About the program
The Master of Education in Educational Leadership program (48 credits) is designed to prepare you for a position as a school principal or program leader in the elementary or secondary school.
In addition to on-campus classes, graduate education courses in school administration are offered at off-campus locations in Olympia and Stanwood.
A School Principal or Program Administrator “Certificate Only” program (30 credits) are also available for those who already hold a master’s or other advanced degree.
This degree is approved by the Professional Educator’s Standards Board (PESB). Its successful completion will qualify you for a Washington Residency P’–12 Certificate as a school principal or program administrator.
School Principal or Program Administrator “Certificate Only” Program (30 credits)
Applicants who otherwise qualify to enter the educational leadership program and already have a master’s or other advanced degree need not complete a second master’s degree to obtain certification as a school principal or program administrator.
It is necessary to complete only the school principal or program administrator certification courses (21 credits) and internship (9 credits). The same guidelines and procedures for program admission apply.
A year-long (9-credit) internship is a part of both the master’s degree program in Educational Leadership and the Principal Certification-only or Program Administrator-only program. It is a vital, integrative experience in which you perform administrative activities while being supervised in a school-district setting. The primary objective is for you, the intern, to acquire and practice the skills of effective management and leadership. Internship experiences will center on those competencies and skills defined in the Washington Administrative Code and by the National Policy Board for Education Administration.
Each applicant to the educational leadership program must have at least three years of documented successful school-based experience in an instructional role with students, as either a certificated classroom teacher or in an ESA role.
Those in the program administrator program are not required to hold a teaching or ESA certificate, but they must have at least one year of documented successful school, district, or school-site experience.
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 and completion of EDAD 6581 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.
You will usually 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.
You should contact the graduate programs manager to make arrangements for the written portion. The oral defense is arranged individually through the chair of the program. The written test is to be completed prior to the oral defense.
Applicants must submit the following items to Graduate Admissions:
- Application and $50 application processing fee.
- Copy of current Washington state teaching certificate, front and back (not required for Program Administrator Certification candidates).
- Official transcript(s) from each college/university attended.
- If your degree is not from a U.S. college or university, please arrange for your transcript to be evaluated by an accredited transcript evaluation company such as FIS or WES. Have the report forwarded directly to Graduate Admissions.
- Personal statement (1–2 pages).
- GRE (Graduate Record Exam) or (MAT) Miller Analogies Test scores taken within five years of application.
- On the former GRE exam, preferred minimum combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 950.
- On the revised GRE exam, preferred minimum scores of Verbal: 148 and Quantitative: 147.
- On the MAT, preferred minimum scaled score of 400*.
- Two letters of recommendation (one supervisory, one professional).
- Recommendations must come from present principals and other school administrators who recommend support of your pursuit of administrative certification.
- At least one of the letters must be from a school-district level administrator who affirms district support for you to conduct a year-long administrative internship, school-based for principal certification and/or district based for a program administrator.
- Verification of Experience Form — required for anyone seeking a Washington state Principal Certificate.
*The GRE or MAT will be waived for students who achieved at least either a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA, or a 3.0 in the last 45 credits of completed undergraduate coursework.
Admissions materials should be directed to Graduate Admissions. If you have questions about graduate education or certification programs: