Welcome to the Educational Leadership program of The Pennsylvania State University. Our program supports and advances education by preparing outstanding leaders and scholars committed to the continuous improvement of education, educational equity, social justice, and the enhancement of school and community capacity. Our students emerge from our program poised to pursue or continue careers in PreK-12 education, academia, research, and/or educational policy in the area of educational leadership.


Prospective Graduate Students

Penn State's Educational Leadership program presents many opportunities for you to build skills for success. If you want to work as a leader in a PreK-12 environment, such as earn your Superintendent Letter of Eligibility, you can take coursework leading to Pennsylvania Department of Education endorsement or administrative certification or interact with leaders in the Pennsylvania School Study Council. If you want to be involved in educational policy or conduct educational research, you can get involved in one of our renowned centers such as Center for Education and Civil Rights, Center for Evaluation and Education Policy Analysis, or Center on Rural Education and Communities.

Mission and Vision


The mission of the Educational Leadership Program is to positively impact educational systems through high-quality scholarship, rigorous instructional practice, and equitable partnerships. We prepare action-oriented and transformative leaders, policymakers, and researchers who are committed to equity, antiracism, and social justice in education.  


The vision of the educational leadership program is to play an integral role in enhancing the field’s capacity to promote excellence, equity, antiracism, and social justice in education. To achieve this vision, we will: 

  • Conduct high-quality research that is both informed by and useful to education policy, leadership, and practice. 

  • Prioritize dissemination, translation, and access to research and data for practitioners, policymakers, advocates, families, and communities.  

  • Work collaboratively with the field to build equitable partnerships, including through facilitating professional development opportunities that is responsive to the needs of the field 

  • Engage in continuous improvement of the curriculum to ensure that reflects cutting edge research and encourages critical reflection to prepare researchers and practitioners 

  • Promote diversity in the field of educational leadership, including through reducing barriers and promoting access for individuals who are underrepresented in the field 

The Educational Leadership Program embraces the mission and vision as outlined in the College of Education’s Strategic Plan. This mission and vision statement is our commitment to implementing the College of Education’s strategic plan to the field of educational leadership 

College’s Core Values: 

ANTI-RACISM/RACIAL JUSTICE - We strive to actively identify, describe, counter, and dismantle individual, interpersonal, institutional, and structural racism in all components of our work. 

TRANSFORMING EDUCATION – We are committed to changing education to promote and practice equity in collaboration with international, national, and community-based partners to ensure an equitable and just world. 

LEARNING ACROSS THE LIFESPAN – We are committed to cultivating purposeful learning for individuals and communities throughout development, transitions, and contexts. 

SYSTEMIC UNDERSTANDING AND AWARENESS – We embrace the synergy among efforts to mitigate climate change, and to promote social justice, essential literacies grounded in deep and integrated disciplinary knowledge, mental health and well-being in changing education for healthy communities and the world. 

GLOBAL UNDERSTANDING AND INCLUSIVITY—We are committed to supporting the exchange of knowledge and furthering research that includes perspectives from, and addresses issues pertinent to, the attainment of education for all around the globe. 


M.Ed. Degree in Educational Leadership
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Superintendent Graduate Certificate
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Ph.D. Degree in Educational Leadership
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D.Ed. Degree in Educational Leadership
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Principalship Graduate Certificate
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Teacher Leadership Graduate Certificate
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EDLDR and Dual-Title Degrees in Comparative and International Education
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EDLDR Joint Degrees with Penn State Law
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Our program's areas of research emphasis include educational policy and politics, law, finance, rural and urban education, ethics, evaluation, and organizational theory. Affiliated programs, centers, councils, and journals focus on teacher leadership, rural and urban education, educational evaluation, comparative & international education, educational ethics, and equity. Program faculty collaborate closely with graduate students in each of these research areas. Additionally, students often arrange internships and practicums in a variety of settings. Penn State's Educational Leadership Program has consistently been ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report and is currently ranked #7 in the nation.

Educational Leadership Centers, Councils & Journals

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Educational Leadership faculty

EDLDR faculty

Current Educational Leadership students

Meet our students

Educational Leadership alumni

Where are they now?

Graduate School Admissions