Policies

Education Specialist Programs

Education Specialist (EdS) degrees are awarded in Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, and School Psychology (which offers a track in School Counseling). The EdS degree provides an opportunity for professionals in leadership positions in an educational environment to receive in-depth academic study. This degree provides the opportunity for the development of a high level of professional proficiency in such areas as instruction, supervision, administration, curriculum, and current research literature. The primary goal of the EdS degree is teaching or acquiring professional proficiency in a specialized education-related area. Because the purpose of the EdS degree may differ from that of the EdD, credit earned in an EdS program is not automatically transferable to a doctoral program. Instead, if a holder of an EdS degree enters a doctoral program at a later date, the doctoral advisory committee will decide how much of the credit earned in the EdS program will be credited toward the doctorate. In any case, only 30 hours taken prior to doctoral status may be transferred into the doctoral program of study.

Specialist Admission Requirements

Admission to the Education Specialist program requires (1) a master's degree in an approved program from a regionally accredited institution or recognized foreign institution (except in the case of the School Psychology Specialist program, which does not require a master's degree, but does have other special admission criteria), (2) a competitive score on the GRE, (3) other criteria as required by the individual departments, and (4) a recommendation for admission by the appropriate College of Education Graduate Admissions Committee.

Examinations

Educational Leadership majors must successfully complete one 5-hour examination in their major area and one 3-hour examination in an area of specialization. Curriculum and Instruction majors must successfully complete one 3-hour examination in their teaching specialty and one 3-hour examination in the Educational Foundations area. School Psychology (School Psychology Track) students must successfully complete one 3-hour examination during the last semester of enrollment.

Program of Study and Academic Standards

A program of study (i.e., required course work) will be specified by the student's program area and approved by the college. Minimal core requirements for the EdS degree consist of 36 hours beyond the master's degree, which must include a minimum of 12 graduate-level hours in the specialization area, 6 graduate-level hours in research/statistics, and additional core requirements that are specific to each of the EdS degrees. An approved program of study must be on file with the College of Graduate Studies by the end of the student's second major term. A graduate status GPA of 3.0 must be maintained in all graduate course work taken at UCF since admission into the specialist program. All academic standards which apply to master's students will will also apply to specialist students.

Transfer of Credit

Any credits taken prior to the term of admission to your program and used to satisfy specific program requirements are considered graduate transfer credits.

The acceptance of transfer credits in a program of study must be approved by the program. Graduate programs may stipulate additional constraints beyond those included in the university transfer policy.

All transfer credits toward a master’s or specialist degree should be finalized by the end of the second term of program enrollment (based on full-time enrollment), and must be finalized by the end of the term prior to the term of expected graduation.

The thesis credit requirement of a program may not be satisfied by transfer credits.

Students with international transfer credits from recognized international institutions may be required to obtain a Joseph Silny evaluation.

No more than 9 credit hours from a previously earned degree may be used to satisfy the requirements of a specialist’s degree, except as part of a formally approved accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program.

The total number of transfer credits may not exceed 50% of program requirements, except under two circumstances.

  1. UCF graduate certificate credits: up to all of the hours taken to fulfill an earned UCF graduate certificate can be used toward a graduate degree within the same or closely related discipline. If the number of transfer credits for an earned UCF graduate certificate is equal to or exceeds 50% of program requirements, additional transfer credits are not allowed.
  2. Transfer of credits from a UCF doctoral program to a master’s program (other than master’s degrees obtained along the way to a doctoral degree):  transfer of credits that exceed 50% of program requirements is at the discretion of the program and requires approval of the Appeals Committee.

Two different types of transfer credit can be brought into a specialist’s program of study. 

  1. External transfer credits: graduate-level course credits completed at a regionally accredited institution (excluding UCF) or recognized international institution.

    External credits are eligible for transfer only if they meet the following criteria:

    • Only graduate-level or higher courses may be accepted as transfer credits.
    • Only courses with a grade of "B-" or higher are allowed to be transferred into a program of study (not petitionable).
    • Only hours that are no more than seven years old at the time the degree is conferred may be transferred, unless part of an earned graduate or professional degree.
    • Only formal course work hours, but not thesis or research hours, may be used as transfer credits (not petitionable).

    External transfer credits are limited to up to 9 credit hours.

  2. Internal transfer credits: graduate-level course credits completed
    1. at UCF prior to enrolling in the program for which the degree is sought, including those taken in undergraduate status at UCF as part of a Senior Scholar or accelerated program; or
    2. as a Traveling Scholar (see Traveling Scholars in the General Graduate Policies for more information).

Internal credits are eligible for transfer only if they meet the following criteria:

  • Only graduate-level courses may be accepted as transfer credits.
  • Only courses with a grade of "B-" or higher are allowed to be transferred into a program of study (not petitionable).
  • Only hours that are no more than seven years old at the time the degree is conferred may be transferred, unless part of an earned graduate degree.

Graduate degree programs are permitted to accept up to nine hours of graduate-level course work taken by a student while in undergraduate status at UCF. More than nine hours may be accepted if part of a formally approved accelerated program. 

The sum of transfer credits from an earned graduate or professional degree, external transfer credits, and transfer credits from graduate-level course work taken by a student while in undergraduate status at UCF may not exceed nine credit hours. 

Summary Table of Transfer Credit Limits 
Student Situation Specific Requirements General Requirements
Transfer credits from an earned graduate degree ≤ 9 SCH Sum may not exceed 9 SCH
External credits ≤ 9 SCH
Graduate-level credits while in UCF undergraduate status ≤ 9 SCH
Other internal transfer credits   Total transfer credits may not exceed 50% of program requirements*

 *Exceptions:

  • May exceed 50% only if all transfer credits are from a single earned UCF graduate certificate; no additional credits may be transferred.
  • Transfer of credits from a UCF doctoral program to a master’s program within the same discipline.

Time Limitation and Continuous Attendance

The student has seven years from the date of admission (prerequisite, articulation, and foundation courses are exempt) to the specialist program to complete the degree. No course older than seven years, at graduation, may be used in the program of study for a specialist degree. Students who do not maintain continuous enrollment (missing enrollment at the university for a period of three consecutive semesters) must file for readmission to the university, although seven years is measured from when the student was first admitted to the program.

Readmission

Specialist students should maintain continuous enrollment in their degree program. Students who anticipate that they may not be able to enroll continuously due to external circumstances should apply for a Special Leave of Absence (see Special Leave of Absence in the General Graduate Policies section).

If specialist students do not apply for a Special Leave of Absence and do not maintain continuous enrollment (see Continuous Attendance in the General Graduate Policies section), they must file for readmission to the university. To file for readmission, the student must complete a new online Application. For more information about readmission, refer to the Admissions section of this catalog.

Readmission decisions are individually made, based on such factors as space in the program, reasons for the break in graduate education, progress in the degree program, among others. Readmission is not guaranteed.


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