Director of Special Education Certification Program


The University of Louisville's Director of Special Education Certification Program is designed to be a cohort-based program meeting the requirements of the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). This program provides each candidate with experiences allowing for comprehensive exposure to the relevant and essential performance standards facing the contemporary Director of Special Education.

The Director of Special Education certification program was designed by full-time faculty at the University of Louisville's College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) within the Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation, and Organizational Development (ELEOD). Also working in the design process were practitioners in the field, including current superintendents, assistant superintendents, and directors of special education.

This program may be used to fulfill Rank 1 requirements in Kentucky, and is completed in a Graduate, non-degree seeking status. Candidates interested in completing a degree program, as well as certification for Director of Special Education, should consider the EdS in Educational Administration.


The following are required courses for the certification program:

ELFH 613 - Administration & Supervision in Special Education

ELFH 633 - Organizational Structures and Operations

ELFH 634 - P-12 Leadership for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

ELFH 609 - Internship in Educational Leadership

ELFH 620 - Legal Issues in P-12 Education

ELFH 649 - School System Administration

ELFH 635 - P-12 Human Resources: Securing and Developing Staff

ELFH 636 - Shaping School Culture and Community

ELFH 637 - Leveraging Community Systems and Resources for School Improvement

ELFH 622 - Educational Resource Management

Program and Certification Completion Requirements

  • A grade point average of 3.0 in all courses counted on this program.
  • Successful completion of a portfolio. Information about the portfolio is found in “Guidelines for Portfolio Completion Requirements,” available from your advisor.

How to Apply

    • Applicants must submit an online application to UofL's School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (non-refundable application fee is required). Please note that applicants must apply as a Graduate, Non-degree seeking students, and select “Education Administration – Non-Degree” as the appropriate plan.
    • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. A 3.3 grade point average in the master's degree is required.

      Please have transcripts sent to:
      School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies
      University of Louisville
      Louisville, KY 40292

      If transcripts are sent electronically,
      please have them sent to the following e-mail: gradadm @

    • For GRE scores prior to August 1, 2011, a minimum combined (verbal and quantitative) score of 900 is required for admission. For GRE scores after August 1, 2011, a minimum 147 verbal and 143 quantitative is required for admission.
      Please note: when submitting GRE scores through ETS, have scores sent to the general University of Louisville code, 1838.
      Need help preparing for the GRE?Sign up for a GRE Information Session .
    • Two professional letters of recommendation. Please list the email addresses for two recommenders in the online application. Recommenders will receive instructions and forms that they will complete online.
    • Application must also include:
    • Kentucky teaching certification in Special Education or School Psychologist including a minimum of three years of successful K-12 teaching experience (with at least one year as a teacher of special education) or three years of experience as a school psychologist.

Please Note: Meeting the minimum admission standard for GPA and GRE scores does not guarantee admission.

Please contact Betty Hampton, Director of Graduate Student Services for the College of Education and Human Development, at if you have any questions about the application process.


Keith Davis, Ed.D.
Clinical Associate Professor
Educational Leadership, Evaluation, & Organizational Development
The University of Louisville
1905 South 1st Street
Porter Building, Room 337
Louisville, Kentucky 40292
(502) 852-6451

Opportunities for Graduates

District-level Educational Leadership Positions

Financial Aid

For general information on financial aid resources, please visit the University of Louisville's Student Financial Aid Office web site.

The CEHD has its own web pages dedicated to financial aid that contains some extra information not listed here.

CEHD Scholarships

The CEHD has a long history of offering scholarships to prospective and current students pursuing an education degree program. The CEHD provides over $225,000 annually and selects recipients three times a year. Scholarship selection is competitive and applies to tuition only. Apply online for a CEHD scholarship before the deadline (March 1st, June 1st and/or October 1st). Applicants should expect notification four to five weeks after the posted deadline.

Supervising and Resource Teachers

In recognition of valuable service to the preparation of teachers and the need for all teachers to have continual professional growth, a supervising teacher or a resource teacher for teacher interns may, with prior approval of the course-offering institution, take a maximum of six (6) credit hours per term at any public postsecondary institution and pay no tuition. The postsecondary institution shall waive the tuition up to a maximum of six (6) credit hours.

To apply, you must complete the Tuition Waiver Certification for Supervising and Resource Teachers Application [PDF]. It should be completed by the supervising teacher, certified by their principal, and returned to our office. Return the form to the Student Financial Aid Office at U of L, attention: Wesley Partin.

Eligibility: 6 credit hours of tuition benefits for each semester served as a full responsibility supervising or resource teacher, or 3 credit hours of tuition benefits for each semester served as a shared supervising or resource teacher. Students may exercise the tuition waiver option up to twelve months following the assignment. Tuition benefits are paid directly to the University of Louisville.


Much of the coursework overlaps with the Specialist’s Degree in Educational Administration (Ed.S.). Is it possible to be admitted into both the Ed.S. and Director of Special Education certification program?

Yes. With the exception of two additional courses, the Ed.S. and the Director of Special Education certification are the same. Most of our current students are those who are in the Ed.S. and have special education backgrounds.