Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership

The Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) Program is designed for practicing educators who already hold a master's degree and are interested in pursuing a career in school administration and who seek to enhance their educational leadership capabilities across an array of educational leadership positions with emphasis on building and district level leadership positions. Our Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Administration program is a 30-semester hour program which includes all the ODE courses required for the initial administrative (principal) license as well as a number of educational specialist licenses.

The program is designed to be completed in two years including two summers. Students typically take one course in the fall semester and one course in the spring semester. During the summer semester, students typically take three courses. Students are also encouraged to take courses that will apply toward superintendent licensure.

Candidates who successfully complete our Ed.S. program will gain insight into the challenges of educating PK-12 students and learn the vital leadership skills needed to effectively meet these challenges. They will be prepared to lead in a variety of educational roles, including classroom teachers, building principals, district consultants, and administrators.

Principal Carrie SanchezWhat do our students say?

“The BGSU EDAS Specialist program was by far the most useful, applicable and impactful professional development I have had in my career as an educator. While the instructors are respectful of the hectic schedules educators maintain, the work is meaningful and relevant. I especially appreciated the valuable experience the instructors brought to the classes as practicing educators who had marked successes in their positions.”

Carrie Sanchez, Principal
Port Clinton City Schools, Port Clinton, Ohio

Career Path

Graduates of our Ed.S. in Educational Leadership program serve in primary and secondary schools as well as in district and regional educational centers as teacher leaders, assistant principals, principals, instructional coaches, directors, and consultants.

Program and Licensure Requirements

The Specialist in Educational Leadership program consists of two administrative internship experiences: one is at the building level (EDAS 6300), and one is at the district level (EDAS 7300). These two internships are described briefly below.

Education Leaders

One of the essential experiences of the Ed.S. in Educational Leadership is the successful completion of EDAS 6300: Building Level Internship. EDAS 6300 is a 3-semester hour, hands-on experience designed to provide the candidate with a first-hand experience of an entire school year from the perspective of a building principal. Candidates earn 1 semester hour of credit for each semester and must log 75 contact hours of supervised administrative experiences for each hour earned. These administrative experiences are to be spread over the following leadership categories:

  1. Visionary leadership
  2. School culture and instructional leadership
  3. School management and organizational leadership
  4. Community collaboration and leadership
  5. Ethical leadership
  6. Political and legal leadership

One of the other essential experiences of the Ed.S.in Educational Leadership is the successful completion of EDAS 7300: District Level internship. EDAS 7300 is a 3-semester hour, hands-on experience designed to provide the candidate with a first-hand experience of a central office from the perspective of a central office administrator. Candidates earn 3 semester hours of credit in one semester and must log 75 contact hours of supervised administrative experiences. These administrative experiences are to be spread over the same leadership categories listed above.

Besides the successful completion of required coursework, all candidates for the Ed.S. degree in Educational Leadership are required to take and pass a 4-hour written comprehensive examination and a 2-hour oral exam. The exams cover the essential elements of the core administrative coursework that comprise the degree.  One primary purpose of the exam is to prepare students for taking the ODE/OAE Administrator Exam (015).

The comprehensive exam is administered every semester with most students electing to take it in the semester preceding their final semester.

logo ohio dept of edu

Once candidates have successfully completed the M.Ed. degree, including passage of the Comprehensive Examination, they must take and pass the ODE/OAE Administrator Exam (015) before an initial administrative license will be issued by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). Click the link above to be directed to the exam's website or the image to be directed to ODE's website.


Below are the checksheets that list requirements for principal licensure in the grade bands that are listed.

Form for Principals in Grades PreK-6

Form for Principals in Grades 4-9

Form for Principals in Grades 5-12

In addition to providing the course work necessary for ODE Principal Licensure, the Ed.S. degree program can make candidates eligible for additional ODE licensure including the following administrative specialist licensure:

  1. Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development
  2. Pupil Services Administration
  3. Educational Staff Administration
  4. School and Community Relations
  5. Educational Research

Please be reminded that course work from your Master’s degree (or any graduate course work) can be used in applying for Administrative Specialist licenses.

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Updated: 12/11/2023 10:33AM