Admit Terms and Deadlines
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; students may start the program in the Summer, Fall, or Winter. See Application Deadlines.
Minimum Graduate School Requirements
For full admission, applicants must have 1) Earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution, 2) a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program. Conditional admission may be available to applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements.
Applicants must also meet the following program requirements:
- Completed a master’s degree from an accredited university with a minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.
- Recommendation forms from two professional supervisors and/or supervising professors that address the applicant’s professional work quality. The completed forms are due within the online Application for Graduate Admissions. By entering the recommender’s email address within the online application, they will upload a letter and the required recommendation form directly to your application. The recommendation form must come directly from your reference.
- A résumé that details their professional and educational experiences.
- A personal statement of accomplishments and academic goals portion, describing the reasons for requesting admission. This essay must be a minimum of 250 words and will be reviewed as an indicator of writing ability.
Your application will be submitted using GradCAS, a Centralized Application Service (CAS) hosted by Liaison. After reviewing the admission requirements, please review the application instructions and select the appropriate application.
Domestic Applicants Within the application, applicants will follow the instructions to submit official transcripts from the institution(s) that granted their bachelor’s and graduate degrees.
If the bachelor’s degree-granting transcript does NOT list 30 or more credit hours with an overall GPA of 3.0 or over OR list 60 or more credit hours with an overall GPA between 2.7 and 2.99, the applicant is required to submit transcripts from all previously attended institutions. The University may ask applicants to submit additional transcripts after applying.
International Applicants Before applying, applicants must review the international application/process deadlines at emich.edu/international as they may differ from general program requirements.
For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.
The admission process for the specialist’s degree is as follows:
- The Office of Admissions will receive and gather ALL required documents. Completed applications that contain the required GPAs, confidential appraisal forms and the résumé will be forwarded to the coordinator of advising for the educational leadership program.
- The faculty review committee will review completed applications. Those applications that include acceptable GPAs, résumé, recommendations and personal statement will be admitted and assigned an advisor. Applications may be deemed “questionable” due to a combination of low GPA, fair or poor recommendations, poor writing ability, and/or statements inconsistent with the student’s goals as an administrator. The full faculty will review these “questionable” applications, considering the student’s life experiences, verbal skills, writing skills, educational background, and GPAs.
- Applicants who are accepted will be notified following admission decisions.
- All decisions by the faculty regarding admissions are final.
Retention Review Requirements
A retention review will be conducted by the faculty review committee and coordinated by the EDLD coordinator of advising. Students who have not met the following criteria will be identified and asked to meet with their academic advisors. Students must have:
- A minimum GPA of at least 3.3 in required educational leadership courses; and
- An overall academic skills assessment of average, or above, in any educational leadership class.
The objective of this retention plan is to assure that students have an opportunity to review the appropriateness of their career choice and to receive assistance in achieving their specialist in arts degree in educational leadership should they choose to continue in the field. The retention review will be conducted by the EDLD coordinator of advising with the faculty review committee.
- The Leadership Candidate Evaluation form may be completed for any student in any class if they choose to do so. These forms will be filed in the student’s folder.
- The EDLD coordinator of advising will examine the files of all students who did not achieve the required GPA and recommend review by the faculty review committee.
- The folders, with the evaluation forms for this group of students, will then be reviewed by the faculty review committee. If the committee agrees that the record of each student indicates performance below graduate or program standards, the student, and his or her advisor will be notified in writing.
- The EDLD coordinator of advising will send a letter to each identified student requesting him or her to meet with his or her advisor to discuss career goals and the need for assistance. If the need for assistance is established, a plan will be developed. For example, if difficulties exist with skill or concept acquisition, the student may be required to audit a class.
- All decisions made by the faculty review committee are final.
The culminating experience for the specialist’s degree is the student’s field-based research study. It is expected that this project will be presented to an audience of professional peers.
The field-based research course, EDLD 713 , is available to specialist degree students winter or summer term only. Students are encouraged to contact the department at least one semester prior for permission to register for the course.
Degree Requirements: 33 hours
The specialist’s degree program requires a minimum of 33 hours beyond the master’s degree. Students work closely with their advisors in developing programs that will prepare them for their career goals. Candidates for the specialist’s degree in educational leadership must satisfactorily complete all work on the program of study and achieve an overall GPA of 3.3 (B+). The requirements outlined below provide the basic guidelines within which the student’s program is developed.
Additional course work is required if students wish to fulfill the standards for an approved program for K-12 building-level leadership and central office administrator certificates for the State of Michigan.
Concentration Area Courses: 18 hours
Applied Research Courses: 9-11 hours
Cognate Courses: 6 hours
Six hours selected from either educational leadership or other areas in consultation with the advisor.
Course Substitutions/Program Changes - The advisor must approve changes in the student’s official program and substitution of courses before registration.
Courses Outside the Program - The Program faculty has prepared a suggested list of courses. Other courses may be used for electives in this area if approved by the student’s advisor.
Internships - Information is available from the director of the intern program or at emich.edu/coe/lc. Internship placements should be arranged at least one semester in advance and approved by the internship director.
Contact the department head for more information about the program, admissions, etc.
Critical Graduation Information
Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or their equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.
Specialist’s degree requirements must be completed within six (6) years of admission if entering with a master’s degree or eight years if entering with a bachelor’s degree.
In the event a student does not complete the specialist degree requirements within six or eight years of the date of their original registration, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their degree in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.
The following are minimum requirements for all specialist degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some programs require more than the minimum in one or more areas below.
- A specialist degree must require a minimum of 32 credit hours (post master’s degree).
- No more than six credits of independent study courses, and no more than 12 credit hours of special topics and independent study courses combined, may be applied to a graduate degree.
- Residency Requirement:
- For students admitted to specialist degree programs of 36 or fewer required hours, at least 24 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
- For students admitted to specialist degree programs of 37 or more required hours, at least 30 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. Minimum degree hours must still be met for graduation. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
- Only credits from one completed graduate certificate may be applied to a master’s or specialist degree in a relevant field of study, as determined by the Graduate School and with the approval of the degree-granting academic department, and be included in the residency hours above.
- The Graduate School does not permit the use of undergraduate courses (499 and below) to meet degree requirements on graduate programs of study.
- Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at EMU and in their program of study to remain in good academic standing and be eligible for graduation. Students do not need to be registered for classes during the semester of graduation.