Educational Specialist Areas (Master of Science)

Channel your passion for education into new opportunities.

Broaden your instructional horizons and maximize your passion for teaching others through Creighton University’s Master of Science in Educational Specialist Areas. This unique master’s program allows for educational professionals to explore new areas, diversify their teaching skillset, and develop their leadership skills in just over two years.

All coursework in the program is completed online, allowing you to continue educating others while you take classes. No on-campus residencies are required.

Customize your degree by choosing from four specialized focus areas.

Creighton’s master’s in Educational Specialist Areas is highly customizable, allowing you to choose the proper path to meet your academic, personal and career goals. You’ll choose from a set of specialized tracks to fit your interests and goals, including Catholic School Leadership, Early Childhood Education, English as a Second Language, or Teacher Leadership—many of which can also lead to an endorsement or a graduate certificate. A full listing of courses for all four tracks can be found in the curriculum section below.

Early Childhood Education

Leads to an endorsement from the state of Nebraska – may transfer to other states.

Since 2007, the number of children attending center-based early childhood care and education programs before kindergarten has continued to rise. This track will help you meet the growing demand and make a positive impact on a child’s future through a variety of practical teaching and assessment strategies. You’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to transform your classroom into a healthy, respectful, supportive and challenging learning environment for young children.

Source: “Early Childhood Program Enrollment: Indicators of Child and Youth Well-Being”, Child Trends DataBank, August 2014.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

Leads to an endorsement from the state of Nebraska – may transfer to other states.

The number of children who are unable to learn or communicate effectively in English has grown dramatically over the last twenty years. By putting major concepts and theories into practice, this track can help you meet the rising demand for educators with a background in ESL. You’ll gain an understanding of developing language and literacy, constructing supportive learning environments for English Language Learners and the latest research and advances in the ESL field.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, March 2017. 

Catholic School Leadership

Leads to a graduate certificate in Catholic School Leadership.

Follow your aspirations of leading in a Catholic school setting. Through the Catholic School Leadership track, you’ll learn to promote the distinctive mission of Catholic education, advocate for Catholic students and their families, lead a school faith community and build a positive Catholic culture.

Teacher Leadership

Prepare yourself for a variety of educational leadership positions, such as a department chair, grade level team leader, or instructional coach. You’ll learn to promote a collaborative vision of student success, use data and reflective practice to guide your decision-making, communicate effectively with educators and families alike, and respond to diverse community and political interests.


To earn the Master of Science in Educational Specialist Areas degree at Creighton University, you must complete two of the following four tracks (36 credit hours—18 credit hours per track):

Catholic School Leadership

  • Foundations of Catholic Education
  • School Law
  • Strategic Resourcing
  • Strategic and Political Leadership in Catholic Schools
  • Two EDL or EDU electives

Early Childhood Education

  • Foundations and Best Practices of Early Childhood Education
  • Investigating Critical and Contemporary Trends and Issues in Early Childhood Education
  • Content and Methods Specific to Early Childhood Education
  • Significant Concepts for Early Childhood Education
  • Assessment, Observation, Screening and Evaluation in Early Childhood Education
  • Becoming an Early Childhood Teaching Professional

English as a Second Language (ESL)

  • Living English
  • Curriculum Design for English as a Second Language
  • Methods in English Learning Language
  • Practicum in English Learning Language
  • Framework of World Languages and Cultures or EDU 619
  • One of the following courses:
    •  Foundations of Catholic Education, Intervention
    • Intervention Strategies
    • Analyzing Student Work
    • Action Research and Assessment for Teachers

Teacher Leadership

  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Intervention Strategies
  • Student Centered Coaching
  • Analyzing Student Work
  • Action Research and Assessment for Teachers
  • One of the following courses:
    • Leading Professional Learning Communities
    • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment II
    • Foundations of Catholic Education

Goals of the program along with a detailed course listing can be found in Creighton’s course catalog.


Creighton University has maintained continuous accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission since 1928.  For information regarding the University’s accreditation status, visit

Information regarding academic programs which hold specialized accreditation can be found on this page.

Admissions Requirements

  • Completed application & $50 application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree with 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Must provide a teaching certificate (exemptions available) and have at least two years of successful teaching experience (can be in progress as you begin the program)
  • Official transcripts from all educational institutions attended
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement. See application for specific requirements.
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons other than friends or family members who can speak to your performance in an academic or professional setting
  • Praxis Core Test scores
  • Satisfactory background check
  • Notarized felony convictions and mental capacity statements. See application for documents.

A personal interview or standardized test score may be requested in addition to the above requirements. The interview may be conducted in-person or virtually.

 International applicants must meet English language proficiency requirements.

Tuition & Scholarships

Financial Aid
To help make your graduate studies at Creighton University more affordable, we encourage you to apply for financial assistance, as well as for graduate student scholarships and fellowships. Here’s how to apply for financial assistance:

Monthly Electronic Transfer Payment Plan
The Creighton Business Office offers a flexible monthly payment plan that enables you to make payments on your tuition and fees one chunk at a time. Learn more.

Learn more:

Tuition and Fees
Financial Aid
Scholarships offered by the University
Scholarships offered by third parties

For questions about financial aid, contact:
gpfinaid [at] creighton [dot] edu

Important Dates and Deadlines

Start Classes in Apply By
August August 1
January December 1

Magis Catholic Teacher Corps Option

Applicants to the Master of Science in Educational Specialist Areas program have the option to apply through Creighton’s Magis Catholic Teacher Corps. This specialized two-year experience is dedicated to the formation of enthusiastic, faith-filled and highly motivated teachers in direct service to Catholic schools. Applicants to this program through Magis must meet additional admission requirements.

Magis is a two-year experience built upon three pillars:

  • Community – Teachers continue the sense of community fostered in college by living together on campus during the summer and in small communities throughout the school year.
  • Spirituality – Teachers are encouraged to grow in their faith through ongoing formation and practice of Ignatian spirituality.
  • Professionalism – While teaching for two years in Catholic schools, teachers are required to develop as professional educators by completing a rigorous master’s program.

Students accepted into the Magis Catholic Teacher Corps program receive a monthly stipend, fully subsidized tuition and fees, medical insurance, housing and summer meals. Magis teachers may also be eligible for student loan deferment or forgiveness. Learn more about Magis here.

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