What is the difference between the Ed.S. and Ph.D. degrees?
Specialist training consists of 72 graduate credit hours, including a year-long internship, and leads to the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree. Doctoral training consists of 122 graduate credit hours, including a year-long internship, early research experience, and dissertation, and leads to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree.
Ph.D. preparation can be distinguished from Ed.S. preparation in the greater breadth and depth of coursework and field experiences. Students in the Ph.D. track are required to complete 12 credit hours in an area of specialization. This coursework usually is taken during the student’s third and/or fourth year in the SPP. An area of specialization is equivalent to a “minor” in other professional preparation programs. The area of specialization represents the successful completion of coursework that would enable the Ph.D. candidate to develop expertise in a specified and coherent academic area selected in consultation with their advisor. Ph.D. students also spend an additional year in an advanced practicum setting.