online masters programs, online masters degree, online master's programs, online degree, online college, online educational leadership degreeOnline masters programs in educational leadership provide the instruction and knowledge needed to organize and keep schools running efficiently and effectively. This ranking was created to help students locate the best available online masters programs in educational leadership. Most programs are designed for working professionals with the desire to expand their education, as well as achieve and earn more.

Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth.” – Chanakya

masters educational leadershipThe challenges now facing school leaders have never been greater. Principals are no longer expected to manage budgets and deal with student behavior; today’s school leaders are expected to do it all. They are the experts in everything from improving student learning outcomes and instruction, to providing excellent learning environments for teachers, staff, and students, and providing a safe, welcoming culture for all. The principal is the crucial leader at a school. This is why earning a Masters in Educational Leadership is essential. Earning an online degree will provide you with the preparation and training necessary to meet these challenges.

What is Educational Leadership?

An online Master of Education in Educational Leadership serves the needs of schools throughout the nation. Programs are ideal for licensed educators looking to further develop their knowledge and skills, as well as those looking to enter into school leadership. These online Educational Leadership degrees provide the training necessary to lead a school. But the degree is not limited to those only looking to lead K-12 schools. There are schools on the list that provide programs and training for students who want leadership positions in government or the non-profit sector. Essentially, an online Master in Educational Leadership is for students who are looking to make a difference in the world through education. They are for people who want to train and support educators and run schools, the backbone of our society.

Why should I earn an Online Masters in Educational Leadership?

masters educational leadershipConsidered the minimum degree required for most educational leadership positions, a masters degree is your ticket to school leadership. Online masters in educational leadership programs provide students the opportunity to advance their career and earn a graduate degree from the comfort of their own home. Classes typically include relevant topics like educational law, school administration, budget analysis, learning technology, curriculum, and leadership methods. Many educational leadership masters programs require students to complete an internship or practicum. Additionally, some programs require a masters thesis or capstone project, or a final examination. Regardless of the program, you follow, earning an online Masters in Educational Leadership is your ticket to the next level in the world of education.

What is your Methodology?

The 30 Best Masters in Educational Leadership Programs was compiled by listing all the programs we could find that offered online masters degrees. We then collected data points from the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. News and World Report, and school websites and weighed the data. Scores were calculated using statistics that serve as indicators of the graduation and retention rates, the school’s reputation, price, and flexibility. The ranking score was calculated based on the following percentages:

  • Cost per Credit Hour- 35%
  • Reputation – 20%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio – 15%
  • Percentage of Graduate Students – 10%
  • Retention Rate – 10%
  • Graduation Rate – 10%

The 30 Best Masters Programs in Educational Leadership

1. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Master of Education Learning Design & Leadership Online

Score: 100.0 || Cost per Credit: $473 || View Profile

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When affordability meets superior quality what you get is a #1 ranking online masters degree program and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign holds that honor.

The top online masters program in our ranking is from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which offers an online Master of Education in Learning Design and Leadership. The masters degree program is 32 credits. Classes include:

  • New Learning
  • Technology & Educational Reform
  • Independent Study
  • Ubiquitous Learning
  • Learning & Hum Dev w/ EdTech
  • Foundations of Bilingual Education
  • Bilingual and English as a Second Language Assessment
  • Assessment for Learning
  • Learning Technologies
  • e-Learning Ecologies

The focus of the degree is to provide educators with “the opportunity to learn how to create more engaging learning environments by integrating new media technologies.” This method is in contrast to old methods where knowledge was handed down; instead, the program encourages students to be active in the design and pursuit of their own knowledge. This is achieved through new digital media that enhances the ways in which we learn and understand. Innovation through new technology is the ultimate goal. Admission requirements include a personal statement, resume, letters of reference, official transcripts, and a minimum GPA of 3.0. The low cost of this highly ranked, reputable program earns the University of Illinois a spot at number one.

More About University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Founded as a flagship university in 1867, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is home to over 47,000 students from 50 states and over 100 countries. The school’s vision statement reads, “We will be the pre-eminent* public research university with a land-grant mission and global impact.”

  • Location: Champaign, IL
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 27%  
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://online.illinois.edu/online-programs/graduate-programs/education-policy-organization-leadership-learning-design-leadership

2. Mississippi College

Master of Education in Educational Leadership Online

Score: 96.0 || Cost per Credit: $331 || View Profile

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Mississippi College offers students a variety of online masters programs as well as some bachelor’s degree and certificate programs.

Mississippi College offers an Online Master of Education in Educational Leadership, an online masters program that can be completed in as little as 12 months. The degree is 100% online and offered from a Christian worldview. The focus of the degree is to use research in educational decision making and prepares you to be active and effective as a leader in your school. This goal is accomplished through problem-based learning, cohort groups, and portfolio development. It is geared towards experienced teachers and school administrators. There are multiple start dates available, making starting your master’s degree a goal that can be accomplished year-round.

Within the 36 credit hours mandatory for graduation, students will complete 330 internship hours and 180 hours of clinical experience totaling 510 practicum hours. Graduates of this M.Ed in Ed Leadership program are eligible for a K-12 administrator endorsement as well as an upgrade to an AA license upon submission. This is dependant upon passing scores from the School Leadership Licensure Assessment (SLLA). Mississippi College offers the most affordable program on the list at only $331 per credit hour, making the total cost of the program $9,950, the only program listed under $10,000 total.

More About Mississippi College

A private, Baptist college, Mississippi College is located in Clinton, Mississippi. Founded in 1826, it stands as the oldest college in Mississippi, and the second-oldest Baptist college in the United States. There are more than 5,000 students at Mississippi College, making it the largest private university in the state.

  • Location: Clinton, MI
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 35.6%  
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://online.mc.edu/programs/master-of-education-in-educational-leadership.aspx

3. University of Florida

Online M.Ed in Educational Leadership

Score: 91.7 || Cost per Credit: $734 || View Profile

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University of Florida’s reputation for excellence extends to its online masters programs.

The Online M.Ed in Educational Leadership at the University of Florida is an online masters program designed for the working professional. Ranked as #1 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News and World Report, this program is top-notch. Coursework is delivered by student-centered faculty and experienced administrators and includes mentoring, which is required by the Florida Department of Education for school leaders. The program requires 36 credits for graduation, and students typically enroll in two classes (six credits) per semester. At this rate, the program will be completed in two years. Students work with a program coordinator to develop a specific completion plan based on their needs.

There is a 150 hour minimum of field experience in a school setting required for graduation. Students will work with a site supervisor and university supervisor to evaluate the completion of the field experience. It should be noted that this program does not provide teacher certification, but rather Florida Principal’s Certification. Please check your local certification requirements to ensure that the degree meets your career goals.

More About the University of Florida

The University of Florida is a land-grant, research-focused university. It is known for excellent programs in engineering, business, biology, and education. There are approximately 52,000 students who attend the University of Florida.

  • Location: Gainesville, FL
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 34%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://education.ufl.edu/educational-leadership/prospective-students/online-med/

4. Montclair State University

Master of Arts in Educational Leadership Online

Score: 90.1 || Cost per Credit: $608 || View Profile

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For students seeking an online masters degree program in New Jersey, Montclair State University is our top pick for an online Educational Leadership masters degree in the state.

The online Master of Arts in Educational Leadership at Montclair State University provides students with the tools and professional preparation necessary to become successful school leaders. Coursework is focused on a variety of areas, including leadership, supervision, assessment, student achievement, and school and community relations. There are many flexible options available to complete the program in format, time, duration, and place that make it easy to find the study option that best fits your career goals and schedule. The fully online format allows students to focus on one course per session, allowing for full immersion in the particular course. Each online course lasts for eight weeks. Taken at this pace, students can earn their degree in two years without the added stress of taking multiple courses simultaneously.

The online program offers the same accredited curricula as the on-campus equivalent and is taught by fully credentialed faculty. Those students who have earned their Supervisor Certificate at Montclair can participate in the MA completion program, which is a 24-credit online program. Additionally, there is a fast track option that allows students to earn a master’s degree with both principal and supervisor certifications in as little as 14 months while working full-time. Classes on the fast track option are offered on select weekends and evenings and in both online and hybrid formats.

More About Montclair State University

Established in 1908, Montclair State University is a leading institution of higher education in New Jersey. The university is designated as a Research Doctoral University by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. There are nine colleges and schools that offer more than 300 doctoral, masters and baccalaureate programs.

  • Location: Montclair, NJ
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 19.8%  
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: One but less than two years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://www.montclair.edu/online/graduate-degrees/educational-leadership-ma/

5. University of Massachusetts – Lowell

Master of Education in Education Administration, M.Ed.

Score: 88.9 || Cost per Credit: $575 || View Profile

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When you’re looking for a tried and true online masters program, the University of Massachusetts – Lowell is an excellent choice, having over twenty years of experience in online education.

Available as an entirely online Master of Education in Education Administration, the program at University of Massachusetts – Lowell requires ten courses for completion. The program is offered through the Graduate School of Education and is designed for experienced educators who wish to broaden and enhance their professional knowledge in the field of education. It is worth noting that candidates must have five years of current teaching experience to enter the program. Although the program doesn’t lead to licensure, students will graduate with the knowledge required for the continuing education of professional educators.

The program is created so that students can begin the program in either the summer, fall, or spring with a cohort of other students, and courses are taken in a specific sequence. There are two sets of core courses, followed by one elective, and then a capstone project. There are 30 credits required for graduation. UMass offers a large selection of online classes; online students have 24/7 technical support.

More About University of Massachusetts – Lowell

The University of Massachusetts, – Lowell’s Division of Online and Continuing Education stands today as one of the largest nonprofit Online and Continuing Education programs in New England. They offer a large selection of part-time graduate and undergraduate courses, degrees, and certificates that are flexible and affordable. One of the oldest online programs in the nation, they have been offering online education for over 20 years.

  • Location: Lowell, MA
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 22%  
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education as well as several other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://continuinged.uml.edu/education/

6. George Mason University

Education Leadership M.Ed. Online

Score: 88.8 || Cost per Credit: $536 || View Profile

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George Mason University has a reputation for excellence that extends far beyond their online masters programs. The school is highly regarded and has stellar feedback from former students.

George Mason University offers a 30-credit online master’s degree in Education Leadership that prepares graduates for leadership in educational settings. Students will develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to create and maintain learning environments. An emphasis is placed on understanding diversity, knowledge acquisition, instructional leadership, and ethical decision making. Virginia residents only pay $630.75 per credit hour, while out-of-state students qualify for an automatic 40% discount and pay $830.75 per credit hour. The online format and designed to fit a busy life. Students take one or two courses each semester, allowing for timely completion with most students earning a master’s degree within two years. Courses include:

  • Organizational Theory and Leadership
  • Contemporary Issues in Education Leadership
  • Using Research to Lead School Improvement
  • Internship in Educational Leadership
  • Education Law
  • Curriculum Development and Evaluation
  • Managing Financial and Human Resources
  • Supervision and Evaluation of Instruction
  • Leading Schools and Communities

The program has two starting dates, one in fall and the other in spring. Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), there are 30 credits required for graduation. Graduates will be eligible for Virginia licensure in Administration and Supervision PK-12.

More About George Mason University

George Mason University is a public research university in Fairfax, Virginia. It is the largest four-year public university in Virginia. GMU is named after founding father George Mason, a Virginia politician who authored the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was the basis for the Bill of Rights. George Mason operates four campuses in Virginia, with a fifth campus located in Songdo, South Korea.

  • Location: Fairfax, VA
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 34%  
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1
  • Degrees Offered:  Less than one year certificate, Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://masononline.gmu.edu/programs/education-leadership-med/

7. Creighton University

Online M.Ed. in Educational Leadership

Score: 88.7 || Cost per Credit: $560 || View Profile

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Students who want to incorporate the Catholic faith with their education when taking an online masters program will likely find that Creighton University is an excellent option.

Creighton’s Educational Leadership online masters program not only teaches the administrative aspects of school leadership but also believe in teaching the importance of compassion, relationship-building, reflection, and humility in their work. The program uses hands-on, project-based learning and internship experiences. There are 36-credits required for graduation, and it is designed to meet the needs of busy professionals. It can be completed fully online in two years. Students choose from two specializations:

  • School Administration: For students who want a career as an elementary or secondary school principal.
  • Teacher Leadership: For students who aspire to a leadership role in teaching, like department chair, team teacher, or instructional coach.

Application requirements include an application, a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher, a teaching certificate, and two years of teaching experience, resume, personal statement, and two letters of recommendation. Creighton is an excellent choice for Catholic educators as there are various classes, certificates, and Catholic School Leadership requirements that can be fulfilled through their education programs.

More About Creighton University

Creighton University is a private Jesuit university that is “dedicated to the pursuit of truth in all its forms and is guided by the living tradition of the Catholic Church.” The University emphasizes service to others, ethical living, and the search for justice and truth. There are over 160 degrees offered through nine schools and colleges.

  • Location: Omaha, NE
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 51%  
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as several other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://gradschool.creighton.edu/program/educational-leadership-ms

8. The George Washington University

Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration

Score: 88.4 || Cost per Credit: $875 || View Profile

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The George Washington University holds true to their high standard of excellence with their online masters degree programs.

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development offers an online Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration. The program is designed for professionals already in the workforce who are interested in K-12 school-based leadership positions, supervisory positions, and increased responsibility in their schools. Graduates are ensured that they will be ready to meet the challenges of school reform, growing school enrollments, and meeting student needs. Nationally accredited and recognized as a program of distinction by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the GWU is known for its excellence.

The program requires 30-credit hours and can be completed in an accelerated format in as little as two years. Graduates will have specifically met the academic requirements for administrative certification/endorsement in the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and other states that honor interstate compact agreements. It is important to check with your local teaching/administrative requirements. The online  Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration at GWU is flexible, affordable, and known for its academic excellence.

More About The George Washington University

The George Washington University is a private, research university that oversees three campuses in the Washington D.C. metro area: the Mount Vernon Campus, the Foggy Bottom Campus, and the Virginia Science and Technology Campus. Named after our first president the University is known for academics, real-world internships, and a global focus.

  • Location: Washington, District of Columbia
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 58%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Two but less than four years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://online.gwu.edu/master-arts-educational-leadership-and-administration

9. University of Arkansas

Online Master of Education in Educational Leadership

Score: 88.0 || Cost per Credit: $420 || View Profile

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The online masters degree program from University of Arkansas is the third most affordable program on the list with students paying only $420 per credit hour.

The University of Arkansas has an Online Master of Education in Educational Leadership offered by their College of Education and Health Professions. Classes are 100% online, but students will need to complete a required internship. There are 33 credit hours required for graduation, and the program can be finished in two years. Designed for professional educators seeking administrative positions in elementary and secondary schools, the program boasts a 100 percent pass rate for the School Leaders Licensure Assessment. Students can apply anytime due to the rolling application process.

Students looking to continue their education to the doctorate level will be pleased to find that this master’s degree easily transitions into doctorate level work. Students may begin fall, spring, or summer semester. Admission to the program is a two-step process. You must first be admitted to the University, and once you have been accepted, you must apply for admission into the program.

More About the University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas is the flagship campus of the University of Arkansas System and the largest university in the state. It was founded in 1871 as Arkansas Industrial University. It is particularly noted for its strong agriculture program, especially in animal and poultry science.

  • Location: Fayetteville, AR
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 17%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://online.uark.edu/programs/master-education-educational-leadership.php

10. University of South Carolina

Master of Education in Educational Administration Online

Score: 87.6 || Cost per Credit: $568 || View Profile

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Students who choose to earn their online masters degree from the University of South Carolina can be confident that their degree is coming from a highly respected and well-established institution.

The Master of Education in Educational Administration online masters degree at the University of South Carolina can be completed in as few as 24 months. The program is 36 credit hours and is geared towards empowering graduates to make a difference for their schools, students, and communities. Classes are taught by experienced professors with accomplished backgrounds as principals, superintendents, and administrators. Each professor is committed to teaching leadership methods necessary for success. Students will begin the program by completing seven core-courses that are three credits each. Each class is eight weeks in length. Classes include:

  • School Leadership
  • School Personnel Administration
  • Supervision of Instruction
  • School Finance and Business Administration
  • Legal Basis of Educational Organization and Administration
  • The Principalship

Once core classes are complete, students will choose either an Elementary or Secondary track, depending on their specialization. The final leg of the degree is completed by taking nine credit hours of related courses on curriculum, research, and exceptional students. Nationally ranked, affordable, and flexible, this online Masters in Educational Administration is worth considering.

More About University of South Carolina

Home of the world’s most extensive Ernest Hemmingway collection, the University of South Carolina is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as having “highest research activity.” Additionally, it has been ranked as an “up-and-coming” university by U.S. News & World Report.

  • Location: Columbia, SC
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 25%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Two but less than four years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://gradonline.sc.edu/programs/master-of-education-in-educational-administration.aspx

11. University of Nebraska – Lincoln

M.A. with an area of study in Higher Education Administration

Score: 87.5 || Cost per Credit: $628 || View Profile

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When choosing the right online masters degree to suit your needs, having multiple options for a more specialized degree is very helpful. With two options available at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, students are able to find a degree that best suits their career path.

There are several online Masters in Educational Administration options at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. The University offers an online M.Ed. with an area of study in P-12 School Leadership that requires a six-credit block of on-campus courses during the first summer, an M.A. with an area of study in Higher Education Administration, state certifications and endorsements, and several online Ed.D in Educational Administration. Faculty consists of experienced administrators, curriculum specialists, and college administrators who are committed to preparing students for rewarding careers in educational administration.

The typical course of study begins with “The Block,” which requires several on-campus visits focused on establishing relationships and plotting your course of study. Once this is complete, students begin “The Core” of online core course that is in session for 16 weeks. This continues through the school year. Lastly, the program is completed by taking online electives the following summer. There are many deviations to the programs, depending on your desired outcome. Please check out the Educational Administration home page to explore the many options and decide which one works best for you.

More About University of Nebraska – Lincoln

The University of Nebraska – Lincoln is a public, land-grant, research university that focuses on research, law, and global access. It is the oldest and biggest university in the University of Nebraska system.

  • Location: Lincoln, NE
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 20%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://www.unl.edu/gradstudies/prospective/programs/EducationalAdministration

12. University of Missouri

PK–12 educational leadership and administration: Online master’s degree

Score: 87.4 || Cost per Credit: $433 || View Profile

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University of Missouri offers a plentiful variety of online masters programs. While many are 100 percent online, some will require minimal time spent on campus.

The online masters program offered by the College of Education at the University of Missouri is an online PK–12 educational leadership and administration. Delivered through a blended format, most of your coursework is online, although some courses have on-campus weekend sessions three or four times a semester.

Each class is semester-based, and students typically take one or two classes each semester, including summers. The average student finishes in under two years. Course work covers the following topics:

  • Data-driven and evidence-based decision-making
  • Ethics and policymaking
  • School improvement
  • Finance and law in schools
  • Providing professional development
  • Politics of school leadership

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and Teacher Education Accreditation Council, the program requires between 31 – 37 credits for graduation, depending on the specific area of emphasis you choose. In general, completion of the program requires 27 credit hours of required courses followed by six credit hours of internship. The fifth most affordable program on the list, the University of Missouri is worth a look.

More About University of Missouri

The University of Missouri is known as the first university west of the Mississippi. It is the flagship of the University of Missouri system and home to approximately 35,000 total students. Founded in 1839, it is the state’s largest university.

  • Location: Columbia, MO
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 19%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: One but less than two years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Post Baccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://online.missouri.edu/degreeprograms/education/educational-leadership/masters/

13. Indiana University – Bloomington

M.S.Ed. in Educational Leadership (Online)

Score: 87.3 || Cost per Credit: $515 || View Profile

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When earning an online masters degree from Indiana University Bloomington, you will be getting your degree from one of the top universities in the country. It is also one of the few institutions considered to be a “Public Ivy.”

Indiana University – Bloomington offers an online M.S.Ed. in Educational Leadership. The online masters program is designed for students who are interested in school leadership. Typically, students in the program are teachers. However, applicants without teaching experience who are convincing in their personal statements about why they are interested in educational leadership are considered. An Indiana principal’s license is embedded in the coursework. Students from other states should check their state’s requirements to see if this program fulfills the conditions for principal licensure. The program requires 36 credit hours and begins with required courses. Examples of courses include:

  • Introduction to Educational Leadership
  • School Community Relations
  • Educational Leadership: Teacher Development and Evaluation
  • Legal Perspectives on Education
  • Educational Leadership: Principalship K-12
  • Data-Informed Decision Making for School Leaders
  • Public School Budgeting and Accounting
  • Practicum in Educational Leadership
  • Instruction in Context of Curriculum

Once these are complete, the student will choose a nine-hour, three-course strand with the approval of their advisor. It should be noted that this program is one of the top ten most affordable programs on the list.

More About University of Indiana – Bloomington

The flagship campus of Indiana University System, Indiana University – Bloomington offers 550 degree programs, and over 200 research centers and institutes. Indiana University is considered to be a “Public Ivy” and is ranked in the top 100 national universities in the U.S.

  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 22%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Doctor’s degree – research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree – professional practice
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://education.indiana.edu/programs/graduate/masters/educational-leadership.html

14. California State University – San Marcos

Master of Arts in Educational Administration

Score: 87.1 || Cost per Credit: $399 || View Profile

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CSU San Marcos offers the second most affordable online masters program in this ranking and is an excellent opportunity for students who live in eligible states.

The online Master of Arts program in Educational Administration at California State University – San Marcos connects theory and practice to prepare future administrators to serve in their educational environments. The degree is entirely online and provides advanced training to earn your Master of Arts in Educational Administration as well as your preliminary Administrative Credential in only 12 months. The program builds on the course work and preparation for the Cal APA testing, which is now required in California. This is embedded in the program to allow graduates to move directly from the program to a California administration position.

The faculty consists of experienced school administrators. There are no more than 25 students per class to ensure a high level of interaction with faculty. An important aspect of the program is for students to conduct meaningful field experience work in school settings. One downfall of the program is to be considered for admission; you must reside in one of the following states:

  • Arizona
  • Oklahoma
  • California
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Utah
  • Hawaii
  • Wisconsin

Should you fall into this residency requirement, you are in luck, as this is the second most affordable program on the list.

More About California State University San Marcos

Founded in 1989, California State University San Marcos is the 20th school in the California State system. It is a public university located in San Marcos, California. The University offers 62 degrees through four colleges.

  • Location: San Marcos, CA
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 7.2%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 26 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://www.csusm.edu/el/degreeprograms/edadmin/index.html

15. Ohio University

Master’s in Educational Administration

Score: 86.5 || Cost per Credit: $505 || View Profile

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With experience comes excellence, and Ohio University is one of the oldest public universities in the country. It can be the perfect place for earning a hybrid or online masters degree.

The Master’s in Educational Administration at Ohio University is not your average online masters program, but a blended program. The program offers aspiring leaders the opportunity to develop the foundations and application of educational leadership. A bit different than other programs on the list, this program is for individuals who are interested in receiving a degree that is focused on leadership but who are not seeking administrative or another licensure. Students will work with an advisor to develop an individualized program of study that aligns with their professional goals. The program is a blended format of both face-to-face and online learning.

Admission is available each term, and students can apply year-round. In addition to this program, Ohio University also offers a Principal Preparation Program that uses both online and in-class instruction. This program provides the course work and internships required for both an Ohio principal’s license and/or a master’s degree in educational administration. There are several options at Ohio University, all at a low cost of only $505 per credit hour, which is one of the ten most affordable on the list.

More About Ohio University

Founded in 1804, Ohio University is a public research university which resides in Athens, Ohio. Not only is Ohio University the oldest university in Ohio, but it is also the eighth oldest public university in the United States. There are currently almost 35,000 who attend Ohio University.

  • Location: Athens, OH
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 19%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://www.ohio.edu/education/ed-studies/ed-admin-masters

16. Ball State University

Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision

Score: 83.1 || Cost per Credit: $616 || View Profile

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BSU is an excellent choice for an online masters program and has been featured in several OnlineCollegePlan rankings.

Ball State University offers an online Master of Arts in Education in Educational Administration and Supervision that provides students with the preparation required to earn a P-12 principal’s license.

The program requires 36 credits and can be completed in as little as 18-20 months. There is a required internship that is worth six credits. This principal internship can be served at an elementary school, middle school, or high school. For the working teacher, the internship can be served at your workplace, making it convenient for those who are still in the workforce. Elementary and secondary internship experience will be needed as both are required for licensure. Even though classes are entirely online, students have access to the full services of the university, including library services, tutoring, The Writing Center, and technology support. There are 33 credit hours of required courses including:

  • Introduction to Educational Leadership
  • Human Resource Development
  • Educational Decision Making
  • Supervision of Instruction
  • Educational Finance and Ethics
  • School Law
  • The School Principal
  • Principal Internship

Once these classes are complete, the degree is finished with three elective courses.

More About Ball State University

Founded in 1918 as a teacher training school, Ball State University is now a large university with approximately 21,000 students and almost 100 majors. The University is classified as an “R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

  • Location: Muncie, IN
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 21%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice

Program Website: https://www.bsu.edu/academics/collegesanddepartments/online/academic-programs/masters/maedadmin

17. University of Northern Colorado

Educational Leadership Master of Arts (MA)

Score: 81.9 || Cost per Credit: $520 || View Profile

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The University of Northern Colorado excels in variety with three educational leadership options for an online masters degree program.

The University of Northern Colorado offers students three Educational Leadership online masters degrees. Students may choose from three options:

  • Educational Leadership Master of Arts (MA) degree, which includes Principal Licensure.
  • Principal (K-12) Licensure, a licensure-only program.
  • Educational Leadership Educational Specialist (EdS) degree, which includes Principal (K-12) Licensure, and is for those who already have a master’s degree.

All three programs are designed in accordance with the Standards for Principals through the Colorado Department of Education and State Board of Education. They will satisfy the requirements for a Colorado Principal (K-12) license. Students from other states need to check with the standards in their state. Both of the Educational Leadership degrees require 30 credit hours, while the Principal Licensure only requires 27 credits. You can begin the programs at the start of any term, and it takes an average of 15 – 20 months to complete them. The University of Northern Colorado offers one of the ten most affordable degrees on the list, making it worth looking into for your Educational Leadership degree.

More About University of Northern Colorado

Founded in 1889 under the name of State Normal School of Colorado, the University of Northern Colorado has a long history of teacher education. There are almost 12,000 students enrolled in six colleges. UNC has three extended campuses in Loveland, Denver, and Colorado Springs.

  • Location: Greeley, CO
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 19.8%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship

Program Website: https://www.unco.edu/programs/educational-leadership/educational-leadership-master-arts/https://www.bsu.edu/academics/collegesanddepartments/online/academic-programs/masters/maedadmin

18. San Diego State University

Online Master of Arts in Educational Leadership

Score: 81.5 || Cost per Credit: $598 || View Profile

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The online Master of Arts in Educational Leadership offered at SDSU has the advantage of being able to be completed in about one year. Many other online masters programs take about two years to complete.

Designed for educators, San Diego State University’s Department of Educational Leadership offers a fully online Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. The program desires for teachers and school administrators to be leaders at the PK-12 classroom, school, or district level and to lead the revolution in training students to use technology along with critical thinking. The program can be completed in as little as a year. Courses don’t follow a traditional schedule of terms; instead, each class has its own timeline and typically takes 4 – 6 weeks to complete. Classes include:

  • Methods of Inquiry
  • Organizational and Systems Leadership
  • Visionary Leadership
  • School Improvement Leadership
  • Professional Learning and Growth Leadership
  • Communication, Problem Solving, and Decision Making in PK12
  • Seminar in PK-12 Educational Administration: Seminar for Personalized Learning and Leading Through Technology
  • Seminar: Tech Architecture

There are several other required seminars and a special study class, and then you are on your way to graduation.

More About San Diego State University

San Diego State University is known as a primary educator of the region’s workforce, as 60 percent of SDSU graduates remain in San Diego. The University generates over $2.4 billion annually for the San Diego economy. SDSU ranks within the top ten universities in the country in terms of ethnic and racial diversity among its student body, showing the University’s commitment to diversity.

  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 13.8%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice, Doctor’s degree – other

Program Website: https://ces.sdsu.edu/education/ma-educational-leadership

19. Kansas State University

Educational Leadership Master’s Degree

Score: 81.4 || Cost per Credit: $567 || View Profile

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Whether you are seeking licensure or simply a degree, the online master’s program at Kansas State University for educational leadership could be the right one for you.

The online master’s program offered by the College of Education at Kansas State University, an Educational Leadership Master’s Degree, has options for both licensure and non-licensure tracks. The program consists of newly designed courses that are designed to take a broad view of leadership beyond the traditional education and training of school administrators. Students who are looking to earn their  Kansas licensure as a building administrator (principal) or a district school administrator (superintendent) will need to complete 36 credit hours. Students who are not looking for licensure, but a masters degree only, will need to complete 30 credit hours.

Classes are delivered hybrid style with web-enhanced components as well as face to face sessions or synchronous video conferencing sessions. The program consists of three segments: A nine-credit Leadership Core, six credits focused on Student Learning Needs, followed by 21 credits of Leadership Operations. All courses are three credits, and your specific path of study will be determined with your advisor. The Education Program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Kansas State Department of Education.

More About Kansas State University

With more than 300 degree options, Kansas State University is pleasantly situated among rolling hills and tall grasses. It is classified as one of 115 research universities with high research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

  • Location: Manhattan, KS
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 18%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://global.k-state.edu/education/educational-leadership/

20. University of Cincinnati

Master of Education in Educational Leadership

Score: 78.8 || Cost per Credit: $739 || View Profile

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Earning your online masters degree from UC, you can feel confident about receiving your degree from an institution with a history of innovation, invention, and prestige.

The University of Cincinnati offers an online masters degree program for the working professional. The Master of Education in Educational Leadership program is designed to prepare students for educational leadership roles in education administration or within the classroom. Offered 100% online, the program can be completed in as little as a year. There are no GRE requirements for qualified applicants, and there is the flexibility to complete the program both part-time and full-time, offering maximum flexibility for the working adult. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher, a goal statement, a valid, current teaching license, two years of educational experience, and three letters of recommendation. Students in the Master of Education in Educational Leadership will choose from four concentration areas:

  • Special Education Leadership
  • Early Childhood Leadership
  • Principal Leadership
  • Online Learning and Leadership

There are 15 credit hours of the required core courses and 15 credit hours of concentration-related courses, making the entire program 30 credit hours. The University of Cincinnati is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and the College of Education is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

More About University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati is known for research and has a reputation for successful innovation. The world’s first electronic organ, heart-lung machine, antihistamine, and oral polio vaccine all come from this inventive institution.

  • Location: Cincinnati, OH
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 31%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Two but less than four years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Post Baccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://online.uc.edu/masters-programs/med-educational-leadership/

21. University at Albany, SUNY

International Education Management and Leadership MA

Score: 77.7 || Cost per Credit: $944 || View Profile

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Earning your online masters degree while working can be a challenge, and UAlbany offers one designed for part-time students.

The School of Education at the University at Albany, SUNY offers an International Education Management and Leadership Master of Arts that is a fully online masters program and intended for part-time students. Admission requirements include official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a resume, a statement of goals, and an essay. One of the more unique programs on the list, this program offers an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience to fulfill course requirements. The global focus is evident in their curriculum. Classes include:

  • Introduction to International Educational Management
  • Administration of Institutions of Higher Education
  • Higher Education Finance
  • Educational Entrepreneurship
  • Student Services in International Education
  • Cross Border Higher Education
  • Seminar on Global Politics of Educational Quality
  • Quantitative Methods in Educational Leadership
  • Survey Research Methods

There are 30 credits required for graduation, and when complete, students will have “the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective managers and leaders in the international education field.”

More About University at Albany, SUNY

The largest and most well-known, the University at Albany is one of 64 campuses that are in the State University of New York system. There are three campuses:  the Downtown Campus in Albany, the Uptown Campus in Albany and Guilderland, and the Health Sciences Campus in the City of Rensselaer, which is across the Hudson River. There are approximately 18,000 students in nine schools and colleges.

  • Location: Albany, NY
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 25%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education as well as several other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://www.albany.edu/graduate/international-education-management-leadership-ma-degree.php

22. University of North Texas

M.Ed. in Educational Leadership Online

Score: 77.2 || Cost per Credit: $823 || View Profile

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The online masters degree programs offered by UNT are flexible, and with five starting dates throughout the year, students don’t have to wait to start earning their degree.

There are two Educational Leadership degrees worth looking into at the University of North Texas. There is an accelerated online master’s degree in Educational Leadership and an accelerated online Texas Principal as Instructional Leader certification program. Focused on current theory and research, students will learn to make decisions regarding school culture, student achievement, and effective teaching practices. The Texas Principal as Instructional Leader certification can be earned in less than one year. Both programs are 100% online and require eight or ten-week courses with five available start dates.

Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the programs are affordable, especially for Texas residents. Students typically only take one or two courses at a time, making the workload doable for the working adult. The 30-hour M.Ed. program requires 10 Educational Leadership courses. The 21-hour Principal as Instructional Leader program consists of seven Educational Leadership courses. There are five available start dates annually: January, March, June, August, and October.

More About the University of North Texas

The University of North Texas is the flagship university in the University of North Texas System. Located in Denton, Texas, UNT offers over 200 academic options. It is the sixth-largest university in the state.

  • Location: Denton, TX
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 18%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 26 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://edmastersonline.unt.edu/

23. Penn State World Campus

Online Masters in Education (several options)

Score: 77.1 || Cost per Credit: $886 || View Profile

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Penn State World Campus offers students one of the largest selections of online college programs in the nation. Penn State is often regarded as a “Public Ivy” school, another great reason to earn your online masters degree there.

Together with the College of Education, Penn State World Campus offers a completely online Master of Education in Educational Leadership, with the choice of three emphasis areas. The Teacher Leader emphasis allows students to continue teaching in the classroom while pursuing roles such as mentor teacher, lead teacher, or department head. The School Leader emphasis is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and meets Pennsylvania State educational requirements for school principal certification. It should be noted that only Pennsylvania-certified educators are eligible to apply for the Graduate Certificate for Principalship or the School Leader emphasis. The Masters in Educational Leadership with the Teacher Leader emphasis is open to all educators. The third emphasis is a School Leader emphasis.

This program does not lead to principal certification. All degrees require 30 credits for graduation, and students typically take three or four courses per year. Because Penn State is a pioneer in online education, there is no doubt that they offer excellent online education. The program utilizes a blend of print, web technology, and other media to maximize flexibility along with student/professor interaction.

More About Penn State World Campus

One of the largest online universities in the nation, Penn State World Campus is home to approximately 15,000 students. The World Campus offers over 150 online undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs.

  • Location: University Park, PA
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 42%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/educational-leadership-masters/overview

24. The University of Iowa

Online MA in Educational Leadership

Score: 76.9 || Cost per Credit: $544 || View Profile

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Currently, The University of Iowa offers 39 popular online graduate degrees and certificates as well as online undergraduate degrees and certificates as part of their growing online offerings.

There are two online masters programs available at The University of Iowa; both are Master of Arts in Educational Leadership degrees. One ends in principal licensure, and the other doesn’t. The M.A. in Educational Leadership with principal licensure requires 36 semester hours to graduate. This includes 12 semester hours of clinical coursework. There are three years of teaching at the Pre K-12 level required to obtain this endorsement.

The M.A. in Educational Leadership that does not lead to principal licensure is focused on preparing candidates to be leaders at organizations that do not require licensure. Examples of this are governmental agencies or non-profit organizations. This program also requires 36 semester hours for graduation. Twelve semester hours of elective coursework will be selected in consultation your student’s advisor. This non-licensure track is a hybrid degree. Classes include:

  • Foundations of School Administration
  • Administration of Students with Special Needs
  • Research for Effective School Leaders
  • Contemporary Management Strategies for the K-12 Principal
  • School and Community Relationships
  • Legal Aspect of School Personnel
  • Analysis and Appraisal of Curriculum
  • Supervision and Evaluation

Both program end with a required comprehensive exam.

More About The University of Iowa

A space-grant university, the University of Iowa is known for science and innovation. The extensive university offers over 200 programs, and 13 of their graduate programs are ranked in the top 10 amongst competitors.

  • Location: Iowa City, IA
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 25%  
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://education.uiowa.edu/academic-programs/educational-leadership

25. Liberty University

Master of Education in Administration and Supervision

Score: 76.8 || Cost per Credit: $415 || View Profile

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Liberty University is the largest Christian university in the United States by enrollment and offers many online masters programs as well as online programs and certificates for students at other levels of education.

Liberty offers a 100-percent online Master of Education program in Administration and Supervision. The NCATE-accredited degree is a 36-credit curriculum that prepares you in community relations, school law, financial management, and administration. The degree includes the ability to for an add-on for advanced licensure. The advanced licensure requires initial teacher licensure. You can expect the degree to take about one-and-a-half years. On top of theoretical knowledge, the program includes a real-world internship. Due to the experiential and relational bulk of the job, Liberty offers three optional intensives. With up to 50 percent of degree credits able to transfer it’s one of the most generous in terms of the nation.

Another aspect that is unique to Liberty is their Christian faith integration. Whether you choose to lead a private or public school, you will be prepared to be professional and Chrisitan. In addition to the basic leadership skills listed above the online M.Ed. will train you in the process of curriculum development, and give you the ability to understand and implement improvement in school programs. There is also an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis in Leadership.

More About Liberty University

Liberty University is a comprehensive Christian university. LU is located in Lynchburg, Virginia, and serves over 100,000 students counting a thriving and sizeable online school. Liberal-Arts education is integrated with the Christian worldview. The top three majors at Liberty are Business, Health Professions, and Visual and Performing Arts.

  • Location: Lynchburg, VA
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 39%  
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Two but less than four years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship

Program Website: https://www.liberty.edu/online/education/masters/med/administration-supervision/

26. DePaul University

The Educational Leadership (MA/MEd)

Score: 72.5 || Cost per Credit: $655 || View Profile

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The online masters programs in educational leadership at DePaul University are 100-percent online, an excellent opportunity for students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to earn their degree.

“I will show you the way to wisdom.” This motto of DePaul serves well to understand their online masters degree program in Educational Leadership (MA/MEd). The program is either an MA or MEd and has eight concentrations, six of which are leadership degrees.

  • Catholic Leadership (MA or MEd)
  • Principal License (MEd only)
  • Principal License, Catholic (MEd only)
  • Teacher Leader (MEd only)
  • Teacher Leader, Catholic (MEd only)

The Principal concentration prepares you with administrative knowledge, leadership, communication, and relevant skills for a P-12 setting or district level supervisor. It is an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved program for Principal Endorsement on the Professional Educator Licensure (PEL). As for the Teacher Leader program is for you if you want to lead a team of teachers or a department or be an instructional leader but not a principal. You can add a Teacher Leader endorsement to your Illinois Teaching License (PEL) with the program.  The curriculum for the MA and MEd program includes ten courses, an internship, and either a research thesis for the MA or a capstone project for the MEd. The programs are 100-percent online and can be completed in two-and-a-half years.

More About DePaul University

DePaul University is a large Catholic university. It known for diversity and serving underprivileged people as St. Vincent DePaul, whom the school is named after, did for his mission. The university has ten colleges and schools that offers hundreds of programs at every level.

  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 31.4%  
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://education.depaul.edu/academics/leadership-language-curriculum/graduate/educational-leadership-mamed/Pages/default.aspx

27. California Baptist University

Online Master of Science in Education Specialization in Educational Leadership

Score: 72.3 || Cost per Credit: $655 || View Profile

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California Baptist University offers over 40 online bachelor’s degree or online masters degree programs for students who are unable to attend on-campus programs.

The Online Master of Science in Education Specialization in Educational Leadership prepares graduates to manage and lead school communities in both public and private settings. As a student at California Baptist University, you study the dynamics of school culture, managing staff, curriculum development, and strategically addressing local challenges. The MS program also has a research component allowing you to bring to bear the most relevant data to leadership. The regionally accredited 33-credit program typically takes 12 months to complete, A sampling of courses includes School Law and Finance, Policy, Governance and Community Relations, and School Site Leadership and Organizational Development.

Admission to the program does not include a GRE but does require a minimum 2.5 GPA for conditional admission and 2.75 for unconditional admission, as well as a 500-word essay, and a Bachelor’s degree. The student retention rate, often a sign of satisfaction is 76 percent. One of the most attractive aspects of Cal Baptist’s MS in Ed. Leadership is the price of $655 per credit.

More About California Baptist University

California Baptist University is a private Christian university located in Riverside. Cal Baptist offers traditional brick-and-mortar learning as well as a growing online school. CBU offers excellent academic options and a faith-filled learning environment.

  • Location: Riverside, CA
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 25.4%  
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, One but less than two years certificate, Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://www.cbuonline.edu/degrees/masters-of-science-in-educational-leadership

28. Saint Joseph’s University

Online Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Administration (EDLA)

Score: 71.6 || Cost per Credit: $780 || View Profile

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Full-time and part-time options for students are only part of the flexibility of online masters programs at St. Joseph’s University.

The online MS in Educational Leadership and Administration (EDLA) is affordable, high-quality, and respected. The overarching philosophy of the school is integrated throughout the whole program—the Jesuit values of social justice, democratic ideals, and service to others. This humanity-focused education puts people first. There are several paths to choose from, depending on what you need.

  • EL without Certification
  • EL with Principal Certification
  • EL with Curriculum Supervisor Certification
  • EL with Principal AND Curriculum Supervisor (CS) Certifications
  • EL with Supervisor of Special Education (SSE) Certification
  • EL with CS and SSE Certifications
  • EL with Principal, CS and SSE Certifications

The credits required varies from 24-42, and you can enroll part- or full-time. All options other than the Supervisor of Special Education are offered online. The SSE is a hybrid option. The online program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and leads to Administrative I Principal PK-12, Instruction Supervisor PK-12 and/or Supervisory I Special Education PK-12 certifications. A notable element of SJU’s program is accessibility with assistantships available and military benefits.

More About St Joseph’s University

Saint Joseph’s University is a private Catholic university and member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. SJU offers outstanding academics that feature a student-centered approach. Business, Social Sciences, Education, and Communication the top four most popular degrees.

  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 36.3%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Post Baccalaureate certificate, Masters degree, Post-masters certificate, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Program Website: https://www.sju.edu/majors-programs/graduate-arts-sciences/masters/educational-leadership-education-ms

29. Azusa Pacific University

Online MA in Educational Leadership and Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (PASC)

Score: 71.4 || Cost per Credit: $745 || View Profile

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Working professionals pursuing a Christian education may want to take a closer look at the online masters program for educational leadership at Azusa Pacific University.

Working professionals will want to check out the online masters program offered by Azusa Pacific University. The online MA in Educational Leadership and Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (PASC) is designed for working teachers and leaders. The PASC program is CAEP-accredited (one of only three schools in California) as well as aligned with the California Administrator Performance Expectations (CAPEs). Christian integration is an important part of the program and incorporated throughout. You will be responsible in public or private school settings to make decisions and behave in ways that demonstrate professionalism, ethics, integrity, justice, and equity and hold staff to the same standard.

Coursework includes 30 credits in leadership from every angle. You will take courses such as Visionary Leadership, Instructional Leadership, Diversity Leadership in Schools, and Research and Leadership. In addition, you will complete a case study and internship, practicum, and final California Administrator Performance Assessment (CalAPA). This rigorous online curriculum is effective. With an above-average retention rate of 83 percent, the flexibility of online learning, and affordable tuition that leads to an ROI, combine to make APU worth considering.

More About Azusa Pacific University

Since 1899 when Azusa Pacific University was founded, the institution has kept a strong Christian identity. APU is known for training Christian men and women to go into the world to make a difference for Jesus Christ. They offer 100 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs.

  • Location: Azusa, CA
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 42.8%  
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Less than one year certificate, Bachelor’s degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission as well as several other accrediting bodies, including the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)

Program Website: https://www.apu.edu/education/programs/masters-in-educational-leadership/

30. Florida State University

MS in Educational Leadership & Administration (EDA)

Score: 71.1 || Cost per Credit: $1075 || View Profile

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FSU’s 94 percent retention rate is a strong sign of student satisfaction, and well above the average of 78 percent, making it an excellent choice for an online masters degree.

Closing our ranking for online masters programs is Florida State University, which offers an MS in Educational Leadership & Administration (EDA). Upon completion of the online program, you will be fully equipped to lead a public or private school. The philosophy and pedagogy of the degree is based on the most relevant educational research and is particularly suited for high-performing teachers who want to become administrators. Outcomes include a mastery of core of professional and theoretical knowledge and the ability to use research to solve problems and contribute to positive change.

You have the ability to choose between an EDA that leads to Florida certification or not. The 100-percent online and asynchronous delivery works out to total flexibility. If you enroll in two courses per semester for six semesters, you will have an MS in EDA in under two years. The School is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The only downside to FSU’s high-quality, flexible, online program is the cost is higher (though still competitive) than most on our list at $1075 per credit.

More About Florida State University

Florida State University is more than a football powerhouse. The large Public Ivy university is home 40,000 students with myriads of academic and extracurricular experiences. There are over 600 clubs and organizations and 301 degree programs.

  • Location: Tallahassee, FL
  • Percentage of Graduate Students: 20%  
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 22 to 1
  • Degrees Offered: Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Post-master’s certificate, Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship, Doctor’s degree-professional practice
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges as well as numerous other accrediting bodies.

Program Website: https://distance.fsu.edu/students/educational-leadership-ms

What kind of jobs can I get with an online Masters of Educational Leadership?

masters educational leadershipA Masters of Educational Leadership is essentially a degree that allows you to move into leadership in a school setting. Potential job titles include:

  • Director of Education
  • Academic Director
  • Teacher Leader
  • Academic Chair
  • Instructional Coordinator
  • Director of Student Services
  • School Principal
  • Director of Admissions
  • Assistant Principal

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of elementary, middle, and high school principals is projected to grow eight percent over the next seven years, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be affected by enrollment and the number of operating educational institutions. The median annual salary for an Education Administrator in 2018 is $95,310.

Being a principal is a full-time job. Often, it may include work in the evenings or weekends. Duties during these non-school hours involve meeting with parents or other members of the community or attending school functions, such as concerts and athletic events. Principals typically work year-round and do not have summers off, even when the students are not in school. Summer is a crucial time for a principal, as that is when they prepare for the upcoming school year, order school supplies, schedule building maintenance, and hire teachers and staff.

What does a career in Educational Leadership look like?

masters educational leadershipThe most common career is that of principal. The following duties are the typical duties of elementary, middle, or high school principals:

  • Manage school activities and staff
  • Establish security procedures for students, staff, and visitors
  • Assess and prepare reports on test scores and student achievement data
  • Establish and oversee schedules
  • Set up discipline for students
  • Organize professional development programs for staff
  • Observe and evaluate teacher performance
  • Address parents and be the public face of the school
  • Develop and implement curriculum standards
  • Meet with parents and teachers to discuss students’ progress and behavior
  • Manage the school’s budget, order supplies, and schedule maintenance

Principals direct the overall operation of the school. Their job is extensive and can be overwhelming. Earning an Educational Leadership degree will help prepare you for the nuances of this challenging job. You will be prepared to set and oversee academic goals and ensure that teachers have the resources needed to meet those goals.

Additionally, principals are in charge of implementing standards set by the district, state, and federal regulations. They must evaluate and prepare reports based on these standards and maintain accurate records by assessing student achievement and teacher performance.

How should I choose an online Masters in Educational Leadership program?

masters educational leadershipOnline Masters in Educational Leadership programs prepare students to oversee an educational institution. Those who are interested in leading a school will need to obtain this advanced degree. Choosing to earn an online degree is a great option for the working adult as classes can be completed at night or on the weekend. Many of the programs on the list also have a heavier load during the summer term, when the duties of school aren’t as intense. The first step in choosing a program is to find a program that fits with your schedule. Look at the class load requirements and decide if you will be able to fulfill them and maintain life as you know it. The next and possibly most crucial step is to check your local licensure requirements. Principal and school leader requirements vary significantly from state to state. You don’t want to get into a situation where you earn a degree that doesn’t meet your local requirements. Matching up a program and your state licensure is crucial.

Next, look at the concentrations available in the program you choose and decide what area of focus you would like to consider. Educational leadership offers a broad choice of topics for students to focus their education, and programs provide additional concentrations and specializations. Popular concentrations include curriculum development, teacher leader, elementary principal, secondary principal, and school leader. Students use these specializations to tailor degrees to their career goals and ensure the program prepares them for the future. Finally, check the end-of-program requirements. Some degrees require a thesis, while others require a capstone project that highlights your learning. Additionally, some include internships, which is an important element for students who are preparing for positions as principals.

What Accreditation should I look for in a Masters in Educational Leadership Program?

masters educational leadershipAs mentioned previously, making sure that your program has the right licensure requirements that match up with your state is crucial. But it is also imperative to ensure that your school offers a properly accredited Educational Leadership degree. Students who earn an unaccredited degree may struggle to find jobs after graduation, especially in the public school sector. Schools that are regionally accredited go through the most rigorous evaluation process, which often requires several years to receive full accreditation. National accreditation, on the other hand, has less rigorous standards. The most common accrediting agency is the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, which is an excellent and comprehensive accreditation standard to look for. Another accrediting body that is the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, which is an association of 3,000 colleges and universities. They recognize 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations, and are the largest higher education membership organization in the United States, with approximately 3,000 member colleges and universities.

Is getting an online Masters of Educational Leadership worth it?

online masters in public administration degree programThe average cost of the online Master of Educational Leadership degrees on our list is $624 per credit hour. Programs usually require 30 credits for graduation, bringing the average total program cost to $18,720. That is a pretty low cost considering school principals make almost $100,000 annually. The average salary for a teacher is only $60,000, so the pay-off will come quickly with an Educational Leadership degree, as most degrees only take one to two years to complete. Also worth considering is that a degree such as a masters degree or higher is required for most school leadership jobs, so a Masters of Educational Leadership is your ticket to a much larger salary – an average of a $40,000 raise.

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