Best Educational Leadership Programs: List of Top Schools

Learn about the top schools in the nation that provide educational leadership programs. Obtain university rankings, degree options and location info, and compare similarities and differences to find the perfect school for you.

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School Information

Below, you'll be able to explore the top-rated schools that offer educational leadership programs. Most educational leadership programs are offered at the graduate level to recent baccalaureate graduates, as well as educators with work experience. You may earn a master's or doctoral degree in the field of education leadership. Concentrations are often available in public policy and business subjects. Many programs offer residencies or field experiences.

1. Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

School Highlight: Three-year Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) includes a 10-month residency in the student's final year.

In 2015, Harvard University was fifth in U.S. News & World Report's ranking of top schools in the U.S. for education administration and supervision. The Graduate School of Education offers an interdisciplinary program leading to a Doctor of Education Leadership. In addition to education courses, the first-year curriculum includes business and public policy courses taught by faculty from Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Advanced electives in education leadership are available to second-year students of this 3-year program. The last year is devoted to a residency with one of the program's partnering organizations, which include schools, nonprofit organizations and for-profit education agencies.

2. Teachers College at Columbia University in New York, NY

School Highlight: Four graduate degree options include a summer principal's academy and an urban education leadership program.

Teachers College at Columbia University was named the fourth-best school for education administration and supervision by U.S. News & World Report in 2015. The school offers several educational leadership| programs, including a Ph.D. in Education Leadership with three potential concentrations in leadership, policy and politics or organization, leadership and learning. Students in the Summer Principals Leadership Academy can earn a Master of Arts or a Master of Education. The Urban Education Leaders Program, which leads to a Doctor of Education, prepares educators for district-level positions.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Adult Education Administration
  • Community College Education
  • Educational and Curriculum Supervision
  • Educational Leadership
  • Higher Education Administration
  • K thru 8 Administration and Principalship
  • Secondary School Administration
  • Special Education Administration
  • Superintendency Education
  • Urban Education Leadership

Top U.S. Schools with Educational Leadership Programs

School Name Distinction Location
George Washington University Educational Leadership Administration program offers three advanced degrees and a post-master's certificate available at three Virginia locations Washington, DC
New York University Study options include an intensive educational reform 6-week study abroad experience in Pretoria, South Africa New York, NY
Seattle University Educational Leadership Doctoral Program (ELDP) follows a cohort model, and courses are offered evenings and weekends Seattle, WA
University of California, Los Angeles UCLA's 36-month Educational Leadership Program (ELP) is designed for working professionals and results in an Ed.D - Educational Leadership credential Los Angeles, CA
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill All 36 credits for the Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) credential can be counted toward the 54-credit doctoral program Chapel Hill, NC
University of Wisconsin - Madison Ph.D. in Educational Leadership students are grouped into professional learning communities to progress together through the 3- to 4-year track Madison, WI
Vanderbilt University Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy at the nation's top-ranked Peabody School offers a weekend schedule that takes 36 months to complete Nashville, TN
Wright State University Non-thesis Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Leadership - Teacher Leader online program is ranked #1 in Ohio by U.S. News & World Report Dayton, OH
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