Educational Leadership, M.A., Ph.D.

Saint Louis University’s program in educational leadership prepares students to be effective leaders in educational settings.


About the Program

SLU’s graduate programs in educational leadership are grounded in evidence regarding excellence in leadership, integrating theory and practice, and are designed to meet your needs and professional aspirations. The vast majority of educational leadership students work in full-time positions while they are in the program.

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all required graduate professional courses to continue in the program.

Program Highlights

SLU’s NCATE-accredited graduate programs in educational leadership are individually tailored to complement your unique interests and professional aspirations. They combine theory with practical insights and includes areas of concentrations for school principals, school superintendents and directors of special education.

M.A. Curriculum and Program Details

SLU's M.A. in educational leadership has a multi-discipline design, enhanced by problem-based learning, evidence-based content connecting theory and practice, and opportunities for practice. You will work with peers on problem-oriented instructional strategies, a curriculum grounded in the literature of effective practice, professionally guided practice in schools, and in-depth internships in schools with site supervisors. The degree requires 32 credit hours of coursework and a culminating program requirement. Some M.A. students are enrolled in an educational leadership/business administration dual degree program. Two credit hours of M.B.A. coursework are accepted for the M.A. program. Usually, EDL 6390: Gateway Leadership Institute is not required for dual degree students. Schedules vary and are arranged with advisers and the program director. 

An M.A. in educational leadership (Catholic School) is also available.  This concentration is designed to prepare you for school-level leadership positions, most commonly the principalship in Catholic elementary, middle and high schools. The area of emphasis requires a completion of 33-36 credit hours of coursework as well as cumulative and written exams.  The degree programs offered through the Institute for Catholic Education are designed to meet the catechetical requirements for the Archdiocese of Saint Louis and the standards from the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops. Students seeking Missouri certification as a principal must take the internship course and pass the Missouri Leaders assessments.

Required Courses

  • EDL 5000: Practicum**
  • EDL 5100: Foundations of Education Administration 
  • EDR 5100: Introduction to Inferential Statistics: Education or Data-based Decision making 
  • EDL 5150: Special Dimensions of Educational Administration**
  • EDL 5300:  School Law 
  • EDL 5450: Managing the Building Level Curriculum 
  • EDL 5500: Professional Seminar *
  • EDR 5550: Evaluation of Education Programs
  • EDL 5630: The Principalship 
  • EDL 5660:  Principalship II*
  • EDL 5730: Building Level Professional Development and Teacher Evaluation 
  • EDL 5913: Internship: Building Principal 
  • EDL 5950  Special Study for Written Comprehensive Exams 
  • EDL 6390:  Gateway Leadership Institute I*
  • EDL 6500:  School Finance

*M.A. in educational leadership only

**M.A. in education leadership (Catholic school) only

Ed.D. Curriculum and Program Details

SLU's Doctor of Education in educational leadership requires 38 credit hours if you do not have a specialist degree and 28 credit hours if you do have a specialist degree. The program also requires a written comprehensive examination, a doctoral project and an oral examination, and a major project focused on a problem of practice. A Doctor of Education in educational leadership (Catholic) is also offered through the Institute for Catholic Education.

The program does have a six credit hour research course prerequisite that can be fulfilled by Introduction to Inferential Statistics: Education, Qualitative Research in Education,  or General Research Methods for Educators.  If you do not have the prerequisite credit hours, you  may take the hours during the doctoral program in addition to the program coursework.

If you do not have a specialist degree, you will take all of the courses listed below. If you do have a specialist degree, you will take the eight credit hours marked with an asterisk and an additional 20 credit hours of your choosing from the list. If you pursue the Catholic concentration, you can take Catholic Studies or Seminar-Catholic Education but not Special Education Administration.

  • EDL 6971: Research Topics for the Ed.D* 
  • EDL 6110: School District Administration
  • EDL 5200: School-Community Relation/Politics 
  • EDL 6400: Seminar: Human Resources Administration 
  • EDL 6300: Advanced School Law
  • EDL 6390: Gateway Leadership Institute I* 
  • EDL 6450: Managing the District Level Curriculum 
  • EDL 6200: Ethics of Educational Leadership
  • EDL 6730: District Level Professional Development and Evaluation
  • EDL 6470: School Facilities
  • EDL 6391: Gateway Leadership Institute II* 
  • EDL 6690: School Business Administration
  • EDL 5914: Internship: Superintendent 
  • EDL 6960: Project Guidance* 
  • EDL 6140: Special Education Administration 

See a Sample Schedule

Ph.D. Curriculum and Program Details

SLU’s Doctor of Philosophy in educational leadership prepares you to become a scholar,  professor and organizational leader. You can enter the program with a master's in education, leadership or a related field. 

The program does have a six credit hour research course prerequisite that can be fulfilled by Introduction to Inferential Statistics: Education, Qualitative Research in Education,  or General Research Methods for Educators.  If you do not have the prerequisite credit hours, you  may take the hours during the doctoral program in addition to the program coursework.

You will then complete 42 credit hours, including 12 dissertation credit hours, followed by a comprehensive examination, an oral preliminary examination/proposal defense, and a public defense of the dissertation.

You will take the third course from the prerequisite list and Research Topics as part of the research requirements of the program. If you pursue a quantitative dissertation design, you will also take Research Design and Analysis and Intermediate Applied Statistics for Educators. If you pursue a qualitative dissertation design, you will take  Advanced Qualitative Research for Educators  and an additional advanced research course selected from the following: Evaluation of Educational Programs, Special Topics: Ethnography, or another three credit hour advanced research course approved by an adviser.

Required Courses

You will plan coursework with your adviser and develop coursework that includes educational leadership courses and other courses that complement your professional goals. You will select 18 credit hours of courses from the following:

  • EDL 6110:   School District Administration
  • EDL 6200:   Ethics of Educational Leadership
  • EDL 6300: Advanced School Law
  • EDL 6390: Gateway Leadership Institute I and II* 
  • EDL 6400: Seminar: Human Resources Administration
  • EDL 6450: Managing the District Level Curriculum
  • EDL 6470: School Facilities
  • EDL 6690: School Business Administration
  • EDL 5200: School-Community Relations/Politics
  • EDL 6730: District Level Professional Development and Evaluation 
  • EDL 5914: Internship: Educational Administration-Superintendent (only if certification is desired) 

 

Specialist in Educational Leadership Details

The specialist is a certification degree used by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to qualify students who do not yet have a doctorate to take the state certification test for advanced, superintendent certification.

An M.A. plus 30 hours in educational leadership coursework is required for the certification. The SLU educational leadership certification officer reviews the student’s transcript, audits the courses that qualify for the 30 hours, and approves the request for the specialist degree.

If a SLU educational leadership student has a job opportunity or a salary increase in a school district salary schedule dependent on early certification, he or she may apply to get the specialist degree while completing doctoral coursework.

Students must complete six hours of graduate level research coursework as a prerequisite to receiving the specialist degree. The prerequisites do not count as part of the 30 hours required to receive a specialist degree. The prerequisites may be taken at other
universities.

Prerequisite Course Options

  • EDR 5100: Introduction to Inferential Statistics
  • EDR 5550:  Evaluation of Educational Programs 
  • EDR 6070: Evidence-Based Decision Making in Education
  • EDR 5400: Qualitative Research in Education 
  • EDR 5600: General Research Methods for Educators 

Required Courses

  • EDR 6971: Research Topics for the Ed.D. 
  • EDL 6110: School District Administration 
  • EDL 6400: Human Resource Administration 
  • EDL 6410:  Special Education Administration        
  • EDL 6390: Gateway Leadership Institute I and II 
  • EDL 6450: Managing the District Level Curriculum 
  • EDL 6200: Ethics of Educational Leadership
  • EDL 6730: District Professional Personnel Development and Teacher Evaluation 
  • EDL 6300: Advanced School Law 
  • EDL 6690: School Business Administration 
  • EDL 6470: School Facilities or EDL 5200: School & Community Relations/Politics 
Faculty

Our faculty members are or have been acting educational administrators take a genuine interest in students, serve as strong role models of success, and acquaint students with the challenges and joys of the profession. We seek an appropriate balance between theory and practice, between action and reflection, and between intellect and affect.

Careers

Graduates of SLU’s educational leadership programs are prepared to fill a variety of leadership roles including as principals, teacher leaders, program directors, professional development chairs, superintendents, curriculum coordinators, nonprofit specialists, special educators, adult educators or other central office positions in a school district or Archdiocese.

Tuition and Fees

Saint Louis University takes pride in being one of Barron's Best Buys in College Education and Kiplinger's Best Values in Private Colleges.

For information regarding the upcoming academic year’s tuition rate, fees and financial aid, visit SLU Financial Services.

2018-2019 Tuition and Fees
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Scholarships and Financial Aid
Learn about scholarships and financial aid at Student Financial Services.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants should possess above-average GPA and sufficient TOEFL, GRE or MAT scores (if applicable).

Educational Leadership M.A.

Applicants must have completed 18 credit hours of upper-division undergraduate coursework in education or related areas approved by the School of Education.

Educational Leadership Ph.D.

Applicants must complete six credit hours of graduate research coursework as a prerequisite for the doctoral programs. If you do not have some or all of these credit hours, you may take the hours during the doctoral program in addition to the required coursework.

You’ll need the following items to apply:

Application Requirements

Application form and fee
Transcript(s)
Three letters of recommendation
Miller's Analogy or GRE scores required for Specialist in Education, Ed.D. and Ph.D. (GMAT, LSAT or Miller Analogies Test scores may be substituted)
Résumé
Professional goal statement

Requirements for International Students

  • TOEFL or PTE is required on application.
  • SLU writing exam is required upon admission.

Application Deadline

Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

Review Process

The program has a year-round, rolling application process. Applications are reviewed by committee.


Fieldwork and Research

Real-World Experience

Most educational leadership programs include site-based activities aligned with coursework, as well as an internship.