Education Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction

Program Objectives

The Education Specialist Degree (EdS) in Curriculum and Instruction is a scholarly practitioner’s degree for graduate students who have earned their Master’s degree and intend to work within school settings or other educational contexts. The degree emphasizes doctoral level coursework to prepare students for specialized leadership positions where original research is not an expectation.  It provides graduates the opportunity to develop the rich knowledge base needed to address problems of practice affecting the greater education community. The program offers multiple opportunities to impact diverse educational settings.

Program Flow

After acceptance, the student will be assigned a temporary advisor and should then meet with his/her assigned advisor. During the second semester of enrollment, the student will identify a graduate committee chair and committee members, establish and submit their program of study to the Graduate School,

Program of Study

Specialist Core- 12 credits 1
EDCI 532General School Curriculum3
EDCI 536Construction of Curriculum3
EDCI 541History & Philosophy of Education3
EDCI 544Philosophical Issues in Education3
EDCI 604Advanced Educational Psychology3
Research -12 Credits- take the following required courses and add one other research course 2
EDU 602Educational Statistics II3
EDU 607Quantitative Educational Research3
EDU 610Qualitative Educational Research3
EDU 612Critical Race Theory3
or EDU 643 Leading Social Justice
Professional Paper
EDCI 575Professional Paper/Project3
Total Credits30

* EDCI 506, EDCI 501 or equivalent are prerequisite courses


Candidates will have a three-member committee. Candidates should work closely with their committee chair to prepare and submit a program of study. The majority of the committee should be made up of faculty from the degree-granting department. The chair and one other member must be from the Curriculum and Instruction faculty. The third committee member must have academic credentials in the area of the student's program of study and be approved by the Head of the Department of Education and Dean of The Graduate School.


The student should carefully select his/her chair after thorough conversations with the Curriculum and Instruction faculty members. The chair will serve as the student's primary advisor and will give leadership and approval regarding the balance of the committee's potential membership. The committee, as a whole, is subject to the approval of the Head of the Department of Education. Chairs and members of a student's committee are subject to change. In addition, revision to the program of study can be made during the course of study with the chair's approval.

Professional Paper

The EDS student will develop a professional paper as his/her summative experience. The professional paper will address a specific issue and contextualized problem of practice using appropriate theory and research-based best practices. Specifically, the professional paper will: 1) frame the problem; 2) review pertinent research literature; 3) identify appropriate methods used to demonstrate the extent of the problem and the efficacy of the solution employed; and 4) provide recommendations grounded in research to solve the problem.

Mode of Course Delivery

All education courses are offered in a variety of modalities including face-to-face in-person courses, synchronous and asynchronous online learning, and a combination of both.  

Additional Education Specialist Requirements

The Education Specialist degree must meet the minimum requirements under the For Doctoral Students section on found in the departmental website with the following two exceptions: 1) no dissertation is required, and 2) courses over seven years old may not be included on the graduate program of study.

Additional requirements for the EdS degree are available through the Department of Education. All EdS degree candidates are expected to be familiar with both departmental and The Graduate School's requirements.

While many courses for the Education Specialist degree are the same as those for the EdD and PhD degrees, it must be clearly understood that admission to one program does not imply admission to the other. EdS students must formally apply to the EdD or PhD program as well as be in good standing with The Graduate School, and not failed the doctoral comprehensive exam.

Contact Information

Dr. Nicholas Lux, Associate Professor and Program Leader
PO Box 172880, Reid Hall 136
Department of Education, Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-2880 
Phone: 406-994-6581 Email:

Application Process for the EdS in Curriculum and Instruction

Applicants are required to complete the online application and submit the following documentation via the Graduate School Online Application System

1.      Completed Graduate School Application

2.      Academic Transcripts: Applicants must provide official transcripts verifying all Bachelors degree and Masters degree coursework (as well as confirmation of bachelor’s and master's degree earned) from the applicant's certifying university. Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded during the application process. Official electronic transcripts may be emailed directly from the Institution to or  Transcripts may also be mailed to the Department of Education Graduate Programs Office, 215 Reid Hall, PO Box 172880, Montana State University, 59717. Transcripts from a degree awarded through MSU do not need to be provided. NOTE: We require an undergraduate and graduate GPA of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale). Transcripts will be evaluated for rigor and academic fit. 

3.      Personal essay: The essay should be 2-3 pages in length, typed, double spaced, and respond to the following:

-Describe your development as an educator, your future career goals, and how you see the completion of a the EdS in Curriculum & Instruction as helping you achieve your goals.
-Describe your personal strengths and interests as an educator and identify the ways in which you believe you could use your strengths to contribute to the cohort of students with whom you will be studying.

4.      Resume/Curriculum vitae

5.      Three (3) professional references:  During this online process, applicants will be asked to provide information about their references. The electronic process will prompt each reference to submit a signed reference letter.  The letters should be from individuals qualified to assess your ability and potential as a graduate student and/or be able to attest to your work ethic and professionalism. References from relatives are not acceptable.

6.      For International Applicants ONLY: Please visit the Graduate School International Application Process website for application submission information.

Application Deadline

Below is the deadline by which all application materials for the EdS in Curriculum and Instruction must be submitted via the online application system. Students matriculate into the EdS program in the fall semester only. Applications to the EdS program are reviewed once per year at the April 1st deadline. Applications received after the deadline may be reviewed for acceptance on a case-by-case basis.

  • Fall Semester:  April 1st

* An early review deadline of February 1st has been set for those applicants wanting to be considered for Graduate Assistantships. Applications must be complete for an early review. A student must be accepted to an education program before requesting a Department of Education Graduate Assistantship.  Graduate Assistantships require students to work on campus 19 hours per week.  For further information regarding teaching assistantships visit webpage:

Admission Process

Complete applications will be reviewed by members of the Graduate Admissions Committee who then convene to make final admission decisions. Once a decision has been made the application will be forwarded to The Graduate School for final administrative processing.  Please note that the application review process will begin at the close of the application deadline and not before.

Contact Information

Graduate Program Assistant
PO Box 172880, Reid Hall 215
Department of Education, Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-2880 
Phone: 406-994-6786 Email: