2019 Accredited Online Educational Leadership Programs

Quick Facts
Accreditation: Institutional
Degree Levels: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
Avg Tuition: $23,967
Avg Salary: $69,289

The 1,225 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 ( 299)

Partner School
Partner School
Full List Accreditation Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
Full List (297)
Abilene Christian University SACS COC $33,330 100% (6 reviews)
53 Programs, 6 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership - Conflict Management and Resolution
  • Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership - Higher Education
  • Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership - Learning with Emerging Technologies
Adams State University HLC $20,456 100% (1 review)
40 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Administrator 3.04 (Superintendent Certificate)
  • Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) Certificate of Completion in Higher Education Administration & Leadership (HEAL)
  • Initial Principal Licensure - Educational Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration & Leadership (HEAL)
American InterContinental University HLC Not Provided 66% (162 reviews)
47 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master's (M.Ed.) - Leadership of Educational Organizations
American Public University System HLC $6,880 71% (141 reviews)
417 Programs, 6 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Learning Track in Criminal Behavior Management in Schools
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership - K-12 Non-Certification
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership - K-12 Non-Certification in Athletic Administration
American University MSCHE $46,615 100% (2 reviews)
61 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • MEd - Education Policy and Leadership
Andrews University HLC $28,436 Add Review
36 Programs, 13 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Education Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership
  • Doctorate in Education Leadership
Angelo State University SACS COC $17,161 100% (1 review)
35 Programs, 5 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Academic Advising Certificate
  • Master of Education in Educational Administration
  • Master of Education in Student Development and Leadership in Higher Education
  • Texas Principal Certification
Appalachian State University SACS COC $22,109 100% (1 review)
41 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • EdS in Educational Administration
  • Graduate Certificate in School Leadership
  • Post-Master's Graduate Certificate in Instructional Technology Leadership
Arcadia University MSCHE $42,330 Add Review
8 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Pennsylvania Director Credential
Argosy University Online WASC WSCUC $13,438 50% (123 reviews)
88 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Educational Leadership (EdD)
Arizona State University HLC $15,691 - $27,372 68% (81 reviews)
208 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation
  • M.Ed. in Educational Leadership - Principalship
Arkansas State University HLC $14,778 33% (3 reviews)
61 Programs, 6 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Building-Level / Principal Certificate
  • Ed.S. in Principalship
  • Ed.S. in Superintendency
  • Gifted, Talented Director Certificate
Ashford University WASC WSCUC $10,632 - $13,400 67% (638 reviews)
146 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • BA/Early Childhood Education Administration
  • BA/Early Childhood Education Administration - Infant and Toddler Care Specialization
  • MA/Early Childhood Education Leadership
  • MA/Education - School Leadership in the 21st Century Specialization
Auburn University SACS COC $29,640 100% (2 reviews)
114 Programs, 6 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Ed.S. in Administration of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Graduate Certificate in Administration of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate in Instructional Leadership
Augusta University SACS COC $23,606 100% (2 reviews)
26 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Education in School Administration
  • Master of Education in Teacher Leadership
Austin Peay State University SACS COC $23,153 50% (2 reviews)
54 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
Baker College Online HLC $9,360 60% (88 reviews)
58 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Educational Leadership: Higher Education - MSEE
  • Educational Leadership: K-12 - MSEE
Ball State University HLC $25,942 100% (4 reviews)
125 Programs, 10 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Program Administration
  • Graduate Certificate in Elementary Mathematics Teacher Leadership
  • License for a Director of Exceptional Needs
  • License for Director of Career and Technical Education
Bethel University - IN HLC $28,030 Add Review
26 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education
  • School Administration Licensure
Bethel University - MN HLC $36,210 100% (1 review)
70 Programs, 14 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate in ENVoY Classroom Management Strategies
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership - Higher Education
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership - K-12 Administration
Biola University WASC WSCUC $38,448 Add Review
32 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Child Development Permit - Site Supervisor
Boise State University NWCCU $22,642 100% (1 review)
48 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Education Specialist in Education Technology
  • Graduate Certificate in School Technology Coordination
Bowling Green State University-Main Campus HLC $18,593 83% (6 reviews)
49 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Learning Design
Bryan College-Dayton SACS COC $25,600 Add Review
20 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Teaching and Learning - Christian School Administration
Buena Vista University HLC $32,854 100% (2 reviews)
33 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education - Teacher Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction
  • Master of Education - Teacher Leadership, Curriculum, and Instruction: Effective teaching and instructional leadership
California Baptist University WASC WSCUC $32,256 80% (5 reviews)
84 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Science in Education - Educational Leadership
  • MSEd: Specialization in Educational Leadership
California Coast University DEAC $4,725 90% (62 reviews)
86 Programs, 7 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Administration
  • Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership
  • Ed.D. Educational Administration
  • Grad. Cert. in Educational Administration
California State University-Northridge WASC WSCUC $18,755 100% (1 review)
24 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • M.A. in Educational Administration
California University of Pennsylvania MSCHE $15,326 79% (14 reviews)
105 Programs, 6 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate in Administrative Program for Principals Certification (K-12)
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership: Educational Studies
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership: Weather and Climatology
  • Master of Education: Administrative Program for Principals
Calvary University HLC $11,152 Add Review
103 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Education-Administration & School Leadership (Master's)
Campbellsville University SACS COC $25,400 50% (2 reviews)
64 Programs, 20 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Education - Teacher Leader - Content
  • Master of Arts in Education - Teacher Leader - Curriculum
  • Master of Arts in Education - Teacher Leader - Environmental Education Endorsement
  • Master of Arts in Education - Teacher Leader - ESL Endorsement
Canisius College MSCHE $36,454 100% (2 reviews)
25 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Advanced Certificate in Educational Leadership & Supervision
  • Certificate in Educational Leadership and Supervision - New York State School District Leader
  • Certificate in New York State School Building Leader
  • Master of Science in Educational Leadership
Capella University HLC $14,250 65% (571 reviews)
234 Programs, 16 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate - Education, Educational Leadership and Management
  • Certificate - Education, Leadership and Accountability
  • Certificate - Education, Leadership for Higher Education
  • Certificate - Education, Performance Improvement Leadership
Carlow University MSCHE $28,596 Add Review
23 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Science in Educational Leadership for High Performance Learning
  • Master of Science in Leadership for High Performance Learning with optional PA Principal Certification
Central Michigan University HLC $23,670 67% (3 reviews)
102 Programs, 12 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership - Educational Technology
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership - Higher Education Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership - K-12 Curriculum
Central Washington University NWCCU $22,010 100% (1 review)
43 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Instructional Leadership
  • Master of Education in School Administration
Chaminade University of Honolulu WASC WSCUC $24,514 100% (1 review)
36 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
Champlain College NECHE $39,818 100% (3 reviews)
77 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Program Administration
City University of Seattle NWCCU $16,920 54% (28 reviews)
83 Programs, 10 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership - Higher Education
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership - Organizational Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership - Specialized Study
  • Executive Leadership: Superintendent Certification
Clarion University MSCHE $15,636 100% (3 reviews)
56 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Skills for Teacher Leaders Certificate
Clemson University SACS COC $36,058 100% (2 reviews)
24 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate in Youth Development Leadership
Cleveland State University HLC $13,829 Add Review
23 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Inspired Leaders Principal Licensure Program
The College of Saint Scholastica HLC $36,212 Add Review
48 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • MEd in Professional Studies
Colorado Christian University HLC $30,370 56% (9 reviews)
101 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • MEd in Educational Leadership with Principal Licensure
  • MEd in Educational Leadership without Licensure
Colorado State University-Fort Collins HLC $28,903 100% (5 reviews)
78 Programs, 5 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Campus Crisis Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Student Affairs Administration
  • Graduate Certificate in Student Affairs Management of Auxiliary Enterprises
  • Master of Agriculture in Agricultural Sciences - Agricultural Extension Education
Colorado State University-Global Campus HLC $9,000 55% (56 reviews)
102 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate - Educational Leadership, Principal Licensure
  • Graduate Certificate - Teacher Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate of Completion - Teacher Leadership
  • MS - Teaching and Learning, Education Leadership - Principal Licensure
Colorado Technical University - Online HLC Not Provided 64% (280 reviews)
123 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Management - Higher Education Leadership
  • Doctor of Management - Private Sector Higher Education Leadership
Columbia International University SACS COC $22,390 100% (1 review)
16 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Educational Administration
  • Ph.D. in Educational Leadership
Columbus State University SACS COC $16,920 20% (5 reviews)
47 Programs, 6 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • EdS in Educational Leadership
  • Educational Doctorate in Curriculum and Leadership: Higher Education
  • Endorsement in Teacher Leadership
  • MEd Educational Leadership - Leadership in Higher Education
Concordia University - Nebraska HLC $31,000 0% (1 review)
39 Programs, 7 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with Instructional Technology Leadership Emphasis
  • M.Ed. in Educational Administration
  • M.Ed. in Educational Administration - Athletics Administration
  • M.Ed. in Educational Administration, Dual Certification
Concordia University - Portland NWCCU $30,270 54% (46 reviews)
53 Programs, 12 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Ed.D. in Educational Leadership: Administrative Leadership
  • Ed.D. in Educational Leadership: Higher Education
  • Ed.D. in Educational Leadership: Instructional Leadership
  • Ed.D. in Educational Leadership: Transformational Leadership
Concordia University - Texas SACS COC $30,600 100% (1 review)
40 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Education Administration
  • Master of Education in Instructional Leadership
  • Master of Education in Sports Administration
Concordia University - Wisconsin HLC $28,600 67% (3 reviews)
109 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • MS in Education - Early Childhood Education: Early Childhood Program Administrator
  • MS in Education - Education Administration
  • MS in Educational Leadership
  • Superintendent Licensure
Concordia University-Irvine WASC WSCUC $34,100 0% (1 review)
29 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education (Ed. D.) in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Coaching & Athletic Administration
  • Master of Arts in Education - Educational Administration
  • Master of Science in Coaching & Athletic Administration
Creighton University HLC $38,750 100% (3 reviews)
65 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Catholic School Leadership
  • Master of Science in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Science in Educational Leadership - School Administration
  • Master of Science in Educational Leadership - Teacher Leadership
Dallas Baptist University SACS COC $27,480 Add Review
109 Programs, 9 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Christian School Administration
  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration
  • Graduate Certificate in School Principalship
  • MA in Professional Development in Higher Education
Delta State University SACS COC $6,859 0% (2 reviews)
32 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate - Education Specialist in Educational Administration and Supervision
DePaul University HLC $39,010 100% (1 review)
85 Programs, 12 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • MA in Educational Leadership
  • MA in Educational Leadership - General
  • MA in Educational Leadership - Higher Education
  • MA in Educational Leadership -Catholic Leadership
Drexel University MSCHE $52,002 60% (5 reviews)
296 Programs, 46 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
  • Ed.D. in Educational Leadership - Athletic Administration
  • Ed.D. in Educational Leadership - Creativity and Innovation
  • Ed.D. in Educational Leadership - Educational Administration
Drury University HLC $27,015 Add Review
36 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Instructional Leadership
Duquesne University MSCHE $36,394 33% (3 reviews)
25 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Instruction Technology and Leadership
East Carolina University SACS COC $23,420 100% (4 reviews)
148 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Educational Specialist - Educational Leadership
  • Educational Specialist in Educational Administration and Supervision
  • Graduate Certificate in Dual Language Immersion Administration
Eastern Kentucky University SACS COC $18,250 33% (3 reviews)
88 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Level I Principal Certificate
  • Master of Arts in Education - Instructional Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Education - Instructional Leadership - Safety and Facilities Management in Educational Settings
Eastern Michigan University HLC $29,200 100% (3 reviews)
35 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership K-12 Administration
  • Post-Master's K-12 Basic Administration Certificate
Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus HLC $11,788 100% (3 reviews)
64 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Education Administration
  • Master of Science in Physical Education - Sports Administration
Eastern University MSCHE $32,145 Add Review
21 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Early Childhood Director Program
  • Master of Education in School Health Services - School Health Supervisor Certification
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania MSCHE $14,668 100% (2 reviews)
36 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Post-Master's Certificate in PA Principal, Grades K-12
  • Post-Master's Certificate in PA Supervisor of Special Education
  • Post-Master's Certificate in Superintendent Letter of Eligibility
Emporia State University HLC $19,918 Add Review
85 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • MS in Educational Adminsitration
Evangel University HLC $22,745 Add Review
11 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus MSCHE $39,446 Add Review
35 Programs, 5 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Student Services Administration
  • Master of Arts in Student Services Administration - Admission and Financial Aid
  • Master of Arts in Student Services Administration - Institutional Risks Administration
  • Master of Arts in Student Services Administration - Intercollegiate Sports Administration
Fitchburg State University NECHE $16,235 Add Review
15 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Management
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Management
Florida Atlantic University SACS COC $17,276 100% (4 reviews)
37 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Adult and Community Education Leadership
  • Teacher Leadership Certificate
Florida International University SACS COC $18,954 88% (8 reviews)
117 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Science in Higher Education Administration
Florida State University SACS COC $18,786 100% (3 reviews)
57 Programs, 6 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Ed.D in Educational Leadership and Policy
  • Modified Certificate Program in Educational Leadership/Administration
  • Modified Program in Educational Leadership/Administration
  • MS in Educational Leadership/Administration
Franciscan University of Steubenville HLC $26,430 Add Review
11 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • M.S. in Educational Administration
  • Principal Licensure
Gannon University MSCHE $30,932 Add Review
16 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Superintendent Letter of Eligibility
  • Principal K-12 Graduate Certificate
Gardner Webb University SACS COC $30,700 100% (1 review)
44 Programs, 5 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Education Specialist in Executive Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction (K-12) - Teacher Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Executive Leadership Studies
  • Master of Arts: Teacher Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction
George Mason University SACS COC $34,370 Add Review
59 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Education Leadership
  • Master of Education in Education Leadership
  • Master of Education in Education Leadership - Independent School Leadership
The George Washington University MSCHE $53,518 75% (4 reviews)
151 Programs, 7 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Education Specialist (EdS) in Educational Leadership and Administration
  • Graduate Certificate Educational Leadership and Administration
  • MA in Education and Human Development in Educational Leadership and Administration
  • MA in Education and Human Development in Educational Technology Leadership
Georgetown College SACS COC $37,160 Add Review
16 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Education - School Improvement, Rank 1
  • Master of Arts in Education - Teacher Leader
  • Master of Arts in Education with School Principal P-12 Certification
Georgetown University MSCHE $52,300 100% (1 review)
26 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Professional Studies in Higher Education Administration
Georgia College & State University SACS COC $28,060 Add Review
33 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Specialist in Education in Educational Leadership
Georgia Southern University SACS COC $17,142 Add Review
55 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
Grace College and Theological Seminary HLC $23,170 Add Review
16 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Ministry Studies - Camp Administration
Grand Canyon University HLC $17,050 53% (407 reviews)
220 Programs, 9 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Behavioral Health
  • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Higher Education Leadership
  • EdD in Organizational Leadership - K-12 Leadership
  • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Organizational Development
Hampton University SACS COC $25,441 Add Review
30 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Management
Hope International University WASC WSCUC $31,800 100% (2 reviews)
42 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Education Administration with Preliminary Administrative Services Credential, M.Ed
  • Preliminary Administrative Services Credential Program
Immaculata University MSCHE $27,350 Add Review
20 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Certificate in K-12 Principal
  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
Indiana State University HLC $19,452 88% (8 reviews)
83 Programs, 8 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Administration: Higher Education Leadership
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Administration: School Administration
  • Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in School Administration
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Administration and Supervision
Indiana University - Bloomington HLC $34,845 100% (1 review)
108 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in EFL/ESL Teacher Training
  • M.S. Ed. in Educational Leadership
Indiana Wesleyan University Online HLC $25,980 47% (17 reviews)
129 Programs, 6 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Business Administration in School Administration
  • Master of Education in School Administration
  • Master of Education in Teacher Leadership
  • Master of Education in Teacher Leadership - Elementary Teaching
Indiana Wesleyan University Online - Adult Education HLC $25,980 29% (7 reviews)
152 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Business Administration - School Administration
  • Master of Education - School Administration
  • Master of Education - Teacher Leadership - Elementary
  • Principal Licensure Program
Jackson State University SACS COC $18,314 Add Review
23 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Master of Science in Education Administration and Supervision
  • Specialist in Education in Educational Administration – Higher Education
Jacksonville State University SACS COC $15,582 100% (1 review)
50 Programs, 3 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Educational Specialist - Instructional Leadership
  • Educational Specialist - Teacher Leader
  • Master of Science in Education - Instructional Leadership
Johns Hopkins University MSCHE $52,170 Add Review
370 Programs, 4 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in K-8 Mathematics Lead Teacher Education
  • Graduate Certificate in Leadership in Technology Integration
  • Graduate Certificate in School Administration and Supervision
  • Graduate Certificate in STEM Instructional Leader (PreK-6)
Johnson University SACS COC $14,920 Add Review
47 Programs, 1 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • PhD in Leadership Studies - Educational Leadership
Kaplan University HLC $11,581 - $16,246 56% (348 reviews)
204 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • BS in Early Childhood Administration
  • MS in Higher Education - College Administration and Leadership
Keiser University eCampus SACS COC $18,488 41% (63 reviews)
81 Programs, 7 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership
  • Education Specialist in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Science in Education - Allied Health Teaching and Leadership
  • Master of Science in Education - Career College Administration
Kennesaw State University SACS COC $8,066 - $17,329 75% (4 reviews)
96 Programs, 6 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership
  • Endorsement in Educational Leadership Preservice
  • Endorsement in Teacher Leader
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
Kent State University at Kent HLC $18,544 100% (1 review)
102 Programs, 2 in Educational Leadership (view all)
  • Community College Leadership Graduate Certificate
  • Ohio Superintendent's Licensure Graduate Certificate

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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