Academic Programs Catalog

College of Education

Graduate Study

Educational Specialist

The Educational Specialist program is designed for persons who wish to achieve, by a planned program of graduate studies, proficiency beyond the level of the master's degree or equivalent but who do not necessarily plan to complete the Doctor of Philosophy degree.
Each candidate for the Educational Specialist degree selects one of the major fields in one of the departments listed below:

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education
     school psychology

If the student is accepted for admission to doctoral study while pursuing the Educational Specialist degree or after completing this degree, credit for studies completed during the program may be applied to the doctoral degree upon recommendation of the student's doctoral guidance committee and approval of the Dean of the College of Education. However, the program leading to the Educational Specialist degree should not be thought of as a normal stage between the master's degree and the doctorate, but as a program for people who do not plan to complete work for a doctoral degree. There is no assurance that any of the work taken for the Educational Specialist degree will be counted toward the doctorate should the individual be admitted to a doctoral program.

Admission

Admission to the program normally occurs after the completion of the master's degree or equivalent. However, application may be made by those students who are pursuing bachelor's degrees from recognized educational institutions.

A student who has taken comprehensive examinations for a doctor's degree may apply for transfer to the Educational Specialist program only if these examinations have been satisfactorily passed. Other students in good standing who are in the doctoral program but have not taken the comprehensive examinations and wish to apply for transfer to the Educational Specialist program may do so by application and upon the approval of the guidance committee and advisor.

Admission to the program is subject to the general regulations of the university as set forth in the Graduate Education section of this catalog and the College of Education. Normally, the application will be processed in a manner similar to that for doctoral students. Scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test are required at the time the application for admission to an educational specialist program is submitted. This examination must have been taken no longer than five years prior to the application for admission. At the discretion of the department, applicants may be admitted on a provisional basis pending the required Graduate Record Examination General Test1 scores. Students thus admitted on a provisional basis must take the Graduate Record Examination General Test within a specified time period after enrollment in order to be considered for admission to regular status.

The Miller Analogies Test may be substituted for the Graduate Record Examination General Test by students in K–12 Educational Administration.

Requirements for the Degree

The Educational Specialist program consists of two full years (equivalent of 60 semester credits) of graduate study beyond the bachelor's degree. The second fall and spring semester of graduate study normally embraces 30 semester credits of graduate study. When the master's degree or equivalent is earned in an appropriate field and at an approved institution, a minimum equivalent of 30 additional semester credits of study is required for the Educational Specialist degree. At least 10 of the last 30 semester credits that are required for the degree must be completed on the East Lansing campus.

The sequence of studies for each student pursuing the Educational Specialist degree is planned by the designated advisor with the student's guidance committee, following the procedure described for the Doctor of Philosophy degree program in the college. Students must satisfactorily complete a terminal comprehensive examination that is administered in accordance with department policies. Demonstrated competence in statistics or a reading knowledge of a foreign language will be required whenever such competence is judged appropriate to the program by the guidance committee.

Included in the 60 semester credits that are required for the Educational Specialist degree is study in the major area, in other areas of professional education, and in related areas outside of the College of Education. Field work, internship, externship, and similar laboratory–type experiences constitute at least 6 credits of the program.

Academic Standards

Candidates for the Educational Specialist degree must achieve a grade–point average of not less than 3.20 during the last half of the program (the last 30 semester credits).

Transfer Credits

Up to 8 semester credits beyond the master's degree may be transferred from a recognized educational institution upon approval of the student's guidance committee and the Dean of the College of Education.

Time Limit

All requirements must be completed within five calendar years from the time of the student's first enrollment after completing the master's degree. A student who does not take a master's degree is allowed seven years to complete the requirements.