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What is an Educational Specialist (EdS) Degree?

By Cece Gilmore

Cece Gilmore is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cece earned her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Arizona State University. While at ASU, she was the education editor as well as a published staff reporter at Downtown Devil. Cece was also the co-host of her own radio show on Blaze Radio ASU.

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Posted: January 16th, 2023
What is an Educational Specialist (EdS) Degree?

If you want to learn more about what an EdS degree is, you are in the right place. This postgraduate degree, somewhere between a master’s and doctorate degree, is unique to the field of education. There are many unique fields in education that one can go into after earning an EdS. Read more about exactly what an EdS is and what occupations you can go into with this unique postgraduate degree! 

What is an EdS degree? 

EdS is short for “education specialist degree.” An EdS degree provides individuals with the opportunity to explore and expand within unique areas of the education field, such as curriculum writing or special education. Typically, an EdS will focus on one specialization of a small part of the education field. There are several central topics that one could specialize in within an EdS program. 

An EdS degree might be just the degree to gain the qualifications you are looking for without the hefty price tag and time commitment of a PhD or doctoral degree. For those who desire to work in a school setting who want to apply their knowledge and skills to practice, this degree might be ideal. 

Types of EdS degrees

EdS in special education

An EdS in special education enables an individual to receive higher leadership roles in the field of special education. 

Some highlighted roles of a higher leadership role in special education

  • Oversee the special education program
  • Take an active role in decision-making for the special education program
  • Review current district, state, and federal laws

EdS in educational leadership and policy

An EdS in educational leadership and policy is a degree for educators seeking to become school principals or administrators who do not want to earn a PhD. 

Some highlighted roles of a educational leader

  • Develop effective educational programs
  • Provide leadership for the school
  • Promote the improvement of teaching and learning

EdS in counseling 

An EdS in counseling qualifies earners for careers as professional counselors or school counselors. It is important to check with your state’s requirements to determine if an EdS is the best option for your career aspirations. 

Some highlighted roles of a school counselor

  • Identifying issues affect school performance
  • Counsel students
  • Helping students achieve academic goals both short-term and long-term
  • Consult with parents and teachers regarding issues that arise

EdS in curriculum and instruction 

People who earn an  EdS in curriculum and instruction are qualified  to develop effective curriculums for teachers to use. This degree focuses on the creation of instructional content, reviewing teacher resources, and understanding the best ways to evaluate student performance. 

Some highlighted roles of a curriculum instructor

  • Develop new curriculum
  • Improve existing curriculum
  • Work in large groups in order to teach and guide other teachers and administrators

EdS in school psychology 

An EdS in school psychology allows individuals to become practicing school psychologists in three years without earning a doctoral degree. School psychologists are staff members within a school setting that help support students’ ability to learn and thrive.

Some highlighted roles of a school psychologist

  • Identify at-risk students and provide interventions
  • Consult with teachers to improve support in the classroom
  • Create school-wide practices and policies and interpret school outcome data
  • Administer testing for students to determine what resources are needed to help them learn
  • Help families understand their children’s learning and mental health needs

Also see: Graduate school funding options

Benefits of an EdS degree

Additional career opportunities

One of the most common reasons people pursue an EdS degree is to explore career opportunities beyond classroom teaching. The credential can be instrumental in earning leadership roles in schools. 


Online EdS degree programs are offered to help make the process extremely convenient for students who have current jobs in the education field. In addition, the convenience of an online program may be a cheaper option than a PhD or doctorate. 

Pursue a passion

Gaining an EdS degree in a specific field can help you learn more about what you are truly passionate about within the field of education. 

Learning opportunities

An EdS degree is the perfect opportunity to build your skills and pursue further education and specialization in a field. The qualification helps individuals improve their current careers and learn more about their education field and various roles within it. 

New career credentials

Receiving an EdS degree provides the opportunity to gain more experience and credentials to add to a resume. This will put you at an advantage as you will have a higher degree and more experience than those with a  bachelor’s or master’s degree. 

Increase in pay

Depending on your school and job role, pursuing an EdS degree often leads to a higher pay scale or a promotion within your position. 

PhD credits

An EdS degree may offer a leg up credit-wise if you want to pursue a PhD degree in the future. This is because some schools count your course credits from EdS degrees toward PhD programs. Overall, earning a EdS will lower the cost and time needed to earn a PhD. 

Also see: Top graduate school scholarships

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

  • EdS is short for “education specialist degree” which is a postgraduate degree between a master’s and doctoral degree
  • EdS degrees can be earned online
  • The cost of earning an EdS degree is roughly between $10,000 to $30,000
  • Earning an EdS has a number of benefits, including leadership positions, opportunities to focus on an educational passion, pay increases, and more
Key Takeaways

See also: Top scholarships for graduate students

Frequently asked questions about EdS degrees

Are online EdS programs available?

Yes! There are a number of EdS programs available that are 100% online. However, an in-person internship or fieldwork may need to be completed in your local area in order to receive the EdS degree. 

What EdS program should I choose?

It is important when looking for EdS programs that you are ensuring that the program you select will be accepted by your state licensing body. It is recommended that you select an accredited EdS program that is run by a university in your home state. This should prevent any issues when it comes to local certification and licensure needs. 

How many credits are required for an EdS degree?

Similar to many masters’ programs, EdS degrees usually require a minimum of 30 credits. The exact requirements will vary depending on the university and specific program one attends. 

How much does an EdS degree cost?

A large number of EdS degree programs fall into the range of $10,00-$20,000. However, every program is unique and therefore has different prices per credit. Therefore, it is important that you are reaching out to the financial aid office of your desired EdS program to determine how much you will have to pay for the degree. Remember, all financial aid programs start with the FAFSA, so make sure you fill that out by the deadline! 

What jobs can I get with an EdS?

There are a lot of jobs available if you have an EdS degree. However, the most common reason for pursuing one is to qualify for higher positions in education. Once you have the degree, you may find a job as a superintendent, a principal, a school counselor, a school psychologist, a department chair, or an athletic director, to name a few. 

Is an EdS degree worth it?

Ultimately, whether an EdS degree is worth it or not comes down to the specific individual and their goals within their career field. Generally, an EdS will be worth the money if you wish to earn a specific certification, want to qualify for a pay increase within your school, and cannot afford the tuition for a PhD or doctoral degree at the time.  

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