Policies & Procedures

Ed.S. Policies

An Ed.S. program consists of a minimum 65 credit hours, of at least 35 of which must be taken on the Bloomington campus.

The remaining credit hours may be from other campuses of Indiana University or transferred from other accredited colleges. A residency period of 9 credit hours taken in one semester or summer, following admission, is required. Specialist degree students must complete all degree requirements within seven years of the date of matriculating after admission. Students who fail to meet this time limit may be terminated from the program. Such students may apply for readmission to the program. They are subject to current admission and program requirements. See the section titled Policies Governing All Graduate Programs for regulations governing all graduate programs in the School of Education, including course revalidation, residency, and GPA requirements.

A form for the appointment of the advisory committee and electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS) is available on the Graduate Student Portal. The completed electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS) must be submitted within one year of matriculation in the program. Failure to do so can result in a hold on enrollment.

Advisory Committee

Each student admitted to an Ed.S. program must form an advisory committee to assist in program formation and to monitor program progress. This committee must consist of two faculty members from the specialization area and one from the cognate area. A regular faculty member from the specialization area serves as chair. At least two members of the committee must be regular faculty members. The third may be a part-time or adjunct faculty member. The committee must be approved by the Department Chair and by the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.

Electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS)

The electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS) is a coursework plan to fulfil program requirements. It must be developed with the faculty advisory committee, then be approved by the Department Chair and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. An electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS) should be submitted within one year of matriculation. If any courses listed on the electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS) were not taken at Indiana University, a Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit must be submitted concurrently. Links to the electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS) as well as other forms can be found on the Graduate Student Portal.

All Ed.S. programs must include appropriate coursework in the following categories:

Major (24 cr.)

This is the area of specialization. Eighteen (18) of these credit hours must be taken on the campus awarding the degree.

Cognate (9 cr. minimum)

The cognate area should complement the major, and should consist of courses that in combination form a cohesive entity. The cognate courses must be outside of the major area of study and may be from within or outside the School of Education. The cognate committee member must approve the selection of courses in this category.

Research/Inquiry (6 cr.)

A list of approved inquiry courses is available on the School of Education’s Graduate Student Portal.


Electives taken must bring the total to at least the minimum required credit hours for the degree and be approved by the advisory committee. They must be relevant to the program. The electives category may be used to add to the major, research/inquiry, or minor components.

Capstone Project or Comprehensive Examination

A substantial project or a comprehensive examination constitutes the culmination of the Ed.S. program. A project normally requires a written manuscript describing the project. Projects vary from program to program.

Practical Experience

Ed.S. students must have demonstrated successful practical experience in order to be eligible for graduation. This experience may be in the form of work experience prior to or during the program, or it may be accomplished through practicum and internship courses taken during the program.

Final Meeting and Nomination to Award Degree of Specialist in Education

A final meeting of the advisory committee is required, at which the student's entire program, including the project manuscript or comprehensive examination results, are reviewed. If the committee is satisfied that all program requirements have been successfully completed, the Nomination to Award Degree of Specialist in Education can be signed and submitted prior to the student applying for graduation. The Nomination to Award Degree of Specialist in Education form can be found on the Graduate Student Portal.


Workshop courses are intended primarily as a mechanism for the professional development of teachers and other education professionals. The topics covered and the skills learned in workshop courses are generally of an applied nature, intended to give participants hands-on experience with models and techniques directly useful in school settings. Workshop courses are typically scheduled to meet on a concentrated schedule (e.g., for one or a few continuous days, sometimes all day) and afford little or no time between class sessions for studying or for out-of-class assignments. They may or may not generate credit hours. Workshop courses carrying graduate credit require a minimum of 700 contact minutes per credit hour and require readings and papers or projects for each credit hour earned. (Papers are sometimes scheduled with a due date after the end of the workshop period.)

Up to 9 hours of credit gained through workshop courses (including conference and institute courses) may be used in specialist programs.


The purpose of a residency requirement in graduate programs is for students to become closely involved in the academic life of their program and of the university; to become fully immersed in their graduate study for a substantial period of time; and to develop a relationship of scholarly and professional collegiality with faculty and fellow students. To this end, it is advantageous for students in graduate programs to be full-time, residential students for a significant period. During their residency period, students are expected not only to take courses, but to participate in other aspects of the intellectual life of their discipline and of the university community. There are numerous opportunities to attend presentations, colloquia, conferences, and brown-bag lunches in which they are invited to participate in discussions about both theoretical and practical issues in their discipline. Participation in national and regional professional meetings, including the presentation of scholarly papers, is encouraged during this time.

Ed.S. students must fulfill residency requirements by completing 9 credit hours in one semester or summer after admission to the program.

Students in Residential Programs Taking Online Courses

Students in residential programs may take online courses, but on campus courses must account for at least half of their coursework. Online courses do not count towards the residency requirement. Information on tuition and fees can be found on the Bursar website.

Transfer Courses

Some graduate coursework completed at other universities may be transferred into degree programs at Indiana University. All coursework transferred must be from an accredited college or university. No transfer credit will be given for a course with a grade lower than B. Courses graded P (Pass) may not ordinarily be transferred into education graduate programs. Courses graded S (Satisfactory) may be transferred only if a letter is received from the course instructor stating that the student's performance in the course was at or above a grade of B.

All transferred courses must be relevant to the student's electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS). They must be approved by a program advisor and by the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. An official transcript is required for coursework to be transferred. A course description or syllabus may be required in order to judge the appropriateness of coursework to be transferred.

Course Revalidation

To ensure that graduates have current knowledge in their field, coursework must be less than seven years old at the time a student passes the oral qualifying examination (for doctoral students) or at the time of graduation (for Ed.S. or M.S.Ed. students). However, if program faculty feel that a student can clearly demonstrate current knowledge of course material taken more than seven years previously, the faculty may allow course revalidation.

Revalidation is a process whereby a student demonstrates current knowledge of older course material.

Several methods of revalidating old courses are available:

  • Passing an examination specifically covering the material taught in the course (such as a course final examination).
  • Passing a more advanced course in the same subject area, taken more recently (within the seven years).
  • Passing a comprehensive examination (e.g., a doctoral qualifying examination) in which the student demonstrates substantial knowledge of the content of the course. (Only two courses may be revalidated by this method).
  • Teaching a comparable course.
  • Publishing scholarly research that demonstrates substantial knowledge of the course content and understanding of fundamental principles taught in the course.
  • Presenting evidence of extensive professional experience that requires the application of material taught in the course.

E-docs for course revalidation are available in One.IU.  Courses must be justified individually even if a common method is used. A Curriculum Vitae is required when revalidating coursework through professional experience, publications, and teaching. 

The revalidation evidence for each must be assessed by an Indiana University faculty member who teaches the course being revalidated. The revalidating faculty member must be personally convinced, based upon present evidence, that the student has current mastery of basic course concepts and principles.

If the course instructor is not available, a faculty member in the same program specialization area may be substituted. Permission to use a part-time faculty member or a faculty member at another university for course revalidation must be secured from the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

Departments have the right to limit the amount of old coursework to be included in graduate programs.

Transfer credit must be transferred before it can be revalidated.

There are limits on allowable coursework revalidation:

  • Students may revalidate no more than 50% of their coursework for an IU SoE graduate program
  • Students may not revalidate coursework that is more than 14 years old.
  • In accordance with UGS policy/practice, no more than 2 courses may be revalidated via the qualifying exam.
  • Additionally, no more than 3 courses may be revalidated with any single method.

A faculty member may petition the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies for an exception to the above limits on behalf of a student if they believe the student can demonstrate current knowledge and the exception is in the best interest of the student and School. If a student withdraws from an advanced degree program with the intention of earning a less advanced degree, coursework used toward the less advanced degree will not require additional revalidation beyond that which would have been required for the more advanced degree. 

Even when a revalidation request falls within established policy, faculty should require students to take current coursework if that is clearly the best way to ensure students have current knowledge in the field. Coursework age, content timeliness, and student performance should be considered in decisions of whether to support revalidation of old coursework.


Degree Conferral

Degree conferral for Ed.S. students occurs monthly. An online Application for Graduation form must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office at least one month prior to the degree conferral date. In order for a name to be listed in the Commencement program, students must apply much earlier. The Graduate Studies Office will send out an e-mail and post these specific dates each semester. Generally, applications must be submitted by the timeframes listed below, however exact dates are subject to change year to year.

Late September for December Commencement

Late February for May Commencement

Failure to apply for graduation by the deadline may result in your degree being denied for that graduation period. The online application to graduate can be found in the Graduate Student Portal


There are two Commencement ceremonies per year: May and December. May commencement is intended for students graduating January through August, and December commencement for students graduating September through December. Procedures for participating in Commencement may be obtained online at http://www.commencement.iu.edu. Information will be mailed by the IU Alumni Association to those who applied on time to graduate.

Additional policies apply. Please refer to the "Policies Governing All Graduate Programs " section of this bulletin for more information.

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Additional program information can be found at the Office of Graduate Studies.