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Educational Specialist

Required Application Materials

Applicants for an Educational Specialist (Ed.S) program must submit all of the following documentation to the Graduate Admissions office to be considered for admission.

The deadline for application to most programs in the School of Education will be on or before the first day of classes for any given semester (unless otherwise specified.) 

First time enrollees for programs with an application deadline of the first day of classes for any given semester must seek immediate advisement to register for classes.

Ed.S. programs with deadline dates for all admission requirements to be submitted are: community agency counseling, instructional  leadership, school counseling, teacher leader and library media.  Application deadline dates for these programs are: November 1 for spring semester admission, April 1 for summer admission and July 1 for fall semester admission. Applicants in these programs whose application packages are complete will be contacted to schedule an appointment for a writing sample and an interview with faculty members of the counselor education, instructional leadership, teacher leader or library media programs.  As part of the interview process, applicants will be asked to submit a writing sample. The admission requirement rubrics for evaluating the interview and writing sample are available online here.

  1. Completed Application for Admission
  2. $35.00 application processing fee (Non-refundable)
  3. Official transcripts(s) from all postsecondary institutions attended.
    (Students who have previously attended JSU do not need to request a transcript from the University.)
  4. Official tests scores on the General Test of the GRE or the MAT.
  5. Copies of all clear and renewable teaching certificates. 
    (Does not apply to community agency counseling.)  ALL certificate(s) must be clear and renewable throughout the program and at graduation. 
    For students applying to an educational specialist program, the master’s level teaching certificate must be in the same area as the chosen area in the educational specialist program:  Teacher Leader applicants must possess a master’s level clear and renewable teaching certificate in some area of education.
  6. Background check.
    Any candidate applying for admission to a state-approved teacher education program shall be required to be fingerprinted for a criminal history background check through the Alabama State Department of Education to the Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  Applicants should contact Cogent Systems at for directions in completing this process.
  7. Professional resume required for the following :
    Ed.S. programs: Community Agency Counseling, Instructional Leadership, Library Media, Teacher Leader, School Counseling
  8. Complete three “Graduate Reference Forms” completed by individuals who can provide qualitative assessment of the applicant’s potential for success in graduate course work. This form is available in the office of Graduate Admissions or online at http:/// or
 If English is not the applicant’s native language, the applicant is required to submit an official TOEFL score report, an IELTS score report, or a PTE score report.  

Admission Requirements

The master’s level teaching certificate must be in the same area as the chosen area in the educational specialist program.  If a student has a degree with a major and fifth-year certification in reading, they may apply for the educational specialist degree program with a major in elementary education. Applicants selecting the concentration in community agency counseling must possess a master’s degree in community agency counseling (for the traditional certification admission option).  

Applicants for the Ed.S. in all majors must meet one of the following formula requirements.  For purposes of computing the undergraduate GPA, a 4.0 grade-point scale is used. The plus (+) and minus (-) grades from undergraduate transcripts are not used in calculating the GPA.

Class AA Teacher Certification Requirements

Teacher education programs are approved by the Alabama State Board of Education and are therefore subject to periodic revision resulting from changes in State certification requirements. Subsequently, modifications in students’ programs may become necessary. Students in all graduate level teacher education programs must schedule their course work each semester with approval of their faculty advisors. Issuance of Alabama teaching certificates is the legal responsibility of the Alabama State Department of Education. Universities cannot issue a professional certificate. To be eligible to apply for certification, a student must complete a program of study at a college or university which has been approved by the State Board of Education to offer a program leading to the desired certificate. When a student completes the program of study, the institution recommends to the State Department of Education that the appropriate certificate be issued.

  1. For all fields other than Teacher Leader, the applicants must possess fifth-year certification in the same area as the chosen concentration in the educational specialist program. Applicants selecting the concentration in Teacher Leader must possess fifth-year clear and renewable teacher certification in some area of education. If a student has a degree with a major and fifth-year certification in reading, they may apply for the educational specialist degree program with a major in elementary education. 
  2. Alabama State Department of Education regulations are subject to change; therefore, it is recommended that students apply for certification upon graduation.  Students, during their last semester of course work, are to obtain application forms for certification from the Teacher Service Center, 207 Ramona Wood Hall.  The appropriate fees (money order or Cashier’s Check made payable to the Alabama State Department of Education), with the student’s credits are forwarded to the State Department of Education by the Teacher Service Center. The University cannot recommend any student for certification who has not satisfied all State and University requirements for admission to and completion of an approved program.
  3. Students certified in states other than Alabama who wish to apply for certification in Alabama upon completion of the educational specialist degree must apply for Alabama certification on the undergraduate and master’s levels prior to applying for the educational specialist level certification. Earning an educational specialist degree at JSU does not automatically entitle a student to an Alabama certificate without first holding the appropriate undergraduate and master’s certificates.
  4. Recommendation for certification must be made within five years of program completion. Recommendation after five years requires completion of a current program.
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