A master's in Educational Leadership from Penn State prepares you to become a transformative leader in a variety of areas within the field of education. This 30-credit program will empower you to become a changemaker while providing you with flexible study options to design an educational experience aligned to your career and life goals.

The master's in Educational Leadership is offered with three emphasis areas. The General Leadership option is offered residentially at University Park and allows students to create a specialized course of study including socio-emotional leadership, athletic leadership, and leadership for education. The School Leadership and Teacher Leadership emphasis areas are offered online through World Campus.

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If you want to broaden your leadership potential, expand your knowledge about schools, teachers, and student learning, and renew your passion to work on behalf of public education as you meet professional development goals, Penn State's Educational Leadership master's program is for you. 

Our rigorous, standards-aligned, and highly interactive programs of study are provided by Penn State’s expert faculty. Further, all courses taken apply toward professional development hours for educators in Pennsylvania. 

The master's in Educational Leadership is offered with three emphasis areas: 

  • General Leadership is our core M.Ed program that will help you elevate your knowledge about educational institutions. To change schools, we first need to understand them; this area allows students to explore the socioeconomic, political, legal, and historical contexts shaping schools as organizations and the role of leaders in transforming them. Offered at University Park, this emphasis area allows flexibility in selecting courses, which can be taken residentially or online. Students may also design a course of study focused on equity, anti-racist leadership, athletic leadership, or socio-emotional leadership.

  • School Leadership is for students interested in becoming school leaders. Embedded in this program is the Pennsylvania principal certification coursework. Offered online through World Campus, this emphasis area includes courses that prepare students for the Pennsylvania Department of Education principal certification

  • Teacher Leadership is for students interested in taking on leadership positions such as department chairs and mentors. This emphasis does not lead to principal certification but can lead to a Teacher Leader endorsement from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Offered online through World Campus, course selection is defined through the interaction of student and adviser

All candidates for the M.Ed. degree will complete a minimum of 30 credits. Students must also complete a capstone project/internship as described in each emphasis area.


University Park Residential

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World Campus Online options


Penn State is an Act 48-approved provider for Pennsylvania educators, so courses may count toward professional development hours.

Many US states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.