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Degree Offerings / Education Specialist Degree

The Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in Career and Technical Education (CTE) is a degree program consisting of 30 semester hours beyond the master’s degree. This professional degree prepares education leaders having a specific specialty related to CTE. Examples of specialty areas can include:

  • Administration
  • Curriculum Development
  • Extension
  • Supervision

Students entering the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree program may continue further graduate studies within career and technical education after satisfying all requirements leading to the Ed.S. degree. Because the Ed.S. is a professional degree, it is expected that students desiring to further their graduate studies will seek admission into the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program, and that some additional courses will be required. Graduates of the Ed.S. degree program who have an interest in pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree must recognize that more additional courses beyond the Ed.S. will be required than would be the case for the Ed.D. For both doctoral degrees, there is a residency requirement that would have to be met while taking either the Ed.S. or the doctoral courses.

To earn the Ed.S. degree, the following minimum requirements must be met:

  • The student must complete 30 semester hours of graduate credit beyond those courses required for a master’s degree. Of the minimum of 60 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree, at least 30 credits must be taken at Virginia Tech.
  • All courses included on the Education Specialist degree approved plan of study must be completed. The plan of study will be developed by the student and advisor and approved by the student’s three-member (minimum) advisory committee no later than the completion of 9 semester hours of credit. The chair or co-chair of the advisory committee must be a faculty member in CTE and at least one other member must be in the School of Education. To prepare for the qualifying exam, at which the plan of study is approved, the student will also write and distribute to the committee a paper describing education and work experiences and career goals.
  • All graduate credit included on the candidate’s program of study and approved by the candidate’ advisory committee must be no more than 5 years old when the plan of study is approved, unless a justification is approved by the student’s advisory committee and the Graduate School.
  • The student will present a project proposal, which must be approved by the advisory committee. The student will enroll in 3 semester hours for this project. When the project is complete, the student will schedule a defense meeting, and the project report must be approved by of a majority of the advisory committee members.
  • Students must successfully pass a written and oral final examination related to the areas in the plan of study by receiving a majority of passing votes from the three-person committee.
  • All students must complete a minimum of 21 semester hours of course work at Virginia Tech after acceptance into the Ed.S. program. These courses may be taken through distance learning. Virginia Tech credit used to satisfy the requirements for the master’s degree cannot be used to satisfy these 21 hours. No more than 6 semester hours of independent or special study can be used to satisfy this requirement.
Each student pursuing the Education Specialist degree in CTE must complete a at least the specified credits course work in the following areas, which may include studies from the master’s degree:
Research or Evaluation6 semester hours
Foundations6 semester hours
Concentration12 semester hours
Cognate3 semester hours
Project3 semester hours
Total30 semester hours

Each Education Specialist degree student must successfully pass the following examinations: admissions interview, qualifying examination, project proposal, project defense, and final examination.