Master of Science in Education – Educational Leadership

Move into a more formal leadership role within your school

Interactive State Certification Map | Admissions Requirements | UNE Academic Catalog

The Master of Science in Education – Educational Leadership (MSEd-EL) prepares teachers with the foundational knowledge to pursue a career as an K-12 assistant principal or principal and is an approved program for preparation for the Building Administrator (040) endorsement in the State of Maine.

Our MSEd-EL program is aligned with the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL), and provides a thorough foundation in educational leadership theory, principles, and practices such as: school finance, special education law, school-community relations and more. Additional focus is placed on instructional leadership and tools to use to effectively motivate and lead educators within your school.

Who Should Enroll in our MSEd – Educational Leadership Program?

This educational leadership program is ideal for teacher leaders that want to make an impact in their school and move into a more formal leadership role of a department head, assistant principal, or principal. Although teacher leaders may not be ready to step out of the classroom yet, they will have the skills required to lead when the time is right in their career to assume a position of greater responsibility.

Educators from outside of Maine pursuing building administrator certification need to have their coursework officially approved by their state’s Department of Education. Links to individual state requirements can be found here:

*If your state is requiring that this certification be earned at the post-master’s level, then we recommend reviewing our 30-credit Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Advanced Educational Leadership (CAGS-AEL) program here. Unsure which program is right for you? Contact our enrollment team to help guide you.

MSEd- Educational Leadership Program Highlights

  • 30-credit hour program
  • Complete your degree in under 2 years
  • Multiple start times: spring, summer, and fall
  • 100% online – no campus visits required
  • Leads to Building Administrator 040 certification in the State of Maine
  • Aligned with the Professional Standards for Education Leaders (PSEL)
  • Dynamic faculty of practitioners, researchers, and educators
  • No GRE required
  • Regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE)

    MSEd – Educational Leadership Coursework

    This course enhances classroom-based experiences by linking them with professional research skills. Educators in this course will learn to locate and critically review a wide range of professional resources, articulate knowledge from a research-based framework, and collaborate with their peers on navigating school cultures.This course highlights the roles and responsibilities of leaders in a school setting.

    Educational systems have evolved into complex reflections of society, providing a system of essential services. These systems partner with other community functions in areas from economic development to social supports. Successful leaders within these systems must demonstrate ethical and moral leadership to meet the complex needs that ever-diversifying stakeholders require.

    This course will explore the importance of ethics in educational leadership. Participants will explore leadership frameworks that focus on personal values, beliefs, ethics, and leadership styles. They will apply such frameworks by forming personalized courses of action. Participants will also be challenged to collaborate with peers when applying ethical decision-making strategies to educational scenarios.

    This course provides the overarching context for the educational leadership focus area. Educators consider theories and practices relating to effective and ethical leadership in educational settings. Topics include diagnosing the work environment, decision-making, problem-solving, strategic planning, and human resource development. Students will reflect on their own leadership, observe and analyze other leaders, and explore how the theories and practices that relate to the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (formerly ISLLC).

    This course provides a foundation of the legal underpinnings of the American education system and explores how legal decisions have had an effect on an educational system that covers lifelong learning. Specific legal principles relating to church/state issues, tort liability, teacher responsibilities, student rights and administrative concerns such as contracts and collective bargaining are examined. Participants will analyze case studies to apply their understanding and create a compendium of the laws unique to the states in which they work.

    Supervision and evaluation strategies need to support teachers’ growth into strong, competent professionals. This course examines requirements of educational leaders engaged in supervising and evaluating educational personnel, and explores new directions and procedures currently under development. Emphasis is given to understanding the theory behind the practice, strengths and weaknesses of varying methods, and hands-on applications. Drawing on knowledge of developmental stages and multiple styles of learning and teaching, participants consider such practices as peer evaluations, self-evaluations, portfolios, and mentoring.

    An effective educational leader promotes the success of all students by communicating the learning community’s vision, policies, and successes to staff, students, parents, community, decision makers, legislators, and media. This course provides 80 hours of field-based work, in which aspiring leaders will develop a plan to build and maintain partnerships with multiple constituent groups within the community in a way that positively impacts the education of students.

    The course traces the historical background and development of school finance acts and examines the intent, concepts, and relationship inherent in these acts. Processes by which state subsidies are computed, allocated and distributed are considered. Budget and expenditure practices in relation to these acts are illustrated. Emphasis is placed on helping students develop a clear conceptual understanding of the overall methods by which state aid is provided to local school systems. Readings, research, and other assignments are designed to acquaint students with school finance practices in their respective states.

    This course will include an overview of organizational theories and systems; the inclusion of organizational theory in the educational change process; the functions, objectives, development, and assessment of strategic plans; and the relationship between strategic planning and budget development.

    Laws, regulations, and judicial decisions relating to the education of students with special needs are discussed. Methods of conflict resolution, mediation, and ethical standards are examined. Students will be required to apply what they learn as they analyze real-life case scenarios.

    This internship is a self-designed experience that consists of 150 hours (10 hours/week for 15 weeks) at a site outside of your regular work environment. The design of the internship must focus on the intern’s leadership skills as described in the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders as well as the collection of artifacts and data that demonstrate the intern’s use of those skills. This course is a requirement of State of Maine Building Administrator Certification.

    MSEd – Educational Leadership Learning Outcomes

    • Apply research results to leadership decisions
    • Describe the requirements of the PSEL standards
    • Demonstrate a high degree of specialized knowledge and skills about school administration<
    • Exhibit leadership skills in an actual school administrative settings


    New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) logo

    Accreditation is a review of the quality of educational institutions and programs. In the United States, accreditation is a major way that the public knows that an institution or program provides a high-quality education. The University of New England is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Learn more »


    Suggested next steps:

    1. Admissions requirements – MSEd – EL
    2. Commonly asked questions
    3. Interactive state certification map
    4. Review our other MSEd degree options



    If you have any questions about the graduate programs in Education coursework or the program requirements, please speak to one of our enrollment counselors at the email or phone number below.