Students sitting in a circle in a classroom

Doctoral icon Educational Leadership Ed.S. and Add-On Program

The purpose of the Performance-Based Specialist (Ed.S. Degree) and Performance-Based Add-on certification in Educational Leadership at Georgia State University is to prepare graduates to be effective school and/or system leaders who positively impact student achievement. Throughout the program, students work on meaningful projects in a focused manner that is designed to help them develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are required to lead school and district improvement efforts. The programs fulfill the requirements of the Performance-Based Educational Leadership certification for the State of Georgia.

Get More Information About This Program

Let us know if you have questions about any of our programs. We can direct you to our Office of Academic Assistance to apply or simply give you the details of what you might learn in a program and how it can help your career.

Program flyer 
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Applicants must be full time, practicing educators and be employed in a leadership position or leadership role (as defined by the school system). Additionally, applicants must also be employed in a partnering institution. Because leadership certification is no longer a self-select program in the state of Georgia, applicants must receive written permission from their employers in order to participate. Applicants must hold a master’s degree or higher in any education field or in other Georgia Professional Standards Commission accepted non-education fields.

GSU collaborates closely with its partner districts to help assure that students are being properly prepared to successfully address the school and district needs.

The Performance-Based Specialist (Ed.S. Degree) and the Performance-Based Add-on Programs prepare candidates in the appropriate building or system level leadership certification track.

Based on requirements from the Professional Standards Commission, the following courses are designated as prerequisites for entering the leadership certification programs. If candidates have taken comparable courses, they may count towards this requirement.
1.  EPEL 7000 – Educational Leadership and Organizational Culture
2.  EPEL 7330 – Law, Policy, and Governance

Course description and classes

View the GSU Graduate Catalog 

Program Contact

Program Contact Program Faculty
Dr. Sheryl Cowart Moss
Clinical Assistant Professor
Ed.S. Program Coordinator
[email protected]

Visit our graduate admissions page for:

  •     application deadlines
  •     application requirements
  •     how to apply

Graduate Admissions 

Based on the Georgia Professional Standards Commission's ( requirements, in order to be admitted into the Performance-Based Specialist (Ed.S.) or Performance-Based Add-On PL-6 Certification Program, candidates must be employed in a leadership position or leadership role (as defined by the school system) in a partnering school system. GSU has partnerships with the following systems: Atlanta, Archdioces of Atlanta, Barrow, Butts, City Schools of Decatur, Clark, The Cloverleaf School, Cobb, Commerce, Coweta, DeKalb, DeKalb PATH Charter School, Eagles Landing Academy, Elbert, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Greene, Gwinnett, Hart, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Madison, Marietta City, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, The Paidela School, Pike, Rockdale, Rutland, Social Circle City, Spalding, Upson, Walton, First District RESA, Griffin RESA, Middle GA RESA, and Northeast GA RESA. (For the purposes of accepting candidates into PSC approved PL-6 Leadership Programs, leadership positions and roles will be determined by the local school system in partnership with Georgia State University).
A sample program of study can be found below.

Year 1
Summer - Three Courses
Fall - Two Courses
Spring - Two Courses

Year 2
Summer - Three Courses

A sample program of study can be found below.

Year 1
Summer - Three Courses
Fall - Two Courses
Spring - One Course

The Performance-Based Specialist (Ed.S.) and Performance-Based Add-on in Educational Leadership both offer either the building or system level leadership tracks. Certificates will be based on whether candidates are currently employed in a building level or system level position. If a candidate is transferred or promoted to a different level, he/she can receive the additional certification by taking three additional courses.
Request for transferring hours are reviewed on an individual basis. Candidates seeking transfer credit should contact Dr. Berry at [email protected] and be prepared with a course description, syllabus, and official transcript for credit transfer consideration. Courses will only be considered for transfer credit if they are five years old or younger.
Yes. The Performance-Based Specialist (Ed.S.) and Performance-Based Add-on in Educational Leadership programs fulfill the Georgia Professional Standards Commission's ( requirements for PL-6 leadership certification.

Want more information? Fill this out.

Get more information