A teacher working in a classroom with a young child at a whiteboard.

Curriculum & Instruction: Ed.S. - Education Specialist

Experienced educators enroll in this online program to further develop their leadership skills in curriculum and instruction.

At a Glance

Program Results

Ed.S. - Education Specialist

Curriculum & Instruction

Program Type

  • Full Time
  • Part Time


  • Online

Estimated Length

1 year (full time), 2 years (part time) 

Application Deadline

Spring entry: November 1
Summer entry:

  • February 1 (priority deadline)
  • May 1 (final deadline)

Fall entry:

  • March 1 (priority deadline)
  • July 1 (final deadline)



About This Program

The Ed.S. in Curriculum & Instruction degree prepares experienced educators to become teacher leaders, curriculum specialists, and/or instructional coaches in K-12 schools and districts. This degree can also prepare individuals for leadership roles and work at community colleges, museums, foundations, and other for-profit and non-profit organizations. 

  • The online program is personalized and flexible. Advisors meet with students to design a program of study that complements students’ professional goals. 
  • Students may choose to enroll in the educational specialist program to extend and deepen their personal knowledge of professional practice, to enhance their skills for new responsibilities, or to become more adept in addressing persistent problems of professional practice. 

Students in the Ed.S. program will:

  • Analyze major issues in professional education practice related to curriculum and instruction
  • Integrate new professional knowledge and skills in personal professional practice. 
  • Design platforms for extending their own educational practice and the educational practice of others
  • Develop and strategically apply skills to address the complex realities and challenges facing diverse students, schools, families and communities.
  • Enhance professional skills (leadership, communication, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills) in the effort to improve schooling.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in written, oral, and non-verbal communication.

Program Overview

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements that apply specifically to this program are listed below:

  • Applicants must meet the requirements for admission to the Ed.S. in Curriculum & Instruction program. These include successful completion of a bachelor's and master’s degree from accredited institutions, 3-5 years of teaching experience, two recommendations solicited through the online application from faculty and/or employers, a goal statement, an updated resume, unofficial transcripts (updated to the application), and a writing sample.
  • Goal Statement. The goal statement should include how your recent professional experiences have influenced your decision to pursue this degree, why you have selected this program, and how you intend to use the degree to reach your future professional goals. The goal statement should be approximately 1500 words.
  • Writing Sample. Students seeking admission to the Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction must provide an academic writing sample. The writing sample is designed for you to demonstrate your skills related to academic writing, critical thinking, and developing ideas with strong evidence/support, applying these skills in the context of your intended area of emphasis. If you have a graduate-level paper from previous coursework or a publication in which you were the sole author, then you may submit it in lieu of completing the writing sample instructions. The graduate paper should fit the criteria listed below. See the Writing Sample tab on this page for further instructions for putting together a writing sample.

Visit our Graduate Admission page for the full admission process.

Graduate Admission

Application for admission is made to the School of Education and Human Development Office of Admission & Enrollment. For more information about the graduate admission process, please visit our Graduate Admission page.

Writing Sample Instructions

Your writing sample must be submitted as part of your online application.

Writing Sample Instructions:

  • Choose a common controversy or issue related to your interests in education some possible topic areas include issues in one of the following areas: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Innovations in Education, English as a Second Language, Instructional Technology, Literacy, Professional Development, Social and Emotional Learning.
  • Using at least 4-6 resources to provide evidence and support for your ideas, develop a 4-5 page paper in which you briefly describe the controversy/issue and its relevance to your intended area of emphasis, critically analyze both sides of the issue, and build a persuasive argument to support your stance. 

Specifications for APA Style (7th edition) 
See APAstyle.org or the Purdue Writing Lab website.

  • Typed, double-spaced, 8.5 x 11 paper, 1-inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font, appropriate headings, etc. 
  • Title page 
  • Body (3-4 pages) 
  • No abstract 
  • In-text citations (minimum of 4) 
  • References list (at least 4-6 sources). You should select quality resources that are credible and appropriate for your topic. With the exception of optionally including one seminal resource that may be more dated, your resources should be recent (generally from about the past 10 years or so). 

If you have any questions about the writing sample, please reach out to the contact for the Ed.S. in Curriculum & Instruction program (listed further down on this page).


To learn more about specific courses taken as part of the completion of this degree, visit the Graduate Record website. These webpages represent the official repository for academic program requirements. 

To fulfill the requirements of the Ed.S. in Curriculum & Instruction degree, students complete a minimum of 30 credit-hours of study that include the following:

Required Courses:  EDIS 7025 Teachers as Leaders (3 cr.), EDIS 7035 Professional Knowledge (3 cr.), EdS Capstone Course (3 cr.)

Students must take one 3-credit-hour course in each of the four C&I Pillars:

  • Curriculum
  • Instruction
  • Assessment
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Electives: Students will work with an advisor to determine 9 credit-hours of electives that may be chosen from the following areas- Educational Innovation, English as a Second Language, Gifted Education, Instructional Technology, Literacy Leadership, Social and Emotional Learning

Curriculum & Instruction Course Descriptions

Information on courses that are part of the Ed.S. in Curriculum & Instruction curriculum can be found on the UVA Graduate Record website.

Additional Program Details

In 2024, the UVA School of Education & Human Development is ranked #8 for best graduate schools of education in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

The school also jumped up 18 spots to tie for second best online graduate education program in the country, and is ranked #4 in curriculum and instruction, and #11 in instructional media design for online graduate schools of education.

Curriculum & Instruction News

Program Faculty

Ottilie Austin

Ottilie Austin

  • Associate Professor
Patricia Jennings

Patricia A. Jennings

  • Professor
  • Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction Program Director
Anne Jewett

Anne Jewett

  • Assistant Professor
  • Degree Director, M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction program
April Salerno

April Salerno

  • Associate Professor of Education, General Faculty
Matthew Wheelock

Matthew Wheelock

  • Associate Professor
  • Innovation Program Area Director

Contact Us


The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Graduate Record represents the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=57&poid=8718.  

As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)). Although California does not participate in SARA, it allows students to enroll in out-of-state programs.

Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).