The Specialist in Education (Ed.S) Degree
About the Specialist in Education Degree

The Specialist in Education is an advanced graduate degree designed to provide the graduate student a definite and integrated professional program of study beyond the Master of Science degree in Education Administration or Psychology (School). The degree requires advanced study between the master’s and the doctorate degrees, both in time and in depth, with identifiable and distinct objectives. The program planning and the supervision of the research project (field study or research problem) is the responsibility of the designated advisor with the counsel of the student’s graduate committee.

Functions and Purposes

The Specialist in Education degree program is intended for individuals preparing for positions that demand a higher level of study than the master’s degree. The specific objectives of the Specialist in Education program are to help the student:  (1) gain depth in an area of specialization; (2) comprehend the interrelations between the area of concentration and related fields; and (3) develop practical competency in the specialty.


School Psychology
Advanced Professional Studies (Education Administration)
Advanced Professional Studies (Counseling)
Advanced Professional Studies (Education Leadership)

General Information

Admission to the Specialist in Education Degree Program

Each applicant for the Specialist in Education degree must apply to the Graduate School. The applicant must comply with the requirements of either the Department of Advanced Education Programs or the Department of Psychology, depending upon the major. The requirements include that the applicant: (1) holds a Master’s degree in a designated major from an accredited institution; (2) submits two recommendations from the current employer and/or Master’s degree advisor; (3) in Education Administration, provide the scores for the GRE or the Miller Analogies Test, and in School Psychology provide the GRE score; (4) provide an educational vita and teaching certificate for the Specialist in Education Administration; and (5) pay the appropriate application fee. The Specialist Degree Committee in the Department of Advanced Education Programs or in the Department of Psychology approves the application after review of the applicant’s file. Action of the committee will be forwarded to the Graduate Dean with a recommendation for approval or denial. The Graduate Dean makes the decision regarding admission.

Once a student is admitted, the department chair of the major appoints an advisor and designates a graduate committee responsible for developing the student’s program of study.

Program Option

A student in Education Administration may elect to complete a field study of two to six semester hours or a research problem of two to four semester hours. A student in School Psychology must complete a six-hour field study. Once enrolled in 999 Field Study, the student must remain continuously enrolled both fall and spring semesters, and, if the department requires it, the summer session, until the field study is completed.  Failure to enroll as required makes the student eligible for dismissal from the degree program.  The research project hours are included in the minimum 30-semester-hour program designed to meet the requirements for the Specialist in Education degree.

Requirements for Completion of the Specialist in Education Degree

Following admission, the student should observe carefully all regulations leading to the completion of the degree program. The student must: (1) complete a minimum of 30 graduate hours on an approved degree program, though additional hours may be required by the graduate committee. NOTE: Courses used on the Master’s degree cannot be used to meet the course/hour requirement for the Specialist in Education degree; (2) complete at least 15 hours in a 30-hour program leading to a Specialist in Education degree in courses numbered 900 and above, or complete one-half of all hours at the 900-level if the degree program exceeds the 30-hour minimum; (3) apply for candidacy for the Specialist in Education degree upon satisfactory completion of nine hours of work on the Specialist in Education program; (4) submit an Intent to Graduate form by the deadline for the semester or summer term in which the student intends to graduate; (5) have a B average (3.00) or above in all coursework completed for the program; (6) satisfactorily pass the final written comprehensive examination; (7) secure approval from the student’s graduate committee for the final draft of the research project (field study or research problem). The approved title of the field study or the research problem must be filed in the Graduate School. At least four approved and signed copies of the field study must be filed with the Graduate School for binding. One copy of a research problem must be filed with the student’s advisor to be retained by the Department of Advanced Education Programs. A binding fee must be paid for each copy of the field study that is bound. A minimum of four copies of the field study is required by the Graduate School; student copies will be in addition to the four required copies. Field study guidelines are available from the Graduate School or the appropriate department; (8) earn all course credit for the Specialist in Education degree through courses taken from Fort Hays State University.  Any exception to this residency requirement must have the prior approval of the Graduate Dean; and (9) comply with all requirements of the department, Graduate School, Registrar, and Student Fiscal Services.


Enrollment procedures for the Specialist in Education degree candidate are the same as those for the master’s degree candidate as stated in this catalog. Each student should check with the Graduate School before each enrollment to see that all records are complete and current.


All course credit toward the Specialist in Education degree must be earned through courses taken from Fort Hays State University. No portion of the degree program can be through courses transferred from another university.


Each candidate for a Specialist in Education degree must pass a written comprehensive examination over the area of study covered by the program as well as an oral examination over the field study or research problem. The comprehensive examination is not merely a reexamination of materials covered in coursework but is a test of the graduate degree candidate’s ability to integrate materials from the graduate major and any related or supporting fields. The written comprehensive examination shall not exceed four hours; the oral examination shall not exceed two hours.