Advanced Studies in Leadership (Special Education)
Online EdS Emphasis

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The Specialist in Education Degree with a Major in Advanced Studies in Leadership and emphasis in Special Education is designed to prepare special education teachers and other central office personnel to work as Directors of Special Education. Candidates for the degree must hold a Master’s Degree in Special Education or an educational related field, in addition to the requirements for the specialist degree. The degree program is designed to permit a candidate to specialize in a specific comprehensive knowledge of special education administration at both elementary and secondary levels and high and low incidence categories. This is accomplished through electives and individual study courses available in the program to meet individual needs. 



  • Total per credit hour


  • Credit hours
  • Total tuition = $13,464*
    *Cost per credit hour and total tuition is based on 2022-2023 academic year tuition rates , master's program option, and assuming all coursework is completed online in the 2022-2023 academic year. Cost per credit hour and total tuition will vary if studies span over one or more academic year.

Additional information

  • About EdS Program
  • Career Options
  • Internship opportunities
The EdS program is offered completely online. It is a 36-hour graduate program with three core areas, special education, leadership, and research. Candidates who have completed a special education program within the last five years may be able to transfer up to nine hours of special education coursework to this program.

Graduates of this program leave with the knowledge, skills, and strategies required to enhance their ability as:

  • Central Office Personnel Leadership position
  • Leadership position at a university, community college, or technical school
  • Doctoral student in Special Education or related field

Some of the coursework includes practica. All of the assignments are designed to be completed in the district where the candidate is working or on a university or community college campus. Educational leadership topics that interest the candidate can be the focus of research courses. Course research is based on the principles of action research. Action research assists the leader to focus on a question or topic in order to improve the quality of education or services in the district or program area.

About Teaching and Leadership Department

Whether you are beginning your career with a Bachelor of Science in Education or want to grow professionally with a Master's Degree or Educational Specialist, we believe this is the place for you! With accredited programs, campus, online and hybrid classes, caring faculty and staff to guide you, you can begin or continue your journey toward a rewarding life in the field of Education and Leadership.

The department offers Alternative Teaching Licensure programs in Special Education and Secondary Education. Certificates that lead to an endorsement to a teaching license in a variety of educational areas are available.

Pitt State has been ranked in the Top 25 Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News & World Report. The best online master's in education degree programs were chosen based on factors such as accreditation, admissions selectivity and academic and career support services offered to students.

Learn more about our program objectives.

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