Education Specialist

Education leaders today deal with rapidly changing environments and need to be able to collaborate with others to develop sound policies, listen well to and manage diverse points of view and think critically while acting ethically. Through this program, you will develop a strong foundation and understanding of leadership in education. These skills will help you analyze and implement sound administrative policy, create successful strategies for change and put into service leading practices for the day-to-day needs of your schools.

The Education Specialist in Educational Leadership degree is designed for busy working professionals. Classes are typically held one evening per week and occasional Saturdays. This program is designed for individuals with a master’s degree in educational leadership looking to fulfill required competencies for a K-12 Principal licensure, Superintendent licensure or Director of Special Education licensure.


What you can earn

  • Principal License: Completed as part of Ed.S. degree requirements
  • Director of Special Education License: Required additional credits can be completed concurrently with the Ed.S. degree
  • Superintendent License: 7 additional credits to be completed after the Ed.S. degree program

When to start

Spring 2019


Principal License: 31

Superintendent License: 38

Special Education Director License: 32


For the Principal Licensure:

EDLD 621   Research Design, Analysis and Critique I
EDLD 770   Professional Pre-Assessment
EDLD 771   Principal Assessment Center
EDLD 801   Leadership and Organizational Theory
EDLD 805   Supervision and Professional Development
EDLD 807   Foundations of Leadership: An Intellectual and Ethical Practice
EDLD 820   School Law
EDLD 826   School Finance
EDLD 840   Administration of Special Programs
EDLD 874   Principalship K-12
EDLD 877   Portfolio and Reassessment
EDLD 885   Clinical Practicum: Principal Internship

For the Superintendent Licensure (add the following):

EDLD 871   School Superintendent: Issues and Challenges
EDLD 887   Clinical Practicum: Superintendent Internship
EDLD 895   Topics in Leadership: Superintendent Portfolio Assessment

For the Special Education Director License:
EDLD 621   Research Design, Analysis and Critique I
SPED 731   Planning and Administration: The Special Education Director
EDLD 770   Pre-Assessment: Core Competencies
EDLD 771   Assessment Center: Leadership Practicum
SPED 773   Clinical Practicum Field Experience and Portfolio Presentation
EDLD 801   Leadership and Organizational Theory
EDLD 805   Supervision and Professional Development
EDLD 807   Foundations of Leadership: An Intellectual and Ethical Practice
SPED 810   Professional Pre-Assessment: SPED Director Competencies
EDLD 820   School Law
EDLD 826   School Finance
EDLD 840   Administration of Special Programs
EDLD 877   Portfolio and Licensure Panel Presentation

Full Course Catalog (2016-2018)


Find current course offerings in the Course Catalog (2016-2018)


  1. Candidates for this degree have:
    • A Master's Degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • A cumulative minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 3.0 (4.0 scale). 
  2. Submit the following application materials:
    • Application form--coming soon!
    • 2 positive letters of reference from non-related individuals who know you professionally and/or academically.
    • Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work (unless that work was completed at the University of St. Thomas).
      • Submit transcripts to: Graduate Admissions, University of St. Thomas, Box 5, 1000 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403;
    • Personal statement.
  3. Submit supplementary materials:
    • International Applicants:
      1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) required for any candidate whose primary language is not English.
      2. Transcript Review: All international transcripts must be reviewed by an accredited evaluation service to determine U.S. equivalency of the degree awarded and the institution awarding the degree. Applications will not be reviewed for admissions until the official review is submitted.

Leadership in the Global Contexts of Ghana

Experience the uniqueness of Ghana as a global south country and one of Africa's stable democracies while gaining cross-cultural insight into the education and culture of Ghana through academic lectures and guided visits. Application deadline is March 1, 2018. Learn more about the Leadership in the Global Contexts of Ghana trip.


Ongoing Professional Development

Annual events and conferences sponsored by the department offer a variety of networking and professional development opportunities.   


Real-world field experience

If your program includes a field experience element, the dedicated faculty and staff in your program will work with you to ensure that your experience will meet your interests and facilitate your growth, both personally and professionally. Throughout your time in your program, regularly scheduled meetings with faculty and peers offer the opportunity to form a strong professional network as you prepare to enter your field.


Community Partnerships

The School of Education takes pride in engaging in innovative partnerships with a variety of organizations. Students in the School of Education will find many opportunities for professional growth as a result of working with these organizations. Partnership examples include the Northwest Suburban Integration District, Center for Academics and Sports, FAIR School and the Collaborative Urban and Greater Minnesota Educators of Color (CUE) Scholarship Program.

Our licensing programs are accreddited by the Minnesota Board of School Administrators.

The University of St. Thomas prepares candidates for administrative licensure in the following areas: K-12 Principals, Superintendents and Director of Special Education. The University of St. Thomas Administrative Licensure program is compliant with all requirements per Minnesota Administrative Rule, 3512, Licensure of School Personnel.