The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

School of Education - Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations

Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) degree in Educational Leadership


The Ed.S. in Educational Leadership is a 33 semester hour program of advanced study beyond the master’s degree designed to prepare students for leadership and administration at the district office level of a K-12 school system. The Ed.S. typically leads to North Carolina Level II (Advanced Principal) and Superintendent licensure. Potential students who do not have North Carolina Level I Principal licensure, must first obtain such licensure by completing the Post-Masters Certificate (PMC) program

Program Information/Requirements

The program consists of coursework in four areas: Administration and Leadership (21 hours), Curricular and Instructional Leadership (3-6 hours), Social and Cultural Foundations (3-6 hours), and Research (3 hours). Courses are offered during the summer, as well as in the evenings during the Fall and Spring terms. Some courses are offered off campus or as online courses. Most students typically take two courses per semester.

Application and Admission

In addition to the application materials required by The Graduate School (see, the applicant must submit a resume or curriculum vitae and a personal statement (see for details). Admissions decisions are made once per year in mid-April and applicants must submit all application materials by March 31st to be considered for Fall semester admission.

Degree Requirements (33 hours)

The Ed.S. in Educational Leadership is intended for students with a previous Master of School Administration degree and/or P licensure who seek preparation for advanced building-level administrator, district-level administrator, and superintendent positions. The degree leads to eligibility for specialist-level principal licensure and superintendent licensure (AP and S licensure).

Administration and Leadership Courses (21 hours)
ELC 700 Critical Perspectives in Education, Leadership, and Culture (3)
ELC 701 The Superintendency (3)+
ELC 750 Advanced Seminar in School Law Research (3)
ELC 752 Theories in Educational Administration (3)
ELC 790 Internship (6)++

Students may select 3 hours from the following:
ELC 659 Educational Finance (3)
ELC 683 Engaging the Public in Education (3)
ELC 751 Concepts and Cases in Educational Administration (3)
ELC 754 Personal Leadership Assessment and Enhancement (3)
Additional courses as approved by the student’s advisor

Minimum 9 semester hours from the following two areas:

Curricular and Instructional Leadership (3-6 hours)
3-6 semester hours from the following or from other courses in curriculum & instructional leadership:
• ELC 615 Foundations of Curriculum
• ELC 672 Technology & Administrative Leadership
• ELC 675 Schools as Centers of Inquiry
• ELC 685 Passionate Pedagogies
• ELC 686 Curriculum Theory
• ELC 693 Introduction to Critical Pedagogy
• ELC 755 Law & Policy in Special Education

Social and Cultural Foundations (3-6 hours)
• ELC 676 Educational Sociology (3) or ELC 679 History of Education in the United States (3) or ELC 696 Philosophies in Education (3)
• Electives approved by the student’s advisor

Research (3 hours)
3 semester hours from the following or from other courses in research:
• ELC 664 Foundations of Interpretive Inquiry
• ELC 665 Approaches to Qualitative Research
• ELC 688 Contemporary Topics: Action Research & Integrated Data Analysis
• ELC 688 Contemporary Topics: Statistics & Basic Quantitative Methods for Educational Leaders
• ERM 604 Methods of Educational Research
• ERM 605 Educational Measurement & Evaluation
• ERM 642 Evaluation of Educational Programs
• ERM 668 Survey Research Methods in Education

+ To be taken during Spring Semester in conjunction with the second semester of ELC 790 Internship
++ The first 3 semester hours of ELC 790 should be taken during the Fall semester; the second 3 hours should be taken during the Spring semester in conjunction with ELC 701

Capstone Experience

Students must complete the Ed.S. Capstone Experience prior to graduation (typically completed during their last semester in the program). Students should provide notice of intent to complete the Capstone Experience at the beginning of the semester in which they intend to do so by submitting a written memo to their advisor and to the Coordinator of the Ed.S. Program. See Capstone Experience Guidelines for more detail about the Ed.S. Capstone Experience.

EdS Course Grid

Check out the EdS/EdD Program Course Grid

Application Criteria & Procedures

Check out the application procedures

Financial Information

Check out the financial aid information

EdS/EdD Program Completion Checklist

Check out the EdS/EdD Program Completion Checklist

UNCG District Verification for EdS Licensure Candidates

UNCG District Verification for EdS Licensure Candidates

(This document should be uploaded to the supplemental C section of Apply Yourself once completed)


Download EdS Digital Brochure

Contact Information

Degree Program questions:

Ann W. Davis, Ed.D.
EdS Coordinator, Director of Graduate Studies
338 School of Education Building
336-516-2542 (phone)
336-334-4737 (fax)

Connect with the School of Education!