What is Ed.s Degree? Difference Between Ed.s & Ed.D

Ed.s Degree

“Ed.S.” stands for “Education Specialist.” It is an advanced graduate degree in the field of education. Typically offered in the United States. The Ed.S. degree is designed for educators who want to further their education and expertise beyond a master’s degree. But do not necessarily want to pursue a full doctoral program, such as a Ph.D. or Ed.D.

The specific requirements and focus of Ed.S. programs can vary. However, they often involve a combination of coursework, research, and practical experience. Common areas of specialization for Ed.S. programs include educational leadership, school psychology, special education, and curriculum. And instruction, and counseling, among others.

Individuals who earn an Ed.S. degree may be eligible for certain advanced positions in education. Such as school principal, district superintendent, educational specialist, or other leadership roles. It can also be a stepping stone for those. Who may eventually want to pursue a doctoral degree in education or a related field?

Difference Between Ed.s & Ed.D

Ed.S. (Education Specialist) and Ed.D. (Doctor of Education) are both advanced graduate degrees in the field of education, but they differ in several key ways:

Degree Level:

  • Ed.S. is typically considered a post-master’s degree, sitting between a master’s and a doctoral degree.
  • Ed.D. is a full doctoral degree, equivalent to a Ph.D. in terms of academic rigor.

Purpose and Focus:

  • Ed.S. programs are often designed for educators who want to gain specialized knowledge and skills in a specific area of education. Such as educational leadership, school psychology, or special education. They may not have a strong research focus.
  • Ed.D. programs are more research-oriented and designed for individuals who want to pursue leadership positions in education, and policy development. Or academia. Ed.D. candidates are expected to conduct original research and contribute to the field’s theoretical and practical knowledge.

Research Component:

  • Ed.S. programs may require some research, but the emphasis is typically on coursework and practical experience rather than conducting extensive original research.
  • Ed.D. programs require candidates to engage in in-depth research. Often culminating in a doctoral dissertation. This research is a significant part of the program and is expected to contribute new insights or solutions to educational problems.

Career Opportunities:

  • Ed.S. graduates often pursue positions in K-12 education, school administration, or specialized roles within the field of education.
  • Ed.D. graduates have a wider range of career options, including educational leadership roles (e.g. superintendent, principal). Higher education administration, policy analysis, and academic positions at colleges or universities.

Time and Commitment:

  • Ed.S. programs are usually shorter in duration than Ed.D. programs, often taking 1-2 years to complete.
  • Ed.D. programs are more time-intensive and typically take 3-6 years to finish. Including the research phase.


In summary, the primary differences between Ed.S. and Ed.D. degrees lie in their academic depth, research requirements, and career objectives. Ed.S. Programs are more focused on specialized knowledge and practical skills. While Ed.D. programs are research-intensive and designed for individuals seeking leadership, research, or academic roles in the field of education. The choice between the two degrees depends on an individual’s career goals and interests.

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