Language, Literacy, & Culture Ed.S.

The education specialist degree (Ed.S.) in Language, Literacy, and Culture is an option for students who would like to pursue an advanced degree beyond a master's, without the dissertation component of the doctorate. The Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree is an advanced terminal degree in the U.S. that is designed for individuals who wish to develop advanced knowledge and theory beyond the master's degree level, but may not wish to pursue a degree at the doctoral level. The Ed.S. provides an intensive, cohesive program of professional development for educational specialists beyond the master's level. The Ed.S is a minimum of a 30-credit-hour program of study beyond the master's degree. All 30 credits must be taken at the university within a four-year period, and at least 15 credits must be taken in the College of Education. A minimum of 18 credits used toward fulfillment of the requirement must be at or above the 600 level.

Those who complete the Ed.S. program in Language, Literacy, and Culture go on to work as consultants and take on leadership positions in the field. Students also have the option to apply for the Ph.D. program after they have started the Ed.S. and transfer credits from their Ed.S. program of study if they are accepted. We offer a flexible course of study with specialization in any of our three concentration areas: Language, Literacy, or Culture. Students plan their course of study with their advisors. 


Applications to the Language, Literacy, and Culture Educational Specialist program can be submitted through the Graduate School

Application Timeline

Rolling deadlines exist until cohorts are filled. Please submit all required application materials by the preferred deadlines: October 1 for Spring Semester admission & January 2 for Fall semester admission.
Applications will continue to be considered until the cohort is filled.


Applicants need at least a master's degree in a related area and previous experience in an education setting. Those who are looking to make a career change should articulate their desire for a career change in their personal statements. We require a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale). The program admissions committee may consider applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 only if their personal statement clearly describes how they overcame obstacles and how they will be able to handle rigorous academic work.

Required Materials 

  • Two letters of reference
  • A personal statement that articulates your interest in our program, your prior credentials and professional experiences, your professional or research interests, and your future career goals
  • Resume/CV
  • Transcripts
  • Online application
  • If English is not your first language, evidence of your ability to speak and understand English: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a minimum score of 80 or IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System) with a minimum score of 6.5
  • GRE is not required


This program leads to initial teacher licensure in Massachusetts. Because of reciprocity agreements between states, you may be able to transfer your license to another state. However, the College of Education at UMass Amherst makes no guarantees that this program meets teacher licensure requirements in any state other than Massachusetts. If you are seeking licensure in another state, you should contact Beverley Bell, Assistant Dean of Educator Preparation,, (413)545-2701 for more information about how to determine whether this program will be appropriate for you. Access to your state’s licensing agency is available on the Teacher Licensure Agency Directory


For more information about the Education Specialist Degree in Language, Literacy, & Culture, please contact Dr. Theresa Y. Austin, the Language, Literacy, & Culture Concentration Coordinator, at