School of Education

School Executive Leadership

Shape the future. Change the world.

You seek to optimize your effectiveness, accelerate your impact, and connect with other visionary leaders to build upon a network of peers. You want to become an educational leader extending beyond superintendency. Let’s get started!

At a Glance

  • check mark icon Upcoming Application Deadline 8/15/2022 for Autumn Quarter
  • check mark icon Accreditation - Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • check mark icon Expected Time to Completion 24 months
  • check mark icon Format

    Designed for working professionals, coursework and internships in the Executive Leadership program are based on a convenient, two-year cohort model that allows you to attend class while continuing your work responsibilities.

  • check mark icon Credits to Graduate 24–27

Program Overview

The School of Education difference

Seattle Pacific was founded more than 125 years ago, and the University has been preparing some of the most sought-after educators in the region for more than 90 years. Today, entrance to School of Education graduate programs is highly competitive. Faculty members — each teaching his or her own courses and each holding a doctorate — have worked to develop rigorous programs of quality.

The School of Education at Seattle Pacific University offers more than a dozen graduate programs. You can choose from three doctoral programs, seven master’s degree programs, and five certification programs, all of which focus on developing competence, character, leadership, and service in educators. While many students train to become teachers, others prepare for roles as school counselors, principals, superintendents, district office personnel, or professors in higher education. SPU's reputation in P–12 education in Washington and across the country is strong, and students who complete our graduate degree and certificate programs enjoy a higher rate of employment than the state's average.

Why Seattle Pacific for your School Executive Leadership?

The School Executive Leadership program at SPU emphasizes the knowledge and skills you will need for an executive-level leadership position. The program contains content similar to the Superintendent Certification program under two different tracks. Track 1 provides professional development opportunities for certificated candidates. Track 2 leads to Program Administrator Certification. Both tracks are based on National Education Leadership Preparation (NELP) standards and designed to be reflective, experiential, practical, and relevant to the profession. You can also apply credits from either track toward the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree.

  1. Accomplished Faculty

    Expert, caring faculty have a desire to help students succeed. Faculty are known for mentoring their students during and following their educational programs. These professors model lifelong learning through scholarly activities of their own, publishing frequently, and presenting at professional conferences.

  2. AACU Membership

    Seattle Pacific is a member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. SPU certification programs are approved by the Washington state Professional Educator Standards Board. The School of Education is also a member of the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education, and has a chapter, Sigma Phi Upsilon, of Chi Sigma Iota, an international honor society that values academic and professional excellence in counseling.

  3. Deep Character Emphasis

    Built on an character education foundation, the graduate programs at SPU offer first-class education through the lens of Christian faith and values. Students take ethics courses, and character issues are integrated throughout the curriculum.

  4. Flexible Format

    Designed for working professionals, coursework and field experiences in the School Executive Leadership program are based on a convenient two-year cohort model that allows students to attend class while continuing their work responsibilities.

  5. Connected Alumni

    School of Education graduates move on to purposeful careers in schools and district-level leadership throughout the country. When you obtain a graduate degree from SPU’s School of Education, you join a community of alumni who stay connected.

Related Programs

Faculty Chair

John B. Bond

Professor of Educational Administration and Supervision; Chair of Educational Leadership
EdD, Seattle Pacific University

Phone: 206-281-2554
Office: Peterson Hall 419

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The Executive Leadership program provides certificated candidates with professional development opportunities within a specialized area. Non-certificated students or those who hold either current teacher or ESA certification while serving in a district-level position may complete the Executive Leadership program and obtain a Program Administrator Certificate.

The program contains content similar to the Superintendent Certification program under two different tracks. The first track provides professional development opportunities for certificated candidates. The second track leads to Program Administrator Certification. It is also possible to apply credits from either track toward the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree.

The Executive Leadership program includes two tracks, and coursework for both tracks are built on a two-year cohort model.

Track 1: Executive Leadership with Specialization (24 credits)

Certificated students complete the same coursework for the Superintendent Certificate but replace the field experience with two electives (6 credits) in a chosen specialization and/or an applied field study in the area of specialization.

Areas of Specialization for Executive Leaders

  • Teaching and Learning (Curriculum and Instruction)
  • Finance and Business
  • Human Relations Administration
  • Special Education
  • Support Programs (Remediation, ELL, etc.)

Track 2: Executive Leadership with Program Administrator Certification (24-27 credits)

Non-certificated candidates complete the same coursework for the Superintendent Certificate but receive Program Administrator Certification. This track requires at least 360 hours of field experience (EDAD 6941) and the number of required credits (6-9) for the program is dependent on experience and desired position.


Courses meet three times per academic quarter (once a month) on Friday afternoon/evenings and Saturday mornings.


Integrated Courses

The program's Core Curriculum includes six integrated and standards-based courses that link your previous experiences to the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for senior-level leadership positions.

  • EDAD 7581   Systems Leadership (3)
  • EDAD 7582   Educational Law and Policy Studies (3)
  • EDAD 7583   Leading Diverse Communities (3)
  • EDAD 7584   Resource Management (3)
  • EDAD 7586   Interpersonal Relations (3)
  • EDAD 7588   Improving Student Learning (3)

Leadership Seminars

To enhance collegiality, collaboration, and practitioner skills, three professional growth planning seminars are integrated into the program. In these seminars, students in both tracks discuss problems of practice, share insights gained from their specialization work or applied field study, assist in developing a Professional Growth Plan, and present key findings from integrated projects.

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Continuing Education

To meet the changing needs of adult learners, Seattle Pacific University offers a wide range of programs and courses to meet the needs of today's professionals. With competitive credit and program rates, these personal and professional development opportunities make lifelong learning very affordable. As the largest provider of continuing education credits for teachers in Washington State, SPU's Center for Professional Education is focused on the current needs of K-12 educators.

Courses taken for credit and numbered at the 5000 level are graduate-level courses and are designed primarily with the needs of teachers and other professionals in mind for the purpose of meeting certification, endorsement, district pay lane requirements and other professional needs. These Graduate-level courses may be considered to meet elective requirements in some cases.

Still have questions? Review FAQs.

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Tuition and fees for 2021–22

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per credit

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application fee

See additional fee details.

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credits to complete


Before applying for aid, you must first be admitted to a graduate program. Make sure you:

  • Enroll in at least 3 credits (or half-time) toward a degree or eligible certificate each quarter.
  • Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.

You may take advantage of scholarships and loans. SPU does not have a deadline for graduate financial aid, though earlier is always better than later! 

Learn more about the FAFSA and applying for financial help.

Learn more about scholarships, assistantships, and loans available to graduate students.


Find out more about administrative and other School of Education program fees.

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Application Info


Distinct from the Superintendent Certification program, this program is designed for both certificated and non-certificated educational leaders. Applicants must have a minimum of two years of building or district level administrative experience prior to acceptance into the program.


Applicants must submit the following items to Graduate Admissions:

  • Application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Official transcript documenting bachelor's degree (including official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended).
  • Official transcript documenting master's degree.
    • Note: To be considered official, transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope from the college or university. Transcripts may be delivered to Graduate Admissions as long as they remain in their original, unopened university envelope. Electronic transcripts received via eSCRIP-SAFE or Parchment Exchange are also acceptable.
    • If your degree is not from a US 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. 
  • Copy of current professional teacher or ESA certificate, if applicable. 
  • Personal statement (1–2 pages).
  • Résumé.
  • Two letters of recommendation (one supervisory, one professional).
  • Site Agreement form, if applicableavailable in the application.


Autumn Quarter: August 15

Winter Quarter: November 15

Spring Quarter: February 15

Summer Session: May 15


Contact Graduate Admissions at 800-601-0603 or

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Frequently Asked Questions

How selective is admission to the SPU School of Education graduate degree programs?

This varies by program. Admission to some programs, such as the Accelerated Master in Teaching Mathematics and Science (AMTMS), Accerated Master of Arts in Teaching (AMAT), and MEd in School Counseling, is very competitive. Admission to each of SPU's graduate programs in education is standards-based, and all applicants must meet all standards for admission.

Can I continue to work while enrolled in a graduate degree program in the SPU School of Education?

Yes, in most cases. Most of the graduate degree programs offered by the School of Education are part-time programs, with classes offered in a variety of worker-friendly venues. Education graduate courses are scheduled at SPU or off campus, in the evenings, occasionally on Saturdays, and during the summer.

The Acclerated Master of Arts in Teaching (AMAT) and Accelerated Master in Teaching Mathematics and Science (AMTMS) programs are exceptions. They are one-year full-time programs due to their full-time internships.

Is it possible to complete a graduate degree from SPU's School of Education online?

The School of Education offers several fully online programs, including the AMAT-OnlineAMTMS-Online, and Digital Education Leadership programs. Please review the program pages for eligibility requirements.

Is a graduate program at SPU more expensive than comparable education programs at other universities?

SPU's graduate tuition rates are competitive with other accredited universities in Washington.

How does a graduate degree or graduate certificate from SPU compare with a similar degree or certificate from other universities?

SPU's School of Education has been offering a wide range of fully accredited master's and doctoral degrees in addition to graduate certificates for more than 20 years. SPU's reputation in P–12 education in Washington and around the country is strong, and students who complete our graduate degree and certificate programs enjoy a higher rate of employment than the state's average.

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