Doctoral Programs

Illinois Superintendent Endorsement


In-Person or Online 30 credit hours * 2 years

Affordable Tuition


*if using financial aid

How to Pay

Program Overview

This program prepares students for superintendent licensure in the State of Illinois. The Education Specialist (Ed.S) degree program is a post-master’s course of study that provides students an area of educational specialization with an emphasis on practice. Individuals who have already completed a master’s degree in education or related field are eligible to pursue an Ed.S. The amount of additional coursework necessary for an Ed.S degree after obtaining a master’s degree is about the same as that needed to get a second master’s degree. The Ed.S degree provides an avenue to advance a career in education but does not require a dissertation. Students in the Ed.S program are eligible for financial aid.

Career Outcomes

Ed.S degrees in Educational Leadership qualify individuals for superintendent and principal administrator positions. While principal positions generally only require a master’s degree, many individuals seeking a principal position will obtain an Ed.S.

Individuals seeking program coordinator and department director positions may obtain an Ed.S in order to gain a competitive edge in terms of qualifications compared to someone with only a master’s degree.

Moving from the Ed.S to a Doctoral Program:
The Ed.S program is designed for students pursuing a superintendent endorsement who do not desire to earn a doctorate at this time. If at a later time the student wishes to earn a doctoral degree, the 30 hours (ten classes) in the Ed.S Education Specialist program may be applied to a doctorate in Educational Leadership as follows:

  • To complete an Ed.D program, the student would need an additional 31 credit hours (10 classes) and a dissertation.
  • To complete a Ph.D program, the student would need an additional 37 credit hours (12 classes) and a dissertation.

Areas of Study

Law & Governance [9 credit hours]

  • Policy Analysis
  • Managing Legal and Human Resources Issues
  • Ethics for Educational Leaders

Management [6 credit hours]

  • Managing Illinois School District Finances
  • Supervisory Theory and Practice
  • Principal Evaluator – Growth for Learning Modules 1-5 (PERA)

Educational Leadership [6 credit hours]

  • Strategies of Educational Leadership
  • School and District Improvement Using Data Analysis

Field Based Experience* [9 credit hours]

  • Superintendent as Instructional Leader: Internship I
  • Superintendent as Change Agent: Internship II
  • Superintendent as Human Relations and Resource Manager: Internship III

*Concordia University’s field based experience training meets all state requirements which include the candidate completing three, sixteen week internships with their District Superintendent Internship Supervisor (DSIS) and the Concordia University Chicago Internship Supervisor (CUCIS).

Superintendent Endorsement Completion Requirements

To complete the Illinois Superintendent endorsement, the candidate must also:

  • Successfully pass the IL Test #187 (or its successor) at the end of the course work and internships;
  • Supply evidence of a passing score on the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency (formerly the Illinois Test of Basic Skills) or ACT/SAT equivalent as established by ISBE, or equivalent out-of-state test recognized by ISBE (effective 8/9/16 if an educator was issued a teaching or support service personnel certificate before July 1, 1988 a test of Basic Skills is not required for issuance of an administrative endorsement);
  • Successfully complete and pass Principal Evaluator – Growth for Learning Modules 1-5 (PERA);
  • Provide proof of at least two years of full-time administrative or supervisory experience in a public school district or non-public school recognized in accordance with 23 Ill. Adm. Code 425 on the professional educator license endorsed in general administrative principal, chief school business official, or director of special education.