2019 Accredited Online Educational Leadership Programs

Quick Facts
Accreditation: Institutional
Degree Levels: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
Avg Tuition: $24,336
Avg Salary: $69,289

The 1,236 online educational leadership degrees on this page prepare students for careers such as the principal, vice principal, or department head at an elementary and secondary school or an academic dean at institutions of higher education. In addition to the comprehensive list of available online educational leadership degrees, we provide a list of the best online master's programs in educational leadership, ranked based on tuition costs and alumni salaries provided by PayScale.

Students are encouraged to select an educational leadership program that has been accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This agency is recognized by the US Department of Education as a reputable, independent accrediting agency that enforces high academic standards.

Find an Online Degree:

Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Educational Leadership Degrees ( 302)

Partner School
Partner School
Full List Accreditation Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
Full List (302)
Texas Tech University SACS COC $18,652 0% (2 reviews)
117 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership Policy
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Principal Professional Certification Preparation Program
Texas Woman's University SACS COC $17,446 100% (2 reviews)
57 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificates in Leadership in Education & Sport
Thomas Edison State University MSCHE $9,820 58% (62 reviews)
134 Programs, 5 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Online Learning and Teaching
  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership - Building Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership - District Leadership
Towson University MSCHE $22,140 Add Review
28 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Administrator I Certification
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Action Research for School Improvement
Trevecca Nazarene University SACS COC $25,100 Add Review
33 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership & Professional Practice
  • Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in Accountability and Instructional Leadership
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Leadership
Trident University International WASC WSCUC $9,240 76% (72 reviews)
91 Programs, 5 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Educational Leadership (Ed. D.)
  • Educational Leadership (Ph. D. EL)
  • Master of Arts in Education - Athletics Administration
  • Master of Arts in Education - Elementary/Secondary Education Leadership and Administration (MAED)
Troy University SACS COC $13,520 55% (11 reviews)
90 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate in Adult Education - Leadership Studies
  • MS in Adult Education - Leadership In Workforce Development (Non-Thesis)
  • MS in Education - Instructional Leadership & Administration (P-12)
  • MS in Education - Instructional Leadership And Administration (Reduced Hour Option)
Union College - KY SACS COC $26,080 100% (1 review)
18 Programs, 5 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Education: The Teacher Leader
  • Master of Arts in Education: The Teacher Leader - Cultural Competency
  • Master of Arts in Education: The Teacher Leader - Educational Policy
  • Master of Arts in Education: The Teacher Leader - English as a Second Language (P-12)
Union University SACS COC $31,510 Add Review
52 Programs, 5 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • EdD in P-12 School Administration - Instructional Leadership
  • EdD in P-12 School Administration - Leadership in School Reform
  • EdD in P-12 School Administration - Teacher Leadership
  • EdS in Educational Leadership - Teacher Leadership
University of Alabama SACS COC $28,100 67% (3 reviews)
78 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • EdS in Educational Leadership (With Instructional Leadership Certification)
  • EdS in Educational Leadership (With Teacher Leader Certification)
  • MA in Educational Leadership (With Instructional Leadership Certification)
  • MA in Higher Education Administration
University of Arizona HLC $11,800 100% (2 reviews)
166 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Career and Technical Education Administrator
University of Arkansas HLC $24,308 100% (2 reviews)
78 Programs, 7 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Additional Licensure Plan in Arkansas Curriculum / Program Administrator
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Educational Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction - Special Education Leadership
  • Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership
University of Bridgeport NECHE $32,250 0% (1 review)
17 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
  • Ed.D. in Educational Leadership - International Education Specialization
University of California-Irvine WASC WSCUC $41,752 Add Review
61 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Credential in Clear Induction Administrative Services
University of Central Florida SACS COC $22,467 88% (8 reviews)
124 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • College Teaching and Leadership, Graduate Certificate
  • Educational Leadership, MA
  • Local Director of Career & Technical Education, Graduate Certificate
University of Central Missouri HLC $14,150 100% (2 reviews)
74 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in CTE Administration Leadership
  • Master of Science in Career and Technical Education - Teaching Leadership, Occupational Education Initial Teacher Certification (Plan B)
  • Master of Science in Career and Technical Education - Teaching Leadership, Post-Baccalaureate Professional Teaching Enhancement (Plan A)
University of Cincinnati HLC $27,334 83% (6 reviews)
134 Programs, 9 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Special Education Leadership
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership - Data and Accountability
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership - Early Childhood Leadership
University of Colorado Colorado Springs HLC $19,498 100% (1 review)
57 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Advanced Principal License Program
  • Master of Arts in Leadership
University of Dayton HLC $41,750 Add Review
21 Programs, 10 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • BSE in Early Childhood Leadership & Advocacy
  • Certificate in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy
  • Licensure in Principal
  • Licensure in Superintendent
University of Delaware MSCHE $33,150 0% (1 review)
37 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Teacher Leadership
University of Florida SACS COC $28,659 60% (5 reviews)
269 Programs, 14 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • EdD in Higher Education Administration
  • EdS in Curriculum and Instruction - Teacher Leadership for School Improvement
  • EdS in Curriculum and Instruction - Teacher Leadership for School Improvement: Early Childhood
  • EdS in Curriculum and Instruction - Teacher Leadership for School Improvement: Education Technology
University of Houston SACS COC $22,066 50% (2 reviews)
54 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction - Professional Leadership, Social Studies/Social Education
University of Houston-Clear Lake SACS COC $19,270 Add Review
29 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Science in Educational Management
University of Idaho NWCCU $23,812 100% (2 reviews)
58 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • M.Ed. in Educational Leadership
University of Illinois at Springfield HLC $20,938 100% (7 reviews)
55 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Learning
  • Post Master's Certificate in Educational Leadership - Chief School Business Official Endorsement
University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign HLC $31,194 Add Review
129 Programs, 13 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in International Education Administration and Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Learning Design & Leadership
  • Endorsement in Teacher Leader Specialization
  • Graduate Certificate in Diversity & Equity in Education - Human Resource Development
University of Indianapolis HLC $28,390 Add Review
18 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Special Education Leadership & Practice
University of Iowa HLC $30,609 Add Review
63 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (With Principal Licensure)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching, Leadership, and Cultural Competency
University of Kansas HLC $26,592 100% (1 review)
78 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Leadership in Special and Inclusive Education
  • Master of Science in Education in Educational Administration (Building Leadership)
  • Master of Science in Education in Educational Administration (Non-Licensure)
  • Master of Science in Education in Special Education - Autism Spectrum Disorder: Leadership
University of Kentucky SACS COC $28,046 100% (4 reviews)
79 Programs, 11 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Studies - Educational Leadership
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership Studies - Educational Leadership
  • Education Specialist in Principal Preparation
  • Education Specialist in Teacher Leadership
University of Louisiana-Monroe SACS COC $20,570 100% (2 reviews)
65 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Education in Educational Technology Leadership
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Educational Leadership
University of Louisville SACS COC $26,286 Add Review
61 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration
University of Maine NECHE $30,282 Add Review
48 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
University of Mary HLC $18,224 100% (3 reviews)
67 Programs, 5 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education - Principle
  • Master of Education - Special Education Director
  • Master of Education - Superintendent
  • MEd - Elementary Administration
University of Maryland University College MSCHE $12,336 59% (192 reviews)
111 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Management in Community College Policy and Administration
University of Massachusetts - Amherst NECHE $33,477 75% (4 reviews)
78 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Leadership & Administration
University of Massachusetts-Lowell NECHE $31,865 83% (6 reviews)
84 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership in Schooling
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership in Schooling - STEM Option
  • Education Specialist in Administration - Planning and Policy
  • Master of Education in Education Administration
University of Memphis SACS COC $21,029 50% (2 reviews)
97 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Community College Teaching & Leadership
  • Master of Science in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership - Instructional Design and Technology
  • Master of Science in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership - Literacy
  • Master of Science in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership - School Library Information Specialist
University of Michigan - Dearborn HLC $24,706 Add Review
83 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • MA in Early Childhood Education - Early Childhood Administration and Leadership
University of Missouri at Saint Louis HLC $25,505 Add Review
45 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Community College Leadership
University of Missouri-Kansas City HLC $19,793 Add Review
30 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Community College Leadership
The University of Montana NWCCU $24,943 Add Review
27 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
University of Nebraska at Kearney HLC $13,194 0% (1 review)
147 Programs, 13 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Education Specialist in School Superintendent
  • Endorsement in Educational Administration - School Principalship: 7-12
  • Endorsement in Educational Administration - School Principalship: PreK-8
  • Endorsement in Educational Administration - Supervisor of Special Education
University of Nebraska-Lincoln HLC $24,098 Add Review
72 Programs, 7 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Curriculum Supervisor (Grades PK-12) Endorsement
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Studies - Educational Leadership and Higher Education
  • Elementary Principal (Grades PK-8) Endorsement
  • Graduate Certificate in Community College Leadership
University of New Mexico HLC $22,038 100% (1 review)
34 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate in Educational Leadership (EdS)
  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Elementary Education - Teacher Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Secondary Education - Teacher Leadership
University of North Alabama SACS COC $15,128 Add Review
79 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Education Specialist in Instructional Leadership
  • Education Specialist in Teacher Leader
  • Master of Professional Studies in Higher Education Administration
University of North Carolina at Greensboro SACS COC $22,409 100% (3 reviews)
52 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Leadership in Infant and Toddler Learning
  • Post-Master's Certificate in School Administration
University of North Carolina at Wilmington SACS COC $21,065 100% (1 review)
33 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Curriculum, Instruction, and Supervision
  • Master of School Administration
University of North Dakota HLC $20,047 67% (3 reviews)
197 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Practice and Leadership - Higher Education
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Practice and Leadership - School Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Practice and Leadership - Special Education
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Practice and Leadership - Teacher Education
University of North Florida SACS COC $20,798 Add Review
17 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership - Early Childhood Educational Leadership
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership - Educational Technology, Training, and Development
University of North Georgia SACS COC $12,834 Add Review
32 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership and Practice
University of North Texas SACS COC $20,504 60% (5 reviews)
61 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Accelerated Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Accelerated Texas Principal as Instructional Leader Certification
  • Master of Education in Higher Education: General Administration Track
  • UNT Superintendent Certification
University of Northern Colorado HLC $21,132 Add Review
61 Programs, 9 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Administrator Licensure
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Studies
  • Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership
  • Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership and Special Education Administration
University of Northern Iowa HLC $19,241 Add Review
32 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Advanced Studies Certficate in Educational Leadership - Principalship
  • Advanced Studies Certificate in Superintendency
  • MA in Teacher Leadership for International Educators
  • MAE in Principalship
University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus HLC $26,919 100% (3 reviews)
25 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Applications of Educational Research and Evaluation
University of Phoenix HLC $9,608 - $9,960 60% (1123 reviews)
107 Programs, 5 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership - Curriculum and Instruction
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership - Educational Technology
  • Doctor of Educational Leadership - Higher Education Administration
University of Redlands WASC WSCUC $48,072 Add Review
12 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Education - Human Services
University of Saint Francis HLC $29,430 Add Review
22 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Organizational Leadership - Higher Education
University of Sioux Falls HLC $27,980 Add Review
17 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Educational Administration/Adult and Higher Education
University of South Alabama SACS COC $15,324 67% (3 reviews)
102 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • M.Ed. in Educational Administration & Leadership for Higher Education
University of South Carolina-Aiken SACS COC $20,702 Add Review
7 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • M.Ed - Educator Leadership
University of South Carolina-Columbia SACS COC $31,962 Add Review
71 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Educational Specialist in Education Administration
  • Master of Education in Educational Administration
University of South Dakota HLC $12,019 33% (3 reviews)
58 Programs, 6 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Educational Specialist in Educational Administration and Leadership
  • Educational Specialist in Educational Administration and Leadership - PreK-12 Principal
  • Educational Specialist in Educational Administration and Leadership - School District Superintendent
  • Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Leadership
University of South Florida - Main Campus SACS COC $17,324 80% (5 reviews)
140 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Teacher Leadership for Student Learning
University of Southern California WASC WSCUC $54,259 67% (12 reviews)
115 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Doctorate of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership
University of Southern Mississippi SACS COC $10,218 0% (1 review)
63 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Administration
  • Educational Administration Specialist (P-12)
  • Master of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision
The University of Tennessee - Knoxville SACS COC $31,390 100% (1 review)
53 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Education Specialist in Educational Administration (Licensure)
  • Graduate Certificate in Educational Administration (K-12)
  • Master of Science in Educational Administration (Licensure)
  • Master of Science in Educational Administration (Non-Licensure)
The University of Tennessee - Martin SACS COC $14,996 Add Review
24 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Science in Education - Instructional Leadership
  • Master of Science in Education in Higher Education Leadership
The University of Texas at Arlington SACS COC $25,152 58% (12 reviews)
52 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • M.Ed. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
  • Superintendent Certificate
The University of Texas at Tyler SACS COC $20,872 100% (2 reviews)
39 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate in Standard Principal
  • Certificate in Superintendent
  • Master of Education in Education Administration with Principal Certification (Texas Educators Only)
  • Master of Education with Standard Principal Certification (For Texas Educators)
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin SACS COC $6,622 50% (2 reviews)
30 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Superintendent
  • Graduate Certification in Principal
  • MA in Educational Leadership
University of the Cumberlands SACS COC $23,000 100% (4 reviews)
174 Programs, 21 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership - Administration and Supervision
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership - Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision
University of the Incarnate Word SACS COC $29,990 100% (2 reviews)
49 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership
University of the Southwest HLC $16,200 40% (5 reviews)
40 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • MSE Educational Administration
University of Toledo HLC $18,885 Add Review
68 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Educational Assessment Specialist
  • Master of Higher Education Administration
University of West Alabama SACS COC $16,818 100% (3 reviews)
86 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Education Specialist in Instructional Leadership (With Certification)
  • Education Specialist in Teacher Leader (With Certification)
  • Master of Education in Instructional Leadership (With Certification)
  • Post-Master's Certificate in Instructional Leadership
The University of West Florida SACS COC $19,241 100% (4 reviews)
88 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • EdS in Curriculum & Instruction - Administration and Leadership Studies
  • MEd in Educational Leadership
  • MEd in Educational Leadership - Educational Leadership Certification
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire HLC $16,736 Add Review
11 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate in Director of Special Education and Pupil Services
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse HLC $17,765 100% (1 review)
19 Programs, 5 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate in Educational Leadership - Principal
  • Certificate in Professional Learning Community
  • Doctor of Education in Student Affairs Administration and Leadership
  • Master of Education in Professional Development - Educational Leadership
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee HLC $20,844 0% (1 review)
115 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • MS in Administrative Leadership - Adult, Continuing, and Higher Education Leadership
  • MS in Administrative Leadership - Educational Administration & Supervision - School Principal/Director of Instruction Dual License
University of Wisconsin-Platteville HLC $15,386 Add Review
66 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Credential in Leadership
  • Credential in New York State Children's Program Administrator
  • Credential in Program Development
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater HLC $16,235 Add Review
41 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate in School Business Management
  • Master of Science in Education - School Business Management
University of Wyoming HLC $16,827 100% (2 reviews)
42 Programs, 7 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate in Early Childhood Program Director
  • Certificate in Educational Leadership K-12 - Principal
  • Certificate in Educational Leadership K-12 - School District Superintendent
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Upper Iowa University HLC $29,600 52% (25 reviews)
83 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education - Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate in Teacher Leadership
  • Master of Education - Teacher Leadership
Valdosta State University SACS COC $17,196 100% (7 reviews)
68 Programs, 5 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate in Educational Leadership (Tier I)
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership
  • Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership
  • Educational Specialist in Teacher Leadership
Viterbo University HLC $27,150 Add Review
22 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate in Innovative Teacher Leadership and Instructional Coaching
Walden University HLC Not Provided 49% (496 reviews)
662 Programs, 19 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD) - Community College Leadership
  • Doctor of Education (EdD) - Community College Leadership (Family Friendly)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD) - Educational Administration & Leadership (For Administrators)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD) - Educational Administration & Leadership (Non-Licensure; Family Friendly)
Waldorf University HLC $8,700 100% (13 reviews)
112 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Arts Education - Effective Teacher
  • Master of Arts Organizational Leadership/Teacher Leader
  • Master of Education Leadership
Walsh University HLC $29,150 100% (1 review)
38 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Education - Leadership with Principal License
Wayland Baptist University SACS COC $18,510 50% (4 reviews)
53 Programs, 5 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Educational Administration
  • Master of Education in Higher Education Administration
  • Master of Education in Leadership Development
  • Post-Graduate Principal Certificate
Webster University HLC $27,100 83% (6 reviews)
104 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership
  • Ed.S. in Educational Technology Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate in Leadership in Tiered Systems of Support: RTI and PBIS
  • Graduate Certificate in Tiered Instruction and Interventions: RTI & PBIS
West Texas A & M University SACS COC $9,117 Add Review
42 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership - Educational Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership - Leadership in Higher Education
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
West Virginia University HLC $23,616 100% (1 review)
53 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • MA: Higher Education Administration
  • MS: Sport Management - Interscholastic Athletic Administration
Western Governors University NWCCU $6,070 72% (622 reviews)
66 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Endorsement Prep. Program in Educational Leadership
  • M.S. Educational Leadership
Western Kentucky University SACS COC $25,512 0% (1 review)
147 Programs, 40 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate in Superintendent Endorsement
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership - Organizational Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Education in Gifted Education and Talent Development with Advanced Certification for Teacher Leaders
  • Master of Arts in Education in Teacher Leadership - Elementary Education
Western Michigan University HLC $14,699 Add Review
35 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership - K-12 Principal Leadership
Wheeling Jesuit University HLC $28,110 Add Review
15 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Education Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Education Leadership - Instructional Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Education Leadership - School or System Leadership
Wilkes University MSCHE $34,896 Add Review
63 Programs, 13 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Accelerated Bachelor of Business Administration - School Business Concentration
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership - Curriculum and Instruction
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership - Educational Leadership Studies
William Carey University SACS COC $12,300 100% (2 reviews)
18 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Educational Specialist in Instructional Leadership
William Woods University HLC $23,260 Add Review
19 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • MEd in Athletics / Activities Administration

Online Educational Leadership Degree Overview & Career Information

Educational leadership is a vital component of today's education system, which is in the midst of being reorganized and revamped to better suit the needs of today's students and economy. Most educational leadership degree holders already have experience as teachers or school counselors of some kind and are interested in advancing to positions that are higher up within the school or school district. In some cases, especially in terms of educational leaders at community colleges and universities, talented students can train to go directly into educational leadership positions.

Educational leadership degree programs exist solely at the graduate level. A master's or doctoral degree in educational leadership can lead to a career as a school principal, superintendent, policymaker, or college education professor. Most programs require that applicants have a valid teaching license and several years of experience as a teacher. These degrees cover topics like school improvement, instructional supervision, administration, curriculum development, and human resources. Some programs can lead to licensure as a school administrator. Students may be required to take part in a leadership internship in a school or on an education board.

The skills emphasized by educational leadership degree programs go beyond basic leadership and management techniques. Specific courses in the program range from school law and ethics to finance and budgeting. Many courses target curriculum development and instructional training. Additionally, more and more programs are incorporating diversity studies into their curricula. Communication skills, managing community relations, and evaluation techniques are important components of any program.

View Educational Leadership Programs View Educational Leadership Programs

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Educational Leadership

Students who are enrolled in an online bachelor's degree program in educational leadership or a similar field such as educational administration can expect to spend four years on their studies. There are also accelerated programs available to those who have already completed some college. The time it takes to finish this type of program will vary depending upon how many credits a student has already earned. Classes that students will likely take during their bachelor's programs include Effective Teaching Strategies, Organizational Management in Early Childhood Education, Human Resource Management, and Leadership in Practice. Upon earning their bachelor's degrees, graduates may go on to hold various leadership positions within the field, such as directing an early childcare facility, working as a Head Start coordinator, or even owning their own preschool. Bachelor's degrees in educational leadership can be found at colleges and universities, and in order to be admitted, a student will need to have earned a high school diploma or GED.

View Bachelor's Programs View Bachelor's Programs

Online Master's in Educational Leadership

Online master’s degrees in educational leadership are designed for current educators who plan to take up leadership positions in the field of education. Courses emphasize the development of leadership and organizational skills, and students build a broad range of competencies to help them become effective educators. Programs require completion of 33 to 45 credits, which takes two years. To learn more about online master's programs in educational leadership, see our master's overview which includes a list of the best programs.

View Master's Programs View Master's Programs

Online Doctoral Degrees in Educational Leadership

Online doctoral degree programs in educational leadership prepare students to become successful leaders and scholars in the educational field. Programs equip students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills to effectively manage the challenges in today’s complex educational setting. Areas of emphasis in doctoral degree programs include diversity, ethics, leadership, policy, and research. Applicants are required to hold a master’s degree in educational leadership or a related degree. Leadership experience in a school setting is also vital. To earn a doctoral degree, you must complete 60 credits, which takes approximately three to four years.

Areas of emphasis during doctoral training include curriculum development, educational governance and policy, organizational theory, program evaluation, and research. The coursework covers areas such as assessment and evaluation strategies, classroom management, curriculum design, educational administration, ethical and legal issues in education, human resources and professional development, leadership theory and management, leading innovation technology, organizational theory and behavior, policy, politics, and community relations, reform and innovation, and training and performance solutions.

Concentration areas in doctoral degree programs include educational planning and instructional leadership. Students are required to engage in research throughout the program, which allows them to develop competencies in research design, data collection, analysis, and reporting of research studies. Upon completion of doctoral coursework, students are required to take a comprehensive exam. Doctoral degree programs also require students to complete an independent research study and write a dissertation, which must be defended publicly.

View Doctoral Programs View Doctoral Programs

Online Certificates in Educational Leadership

An online certificate program in educational leadership trains those with an education background in the administrative and decision making abilities required to take on roles such as principal, school superintendent, or instructional coordinator. These programs usually take a year or less to complete and consist of 6 to 10 courses. Applicants need an accredited master’s degree in an education or teaching field, as well as professional teaching experience.

The curriculum for educational leadership certificates covers the business and administrative aspects of leading in education. Courses like school finance, school law, and personnel administration train students in the ins and outs of keeping a school running smoothly and efficiently. Other courses investigate the school’s relationship with the community, instructional development, and ways to apply research principles to school administration. Most programs require a practicum or internship experience, where students shadow a principal or another school administrator to see the challenges and practices related to these positions.

Graduates of accredited educational leadership certificate programs are in a good position to take their state’s school administrator licensing exam in order to qualify for an elementary, middle, or high school principal position. Others can go on to become instructional coordinators who help to develop teaching standards for schools. Other possible positions include public service, research, and policy roles in government agencies or non-profit education organizations.

View Certificate Programs View Certificate Programs

Career Specializations for Educational Leadership Graduates

A career in educational leadership generally means taking a position as a manager within an education system, either as a principal, assistant principal, academic dean, or as a department or district administrator. People who pursue this career field often have experience working directly with students as teachers, but that is not a requirement. It is necessary, however, that educational leaders have an interest in providing the highest-quality education available to the students they oversee.

Depending on which position an educational administrator takes on, he or she may be responsible for an entire school or school system, or they may handle one specific administrative area like budget, policy, or human resources. In a higher education setting at a college or university, the responsibilities of administrators are often even more far-reaching, including student housing and life services. Positions in this field can be very rewarding but require a significant amount of effort and commitment from the people who take them on. Many education leaders regularly work more than 40 hours a week, as well as on weekends and holidays.

Here are some of the educational leadership positions students may choose to pursue upon graduation:

  • Administration: Administrators at all levels are responsible for the overall management of educational systems and usually oversee multiple schools within a central district.
  • Elementary Education: Working primarily as principals and vice principals, leaders at this level ensure that elementary schools meet all state and national requirements and serve the needs of younger students.
  • Postsecondary Education: Usually educational leaders at this level are called department heads, chairs, or deans; they may manage anything from student services to specific academic departments.
  • Preschool and Child Care: Leaders in this field manage daycare centers and other pre-kindergarten facilities.
  • Secondary Education: Secondary school leaders manage junior and senior high schools, often dealing with larger systems than lower-level education administrators.

Education and Certification Requirements

Most people who currently work in educational leadership got there by first working as teachers or in other positions working directly with students. To work as a teacher, a bachelor's degree is almost always a minimum requirement. As such, people who decide to advance their career by working at an administrative level usually go on to pursue master's degrees to qualify for those positions. Administrators who manage and operate preschool and childcare facilities are the exception to this rule, as they often need only a bachelor's degree. However, for most elementary and secondary school principals and assistant principals, an accredited master's degree in educational leadership or administration is necessary. Central office administrators at this level also hold master's degrees and sometimes doctoral degrees, as well.

Most states require school principals to achieve certification, for which they usually need to pass an exam and obtain a master's degree from an accredited institution. Increasingly, schools require a period of mentoring for new leaders, as well, and many also require administrators to take continuing education courses throughout their careers. In many cases, a graduate degree can suffice, while other states require exams that are specific to educational administration. Checking a state's Department of Education website can help a candidate find the exact requirements.

For those interested in working at institutions of higher education, similar degree requirements apply. More candidates for these positions have achieved PhDs in their own academic field, educational administration, or both; almost all have achieved master's degree at least. However, state regulations do not usually apply to postsecondary education administrators, so no exams or certifications are needed.

The Importance of Accreditation

Most states require elementary and secondary education administrators to have a master's degree from an accredited institution, so it is recommended that students select an online educational leadership program that is recognized by the US Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Accreditation helps guarantee that colleges and universities meet high academic standards and offer students an education that utilizes the most current research and information. It also enables students to transfer credits among other accredited schools and apply for financial aid.

The USDE recognizes accrediting agencies, such as the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) for the programmatic accreditation of educational leadership programs. Students can search the USDE database or the CHEA database for accredited programs and schools.

References

0% of users found this page helpful Was this page helpful?
This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement by the school of this site.
Recommendation rate refers to the percent of students who said they would recommend this school based on reviews submitted to our partner site, GradReports.com.
This indicates that a school has an annual tuition of $15,000 or less as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics or based on the school's website.