Administration & Supervision (Ed.S.)

Administration & Supervision (Ed.S.)
Administration professor giving a lecture

Why get an education specialist’s degree in administration and supervision?

The education specialist program is designed for educators who have a master's degree in educational administration or its equivalent. Once completed, you’ll be eligible for certification as a New Hampshire superintendent. Principalship certification is also possible for students who do not hold a master’s degree in school administration or principal certification, and can be earned through additional coursework. In this graduate program, you’ll be immersed in the subject matter, research, theory and field-based experience. Whether working in your educational community or at a policy level, you’ll be prepared to establish caring environments while fostering cooperation and educational improvement.

Why choose UNH for your education degree?

Our graduate education specialist program is offered through both our Durham and Manchester campuses, and you’ll be able to take classes at either location. A part-time option is available in Manchester. Several courses are offered in a hybrid format. The curriculum content of our M.Ed. and Ed.S. degrees is consistent with and keyed to the National Policy Board for Educational Administration. The standards include knowledge and skills in strategic leadership, instructional leadership, organizational leadership, political and community leadership, and internship. A Ph.D. in education with a specialization in leadership and policy studies is also available.

Potential career areas

  • Assistant superintendent
  • Curriculum coordination
  • Education policy analysis
  • Principalship
  • Private industry educational specialist
  • Research
  • State department of education personnel
  • Superintendent
  • Vocational education coordination

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Curriculum & Requirements

This program is designed for those who possess a master's degree in school administration or a master's degree in a related educational field. This program offers advanced preparation for those educators who desire careers as school superintendents, assistant superintendents, state department of education personnel, vocational education coordinators, curriculum coordinators, or educational personnel in private organizations. This program leads to certification as a superintendent in New Hampshire. It is possible to also receive certification as a principal under special circumstances.

Core Requirements
EDUC 964Human Resources in Education4
EDUC 968Collective Bargaining in Public Education4
EDUC 973Policy, Politics, and Planning in Education4
EDUC 977Leadership: The District Level Administrator4
EDUC 995Independent Study (School Facilities)4
Select eight credits in consultation with the program adviser 18
Concluding Experience
A student must complete a field internship and a significant field project in an approved administrative setting.8
EDUC 974
Educational Administrative Internship
Total Credits36

A student who does not hold a master's degree in administration may be required to take specific courses as electives.

The call in our society for strong, creative leadership of our organizations is universal. Educational organizations are no less impacted by this need for quality leadership than are businesses, non-profit organizations, and government.  The Department of Education, in general, and the program in Administration and Supervision, in particular, is responsible for training educational leaders who will fill leadership roles in the schools, institutions of higher education, educational research centers, and government. 

Professional preparation is a blend of gaining expert knowledge, developing analytical and personal skills, and applying them in real world settings. Study at a research institution like UNH provides the link between theory and practice, concepts and actions. Our faculty infuse their courses with the strong belief that professionals develop and use concepts and research that provide a basis for handling new challenges of practice.1 We use scholarship as the foundation for our preparation of leaders who will engage with the communities they serve. Our graduate programs of professional educational preparation prepare our students to lead and engage their communities based on the application of in-depth scholarship to leading educational institutions.

Graduate students in our Education Specialist degree program will be able to:

Articulate a vision and a mission grounded in core values that reflect the ability to:

  • Develop an educational mission for the educational institution, in collaboration with constituencies.
  • Develop an educational mission that promotes academic success and well-being of all students.
  • Articulate a vision of an educational institution.
  • Cultivate and articulate core values.
  • Model the vision, mission and core values through ethical and professional practices.

Exhibit leadership skills that reflect the ability to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and the application of: effective leadership practices; the legal foundations that impact the institution, including human resources, civil rights, and civil liberties; the policy making process, planning, and evaluation; and the ability to consistently use strong interpersonal skills to work collaboratively.
  • Gather information about the educational community served by the educational institution to be used in meaningful engagement and assessment.

Develop management skills that reflect the ability to:

  • Use resources efficiently to develop the capacity of school personnel, and to maintain a safe environment.
  • Establish programs and procedures that meet the mission, vision, and core values of the educational institution.
  • Develop crisis response protocols to proactively react to emergency situations, including short-term specific incidents and longer-term systemic incidents.

Pursue, through leadership and management skills and activities, the core values of creating and sustaining a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion that reflect the ability to:

  • Create a culture in which students, faculty, and staff are treated fairly and respectfully, and that protects their rights and dignity as individuals.
  • Infuse an ethic of care for all participants in the educational institution.
  • Implement policies and practices that support a culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Articulate, advocate, and cultivate polices and practices that reflect the core value of a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

1Student learning outcomes are actualized in our classroom instruction, assignments, and field experiences. We ground our classroom instruction, which supports the student learning outcomes, in the practices identified by the National Policy Board for Educational Leaders Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (2015), and the New Hampshire Department of Education regulations.

Apply now

Deadlines: Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Aug. 15
  • Spring: Jan. 15
  • Summer: May 15
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Department Requirements

Applicants must also possess a Master's Degree in Educational Administration or the equivalent

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

This program is normally not available to international applicants who are currently living outside of the U.S.

Explore Program Details


Admission Criteria

A candidate for the Ed.S. Program is expected to have the following:

  • a Master's Degree in Educational Administration or the equivalent
  • for superintendent license option – at least five years’ experience as an education administrator in a k-12 setting. 
  • for principal certification option - at least three (3) years’ experience as a teacher, instructional specialist, educational specialist, or education administrator.
  • above average credentials including grade point average
  • three letters of recommendation attesting to the intellectual and professional competence of the candidate
  • an interview if considered necessary by the faculty

The core faculty in administration and supervision meet throughout the year to consider applications.


The deadlines for submitting a complete application, transcripts, and letters of recommendation are January 15 for the spring semester, May 15 for the summer, and August 15 for the fall. Applicants for financial assistance should complete their applications by February 15 to ensure consideration for the following academic year. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications should be sent directly to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Supporting materials should be sent to the Graduate School at:

UNH Graduate School 
Thompson Hall 
105 Main Street 
Durham, NH 03824

The Administration and Supervision Program offers the degree of Education Specialist in Educational Administration and Supervision.

Through these programs, the Department seeks to prepare practitioners who will become leaders in their own practice settings and within their profession, applying knowledge to improve education for all students and enrich the lives of clients. Immersion in subject matter, research, theory, and field-based experience provides a base for our graduates to make well-reasoned judgments in complex situations, render informed decisions, model exemplary practice, and take initiative for planned change. Students learn to establish caring environments which celebrate individual differences and backgrounds while fostering cooperation and educational improvement. We stress reflective critical inquiry as a mode of study and community-building as a means for promoting change. We value and support both our students' local practice and their broader leadership within the profession.

Practical experience in leadership positions, quality teaching, varied research agendas, and a commitment to serving educational institutions characterize the faculty. The varied interests and strengths of the faculty have formed the basis for guiding and assisting their doctoral students in completing research on such topics as school finance, collective bargaining, the politics of leadership, retention rates in higher education, public school accreditation, alternative teacher compensation systems, the impact of high stakes testing, and the college president and the technology leader. The inquiry area of Leadership & Policy Studies provides many opportunities for doctoral students to study vital issues effecting educational institutions.

The curriculum content of the M.Ed. and the Ed.S. is consistent with and keyed to the National Policy Board for Educational Administration. The standards include knowledge and skills in (1) strategic leadership, (2) instructional leadership, (3) organizational leadership, (4) political and community leadership, and (4) internship.

Principal Certification Option - Program Overview
Superintendent Certification Option - Program Overview

A Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in leadership and policy studies is also available.

Ed.S. in Manchester

The Ed.S. is also offered at the University of New Hampshire-Manchester campus (603/641-4163 or 641-4313). Students will be admitted to either the Durham or the Manchester campus; however, they can take classes at both campuses. The graduate degrees are awarded by the University of New Hampshire at Durham.

The program in Manchester allows students to complete the Ed.S. on a part-time basis. Two or three courses are offered in Manchester each semester during the academic year, provided enrollment is sufficient. Students who take the required courses when offered should be able to complete the program, including electives and concluding experience, within the six year time limit. Students who wish to accelerate their program may also take courses on the Durham campus.

Financial Aid

Financial aid information can be found on the department Financial Aid page.

  • www.ed.state.nh.usThis is the website for the New Hampshire State Department of Education.
  • www.nhsaa.orgNew Hampshire School Administrators Association
  • www.aasa.orgAmerican Association of School Administrators
  • www.nhasp.orgNew Hampshire School Principals Association
  • www.nassp.orgNational Association of Secondary School Principals
  • www.naesp.orgNational Association of Elementary School Principals
  • www.nsba.orgNational School Board Association
  • www.aera.netAmerican Educational Research Association
  • www.ed.govThis is the website for the United States Department of Education.
  • www.nces.ed.govNational Center for Education Statistics. This site contains large amounts of data on American schools. It is a very rich information and data source.
  • www.aft.orgAmerican Federation of Teachers
  • www.nea.orgNational Education Association
  • www.ncef.orgNational Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities
  • www.educationlaw.orgThe Education Law Association. ELA brings together educational and legal scholars and practitioners to inform and advance educational policy and practice through knowledge of the law.
  • www.iste.orgInternational Society for Technology in Education
  • www.ecs.orgThe Education Commission of the States. Policymakers interested in particular education topics generally  can find what they need on the ECS Web site or can get more detailed information from the Clearinghouse.
  • www.cpre.orgCreated in 1985, the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) unites researchers from five of the nation's leading research institutions -- the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison -- in an effort to improve elementary and secondary education through practical research.
  • www.ascd.orgAssociation of Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • www.uscharterschools.orgInformation on charter schools
  • www.educational-freedom.orgCitizens for Educational Freedom, a nonprofit organization designed to help parents acquire freedom of education for their children
  • www.brookings.orgThe Brookings Institution, Brown Center on Education Policy conducts research focusing on efforts to improve academic achievement in elementary and secondary schools
  • information by topic and online law journals.
  • www.ncsc.infoNational Charter School Clearinghouse, an organization dedicated to the dissemination of information on charter schools.

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