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Educational Leadership, M.A.

Minimum Totals for Graduation: 30-36 hours

Note: This program is offered through Global Campus only.

The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program prepares students with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively lead schools and meet the needs of 21st Century learners. The purpose of this degree is to provide an academic foundation for school leadership and develop the skills and abilities of educational leaders through performance-based learning. Applicants selecting this program are educators who would like to broaden their career options to include school administration. Students completing this program can apply to the Michigan Department of Education and receive initial administrative certification. This certification is a state requirement for school principals.

The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership is a nationally accredited program by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Admission Requirements, Retention & Termination Standards

Admission Requirement Snapshot

GPA: 3.0

Entrance Exam: N/A

Application Deadline: Rolling Application

See Admission Requirement Details Below

Important Message for Prospective Students: It is highly recommended that students contact the appropriate licensing agency in their state of residence if they are considering an academic program that leads to a professional license. CMU offers state-by-state information at with web links to the appropriate licensing agencies. It is the responsibility of students to contact the appropriate licensing agency and to understand the requirements in their state of residence as applied to their specific situation.

  1. Applicants must meet the requirements for admission to Graduate Studies.
  2. Regular admission in the program requires an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4-point scale).
  3. Applicants must provide evidence of promise as an administrator by preparing and submitting an admission portfolio directly to the Department of Educational Leadership. The following items must be included in the contents of the portfolio:
    1. a current resume identifying training, experience, and professional accomplishments;
    2. a minimum of two letters of reference (dated and submitted on organizational letterhead) from individuals who can appropriately address the applicant's potential as an administrator and attest to the applicant's potential for success in the program;
    3. a two page statement incorporating how the applicant’s program goals and beliefs about leadership connect to the Educational Leadership program and these principles:
      • Vision for student success and achievement,
      • Involvement of all stakeholders,
      • Leadership for a diverse and complex society, and
      • Demonstration of ethical behavior
    4. identification of at least two significant activities which indicate experiences, abilities, and potential for educational leadership. For each activity identified, applicants should clearly describe the activity and the role and responsibilities they assumed, include the number of people involved or impacted by the activity, describe the budget (if applicable) or resources used, and summarize with a self-reflective statement addressing the insight and learning that occurred.
  4. Regular admission will be granted only after the admission portfolio has been reviewed and deemed acceptable by a committee of Educational Leadership faculty. Acceptability will be judged on the appropriateness of the contents of the admission portfolio relative to the degree program to which application is being made. The applicant's statements about beliefs, professional goals, and activities must show evidence of thoughtfulness, thoroughness, and congruence with the degree program to which the application is directed.

Additional Admission Requirements - Must have either a valid teaching certificate and three years of experience or three years of other qualifying experience.

It is advantageous for the applicant to submit the admission portfolio as early as possible. Applicants must submit a complete admission packet and it must be approved before a student is granted regular admission.

Program Requirements

Core Courses (21 hours)

Required for State Certification

EDL 656Public School Law


EDL 661School and Community Relations


EDL 662School Business Administration


EDL 670The Principalship


EDL 690Administration of School Curriculum


EDL 694Educational Leadership Capstone


EDL 699Leadership Internship


Note: 3 hours of EDL 699.

Required Course (3 hours)

EDL 611Using Research for Leading School Improvement


Emphasis Area

Select one of the following:

Emphasis Area: Supervision (6 hours)

EDL 660Principles of Educational Administration


EDL 773Instructional Supervision and Leadership


Emphasis Area: Charter School Leadership (6 hours)

EDL 645Charter School Leadership


EDL 678Emerging Issues and Reform Efforts in Educational Leadership


Emphasis Area: Special Education Supervisor (12 hours)

EDL 663Human Resources Administration


SPE 640/EDL 675Administration of Special Education


SPE 750Consultation and Collaboration in Special Education


SPE 785Assessment and Program Improvement in Special Education


Note: You may only count one of SPE 640 or EDL 675, not both.

Professional Portfolio

Students are required to complete a Professional Portfolio that consists of evidence of significant scholarship and ability relating to competence in administration and leadership. The portfolio is developed and maintained by the student during the graduate educational experience. Portfolios should include evidence of his or her competence in the standard of the Educational Leadership Constituents Council (ELCC) standards.

The portfolio is composed of the student's resume and professional platform.

Portfolios are developed in the capstone course and require departmental approval prior to graduation.

  • Resumé - Detailed educational and professional experiences.
  • Professional Platform - A series of personal statements that provide performance-based evidence that demonstrates mastery of the knowledge and skills required for effective leadership (ELCC, 2011). The platform provides the foundation that guides the student's thinking and decisions he or she makes about educational leadership issues and speaks to the performance outcomes necessary to effectively lead an organization.
  • Supporting Documents - The portfolio also includes relevant documents that the student has created throughout his or her graduate experience that support the professional platform and serve as key examples of the student's scholarly work and performance.

Exit Exam

Praxis SLLA

The Exit Examination is proctored during the capstone course and a passing score is required to complete the program. Students seeking Michigan Administrator Certification must pass the Praxis SLLA administered by ETS®. Students are responsible for scheduling the SLLA at a testing center of their choosing. A full list of locations and registration information can be found at:

Total: 30-36 semester hours