Why UM-Flint

What Sets UM-Flint's Education Specialist (Ed.S.) Program Apart?

With Curriculum and Instruction as well as Educational Leadership degree concentrations, the EdS builds on your experience as an educator and allows you to reach your specific goals. Whether you plan to lead in the classroom, develop and direct curriculum, advance as an administrator or supervisor, or pursue your doctorate degree and enter higher education, the EdS program prepares you to excel. The program is approved by the Michigan Department of Education and students are eligible for the Michigan Central Office Administrator Certificate upon completion.


A flexible part-time program designed to accommodate the busy schedules of working professionals, the EdS blends online coursework with once-a-month classroom instruction. Convenient Saturday classes are held on the UM-Flint campus or at the location of one of our educational partners.


The EdS is a well-structured program that provides a clear path to your degree and your goals. You’ll know exactly which classes to take and when to take them; so you’ll be ready to emerge with your advanced degree in hand in 20 months.


Many EdS courses are taught by current and former K-12 superintendents as well as tenure-track faculty who bring real-world knowledge and experiences to their instruction. Our faculty experts make themselves available to you outside the normal class schedule as well as online.


You’ll complete the EdS with a small cohort of fellow educators who share your passion for educational excellence. This cohort structure enables you to develop a strong support network for personal and professional development. Coursework emphasizes team-based project work that allows for networking while improving collaborative and communication skills. 


As part of the EdS program, you’ll complete two field-based practicums. Relevant to your specific area of leadership interest, these experiences and projects connect you to practicing professionals who mentor and support your success.


The EdS provides excellent preparation for students who plan to pursue a doctoral degree, including the Doctor of Education at UM-Flint.


As part of the world-renowned University of Michigan community, you’ll also have access to the full academic and research resources at the Flint, Dearborn, and Ann Arbor campuses.


Education (Ed.S)


Education Department information     

The Education Specialist (Ed.S.) program is a post-master’s program designed to prepare in-service teachers and educational leaders to assume greater professional roles in their buildings and/or in administration and supervision. It is a degree for educational professionals wishing to pursue a post-Master’s experience. The emphasis is on applied learning and preparation for executive leadership assignments.

The 30-credit program is cohort-structured, offered in a dual modality of online and on-campus coursework. It features two concentrations, both emphasizing field-based learning experiences in a K-12 or post-secondary environment:

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Leadership

A mentorship with a recognized school leader is required.

Candidates for the program include: 

  • Teachers wishing to enhance their background skills in curriculum in order to be more effective in the classroom or to undertake building-level curriculum leadership assignments.
  • Teachers who aspire to be curriculum directors at the K-12 level.
  • Administrators at the building level interested in a Central Office position in human relations, finance, or curriculum or a superintendency.
  • Individuals with the ultimate goal of a doctoral degree.


The program consists of four components:

  • The first is a set of core courses totaling 12 credits.
  • The second consists of 9 credits of coursework in either Curriculum or Educational Leadership.
  • The third component is a 6-credit field experience tailored to the needs of the individual student, ranging from an internship in an educational facility to a project study based on the needs of a building or a district priority.
  • The fourth and final component is a capstone seminar bringing together both groups of students.

The program is typically completed in 18 months, consisting of two courses per semester, beginning in a Fall semester and culminating with the final practicum and capstone course Winter semester of the next academic year.  The on-campus component involves full-day sessions one Saturday each month for the duration of the program; the remaining content is delivered online. An evening orientation program is required prior to the first semester.

The field-based practicum engages students with practicing professionals in experiences and projects relevant to specific areas of leadership interest.

Admission Requirements

Those wishing to enroll must apply for graduate admission.  Application deadlines and other information pertinent to the application process are posted on the Office of Graduate Programs website http://www.umflint.edu/graduateprograms

 Requirements are:

  • A MA or MS degree in an education-related program from an accredited institution.
  • A minimum overall graduate school grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent.
  • At least three years of work experience in a P-16 educational institution or in an education-related position.

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following to be considered for admission:

  • A completed application for graduate admission with paid application fee.
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from the institutions granting bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
  • A current resume identifying training, experience and professional accomplishments.
  • Three letters of recommendation addressing the candidate’s potential for success in the program, including at least one from a professor of a class taken at the graduate level.
  • A letter of intent of at least 1000 words describing the candidate’s reason for seeking admission.
  • An Educational Leader Evaluation completed by candidate’s supervisor.

Admission is selective and is determined by the Education Department. 

Application Deadlines

Program faculty review applications twice annually after each of the following dates:

  • May 1 (early admission)
  • August 1 (final deadline)

Transfer of Credit

Up to six (6) graduate semester credit hours earned at an accredited institution following completion of an MA or MS degree may be accepted for transfer into the Education Specialist program.  All credit transfers must be approved by the Education Department faculty.  Students seeking to transfer credits not designated as program requirements or electives should contact the appropriate faculty advisor.

Academic Rules and Regulations

See Education (EDU)  and Graduate Study  for additional rules and regulations pertaining to Education Department graduate programs.


A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (B) and passing grades in all courses are required.

Year 1


  • EDL 700 - Contemporary Leadership Issues in Education (3).
  • EDL 701 - Survey of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment (3).


  • EDL 702 - Survey of School Reform (3).
  • EDL 703 - Survey of Advanced Leadership (3).


Two courses for the chosen track:

  • Curriculum and Instruction

  • EDL 740 - Curriculum Design (3).
  • EDL 741 - Instructional Approaches (3).

  • Educational Leadership

  • EDL 750 - Topics in School Law (3).
  • EDL 751 - Topics in School Finance, Budgeting, and Facilities Management (3).

Year 2


Two courses for the chosen track:

  • Curriculum and Instruction

  • EDL 742 - Program Evaluation (3).
  • EDL 761 - Practicum I (3).

  • Educational Leadership

  • EDL 752 - Advanced Supervision (3).
  • EDL 761 - Practicum I  (3).

Winter Semester II

  • EDL 762 - Practicum II (3).
  • EDL 790 - Capstone Seminar (3).

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  • Completion of an MA or MS in an education-related field from a regionally accredited institution
  • A minimum overall graduate school grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, 6.0 on a 9.0 scale, or equivalent
  • At least 3 years of work experience in an educational setting

Note: Admission to the Ed.S. program does not guarantee subsequent admission to the UM-Flint Doctor of Education program.


To be considered for admission, submit the following to the Office of Graduate Programs, 251 Thompson Library:

  • Application for Graduate Admission
  • $55 application fee (non-refundable)
  • Official transcripts (undergraduate and graduate) from colleges and universities that issued your bachelor and master’s degrees
  • An essay of at least 250 words describing your reason for seeking admission to the program. 
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Educational Leader Evaluation, which should be completed by a person who has been your supervisor at some point during the last three years
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least one of which is from a professor in a class taken at the graduate level, addressing your potential for success in the program
  • International students must submit additional documentation. Visit the International Students page for details.

Application Deadlines

The program has rolling admissions and reviews completed applications each month.  To be considered for admission, submit all application materials to the Office of Graduate Programs on or before the application deadline:

  • Fall (early deadline*) – May 1
  • Fall (final deadline) – August 1

* You must apply for admission by the early deadline to be eligible for scholarships, grants, and research assistantships.

The final application deadline for international students is May 1 for the fall semester.

  • A second cohort of the Ed.S. program will now be offered in the Eastern Upper Peninsula beginning Fall 2014.