Master of Education (M.Ed): Educational Leadership Degree Overview

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Leadership programs are designed to prepare individuals to become leaders in academic settings. These programs primarily cover the theories, philosophies and practices for effective school administration.

Essential Information

Some master's programs in educational leadership let students pursue a concentration, such as organizational and community leadership, human services leadership or administration. Commonly, programs offer students the option of participating in internships or field experiences so that they can apply the theories and practices they learn in classroom sessions. Most programs require students to complete a portfolio showcasing their knowledge and skills.

Applicants to these master's programs need a bachelor's degree. Some programs may require applicants to pass a Graduate Writing Assessment, and most programs expect individuals to have professional teaching experience.


Master of Education in Educational Leadership Degree

Enrollees who are studying educational leadership often engage in coursework that prepares them to make positive differences in schools and communities. Programs generally offer courses that address various perspectives on leadership and allow students to reflect on the theories they learn. Students gain knowledge in curriculum and instruction as well as current educational trends and they learn methods for building learning communities. They might take courses that address the following topics:

  • Multiculturalism
  • Education law
  • Curriculum design
  • Principalship
  • Educational technology
  • Public education

Popular Career Options

Individuals who graduate with a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership can qualify for careers in leadership positions in public and private schools, social service agencies and educational organizations. Graduates may find positions as:

  • Assistant principals
  • Curriculum leaders
  • Educational supervisors
  • Academic deans
  • Principals

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Principals working in elementary, middle and high schools are estimated to see 6% job growth over the 2014-2024 decade, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These elementary and secondary school administrators earned median wages of $90,410 in May 2015. The BLS expects 9% growth for postsecondary education administrators for that decade, and their May 2015 median earnings were $88,580.

Continuing Education and Certification

To work in pre-college academic institutions, graduates usually need to obtain an administrative credential through the state board of education. Students should check state standards to ensure they take the correct steps in attaining certification. After obtaining a Master of Education in Educational Leadership, graduates could choose to pursue a doctoral degree, which might be required or preferred by many post-secondary institutions. Several schools offer related Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in educational leadership or curriculum and instruction.

Students interested in school leadership roles can earn a master's degree in educational leadership to study educational organizations and trends. Graduates can pursue administrative credentials and doctorate degrees, and they can also expect positive job growth in the field.


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