School of Education

Administration and Supervision (Ed.S.)


The Education Specialist degree (Ed.S.) in Educational Administration and Supervision at Clemson University is a 30-credit-hour program designed to lead to certification in South Carolina as either a building level (principal) or district level leader (superintendent). According to state regulation, there are two levels of building level certification that candidates may obtain as a result of program completion: Elementary Principal/Supervisor (grades K-8) or Secondary Principal/Supervisor (grades 6-12). The level of administrative certification that candidates may earn is contingent upon their current teaching certification. Candidates are only eligible to obtain building level certification after successfully completing three years of successful teaching experience. Candidates may add district level leadership after three years of successful leadership experience. Both certifications are available (building or district) in the Ed.S. program. In addition, candidates may choose to seek both certifications. This will require more coursework than the minimum 30-hour program.

At Clemson, we strive to prepare reflective educational leaders who are grounded in the literature. This guiding principle serves as the foundation for building level and district level leadership preparation. Upon program completion, we hope that students are caring, capable leaders with the dispositions to bring needed change to educational settings to meet the learning needs of all children.


Our faculty includes both nationally recognized scholars and former practitioners in the public schools. Faculty members have expertise in instructional leadership, the law, education finance, state accountability policy, curriculum development, assessment, school and community relations, the politics of education, school leadership and organizational theory and change. Faculty bring these areas of expertise to each class and attempt to craft meaningful learning experiences that are applicable to the everyday practice of school leadership.


In order to gain admission, students must complete an application for admission on the Clemson University graduate school website. The following are required elements of the application:
  • A completed Clemson University Graduate School application.
  • An official transcript from your undergraduate institution(s).
  • Unofficial transcripts (Official transcripts will be required if recommended for admission).
  • The GRE exam (scores must be no more than five years old).
  • A statement of interest in the program. Please tell us why you want to pursue a career in educational leadership and also tell us why Clemson may be the right fit to help you reach your career goals.
  • Two letters of reference.

Course Delivery

Typically classes in the Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision programs are offered both on the Clemson campus and at the University Center in Greenville. Based on interest, we can deliver these classes as cohorts through school districts across the state. Most classes do meet face to face, but there are also online classes available.

Program of Study

The program of study includes 30 credit hours. A typical program of study may include the following 10 classes:

Clemson University Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision

Building Level Leadership (Principal)

District Level Leadership (Superintendent)

EDL 7000 Introduction to Public School Admin or 8050 Advanced Educational Leadership

EDL 8050 Advanced Educational Leadership

EDL 7150 School and Community Relations or 8200 Politics of Education

EDL 8200 Politics of Education

EDL 7200 Human Resources Management *

EDL 8100 School Facilities

EDL 7250 School Law

EDL 8150 The Superintendency

EDL 7300 Supervision of Instruction *

EDL 9250 Instructional Leadership

EDL 7350 Program Evaluation or 8400 Field Problems in School Administration

EDL 8400 Field Problems in School Administration

EDL 7400 Curriculum Improvement for Admin or 9250 Instructional Leadership

EDL 8850 Current Topics in School Leadership

EDL 7450 School Finance

EDL 8300 Business Management in Education

EDL 7500/7550 Building Internship I

EDL 8500 District Internship I

EDL 7510/7560 Building Internship II

EDL 8510 District Internship II

* Represents core classes that must be taken first.

Candidates are strongly counseled to meet with their adviser to plan a course of study that will both fulfill degree and certification requirements. It is strongly recommended that candidates obtain approval from their adviser before enrolling in any class to ensure that the class will fulfill degree and certification requirements. Also, in some cases, coursework may fulfill the requirements for both levels of certification. A meeting with your adviser will inform you of this option.

The program in Educational Leadership at Clemson is nationally recognized by NCATE and approved by the state of South Carolina. As such, the program is standards-based. All courses in the program in Educational Leadership are grounded in the six ELCC standards: Visionary Leadership, Instructional Leadership, Organizational Leadership, Collaborative Leadership, Ethical Leadership and Advocacy Leadership. The program contains required assessments that measure both candidate content knowledge and professional skills knowledge. In addition, required assessments measure impact on student learning. All candidates must take a comprehensive examination at the conclusion of the program. There are two different comprehensive exams: building level and district level. Candidates take the comprehensive exam (building or district) based on the certification that they are seeking. It is suggested that candidates sit for this examination in the last two semesters of their program of study.

Program Length

Typically, it takes two years to complete the program. Nearly all of our candidates are full-time employees in the public schools of South Carolina. They typically enroll in six credit hours (two classes) per semester including the summer sessions. Classes during the fall and spring semesters meet one night per week for two hours and 45 minutes each in the evenings. Classes during the summer terms meet multiple days each week for either four, six or eight weeks. The summer session classes meet during the day except when those class meetings would conflict with a teacher’s contractual obligation. In that case, classes meet at night.

Certification and Program Completion

Candidates must sit for the Praxis II test 0411 in Administration and Supervision. This is a South Carolina licensure requirement. The same examination is required for building level and district level leadership. Candidates are counseled to take this examination during the last two semesters in the EDL program. It is strongly suggested report these scores to Clemson University. Please make sure to request an electronic score report be sent to Clemson when you register for the exam.

Once candidates have completed course work, passed the building level or district level comprehensive exam and passed the Praxis II exam, it is time to apply for state certification. To complete the certification process, candidates must:

  • Submit a letter to the program coordinator, Robert Knoeppel, requesting certification. This letter must include the level of certification sought.
  • Submit a copy of Praxis II test 0411 scores (this may be done electronically).
  • Complete the top portion of the South Carolina verification of college preparation form.
  • Submit a change of action form to the state department of education.
  • Submit an official copy of your Clemson transcript to the state department of education.

To begin the application process, please contact Dave Fleming, Graduate Program Coordinator. For more information on the content of the Educational Leadership program, please contact Robert Knoeppel.

Important Program Documents

Contact Information

Program Coordinator for on-campus Ed.S. and superintendent certification program: Frederick Buskey (