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Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Education – Literacy Specialist

Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Education – Literacy Specialist

Allison U. Nealy, Clinical Professor

 I worked on a two-year longitudinal study digging into the fidelity of a corrective reading program in a local middle school.

Allison Nealy

Department Head and Clinical Professor


An Ed.S in Education with an Area of Emphasis in Literacy Specialist is a logical sequence of courses that are grounded in critical, experiential, and interdisciplinary inquiry. Candidates in this area of emphasis explore the intersections of contemporary literacy, reading, instructional coaching, research methods, and technology.

As a program that can lead to advanced teacher certification, this area of emphasis is a unique partnership between two departments within the college, the Department of Language and Literacy Education and the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy. Certification upgrades through the GaPSC are available for candidates who have already been granted T-5 certification.

The area of emphasis requires 30 credit hours and is typically comprised of 9-10 courses, depending on number of credits per course. Electives are jointly planned by the student and advisor. Students will complete a comprehensive portfolio that will serve as the exit examination and will include a public presentation to a professional audience.

  • Ranked #10 by USNews and World Report
  • Designed by Full-time teachers through an online learning approach
  • Leads to a certificate upgrade (S-6) in Georgia
  • Emphasis on developing coaching leaders in literacy


The University of Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees. The University of Georgia also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of the University of Georgia may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (


Credit and Transfer

Total Hours Required to Earn Degree:  30 (credit hours)

Maximum Hours Transferable into Program: 6

Only transfer credits from an accredited institution will be considered. If transfer credit is awarded, it will still be necessary to complete the required number of hours to graduate, which will more than likely necessitate additional coursework above and beyond the degree program requirements.

Admission Requirements

  • Have three years of teaching experience and a valid level 4 or higher Induction, Professional, Advanced Professional, or Lead Professional teaching certificate, leadership certificate, service field certificate, or Life certificate.
  • Must demonstrate earned proficiency through completion of the Reading Endorsement (based on GaPSC Rule 505-3-. 96, effective July 1, 2023 or later), certification in Elementary Education (earned after July 1, 2025), a passing score on the Reading Education GACE (after July 1, 2025), or another valid and reliable measure of candidate proficiency.
  • Have a graduate grade point average of 3.0 from prior degrees.

Application Checklist

Online Education Ed.S.  – Literacy Specialist

  1. Application – Submit the Graduate School Admissions online.  Application fee: $75 Domestic/$100 International.
  2. Select Campus – Online 
  3. Select Degree Level – Educational Specialist
  4. Select Intended Program – EDS_EDUC_ONL
  5. Select Area of Emphasis – Literacy Specialist
  6. Select Intended Term – Fall
  7. Résumé or curriculum vita – Submit online to the Graduate School.
  8. Statement of Purpose – Statement of Purpose- Submit a one to two-page statement of purpose online to the Graduate School. The statement should include applicant’s current teaching role, previous formal or informal leadership roles, and expectations of how this EdS Literacy Specialist will help you in the future.
  9. Transcripts – Submit unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended as part of the online application. Send official transcripts after you are offered admission.
  10. Letters of Recommendation – Submit three letters of recommendation online to graduate school. One must come from an administrator at the applicant’s current school or a school where the applicant previously taught within the past five years.

Application Deadlines

Domestic Applicants 

  • Fall: June 1


Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates and student fees can change each year. 

Based on 2022 credit hour cost, a person completing this program at the recommended pace would have paid $12,510 in tuition for a Georgia Resident and $32,460 in tuition for an out-of-state student.  

Please use the Estimated Cost Calculator on the Bursar’s Office website to calculate one academic (Fall/Spring) year’s current tuition. 

Online students pay the following fees: Connect UGA, Green, and Technology. The total for those fees in the fall semester of 2022 was $147 for students enrolled in exclusively online courses. 

Additional costs may include:

  • Textbooks
  • Exam proctoring fees
  • Technology upgrades 

The complete cost of attendance can be found at

Financial Aid

Visit the Office of Student Financial Aid for information about financial assistance.

Technology Requirements

  • Computer with current operating system (Windows, Mac, or Linux). Additional peripherals such as webcam, headphones, and microphone are required.
  • High-speed internet access.

Corporate Assistance

Consult your employer about the availability of tuition reimbursement or tuition assistance programs.

Military Assistance

Active duty military, veterans, and military families should visit Veterans Educational Benefits to take full advantage of available financial assistance and educational benefits.

University System of Georgia Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

The purpose of TAP is to foster the professional growth and development of eligible employees. For more information, see Tuition Assistance (refer to the Distance Learning section). 

Technology Requirements

  • Computer with current operating system (Windows, Mac, or Linux). Additional peripherals such as webcam, headphones, and microphone are required.
  • High-speed internet access.


The program typically will admit students with an annual fall semester start. However, applicants who wish to complete electives can request a summer start date.

Most graduate students at UGA are not assigned to a faculty advisor until after admittance. A close working relationship with your advisor is paramount to progressing through your program of study.

This degree includes at least 30 hours of coursework and an exit portfolio. The program is planned as a logically organized whole and individualized for you, reflecting your prior education, experience, and interests in literacy.

Your coursework focuses specifically on preparing you for an advanced role in coaching other educators in this discipline.

Ed.S. in Education – Literacy Specialist program of study

Year One

LLED 7925E, Assessment and Evaluation for Literacy Coaches (3 hours)EDAP 8113E, Instructional Coaching in PreK-12 Context (3 hours)LLED 8732E, Discourse Analysis for Educators (3 hours)
LLED 8345E, Theories and Models of Reading (3 hours)LLED 8360E, Literacy Frameworks and Practices with Special Populations (3 hours)Elective Course (3 hours)

Year Two

EDAP 8025E, Teacher Leadership as a Lever to Build School Capacity (3 hours)LLED 7655E, Capstone Development and Lab (6 hours)
Elective Course (3 hours) – Course must have content to meet GaPSC digital literacy standard

Elective Course Options:

  • LLED 6020E, Reading Instruction and Assessment (Clinic) (3 hours)
  • LLED 7110, Integrating Digital Resources in Literacy Education (3 hours)
  • LLED 7318E, Culturally Diverse Children’s Literature, Grades P-8 (3 hours)
  • LLED 7325E, Social Cultural Perspectives of Dyslexia (3 hours)
  • LLED 7335E, Reading Picture Books (3 hours)
  • LLED 7503E, Disciplinary Languages and Literacies (3 hours)
  • LLED 7730E, First and Second Language Acquisition and Development  (3 hours)
  • LLED 7835E, Theories and Practices in Teaching Secondary Readers (3 hours)
  • LLED 7910E, New Literacies (3 hours)
  • Other as determined by faculty advisor


News & Events

US News Ranks UGA Online Programs Among Nation’s Best

February 7, 2024

U.S. News & World Report released their 2024 Best Online Programs rankings with several of the University of Georgia online programs in the top 10.

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Contact us using the request for information form or call 706-452-7936.

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