The Educational Specialist degree in counselor education leads to advanced certification for school counselors. Successful completion of the program results in eligibility to be recommended for Class AA (specialist-level) certification as a school counselor.

Admission Requirements

Admission requires valid, master's level certification in School Counseling and at least two full years of full-time acceptable professional educational work experience in a P-12 school system.

An entrance exam score (GRE score of at least 300 or the 50th percentile or above on the MAT) is needed for regular admission.

Admission requirements for the Graduate School (Admission Criteria) and the College of Education (General Admission) are detailed in earlier sections of this catalog.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 30 hours of appropriate work beyond the MA degree in Counselor Education (School Counseling) and the completion of a comprehensive exam are required for the educational specialist degree.

This course listing applies to candidates having appropriate prior certification who begin this program on June 1, 2019, and thereafter. Candidates must present a GPA of at least 3.50 on all courses in the program, with no grade below a C. At least 15 semester hours of the 30 semester hour total must be at the 600-level. All requirements must be completed during the 6 years preceding the date on which the degree is to be awarded.

Code and Title Hours
Foundations of Professional Studies:
BCE 626Readings3
Educational Research (Choose one of the following):3
Non-Dissertn Research (recommended)
Intro Educatn Research
Statistical Methods In Educ
Quant Research Methods
Eval I:Theory & Practice
Instructional Support Area:
BCE 615Field Exper Counselor Ed (Required)6
BCE 633Advanced Seminar (Multicultural Approaches to Helping) *3
BCE 633Advanced Seminar (Dev Guidance - Past, Present, Future)3
SPE 506Working W/Families3
Additional required course (See advisor.)3
Select SIX hours from coursework below:6
Adv Theory Counseling
Couns Stratg Adult-Child
Substance Abuse Counseling
Additional Requirements:0-3
Intro Exc Childr/Youth (Required ONLY IF a survey of special education course was not completed previously.)
Total Hours30-33

The Graduate Catalog is published annually. Program checklists may be updated more frequently and are  likely to provide the most up-to-date information about requirements. Students should obtain the most recent program checklists from their program advisors.

Please note: Courses taken for the prerequisite Class A certification and credits over six years old cannot be counted toward this degree. The certification programs of the department have been designed to fulfill current requirements of the Alabama State Board of Education.

In order to maintain compliance with the Alabama State Board of Education, admission and program requirements are subject to change. For the most current information, please check with the Office of Student Services and Certification or the Program in Counselor Education.


To be awarded Alabama Class AA School Counselor certification, students must:

  • maintain a GPA of at least 3.5 (effective July 1, 2017) on all courses with no grade below a C
  • receive a passing score on a comprehensive assessment documenting mastery of the curriculum
  • hold valid, prerequisite Alabama Class A School Counselor certification
  • complete an application for certification through the Alabama State Department of Education