Apr 13, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Educational Studies [Sp.A.]

Location(s): In-person/hybrid

The Specialist of Arts Degree in Educational Studies will prepare educators from various community organizations (P-12 schools, higher education, and other community contexts) to engage in effective research and practice of teaching and learning. The program consists of two primary strands, one that concentrates on developing educators for P-12 learners and a second that prepares educators for post-secondary learners.


Eastern Michigan University’s advanced professional education programs support inquiry, advocacy, and educational leadership for a diverse and democratic society. This program will leave you with comprehensive knowledge, skills, and attitudes to deliver a continuum of habilitative/rehabilitative services to persons with special needs and their families within a diverse society.


As a Specialist of Arts Degree graduate, you are prepared and credentialed to become a university faculty member, higher education administrator, or research scientist. You will be empowered to excel in various leadership roles.

Program Admission

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 not meeting minimum admission requirements.

Program Requirements

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements:

  • Applicants must have completed a master’s degree from an accredited university with a minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Request a minimum of two professional supervisors and/or supervising professors to complete a “Recommendation for Admission” form. The recommenders must be able to address the applicant’s professional work quality. Please share the link to the ”Recommendation for Admission” form with each recommender, as this will not be included in the email they receive from GradCAS. Optional: As an applicant, you can ask for recommendation letters and the recommendation form. It is highly recommended to do so if it can enhance your application materials. If you decide to request a letter along with the form, your recommender must upload both documents as one single file.
  • Applicants must submit a résumé that details their professional and educational experiences.
  • Applicants must complete the personal statement of accomplishments and academic goals portion describing the reasons for requesting admission. This essay must be at least 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.


Department Information

Teacher Education 313 Porter, 734.487.3260

Wendy Burke, PhD, Department Head

Advisor Information

Shawn Quilter, PhD, 313 Porter, 734.487.6567

Chris Robbins, PhD, 313 Porter, 734.487.3260

Degree Requirements: 32 hours

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.