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What Is an Education Specialist Degree?

An education specialist degree (EdS degree) is an advanced degree for teachers who want to keep working while gaining specialized proficiency in a particular area of interest, such as administrative leadership, education technology, or early childhood.

The specialist in education degree is a post-master’s degree program that helps advance your career and prepare you for an influential leadership role.

What Is an Education Specialist Degree?

Empowered with the latest relevant practices and methodologies in your field, you’ll be in a position to have a significant impact on your educational institution or district. As a change-making force, you’ll be able to address and help resolve pressing problems, paving the way for a more effective teaching and learning environment.

Types of Education Specialist Degrees

Online colleges and universities are responding to the education and career advancement needs of working teachers with a growing selection of online EdS degree programs including:

  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Early Childhood Education (Non-Licensure)
  • Educational Technology
  • Educational Administration and Leadership (Principal Preparation) 
  • Educational Administration and Leadership (Non-Licensure)
  • Reading, Literacy, and Assessment
  • Learning, Instruction, and Innovation
  • Special Education (Non-Licensure) 

Benefits of Education Specialist Degree Programs

  • Convenience of Online Programs
    Education specialist degree programs are offered on campus, through online universities, and in a blended format of both. However, for many educators like you, enrolling in an online EdS program is the only realistic way to pursue a specialized post-master’s degree while continuing to work at the same time. The built-in convenience and flexibility of online degree programs help you juggle teaching responsibilities, family, and graduate studies more easily.
  • Enhances your Credentials Without Getting a PhD
    An EdS degree is a faster, more affordable way to increase your efficiency in a specialized area, enhance your value as an educator, and qualify for a leadership role. For example, Walden University’s online EdS degree in Educational Administration and Leadership (Non-Licensure) is a 45-credit course, while the online PhD in Education program is a 86-credit course (with dissertation). A specialist in education degree can make a dramatic impact on your salary and career trajectory as an educator-leader in less time, and at a lower cost, than it takes to earn a PhD in Education.
  • Accelerates Completion of a PhD in Education
    If your ultimate goal is to earn a doctorate in education, some of your credits from your online EdS degree will be transferrable to your doctoral program.
  • Change your Area of Specialization
    After years of teaching, it’s not unusual for some educators to become interested in a different area of expertise than the subject area they’ve been teaching. For example, you may have 5 years of experience as a middle school math teacher, but you’ve become increasingly fascinated by the exciting advances in education technology and e-learning. An education specialist degree from an online university can provide the in-depth proficiency and credentials needed to refocus your career and become an education technology leader.

    Career advancement goals change, too. You may have 10 years of experience as a history teacher, but your sights are now set on becoming an assistant principal, principal, or even district administrator or superintendent. An EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration can prepare you for education leadership roles.

Walden University—Your University of Choice for Education Specialist Degrees

Walden University provides a wide selection of online EdS degree programs to help educators attain their career goals quickly and affordably without having to take a sabbatical to achieve them. Learn more about Walden’s high-caliber online education specialist degrees.

Explore Walden University's online education specialist degree programs and specialized certification programs that fit your career goals. Earn your degree at a pace that fits your life and schedule.

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an Enrollment Specialist at 1-866-492-5336.

Walden offers both state-approved educator licensure programs as well as programs and courses that do not lead to licensure or endorsements. Prospective students must review their state licensure requirements prior to enrolling. For more information, please refer to

Prospective Alabama students: Contact the Teacher Education and Certification Division of the Alabama State Department of Education at 1-334-242-9935 or to verify that these programs qualify for teacher certification, endorsement, and/or salary benefits.

Prospective Washington state students are advised to contact the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction at 1-360-725-6275 or [email protected] to determine whether Walden’s programs in the field of education are approved for teacher certification or endorsements in Washington state. Additionally, teachers are advised to contact their individual school district as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.

Walden’s EdS in College Teaching and Learning focuses on the development of scholarly teaching knowledge and skills. It does not necessarily provide individuals with all of the course credits required to teach in a particular academic discipline; therefore, additional subject-specific graduate credits may be needed. Individuals are responsible for ensuring that they meet the credentialing requirements of the institution where they want to teach. Walden makes no representation or guarantee that completion of this coursework will permit an individual to teach at a higher education institution.