Degree: Education Specialist, EdS
Concentration: Elementary Education


Description of Program


In this advanced degree program, students analyze current issues, educational trends, theories, policies, and practices affecting rural and urban schools and communities. A broad range of laboratory and practical field experiences give students multiple opportunities to use discipline-specific knowledge, critical thinking, and research to apply to issues in education.

Learning Outcomes

  • Acquire leadership skills in curriculum development to effectively plan academic engagement using proven instructional techniques
  • Synthesize classroom management skills and best practices for ongoing school improvement
  • Apply knowledge, research, and technology skills
  • Evaluate system-wide professional in-service programs for relevance to the field of education

Admission Requirements


Admission to the Education Specialist in Elementary Education requires an AA Educator License from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution in addition to the following.

  • Two letters of recommendation (letters not accepted from relatives)
  • Official transcript(s) from all accredited schools attended
  • GPA of 3.20 or above
  • Immunization record to show proof of two doses of MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps, & Rubella)

Degree Requirements


The Education Specialist (EdS) requires 39 credit hours of coursework and a thesis for degree completion. Students complete 12 hours of required core credits and 27 hours of required course credits. An oral defense of the thesis is required for progression to degree completion.

Graduation expectations require the following:

  • A minimum of 33 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed in residence at Alcorn State University
  • Earn no more than two Cs in coursework
  • Successfully complete a specialist written examination
  • Write an acceptable thesis and defend it orally
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credits accepted by the University

Academic advisors are allowed to accept up to six semester credit hours earned at an accredited university with a grade of “B” or higher for graduate coursework completed. Substitutions of coursework are allowed with the approval of an advisor and department administrators up to nine hours if the substitution(s) meet curriculum requirements.

See Transfer of Credits Policy for additional information.
See the Substitution of Courses Policy for additional information.

Academic Track: Thesis


The Thesis is an exit requirement for the Education Specialist in Elementary Education. The Department of Education and Psychology has specific expectations for selection of topics for this exit requirement. Students pursue independent research on a question or problem of their choice in the relevant disciplines under the guidance of a graduate faculty to produce a paper that reflects understanding of the topic.

Specialist Degree Audit


Before candidacy for graduation can be confirmed, each student’s progression to degree completion will be evaluated to determine if the student has met all academic requirements for coursework and other aspects of the student’s course of study and Graduate School requirements. When these requirements are met, the student is cleared for graduation.






Time to Degree Completion


Alcorn’s time to degree completion policy allows 6 years to complete the education specialist program. Degree completion depends on the pace a student completes the curriculum. If the time exceeds six years, the student must petition the Graduate School to consider an appeal for more time to degree completion.

See the Student Academic Appeals Policy for Expiration of Timeline for additional requirements

Degree Plan and Course Sequence


The EdS in Elementary Education follows the prescribed curriculum for completion of 39 hours of coursework.

Required Core Courses (12 Hours)
ED 627 Evaluation and Measurement (This is a prerequisite course that must be taken before ED 698 and ED 699)
ED 629 Research Design and Statistics (This is a prerequisite course that must be taken before ED 698 and ED 699)
ED 695 Advanced Seminar in Elementary Education
PH 614 Learning Theories

Required Courses (27 Hours)
ED 600 Advanced Studies in Multicultural Education
ED 602 Introduction to Research Methods (This course must be taken during the first semester of enrolling in the Education Specialist Program.)
ED 619 Advanced Skills in Reading
ED 621 Management Techniques in the Classroom
ED 632 Advances Studies Methods-Materials for Teaching in the Elementary Schools
ED 633 Advanced Seminar in Curriculum and Pedagogy
ED 637 Advanced Media Technology/Computer Application
ED 698 Thesis I (This is a restricted course. It must be taken at the end of the program of study.)
ED 699 Thesis II (This is a restricted course. It must be taken at the end of the program of study.)
PH 604 Educational and Psychological Statistics
PH 690 Psychological Foundations of Education

For More Information Contact:
Dr. Tabitha Smith ▪ 601.877.4097 ▪ [email protected]