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Education Specialist (Ed. S.)

The University of North Georgia offers an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in Educational Leadership Tier II degree. The program is designed to prepare assistant principals and district leaders for positions as principals and central office leaders.

The Ed.S. program is offered in a cohort model with a combination of job-embedded work, face-to-face meetings, seminars and differentiated online assignments. Meetings and seminars will alternate between the Cumming and Gainesville campuses.

Application & Supporting Documents Deadline

Fall - August 1
Spring - December 1
Summer - May 1
Note: All application materials are to be received prior to the deadline. If program capacity is met prior to established admission deadlines, we will stop accepting applications for admission and cancel remaining incomplete applicants. Completing your application earlier is better.

Quick Facts

Financial aid available
32 hour program completed in 4 consecutive semesters
Partnership agreement with district and UNG required
Offered at both Cumming and Gainesville campuses
3 years teaching experience and leadership position required
Select Your Student Type for Requirements and Application Steps

Degree Seeking Regular


  • Master's degree in a teaching field from a regionally accredited institution with at least a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 (4.0 scale) at the master's level calculated in accordance with Graduate Admissions procedures.
  • Tier 1 Georgia Leadership Certification OR hold a valid GaPSC-issued Standard Professional L or PL certificate in Educational Leadership
  • Three years teaching experience
  • Candidate must hold a leadership position, one who evaluates teachers, in the school or district
  • Required supplemental documents
    • Letter of recommendation from supervisor or school district administrator
    • Current resume highlighting leadership experiences
    • Personal statement addressing the following:
      • Describe your leadership roles in your current position.
      • Please list initiatives that you developed and led at your school or in your community.
      • Describe the impacts of the initiatives listed above.
      • Where did you find out about the UNG Tier II program?

Application Steps

Submit the online application for Graduate Admissions.

Please allow three business days after submitting your application for processing. You will receive an email from after your application has been reviewed for accuracy and updated with submitted documents. Please do not check your application status prior to receiving an email from this office as your online application checklist will not accurately reflect the required items for your program of interest.

  • Non-refundable application fee of $40.
  • Pay with a credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express) or electronic check (U.S. banks only) when completing the online application.
  • Include a check or money order payable to UNG when submitting a paper application.
  • Required supplemental documents may be uploaded with your application or emailed to

Submit one set of official transcripts from each institution attended for all course work, undergraduate and graduate level.

  • Transfer credit posted on records of other institutions is not accepted in lieu of transcripts from original institutions.
  • Transcripts that have been opened, scanned or forwarded by email are not official and will not be accepted.
  • Official paper transcripts are accepted if submitted from the issuing institution and mailed to University of North Georgia Admissions Imaging Center, P.O. Box 1358, Gainesville, GA 30503-1358. Student paper transcripts are accepted only when issued to the student in a sealed envelope and submitted to Graduate Admissions unopened.
  • Official electronic transcripts are accepted if submitted from the issuing institution to Electronic transcripts forwarded via email from the student are not accepted.
  • International transcripts must have a course-by-course credential evaluation by an independent evaluation service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc. (NACES). Official evaluations must include certification that the applicant's course work and degrees earned are equivalent to course work and degrees earned from a regionally accredited institution of higher education in the United States and include a cumulative grade point average. Evaluations should be submitted from the evaluation service to Graduate Admissions. Evaluations must include certification that the applicant has received a baccalaureate from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum grade point average of 2.75. Applicants who have received degrees outside of the United States may be required to submit proof of English proficiency. Applicants will be notified if a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score is required. If required, scores must be sent directly from the testing agency. Personal copies and photocopies are NOT accepted. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two calendar years from the test date. Required minimum scores are, TOEFL internet based - 79, TOEFL computer based test - 213, TOEFL paper based test - 550, IELTS - 6.5.
  • Graduate Admissions will retrieve transcripts of coursework completed in-residence at UNG. You do not need to order official transcripts from UNG.

Board of Regents’ policy requires all applicants accepted for admission or readmission to UNG seeking in-state for tuition classification provide validation of residency and lawful presence in both the state of Georgia and the United States.

Degree Seeking Provisional

A candidate whose application is denied because the grade point average is below the minimum requirement for the program. Applicants may be granted provisional admission pending a successful admission appeal.  See Appeal of Graduate Admission.

Provisional degree-seeking students

  • may register for a maximum of six semester hours of graduate credit.
  • will be reviewed to determine eligibility for regular admission following completion of six hours.
  • are not eligible for federal financial aid while enrolled in courses as a provisional student.
  • will not be allowed to continue in the program if a grade of C or lower is earned in any graduate course.
  • may apply for readmission after three semesters from the date removed from the program because of a deficient grade by submitting a new application to Graduate Admissions with a letter addressed to the Dean of the College of Education requesting readmission.


Students may not enroll in EDS courses as a non-degree student.


Students may not enroll in EDS courses as a transient student.

All International

The EdS program requires current employment in a leadership position in a school district where a partnership agreement exists with UNG. International students who are unable to meet all the regular admission requirements should not apply to the EdS program.

Appeal of Graduate Admission

A candidate whose application is denied has the right to appeal the decision. A written letter of appeal must include strong evidence to support the basis for your appeal. The appeal should consist of information beyond what was previously submitted in your admissions file and detail your ability to be successful in graduate studies.

  • Students whose appeals are granted will be admitted as provisional students.
  • Students are not eligible for financial aid while taking courses under a provisional admission status.
  • Students may not appeal for regular admission.

Appeals must be submitted to:
Graduate Admissions
University of North Georgia
82 College Circle
Dahlonega, GA 30597-1001

Program Questions?

College of Education
Dr. Jimmy Zoll
Cell: 678-325-8367
Office: 678-717-2309 

All UNG teacher education programs are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GA-PSC) and accredited by the former National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), now Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

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