Best Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

With one of the best online master’s in educational leadership, you can learn the skills and experience needed to become a senior leader in educational organizations, without giving up your career.

Educational leaders need a broad variety of knowledge and skills. You’ll need to know how to handle school and community relations, perform evaluations on your staff, and assess and develop curriculums that inspire and engage students. One of the best online master’s in educational leadership will impart you with all the necessary traits needed to become a successful dean of students, principal, or school administrator!

See Also: Top 21 Best Online Master’s in Educational Technology

What kind of classes will you take with this degree?

In an educational leadership program, you’ll typically cover some core courses that are common between institutions. You’ll gain an understanding of how to evaluate and assess the performance of both students and teaching staff. You’ll also learn how schools are run from an operational and administrative point of view. What’s more, you’ll become incredibly proficient at evaluating and implementing improvements in these areas and within your school or district’s curriculums.

See Also: Financial Aid Tips for Online College

What requirements will I need to meet for this degree?

It’s common for universities and colleges to ask for a minimum GPA of 3.0 from an undergraduate degree when considering applications for a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership or Administration. However, some institutions, including a couple on this list, will admit students who achieved a minimum GPA of 2.5 or 2.75. Bear in mind that it’s also common for institutions to require you to hold a current teaching certification or a minimum of 3 years experience in an educational role.

See Also: 30 Accredited Online Colleges in Health Education

What are the Best Educational Leadership Degrees?

Accredited Online College uses the most recent data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Each program is scored individually. It’s then compared to all other universities offering that degree to determine the final score you see by each ranking. Accredited Online College considers the affordability, student-to-faculty ratio, and the number of programs offered on-campus and online. To learn more, visit our methodology page. 

#1. University of Florida


UF’s College of Education can offer you the best Online Master of Education in one of two tracks. One degree pathway leads to eligibility for the Florida Level 1 certification in Educational Leadership, while the other does not. You can apply for the former pathway as long as you have a minimum of three years’ worth of experience teaching.

Otherwise, for admission, you’ll also need to hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited U.S. higher education institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0 from your last 60 credits of undergraduate coursework. The program is available part-time or full-time, and you’ll study around 6 credits per semester, completing your degree in an average of 2 years.

If you’re a resident of Florida, your tuition for the program will be charged at a rate of around $448.73 per credit hour before fees. Including all fees, the total charge is around $518.69 per credit hour. As a non-resident or international student, the cost rises to around $622.22. This is a smaller increase than you’ll find for non-residents at many U.S. institutions.

#2. Liberty University

Liberty University

Liberty University Online (LU Online) offers a top Online Master’s in Educational Leadership (M.Ed.) featuring 8-week courses; it’s also accredited by the SACSCOC. With around 30 credit hours required by the program, you can complete this master’s degree in as little as 1 year. Rest assured that the program has also been voted a best value choice, in addition to other rankings.

The curriculum is highly flexible at LU Online, with no set log-in times and no campus visits required. Teachings are also woven with biblical principles, and you’ll benefit from a faculty with many combined years experience in education. Courses include:

  • Leadership and Supervision in Education
  • Contemporary Issues in Educational Policy
  • Student Support Services

Liberty University is known for being an affordable institution, and tuition rates are fixed at a single rate for all students on a master’s degree in education. As a full-time student, you’ll pay around $415 per credit hour for your program. The rate for part-time students is a little higher, though still affordable compared to other universities across the nation. 

#3. Texas Tech University

Texas Tech

At Texas Tech University, the online M.Ed. in Educational Leadership includes an emphasis in Educational Policy. This emphasis will help to prepare you for work within:

  • government agencies
  • nonprofit organizations
  • policy-making institutes
  • other organizations

You’ll be able to understand how education, policy, and leadership are related and implement meaningful changes in the education sector.

Comprising 36 credit hours in total, the program is offered entirely online. For admission, you’ll be expected to supply a resume, applicant statement highlighting your motivations and goals, and 2 letters of recommendation. You’ll also need to have an existing undergraduate degree in a related subject area.

A typical graduate student at Texas Tech who is also a state resident will pay tuition and fees of around $8,653. For non-residents, the cost of tuition and fees rises to around $16,180. Tuition varies depending on your chosen subject area, so you can find a full list of tuition and fees rates on the university’s website.

#4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois

This university offers a highly flexible Master of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, which is available on campus, off-campus, and online. You’ll take courses such as:

  • Psychology of Learning in Education
  • Child Language and Education
  • Psychology of Classroom Management
  • Assessing Student Performance

A range of more than 10 concentrations is offered including those such as:

  • Bilingual-Bicultural Education
  • Global Studies in Education
  • Higher Education
  • Learning Design & Leadership

This allows you to further specialize in an area of interest, though a concentration is not mandatory. Admission into the program requires that you have an existing undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. 

The good news for distance learners is that this university doesn’t charge any additional fees for students enrolling in a fully online program. In terms of tuition, your final rates can vary from program to program. The easiest way to check your estimated cost of attendance is by using the university’s cost calculator on their website.

#5. Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University

At Kennesaw State University, the Masters of Education in Educational Leadership can lead to eligibility for a GaPSC Tier 1 Leadership Certification. If you’re seeking promotions and greater earning potential after graduation, this could help get your foot in the door. Also, there are 2 concentrations available, including Leadership in Urban Schools and Leading Independent and Charter Schools for further specialization.

Owing to the emphasis of the curriculum, which is professionally oriented, applicants are required to already hold a position in an organization involved in the education sector. This could be a teaching role, an educational service agency, or a department of education for example. During the course of your studies, you’ll get the opportunity to practice your skills and newfound knowledge in field activities.

You’ll pay tuition by the credit hour for all online courses at Kennesaw State University. What’s more, there’s no additional charge for students from outside of the state. Online graduate tuition comes to around $383.00 per credit hour, with fees costing around $355.00 per semester. These costs don’t take into account the cost of books and materials. 

#6. University of Iowa

University of Iowa

The University of Iowa offers an M.A. in Educational Leadership with Principal Licensure. Comprising 36 semester hours and available entirely online, you’ll spend a third of your time completing clinical coursework to gain essential hands-on skills. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to apply.

Core requirements include the completion of courses such as:

  • Foundations of School Administration
  • Analysis and Appraisal of Curriculum
  • Supervision and Evaluation

When you move onto your clinical coursework, you’ll undertake courses that cover a breadth of age groups including:

  • Early Childhood Leadership
  • Elementary Leadership
  • Secondary Leadership

Online graduate costs vary between programs. Typically, graduate students will pay approximately $4,178.00 in tuition for 12 or more credit hours per semester. This rate applies to state residents, with non-resident students paying around $15,159.50 comparatively. Use the university’s rate tables to see costs for various departments and programs.

#7. Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University (NAU) offers a number of degree pathways in educational leadership. Choose from M.Ed. specializations that include:

  • Principal Certification K-12
  • Instructional Leadership K-12 School Leadership
  • Community College/Higher Education
  • Educational Foundations

You can also choose the Traditional Online or Competency-Based Online pathway to complete your degree. 

Traditional programs follow a set schedule with assignment deadlines and tuition based on the number of credit hours taken. Competency-based programs allow you to choose your start date, work to your own schedule, and pay a flat subscription rate every 6 months. For more information on each master’s program, check out the full list on the university’s website.

For traditional programs, the typical graduate tuition rate for online programs is around $679 per credit hour, which includes fees of $104 per credit hour. This rate applies to both state residents and students from out of state. See the university’s website and specific programs for more information on competency-based costs.

#8. Clemson University

Clemson University

Clemson University offers a distance learning M.Ed. / Ed.S. in Educational Leadership under the College of Education. They’re suited to professionals already working as experienced educators, and you’ll learn essential skills in:

  • leadership
  • policymaking
  • curriculum development

For admission, you’ll need a minimum GPA of 3.0 from an existing bachelor’s degree.

It’s worth checking out the university’s website for more information on each specific program, as there are various options available. For example, you can earn a South Carolina building-level certification, which includes several internships and elementary or secondary certification. There is an additional district-level certification available from another program, and these certifications could help you secure promotions and higher earning potential.

Assuming a course load of 12 credit hours per semester, you’ll pay online tuition of approximately $7,596. Total costs per semester are around $7,864, which includes an information technology fee, a library fee, and other expenses unique to the program. You can also check out what financial aid is available from the university.

#9. University of Arkansas

University of Arkansas

The U of A Online campus has a Master of Education in Educational Leadership, which offers professional preparation for working professionals who want to move into administrative roles within either elementary or secondary schools. This particular program also has a 100% pass rate for graduates who take the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA). 

For admission into the competitive program, you will need to evidence a previous bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Assuming you meet this requirement, you won’t be required to show GRE scores. Bear in mind that while the program is offered fully online, there is an internship requirement, which is not available via distance learning.

If you’re successful in your application, you’ll pay tuition of approximately $437.54 per credit hour. There’s no additional cost for out-of-state students. Fees include a $3.41 library fee, $11.10 systems fee, $30 off-campus fees, and $2 online facilities fee due. These are added to each credit hour taken alongside your tuition.

#10. University of Central Florida


The University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Community Innovation and Education has been ranked as one of the Best Grad Schools and Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report. Here, you can enroll in an Online M.A. in Educational Leadership. It’s a 30-credit program that can be completed at your own pace.

You’ll learn the skills needed to succeed as an educational leader, and you’ll study:

  • contemporary issues
  • methods of evaluation
  • law and ethics in education
  • diversity

You’ll also gain the skills needed to steer the direction and operations within a school. Graduates of this program have gone on to become dean of students, college provost, and district administrator.

Graduate students at UCF who are also state residents will pay tuition of around $327.32 per credit hour as online earners. This works out to around $11,783.52 in total. If you’re a student from out of state, you’ll pay a higher sum of around $1,151.72 per credit hour, with a total cost nearing $42,000. 

#11. Ball State University

Ball State University'

At Ball State University, you can enroll in a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision. All courses are available online, and you could earn a P-12 building-level administration and supervision license. The 36-credit program can be completed in as few as 18 to 20 months full-time.

The majority of the curriculum is made up of required courses including:

  • Human Resource Development
  • Educational Decision Making
  • Supervision of Instruction
  • Educational Finance and Ethics

However, you’ll also select 1 elective from Education and Ethics, History of American Education, Multicultural and Multi-ethnic Education, and Integrative STEM Education.

Assuming that you’re a resident of Indiana who is enrolled in 12 credits per semester, you’ll pay estimated costs of around $2,846. This includes tuition of around $2,586. If you’re a student from out of state, you can expect to pay increased tuition of around $7,752. You can use the calculator on the university website to find out more about costs.

#12. West Texas A & M University

West Texas A & M University

The faculty and facilities at West Texas A&M University have recently been recognized for their quality; they were named on rankings by U.S. News & World Report, including Best Online Programs in more than one area of specialization. In addition to a Master of Education – Educational Leadership, you could gain your Texas School Leader Certification or Doctorate of Education here too. 

All of the above programs are focused on producing competent leaders in education, and the integrated hands-on field learning experiences have been aligned with standards set by the state. Your professors are also experienced leaders within the Texas public school system, including those in mid-management and executive positions.

West Texas A&M University charges graduate school tuition and fees of around $7,149 for state residents and around $8,013 for students from out of state. For a comprehensive breakdown of tuition rates and fees, check out this page on the university’s website.

#13. Florida State University

Florida State University

Under the Florida State University College of Education, you can enroll in a Master’s in Educational Leadership & Administration. This is a program that was recently named as a Best Online Program by U.S. News & World Report. You can choose between completing this master’s degree or a specialist, Ed.D., or Ph.D. degree, and there’s also an educational leadership certificate available.

For admission into the program, you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Once enrolled, you’ll complete 33 credit hours, including 27 hours of required courses that include:

  • Planning Effective Instruction
  • Teacher Leadership Development
  • Instructional Leadership

Florida State University tries to remain competitive with its tuition rates, which means that you’ll pay approximately $544 per credit for your online programs. The rate is the same regardless of whether you’re a state resident or out-of-state student. There’s more information available on tuition, fees, and scholarships on the university’s website.

#14. Indiana University-Bloomington

Indiana University-Bloomington

Among its online programs, Indiana University offers an MSEd in Educational Leadership. It’s a 36-credit program that’s delivered entirely online, and it has been ranked among the Best Online Programs by U.S. News & World Report. You’ll be prepared to assume leadership roles within your school or district or seek out more senior roles in other educational organizations.

This curriculum was designed in collaboration with schools and districts specifically, ensuring that it addresses the unique and most current challenges faced by today’s learners and educators. You’ll study:

  • teacher development
  • evaluation methods
  • legal and ethical perspectives
  • K-12 principalship

In total, you’ll complete 27 credit hours of core courses and a 9-credit strand course.

At Indiana University, the School of Education charges graduate tuition of approximately $474.27 for online programs. This rate applies to state residents, with non-residents paying around $565.74. Fees total $39 per credit hour for both student groups. Check out the university’s Funding Opportunities page for information on grants and scholarships!

#15. Mississippi College

Mississippi College

The Master of Education in Educational Leadership at Mississippi College lasts for around 12 months and requires the completion of 36 credit hours. It features a faith-based curriculum that utilizes problem-based learning opportunities, and you’ll be eligible to gain your K-12 administrator endorsement upon successful graduation from the degree program. You could also upgrade this certification to an AA license after passing the SLLA.

You’ll learn how to:

  • leverage the latest technology in teaching
  • assess students and teachers
  • respect the principles of diversity, ethics, and school policy in delivering positive change

Admissions requirements include a minimum GPA of 2.5 from a bachelor’s degree, which is lower than the 3.0 requested by most institutions. 

Tuition for this program is lower than the average across the nation, with online graduate students paying just $284 per credit hour. The total tuition cost for the program is around $10,224. Bear in mind that this doesn’t include the registration fee of approximately $455 per semester, nor the technology fee of around $64 per semester.

#16. Minnesota State University

Minnesota State University

Enroll in this Master of Science & Specialist in Educational Leadership, and you’ll benefit from a program that offers 4 licensure options and a 100% job placement rate for graduates. You can also choose from 4 different emphases that include:

  • K-12 Administration
  • Student Affairs and Higher Education
  • Teacher Leadership, and Educational Leadership

Depending on the choices you make, you could gain:

  • K-12 Principal licensure
  • Superintendent licensure
  • Director of Community Education licensure
  • Director of Special Education licensure

All courses are also delivered online, eliminating the need for you to travel to campus; this means that you can continue to work as you study.

At Minnesota State University Moorhead, you’ll pay graduate tuition of around $485.74 for this degree program. You can also find a list of fees on the website. If you need help with the cost of higher education, you could secure a graduate assistantship, which will not only help you meet your expenses but also give you valuable real-world experience.

#17. Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University offers an Online Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. It’s a program that has been designed for educators who already have a valid teaching certificate and want to progress into leadership positions. You’ll study a curriculum that’s aligned with national standards in educational leadership including:

  • decision making
  • technology
  • human resource development
  • accountability and assessment

You’ll complete a supervised practicum during the course of this program, in addition to contributing to school improvement projects that can shape future curriculums. You’ll also gain eligibility for Florida’s Education Leadership (Level 1) certification. What’s more, the curriculum and its courses meet the national educational leadership standards set by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium.

Tuition rates at Saint Leo University vary depending on the program you choose. For this master’s degree in education, you’ll pay tuition of around $710 per credit hour, though tuition may increase annually for some programs. For more information and accurate estimates, you can use the Net Price Calculator on the website.

#18. Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University offers a 30-credit-hour master’s in Educational Leadership – Admin. & Supervision K-12 (Online). With this program, you’ll be eligible to gain your Commonwealth of Virginia licensure in Educational Administration and Supervision, PreK-12. Though you do not need 3 years experience in teaching to apply for the degree, you will need to meet this requirement for licensure.

In the program, you’ll complete a total of 24 credits of coursework. The remaining 6 credits will come from clinical experiences, which will give you 120 internship hours across the duration of the degree program. It’s also a cohort-based program, which means you’ll follow a set course sequence alongside your peers.

Old Dominion University charges fairly similar tuition rates for all online graduate students. Virginia residents will pay tuition of around $551 per credit hour, while out-of-state students pay around $595 per credit hour. If you’re an educator in the Virginia Public School system, you could be awarded a 25% tuition discount too. 

#19. The University of West Florida

University of West Florida

The University of West Florida offers a Master of Education in Educational Leadership. It was voted among the top 3 programs of its kind in a recent ranking of the Top 50 Online Master’s in Educational Leadership. It has also been named by similar rankings for its teaching quality.

It’ll take around 18 months to complete the 30 credit hours mandated by the program, and you’ll study courses such as:

  • Law and Education
  • Administration of School Personnel
  • Principles of Curriculum

For admission, you’ll need a valid teaching certification and a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

You could transfer up to 6 credits from prior college learning to reduce the cost of your tuition too. Speaking of which, online graduate students typically pay around $416.50 per credit hour for this degree. You should check out the scholarship awards page to see whether you could qualify for additional financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid.

#20. University of North Texas

University of North Texas

Through UNT Online, you can enroll in an Online Master of Education in Educational Leadership. Comprising 30 credit hours across 10 classes in total, you’ll study current theory and research to become an educational leader. Start dates are available throughout the year in January, March, June, August, and October, and you could finish your degree within 12 months. 

Courses span the full range of topics required by an educational leader including:

  • Race, Class, and Gender Issues in Education
  • Management of School Resources
  • Administration and Leadership
  • Organizational Change
  • Administration of the K-12 Curriculum

For admission, you’ll need an existing bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

For an accurate estimate of your cost of attendance, check out the university website, where you’ll find several cost calculators. There are also a variety of financial aid options to help you cover the cost of your course. UNT has been named as one of the nation’s “Best College Buys” for more than 2 decades!

#21. University of Louisiana at Monroe

University of Louisiana at Monroe

This Master of Education, Educational Leadership can be completed in as few as 15 months with a total of 36 credits required. Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, it could lead to careers as a school principal, district administrator, instructional coordinator, or dean of students.

The admissions process includes the need for a prior bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, a valid teaching certificate with at least three years experience, and official transcripts from any institutions that you have attended previously. Your courses cover subjects such as:

  • School-Community Relations
  • Instructional Supervision
  • Organizational Theory and Practice

Tuition for this master’s degree is reasonably low compared to other institutions, with online graduate students paying around $300 per credit hour. That works out to around $10,800 for the entire degree. Tuition is charged per course and can be paid in installments, helping you to meet the cost of a college education.

#22. Webster University

Webster University

Webster University’s graduate catalog includes an MA in Educational Leadership and Administration. Available as both a campus-based and online program, it’s geared toward K-12 teachers who want to become leaders or administrators and improve educational standards in their schools. It also meets the national standards set by the National Educational Leadership Preparation Program (NELP). 

For admission into the program, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. However, the GPA requirement is 2.5 as opposed to the 3.0 sought by many institutions. You will also need to have completed the course on Education of the Exceptional Child or its equivalent in the State of Missouri. 

While some online programs cost less than their campus-based counterparts, tuition for this program is slightly higher online. You’ll pay around $780 per credit hour for any courses completed online, compared to the $650-$780 paid for traditional programs. More information on tuition and tuition discounts is available on the university’s website.

#23. Montclair State University

Montclair State University

The online MA in Educational Leadership at Montclair State University has been named a Best Online Program by U.S. News & World Report. Comprising 36 credit hours, the program features coursework in the areas of:

  • supervision
  • decision making
  • teacher and student assessment
  • school and community relations

All courses are available online via distance learning, and you’ll follow one course at a time for 8 weeks. You can also opt to enroll in the Post-Supervisor Certificate MA Completion Program, which is open to students who gained their Supervisor Certificate at the same university. With this 24-credit program, you’ll gain your Certificate of Eligibility for Principal alongside your MA.

Montclair State University charges varying tuition depending on the degree program chosen. For the MA in Educational Leadership, you’ll pay around $1,905.00 in tuition and fees for every 3 credits taken. If you want to find out more about financial aid, check out the Office of Student Financial Aid on the university website.

#24. Georgia College & State University

Georgia College & State University

At Georgia College, you can enroll in an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership (Tier 1). Academic and skills-focused learning is aligned with the Georgia Educational Leadership Standards, ensuring that you have the skills needed to start a career in educational administration. There’s a residency requirement of 250 hours, which will help you evidence all the necessary skills.

The admissions department requires that you have a minimum GPA of 2.75 from a bachelor’s degree that was awarded by a regionally accredited institution. You’ll also need evidence that you’ve completed coursework for the education of children with special needs. This is in addition to official copies of your transcripts and 2 professional recommendations.

Distance learning programs at Georgia College are charged at a separate rate from traditional programs. As an online graduate student, you’ll pay around $4,476.00 in tuition or $4,816.00 including fees, per semester. This assumes that you’re following a full-time schedule of study, taking 12 credit hours per semester.

#25. Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University

LSU Online is Louisiana State University’s distance learning campus, and you can enroll in an online Master of Education – Educational Leadership. Comprising a slightly higher-than-average 39 credits, you can complete the degree in as few as 15 months. Courses cover the usual spread of topics, including:

  • ethics and educational leadership
  • school personnel administration
  • research in education

In total, you’ll complete 39 credit hours and can complete the program in less than 2 years. Alternatively, you can take longer should you choose so that you can fit your studies around your professional schedule. For admission, you’ll need to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all undergraduate work from a bachelor’s degree program.

You may be able to reduce the cost of your tuition and earn credit from your undergraduate coursework or professional training. The total cost per credit hour for tuition is $459, and the total program cost with fees included is around $17,901.

#26. George Washington University

George Washington University

George Washington University offers a Master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration. It’s suited to students who would like to become a principal or administrator. You’ll receive practical instruction in management and leadership and supervision of instruction from a well-regarded and experienced faculty.

The program comprises a total of 30 credit hours. You’ll take courses including:

  • Supervision of Curriculum
  • Instruction, and Assessment
  • Foundations of K-12 Educational Leadership
  • Instructional Leadership for School Improvement
  • Administrative Issues in Education

Most students secure an internship at their school or district of employment, though no placements are guaranteed.

Tuition at George Washington University varies between academic schools. Under the Graduate School of Education & Human Development, you’ll pay tuition of around $1,765 per credit for campus-based courses or $1,395 for online courses. A full list of tuition rates for this college is available on the website.

#27. Western Governors University

Western Governors University

Western Governors University can help you to become a principal or administrator with their Master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration. Comprising 30 credit hours, the program is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The combination of coursework and practical experience also meets the requirements for certification and licensure in a number of states.

If you opt to study the accelerated format, then you could graduate in as little as 2 years. You’ll take courses like:

  • Foundations of K-12 Educational Leadership
  • Leadership for Equity and Social Justice
  • Instructional Leadership for School Improvement

You’ll complete an internship too, which could be arranged at your current place of employment.

According to the university’s website, the average annual cost of a master’s degree is around $7,570 at WGU, which is around $15,000 lower than the national average. The Teachers’ College, which has been ranked a Best Value School on numerous occasions, charges tuition of around $3,490 for programs with field experiences.

#28. The University of Alabama

University of Alabama

The University of Alabama offers an MA in Educational Leadership and a Reduced Hour Option (Instructional Leadership Certification). The awards can be completed online, and depending on your choice, you’ll complete between 18 and 33 credit hours. All courses can be completed online.

The master’s degree pathway is designed for teachers who already hold a bachelor’s degree and Alabama Class B teaching certification. You’ll be studying at an institution that was ranked for its Best Online Programs across multiple rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

Distance learning students pay tuition on a per-credit basis. For online graduate courses, you’ll pay a rate of around $440 per credit hour. A number of financial aid options are available, including the Back to Bama Grant, Bama Link Grant, and Build on Bama Grant. There are also scholarship opportunities.

#29. Concordia University

Concordia University Michigan

At Concordia University, you can enroll in a Master of Science in Educational Leadership, which comprises 32 credits. Full and part-time study schedules are available, and successful graduation from the program leads to recommendation for the School Administrator Certification in the State of Michigan. 

For admission into the program, you’ll need to have an existing bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. The GRE isn’t required, but you will need to submit a one-page essay that highlights your motivations, a resume, transcripts, and 2 signed letters of recommendation.

Online graduate students enrolled in this program pay around $646 per credit hour. You could also qualify for an Uncommon Scholarship. These financial aid awards are specifically reserved for adult and post-traditional learners and can range from $150 to $500 for each 3-credit course.

#30. University of New England

University of New England

With UNE Online, the University of New England’s distance learning campus, you can enroll in a fully online Master of Science in Education. You’ll study topics like:

  • educational ethics
  • diversity & inclusion
  • assessment and evaluation
  • online learning

For admission, you do not need to hold an existing position as an educator.

You’ll complete 30 credits over the course of the program and could finish your studies in as few as 2 years. There are no visits to campus required whatsoever, and there are highly customizable pathways available so that you can tailor your course load to your professional goals.

For master’s degrees and graduate certificates, there is a one-time application fee of $40. If admitted, you’ll pay tuition of around $600 per credit hour for this program, plus fees of around $145 per semester. There’s also a $30 registration fee. More information on tuition, fees, and financial aid can be found on the university website.


What is educational leadership?

Educational leadership refers to those professionals who champion best practices and improvements in the education process and sector overall. This could include a broad range of professionals, such as deans of students, principals, educational administrators, and more. The overall goal is for this united effort to result in improvements in the quality of teaching, school operations, and school and community relationships.

Strong educational leaders will strive to ensure that all students are given the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their background. They’ll also create a safe and secure learning environment where all staff is empowered to become leaders within their own classrooms. Strong leaders will continually assess staff and resources for improvements, whether through the use of new technologies or implementation of new processes.

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) tells us that teachers are the very foundation of educational leadership. There cannot be one single person responsible for leadership of the overall school, district, or all of its processes. Leaders rely on teachers to provide curriculum and student feedback and champion the school’s values in the classroom.

What can I do with a degree in educational leadership?

When you graduate with a master’s degree in the area of educational leadership, you’ll have a broad variety of career options available to you. These can include teaching and senior managerial positions within both private and public schools, including elementary through to middle and high schools, and post-secondary positions.

Some of the common roles sought by graduates of this type of program include:

  • principal or assistant principal
  • district administrator
  • instructional coordinator
  • director or supervisor within an organization
  • dean of students
  • college provost
  • university registrar

There are, of course, transferable skills that you’ll gain on these types of degree programs, which could even see you working within business organizations as a trainer for example.

How much can I earn with a degree in educational leadership?

The earning potential for your role can vary within the education sector. For example, if we look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from May 2020, we can see post-secondary education administrators as a collective earned a median average annual pay of around $97,500. These are some of the highest salaries available in education.

However, earning potential is also strong for graduates who seek out employment as school principals. According to the BLS, these professionals earned around $98,490 in 2020. The prospected growth in this role is also strong, with a predicted 8% increase in demand over the next decade, which represents around 270,200 new openings across the nation.

This is why a master’s degree in this subject can be so empowering for your career. Compare these salaries to high school teachers (around $62,870) or middle school teachers (around $60,810), and you’ll soon see how the cost of a master’s degree can immediately begin to cover itself within just a few years. 

For graduates who choose to leave the education sector and work in professional organizations, there are still good opportunities for advancement. Training and development specialists typically earn around $60,000 on average according to the BLS. Some may also start their own consultancies after gaining experience in the role. Many educational leadership programs include courses on human resource development, which could help you gain the skills needed for a role in such an organization.

Do I need experience for a degree in educational leadership?

Some of the professional certifications and licenses available to educational leadership graduates require you to have a minimum number of years experience as a teacher or in an educational organization. What’s more, many of the institutions above require you to have at least 3 years experience as an educator in order to apply.

However, since these are all online programs, you can continue to work while you gain your master’s degree. If you opt for a part-time study schedule, you can continue to gain experience towards your licensing requirements. You’ll also find that many programs include field experiences that can help you to gain further experience towards these requirements once admitted.

If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out The 35 Best Bachelor’s in Education and Teaching and The 30 Best Master’s in Education and Teaching!