Special Education Ed.S.

The Special Education program is not currently accepting applications for the Education Specialist degree. 

The Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) is offered to provide an intensive, cohesive program of professional development for educational specialists beyond the master's level. It requires an academic-specific specialty area, without the extended commitment and formal examination of the doctoral program. The Ed.S. is awarded upon completion of a 30-credit-hour program of study beyond the master's level. 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 Ed.S. requirement must be at or above the 600 level.

Those who complete the Ed.S. program in Special Education go on to work as consultants, educators, and leaders 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. Students plan their course of study with their advisors.


Application Timeline

The Special Education program is not currently accepting applications for the Education Specialist degree. 


Applicants applying for the Ed.S. in Special Education Administration should possess a master's degree in special education or a related area (e.g. psychology, school psychology, communication disorders, school counseling, educational administration) and demonstrate they have met the prerequisite competencies in special education which include the foundations of special education (e.g., laws, policies, and beliefs), assessment, curriculum and instruction in special education, and child development.

It is preferred that applicants possess a teaching and/or administrative license from an NCATE approved program in special education or a related area and at least three years of teaching and/or administrative experience.

Quantitative, verbal, and analytic aptitude, motivation to do well, a specific interest in the field of special education administration and leadership, and likely fit are four characteristics that are evaluated in the selection of potential students.

Required Materials

  • 2 letters of recommendation that evaluate applicant’s educational and professional experiences
  • Personal statement including applicant's interest, skills, and career goals
  • Résumé
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts

Optional Application Materials

  • GRE scores
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) - For international applicants.

For more information, please contact the program specialeducation@umass.edu.


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, click on the link below for the program of your choice for more information.  For assistance in determining whether this program will be appropriate for you, send your inquiry to the program contact identified in the program description.  Access to your state’s licensing agency is available on the Teacher Licensure Agency Directory.


For questions about the program, contact the program advisor: Michelle Hosp.