Educational Leadership

Ed.S. Educational Leadership

The Tier Two, Ed.S. in Educational Leadership is designed to meet the growing demand for highly-skilled school leaders in Georgia. The program prepares dynamic leaders to take the next step in their professional development, while becoming transformational leaders for Georgia's schools and communities.

The specialist degree in Educational Leadership is aligned with the latest national standards in educational leadership, as established by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) and in accordance with the standards established by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC). This degree represents Tier Two of the Educational Leadership structure in Georgia, and those holding this level of certification are eligible for any leadership position at the building or district level.

Educational Leadership Certification-Only

Tift College of Education also offers a graduate-level, Educational Leadership Certification-Only program to students who: hold a Specialist's (or higher) degree in education from an accredited college or university, hold current Georgia educational leadership certification, are employed in a leadership role or position (as defined by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission), and are approved by the employer (district level) to pursue certification (Level 6 or Level 7) eligibility. 
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Which Educational Leadership program is right for me?
  Tier One Tier Two
Degree   Programs: 

M.Ed. in Educational Leadership

Program Length: 10 courses, 30  credits

Ed.S. in Educational Leadership   

Program Length: 11 courses, 33  credits

Certification-   Only    Programs: 

Non-degree, add-on, certification-only option for those  with Level 5 certification or higher (2-10 courses based on transcript  review)

Non-degree, add-on certification-only option for those with Level 6  certification or higher (2-1 courses based on transcript review) 

Clinical  Practice  Hours: 

250 clock hours 750 clock hours (job-embedded)
Eligibility   Requirements: 

Level 4 or higher clear-renewable  educators certificate. Requires principal verification form.

Tier One Leadership certification.  Must be in a leadership position as defined by the school system. Requires system verification form.


Results in Level 5 Leadership               certification (full degree and certification-only)

Eligible for: leadership positions up to assistant principal in building or district level positions that do not supervise other principals.

Results in Level 6 Leadership  certification (full degree and certification-only)

Eligible for: all leadership positions at building or district level


The Ed.S. in Educational Leadership is offered in a 50/50 blended format, with each individual class lasting eight weeks and meeting once per week at our Atlanta, Macon and Henry County locations. Students are admitted to the program three times per year for the Fall (August), Spring (January), and Summer (May) terms. In this model, half of the class meetings for each course occur in the evenings at Mercer, and half of the class meetings are devoted to clinical practice hours at the candidate's own school.


Each year, students come together on Mercer's Atlanta campus to network and learn from experts in educational leadership. This includes cohorts from the M.Ed., Ed.S., and Ph.D. programs. The Leadership Academy includes breakout sessions, keynote speakers, and working groups, designed to expose candidates to diverse ideas and methods on topics that complement and enhance the learning experience. 

Visit our Leadership Academy page for more information>

Learn more about our Specialist in Education in Educational Leadership program

Ready to take the next step?

Schedule your personalized admissions appointment or contact Graduate Admissions at 678.547.6084 or for more information.