Most Affordable Online Master’s in Educational Leadership Programs

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An affordable online master's in educational leadership prepares students for leadership positions in higher education and K-12. These programs focus on advanced training in curriculum design, school operations, financial management, and strategies for increasing student achievement. These professionals may also help teachers leverage their strengths and provide them with growth opportunities.

Graduates may pursue roles as school administrators, principals, and superintendents. Most of these positions require a master's degree and offer high-paying salaries. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that K-12 education administrators earn an average median wage of $98,490 as of May 2020.

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Ready to Start Your Journey?

The costs of a master's in educational leadership vary, based on the type of school and resident status. The College Board reports that tuition and fees for a master's degree ranged from $8,950-$29,670 in the 2019-20 academic year. These programs typically take about two years to complete. However, accelerated online programs can reduce the time to completion.

The decision to attend graduate school can seem daunting, but top online schools offering flexibility and savings might help make the choice a little easier.

How Much Does an Online Master's in Educational Leadership?

Tuition for an online master's in educational leadership program ranges from about $285-$1,150 per credit. In-state students attending public colleges tend to pay the lowest tuition rates, though some online programs do not charge out-of-state fees. Private universities usually charge the highest tuition.

Additional costs to consider include books and fees. While the cost of an online program may not include campus-based fees such as student activities and athletics, online programs may charge technology or virtual access fees.

According to College Board, books cost an average of $1,240 per year in 2020. Some schools offer online students the option of paying a fee to access course materials online. Additionally, online students may find it easier to work while earning their degree, reducing the costs associated with lost wages.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Educational Leadership Program?

Education leaders influence students, teachers, and communities. This level of responsibility requires commitment, strong communication and decision-making skills, and the ability to lead under pressure. These professionals also need to be able to work in teams and collaborate with others. Finally, success in this field requires solid money management skills and awareness of the new technology transforming educational systems.

Most affordable online master's in educational leadership programs require 30-36 credits of coursework and take about two years of full-time enrollment to complete. Some accelerated tracks can lead to a degree in one year. When preparing for graduate school, consider how much time you can devote to studies to determine which track to take.

Many schools also offer concentrations, enabling students to align their education with their career goals. These specializations include higher education administration, teacher leadership, school leadership, and district leadership.

Most programs require an administrative practicum or internship. Internships provide students with the supervised, hands-on experience to become successful leaders. While hours vary, most states require an internship to apply for principal and school leader licensure. Programs must include an internship component to gain Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accreditation.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.

Popular Online Educational Leadership Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Educational Leadership Program?

Curriculum Design and Implementation

This course explores the current trends in effective curriculum development and implementation. Students examine research, theory, and evaluation methods. Covered topics include helping teachers maintain a valuable learning environment and the role of local and state governments.

Leadership Theory

This course examines the key characteristics of effective school leaders. Topics covered include methods for evaluating and improving teacher and student performance, developing management systems, and the role of self-awareness in leadership positions.

Diversity in Education

This class covers leadership strategies for diverse classrooms, schools, and districts. Students gain insight into cultural, ethnic, gender, disability, and socioeconomic diversity. Learners also examine special considerations in urban and suburban school settings.

Legal Aspect of Education

This course emphasizes the role of politics and law in school leadership at the local, state, and federal levels. Students learn about changing laws in public education and the needed political skills when working with community organizations.

Resource Management

This class covers different school financial management and budgeting models. Students learn about analyzing costs and the varying sources of revenue at different educational institutions. Students also explore the concepts of human resource management.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Educational Leadership Program?

All online master's in educational leadership programs require candidates to possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Some programs specify a degree in education or a related field. Schools may also require applicants to hold a valid teaching certificate and 2-3 years of teaching experience.

Some schools offer tracks designed for non-teaching students. These programs are ideal for school counselors and administrators interested in leadership roles.

The admissions process may also include on-campus or virtual interviews. While all programs vary, the following represent typical graduate admission requirements.

Application

Candidates usually submit an online application through the school's website or online portal. Unlike undergraduate school, there is no online application platform that allows students to submit one application to multiple colleges. Most application forms ask for basic information, such as contact and academic information and names of references.

Test Scores

While fewer schools require standardized test scores, some online master's in educational leadership programs request GRE scores or list them as optional. If optional, determine if including them would boost your application. International students must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must submit 2-3 letters of recommendation. Ideally, these letters should come from a direct supervisor, such as an assistant principal, principal, or superintendent. Suitable references also include recent professors. Make sure to request these references at least 2-3 months in advance to ensure they arrive by the application deadline.

Resume and Work Experience

A student's college application resume or curriculum vitae should include work experience, internships, volunteer activities, and publications or professional organization memberships. Many programs require two or more years of teaching experience, which the resume should reflect. Some schools also request the most recent yearly teacher evaluations.

Essays

Most schools request a statement of purpose or letter of intent. These help the admissions department get to know the person behind the test scores and academic achievements. While each school varies, many expect to read about an applicant's career goals and research interests and how their program fits these aspirations. Some programs also require scholarly papers.

Official Transcripts

Candidates must request official transcripts from all previously attended postsecondary institutions. Most schools require a minimum GPA of 2.5-3.0 in upper-division undergraduate work or the last 60 credits. Less competitive programs may require a minimum GPA of 2.0 or take test scores and experience into consideration. Some programs also accept transfer credits.

What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Educational Leadership Degree?

Career Outlook

Graduates of master's in educational leadership programs pursue roles as school administrators, principals, and, with experience, superintendents. They also hold positions in government, shaping educational policies. Others work in nonprofit agencies that focus on educational reform and accessibility on a global scale.

Education leaders also use their skills as consultants, helping private and public schools develop curricula, integrate technology, and design teacher development programs. Others specialize in specific school programs, such as special education, early childhood, or athletics.

The BLS projects an 8% job growth for K-12 principals and postsecondary education administrators from 2020-2030. This correlates with the average growth rate of 8% for all occupations. These school administrators earned median yearly salaries of $98,490 and $97,500, respectively.

The following section highlights some common careers pursued by graduates of online master's in educational leadership programs. Keep in mind that most leadership roles in education require state licensure, so make sure to review your state's requirements.

See where a master's in educational leadership degree can take you. Learn more about educational leadership careers.

Career Paths

K-12 Principal

Principals manage schools by overseeing academic performance, teacher evaluations, and budgetary concerns. They may develop curricula, meet with students, teachers, and parents, and hire staff. In larger districts, they may oversee assistant principals and instructional coordinates who take on some of these functions.

Median Annual Salary: $98,490

Postsecondary Education Administrator

College and university education administrators' duties vary, depending on the department they oversee. For instance, they may work in admissions, the registrar's office, student affairs, or career services. Depending on their role, they might meet with prospective students and review applications, oversee student class registrations, or act as student advisors.

Median Annual Salary: $97,500

Superintendent

Superintendents oversee school districts. In large cities, school districts may include hundreds of schools. In rural areas, they may only consist of a few schools. All principals report to the superintendent, who creates a vision for the district and monitors its success. Some school districts prefer candidates with a doctorate. Many superintendents work their way up from positions as teachers and principals.

Median Annual Salary: $121,930

Curriculum Director

These directors work with schools to develop their curricula, ensuring it meets educational and regulatory standards. They also develop teacher training, verifying they cover mandated topics in each subject. Many directors work for school districts, overseeing programs for multiple schools.

Median Annual Salary: $74,330

Director of Special Education

Directors of special education typically work at the district level, supervising the special education programs at multiple schools. They develop systems for evaluating and placing students to ensure their academic and social success. They also oversee special education staff development.

Median Annual Salary: $73,080

Educational Leadership Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

Education professionals aspiring to positions such as university president or superintendent of large school districts should consider earning a doctorate. A doctorate of education (Ed.D.) program offers instruction in practical application and is best suited for those seeking managerial and leadership roles. A Ph.D. presents courses geared towards research and teaching at the postsecondary level.

Earning a doctorate also allows students to explore a specific field of interest in-depth. A few of the common educational paths include:

How Do I Choose an Online Master's in Educational Leadership Program?

Cost

The tuition rate for an online master's in educational leadership program ranges from approximately $285-$1,150 per credit. Public colleges usually fall in the lower range, especially for in-state students. Some online programs, however, do not charge out-of-state fees. Private universities generally cost significantly more. Learn more about the costs of online and on-campus programs.

Program Format

Online schools offer synchronous and asynchronous learning formats. Asynchronous programs offer the greatest flexibility, allowing students to study at their own pace while turning in assignments by specific deadlines. Synchronous programs provide more interaction with peers and professors with scheduled virtual class sessions. Some programs also offer part-time enrollment or accelerated tracks that may lead to a degree in one year.

Location

Many educational leadership positions require licensure or certification. Students should research their state's requirements and ensure the program qualifies them for licensure, as some programs do not qualify out-of-state students. Additional considerations include possible on-campus requirements, out-of-state tuition fees, and internship opportunities. Many factors go into deciding between an online or on-campus college education.

Accreditation

College accreditation ensures that schools and programs meet set academic standards. Regional accreditation is required to qualify for federal financial aid and transfer credits to other colleges. Programmatic accreditation is also important and can affect licensing, certification, and employment. The Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredits master's in educational leadership programs.

Student Support

Schools offer varying levels of online student support services. Some provide online mentorship programs, giving students the opportunity to gain career and academic advice from a professional in their field. Other student services include tutoring and academic and career advisors. Some programs also offer help placing students in internships in their communities.

How Do I Pay for an Online Master's in Educational Leadership?

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The first step in applying for financial aid is filling out the FAFSA form. This application determines eligibility for financial aid from the federal government through grants, work-study programs, and loans. Colleges and universities also use the FAFSA to determine scholarships and other aid awards.

Loans

Many students take out college loans. The federal government offers graduate students different loan options. These loans usually offer lower interest rates than private student loans from a bank. In addition, some institutions, such as credit unions, provide specialized loan programs for aspiring educators and administrators.

Grants

School grants, such as the Pell Grant, are awarded by the federal and state governments and based on need. Like scholarships, these do not need to be repaid. The Gates Millennium Scholars Program offers financial aid for Pell Grant-eligible students of color. Eligible candidates include graduate students in the field of education.

Work-Study Programs

Federal work-study programs offer low-income students part-time work at their school or an outside organization. Earned income can go directly to tuition costs or be deposited in a student's bank account. Students may work as research assistants, tutors, office support staff, and more.

Scholarships

There are numerous scholarship opportunities available for graduate students in the educational field. Professional associations, educational organizations, colleges, and universities offer this merit-based financial aid assistance. For example, the American Association of School Administrators grants a $2,500 scholarship to graduate students intending to become school superintendents.

Most Affordable Accredited Online Master's in Educational Leadership Programs

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Most Affordable Online Master's in Educational Leadership Programs

  1. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $11313

    At the University of Florida, students anywhere can earn an educational leadership degree from one of the top online graduate education programs in the United States. The two-year M.Ed. in educational leadership program blends coursework with mentoring, field experience, and ongoing support for school leaders.

    The 36-39-credit curriculum requires 10 courses that cover topics in the principalship, public school law, data-driven decision making, and administration of school personnel. Two elective courses examine how school leaders can lead change and effectively communicate.

    Participants seeking to pursue Florida principal certification must complete an ESOL training requirement in this affordable online master's in education. Students typically complete six credits per semester, but can enroll on a full- or part-time basis. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA on the last 60 credits of undergraduate work and the GRE.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Master of Education in Educational Leadership
    School Status: Public
    Tuition: $734/credit in-state; $734/credit out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 36-39
    Program Length: 2 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 3.0 minimum on last 60 credits of undergraduate work
    Standardized Tests: GRE (not required after fall 2020)

    Contact

    Phone: (352) 392-0726
    Email: catria@coe.ufl.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  2. Indiana University - Bloomington
    Location

    Bloomington, IN

    Tuition

    $11931

    Indiana University-Bloomington continues a tradition of rigor and affordability as one of the best value colleges in the nation. The fully online M.S.Ed. in educational leadership enrolls teachers interested in school leadership, though the department considers applicants with no teaching experience who can make a strong case for their inclusion.

    The 36-credit curriculum deepens participants' leadership skills, enhances their professional development, and their understanding of the challenges facing the education field. Topics covered include school community relations, legal perspectives on education, and educational leadership: principalship K-12.

    Enrollees use nine credits to customize the degree with a strand they choose in collaboration with an advisor, and must participate in a practicum in educational leadership. Fellowships help fund this affordable online master's in education. Admission requires a minimum 2.75 GPA, the GRE, and teaching or relevant work experience.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: M.S.Ed. in Educational Leadership
    School Status: Public
    Tuition: $434/credit in-state; $520/credit out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 36 credits
    Program Length: 2+ years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 2.75 minimum
    Standardized Tests: GRE
    Work Experience: Teaching or relevant work experience in a related field preferred.

    Contact

    Phone: (812) 856-2927
    Email: wbourke@indiana.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  3. Florida State University
    Location

    Tallahassee, FL

    Tuition

    $13318

    Florida State University manages a robust virtual college. Teachers with at least two years of full-time pre-K-12 teaching experience can advance their careers with the fully online MS in educational leadership. The 33-credit degree, which blends theoretical knowledge and applied research opportunities, offers Florida certification and non-certification tracks.

    The MS examines an array of topics, including how to plan effective instruction, data-driven school improvement, leadership for diversity, and the principalship. During a practicum, educators show how they can use their knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on students and schools. Students culminate the affordable master's in education with a comprehensive exam.

    The College of Education at FSU offers more scholarship and fellowship opportunities than any similar department in Florida. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA, the GRE, and a current Florida Professional Educator's Certificate.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Master of Science in Educational Leadership
    School Status: Public
    Tuition: $444/credit in-state; $1,076/credit out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 33 credits
    Program Length: 2 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 3.0 minimum in upper-division work
    Standardized Tests: GRE
    Work Experience: At least 2 years of full-time pre-K-12 teaching experience

    Contact

    Phone: (850) 644-6885
    Email: education.communications@fsu.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  4. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $13016

    The University of Central Florida celebrates 20 years of administering top online degrees in various disciplines. The MA in educational leadership offers a fully online curriculum designed to meet the needs of working professionals. The degree does not meet Florida Department of Education approval for educational leadership certification.

    Learners interested in administrative and leadership positions in schools and other settings that do not require certification enroll in the program. The 30-credit curriculum examines topics in organization and administration of schools, educational supervisory practices, and educational systems planning and management.

    Participants complete a nine-credit research and measurement component. They culminate the affordable education degree with a research report that synthesizes their learning. UCF pairs participants with a success coach charged with providing support from enrollment to graduation. All students pay comparably affordable tuition. Admission requires school transcripts.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
    School Status: Public
    Tuition: $357/credit in-state; $1,152/credit out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 30
    Program Length: 2 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    Standardized Tests: No GRE required

    Contact

    Phone: (855) 903-8576
    Email: online@ucf.edu; Kenneth.Murray@ucf.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  5. University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
    Location

    La Crosse, WI

    Tuition

    $12419

    Educators seeking administrative certification in Wisconsin can enroll in the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse's online MSED in educational leadership emphasis. The degree prepares learners for administrative roles in the principalship.

    The curriculum covers topics of the principalship, supervision and instruction, data-based decision making for instruction, and leadership and cultural competence. Participants engage in a supervised practicum focused on the school principalship. Learners culminate the degree with a thesis that incorporates original research and data.

    All students in the affordable online master's in education pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Applicants with a minimum 3.5 GPA qualify for scholarships that cut tuition down by $54/credit. Admission to the MSED requires a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, and one year of full-time teaching experience at the K-12 level.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: MSED Educational Leadership Emphasis
    School Status: Public
    Tuition: $450/credit in-state: $450/credit out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 36-38
    Program Length: 2 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 3.0 minimum
    Work Experience: One year of full-time teaching experience at the K-12 level

    Contact

    Phone: (608) 785-5409
    Email: pse@uwlax.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  6. San Diego State University
    Location

    San Diego, CA

    Tuition

    $14568

    San Diego State University administers an educational leadership program that ranks first in the state. In just one year, online learners can earn the MA in educational leadership. The degree uses a cohort model to prepare educators and administrators to assume leadership roles at the pre-K-12 school and district levels.

    The curriculum requires 10 courses that examine topics in visionary leadership, school improvement leadership, organizational and systems leadership, and professional learning and growth leadership. All courses in the affordable master's in educational leadership focus on technology.

    Students learn from faculty renowned for work in leadership and instruction. Graduates leave the program equipped to lead schools in the use of technology to improve student outcomes. Admission requires a minimum 2.85 GPA and the GRE. Cohorts start every summer.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
    School Status: Public
    Tuition: $17,940 divided over four semesters
    Credit Requirements: 30
    Program Length: One year

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 2.85 minimum
    Standardized Tests: GRE

    Contact

    Phone: (619) 594-0845
    Email: edleadership.ces@sdsu.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  7. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    Tuition

    $15829

    The College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign prepares educators with a drive to make education accessible to all learners. The online M.Ed. in education policy, organization, and leadership models that approach with five concentrations, including global studies in education and educational administration and leadership.

    The courses for the 32-36-credit curriculum depends on the specialization. Those interested in the global studies in education specialization delve into education and human rights, education and globalization, and global youth and citizenship.

    The educational administration and leadership specialization covers public school finance, leading learning-centered schools, and leading school improvement. Students use synchronous online sessions to complete this affordable online master's in education. All students pay an affordable online tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and no GRE.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Master of Education in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership
    School Status: Public
    Available Concentrations: Diversity and equity in education; education administration and leadership; human resource development; global studies in education; learning design and leadership
    Tuition: $482/credit in-state and out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 32-36
    Program Length: 2 years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online
    Instruction Style: Synchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 3.0 minimum
    Standardized Tests: Not required

    Contact

    Phone: (217) 333-0807
    Email: gradservices@education.illinois.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  8. University of Iowa
    Location

    Iowa City, IA

    Tuition

    $15817

    The University of Iowa designs educational Leadership programs for working professionals. The 36-semester-hour MA in educational leadership offers both a hybrid principal licensure track and fully online non-licensure track. The program generally enrolls practicing teachers and administrators.

    The MA's 24-credit core examines the foundation of school administration, school and community relationships, analysis and appraisal of curriculum, and supervision and evaluation. Those pursuing licensure use the remaining 12 semester hours to complete clinical coursework. Those in the non-licensure track work with an advisor to choose 12 credits in electives.

    All students in the affordable master's in educational leadership culminate the degree with a comprehensive examination. Faculty deliver the degree asynchronously. All applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants seeking licensure must hold at least three years of teaching experience at the pre-K-12 level.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
    School Status: Public
    Available Concentrations: Principal licensure
    Tuition: $337/credit in-state and out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 36 semester hours
    Program Length: 2 or more years

    Delivery

    Format: 100% online and hybrid
    Instruction Style: Synchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 3.0 minimum
    Work Experience: At least 3 years of teaching experience at the Pre K-12 level for those seeking a license

    Contact

    Phone: (319) 335-5370
    Email: steven-triplett@uiowa.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  9. California State University - Sacramento
    Location

    Sacramento, CA

    Tuition

    $9885

    California State University - Sacramento's College of Education boasts graduates able to address the unique challenges of a changing educational landscape. The college's 30-credit MA in education focuses on higher education leadership.

    The hybrid curriculum of this affordable online master's in education examines diversity in higher education, the dynamics of organizational change, and workforce development professional competencies. All students culminate the degree with a capstone research project or thesis that applies research in the practice of educational leadership.

    Faculty deliver the program synchronously with face-to-face sessions held on Friday nights and Saturdays. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units of the bachelor's, professional experience in higher education, and some leadership experience.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: Master of Arts in Education
    School Status: Public
    Available Concentrations: Higher education leadership
    Tuition: $2,082/0-6 units
    Credit Requirements: 30
    Program Length: 2 years

    Delivery

    Format: Hybrid (online/on campus)
    Instruction Style: Synchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: A minimum 2.5 GPA in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units
    Work Experience: Experience in higher education and some leadership experience

    Contact

    Phone: (916) 278-6403
    Email: grad_admissions@csus.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

  10. Florida Atlantic University
    Location

    Boca Raton, FL

    Tuition

    $9486

    At Florida Atlantic University, the College of Education offers the IDEAL master's in educational leadership program to train teachers for the principalship. Faculty designed the 42-credit IDEAL (Inclusive Development of Educational Administrators and Leader) to cultivate leaders of leaders, reflective practitioners, and transformative decision-makers.

    The curriculum involves scenario-based learning and practical application of learned concepts. Topics covered include theory and assessment, school operations, instructional leadership I and II, and leadership for social justice. Students engage in clinical practice during a three-semester internship at their school.

    Participants in the affordable master's in educational leadership attend on-site classes at FAU's campus in Boca Raton, or join remotely in real-time through the college's video-conferencing platform. All students pay the same per-credit tuition. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA in the bachelor's degree, at least three years of teaching experience, and no GRE.


    Program Overview

    Program Name: IDEAL Master's in Educational Leadership for School Leaders
    School Status: Public or private
    Tuition: $304/credit in-state and out-of-state
    Credit Requirements: 42 credits
    Program Length: Six semesters

    Delivery

    Format: Hybrid (online/on campus)
    Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    GPA: 2.5 GPA in upper-division coursework in the bachelor's degree
    Standardized Tests: GRE not required
    Work Experience: At least 3 years' of teaching experience

    Contact

    Phone: (561) 297-3624
    Email: whardma1@fau.edu
    Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Educational Leadership Programs

Is a master's in educational leadership worth it?

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A master's in educational leadership can lead to a rewarding career for students interested in administrative and policy-making roles in education. Most leadership positions in education require a master's degree at minimum. Online degrees garner the same respect and acceptance as their on-campus counterparts.

Earning this degree can lead to career advancement opportunities and greater earning potential. It also grants graduates the ability to affect educational programs and the teachers, students, and communities they impact. As educational leaders, you can change the quality of education in a classroom, school, district, state, or nation.

What can I do with a master's in educational leadership?

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Graduates of master's in educational leadership programs can work as school administrators, principals, directors, and curriculum developers. They may work for primary, secondary, and postsecondary educational institutions in the public and private sectors.

Some graduates develop educational policies and programs, working for government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Others pursue leadership roles in niche fields, such as athletics, special education, and early childhood. Finally, some use this degree as a stepping stone to a doctorate, leading to further advancement opportunities, such as managing large school districts as a superintendent.

Are educational leadership graduates in demand?

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Educational leadership graduates can pursue numerous career paths. Some may choose to work in administrative roles in colleges' admissions or registrar's offices. Others pursue roles as presidents and superintendents. The BLS projects that jobs for school administrators will grow by 8% from 2020-2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

This employment growth amounts to about 14,500 job openings a year for postsecondary administrators and 22,100 openings a year for K-12 principals. As more students enter college, more administrators are needed to direct and support them. State and local government budgets also affect employment opportunities.

How much money can I make with a master's in educational leadership?

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Salaries for those with a master's in educational leadership vary, based on the position, employer, location, and experience level. For example, PayScale reports that curriculum directors earn an average yearly salary of $74,330, with the top 10% making $107,000 as of November 2021.

The BLS reports that postsecondary education administrators bring in a median annual wage of $97,500. The highest 10% of earners made more than $199,400 in May 2020. Those that live in New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii see even higher incomes, with average salaries of $163,010, $146,910, and $136,730, respectively.

What are the highest paying jobs with a master's in educational leadership?

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School superintendents hold one of the highest paying jobs in education, with an average annual wage of $121,930 as of November 2021, according to PayScale. The top 10% boast earnings of $194,000. Superintendents overseeing large school districts may see even greater salaries.

A study conducted by The School Superintendents Association found those who worked for districts with 10,000-24,999 enrolled students earned a median salary of $200,000, while superintendents of schools with more than 100,000 students earned $338,710 in 2019-2020. This position may require a doctorate, particularly for districts with large student enrollment.

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