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Program Outline: Master of Education (MEd)
in Educational Leadership

This 45-credit Master of Education in Educational Leadership program offers current research and best practices to enable candidates to become effective leaders within the broad range of constituents served by principals and district administrators.

To be eligible for entry into the MEd in Educational Leadership program with the intention of earning a Principal Certificate, you must be a certificated teacher or certificated Educational Staff Associate (ESA). If you are seeking the Program Administrator Certificate, you are not required to hold a pre-requisite educational certificate for entry into the program.

With the exception of the focus and location of the internship, the academic program is identical for whichever certificate you seek, including course requirements, certification requirements, and class locations. Only the internship location and focus varies.

Program Components

Professional Core

  • EDU 6085   Moral Issues in Education (3)
  • EDU 6600   Communication and Collaboration (3)
  • EDU 6975   Interpreting and Applying Educational Research I (3)
  • EDU 6979   Action Research in Schools (3)

Major Core

  • EDAD 6580   Leadership in Education (3)
  • EDAD 6581   Leadership for School Culture (3)
  • EDAD 6584   School Finance (3)
  • EDAD 6585   School Law (3)
  • EDAD 6586   Human Resources Management (3)
  • EDAD 6588   Supervision of Instruction (3)
  • EDAD 6589   Engaging Communities (3)
  • Approved 3-credit elective at the graduate level


The MEd in Educational Leadership includes a one-year integrative internship (9 credits, 3 per quarter).

If you are pursuing a Principal Certificate, you will perform administrative and leadership activities under the supervision of a mentor principal or assistant principal in a school setting. Over the course of a full school year, you will acquire and practice skills that are crucial to your future success as a school leader.

If you are pursuing a Program Administrator Certificate, you will also fulfill the internship requirement. In your case, however, the internship would occur in a district or administrative office rather than in a school.

In conjunction with SPU's Educational Leadership faculty, you are responsible for securing the site mentor and district approval for your internship. While the principal internship requires 540 hours of experience during the entire school year, it is designed to be completed in conjunction with a full-time contract. It is not necessary to take a leave of absence.

Comprehensive Exam

You will complete this two-part examination, consisting of a written essay and an oral defense of the answers to these questions, at the end of the program.

Submit your request to take the exam to the graduate programs manager one month in advance. The oral defense is arranged individually through the chair of the program. You will complete the written exam prior to your oral defense.


Upon successful completion of the program, you will be recommended to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for a Residency Certificate in Washington state. Most states have reciprocal agreements that will allow certificates to be transferred between states.

Option for a Second Certificate

Applicants who have earned Residency Principal or Program Administrator certification from SPU may earn the other certificate (either Principal or Program Administrator) by completing 6 additional internship credits. A valid teaching or ESA certificate are required for those who wish to add a Principal Certificate. Students must complete all coursework for the second certificate within three years of earning the previous certificate.

Find information about this Program Overview, Program Outline, and Admission Information.


Graduate Admissions

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Because your needs are specific to fit your career, our graduate programs are not “one size fits all.” Graduate Admissions is your source for information on all SPU graduate programs, as well as admissions and events.