting these minimum desired scores may apply after having met the requirements for advanced-level students within WMU’s Center for English Language and Culture for International Students program (to be considered, students must pass all advanced-level classes with a final grade of “B” or better). No conditional admissions are granted for potential applicants who are enrolled in, but have not yet successfully completed, the CELCIS program.

In order to be considered for admission to the Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in educational leadership all required materials must be submitted within the application system. Students must meet the minimum criteria established.

Applicants will be selected based upon meeting the criteria and personal fit to the program goals and objectives. The total number of applicants accepted will depend upon the quality of individual applicants as well as available resources to support students in the program.

Note:  General GRE scores are no longer required for application to this program.


Once applicants are reviewed by faculty, select applicants may be invited to participate in an interview.


Contact the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology graduate office at (269)387-3896 or Lynda Root.