Why This Matters

  • COLLEGE ADMIN POSITIONS TO INCREASE BY 7%

    College enrollment is expected to increase 13% by 2026. Schools will need additional administrators including deans, provosts, and registrars, positions that typically require a master’s degree.

  • 11K NEW INSTRUCTIONAL COORDINATORS NEEDED

    Instructional coordinators oversee development and implementation of curricula, primarily in elementary and secondary schools. Demand for this position is expected to increase 6% by 2028.

  • EARN $34,990 MORE ANNUALLY AS A PRINCIPAL

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median salary for school principals is $95,310. By comparison, teachers earn an average annual median salary of $58,966, depending on grade level.

Our Research

Students can earn a variety of graduate degrees in educational leadership, including a Master of Education (M.Ed), Master of Arts (MA), and Master of Science (MS). Our list includes all three types of degrees.

The programs on this list are primarily delivered online. Some have in-person requirements for classes or experiential learning components. Many programs give students the option to complete coursework through a combination of online and in-person classes.

To ensure quality in the recommended programs, we only included regionally accredited schools. Many programs also have accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which means they meet the highest quality standards for educator training.

We evaluated the programs based on their cost, flexibility, outcomes, reputation, and faculty. Using this information, we calculated the Intelligent Score of each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 62 hours to write this article
  • 174 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 402 education programs we compared

The Top 68 Online Master’s in Educational Leadership Programs

Best Online Master's in Educational Leadership Degree Programs
01
Eastern Michigan University

intelligent score 99.01

Award Intelligent Pick

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Intelligent Pick

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts In Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 35 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $512 per credit

accreditation Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 844-351-9389

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Arts In Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 35 credits

01
Southern Wesleyan University

intelligent score 98.74

Award Best Classroom Leadership Focus

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Classroom Leadership Focus

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education In Classroom Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department School of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $430 per credit

accreditation National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 877-644-5557

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education In Classroom Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
West Texas A&M University

intelligent score 97.8

Award Best for Texas Teachers

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best for Texas Teachers

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education - Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department College Of Education And Social Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit $465 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 806-651-2730

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education - Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
University of Florida

intelligent score 97.18

Award Most Experienced Faculty

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Most Experienced Faculty

Delivery Format Online

Programs M.Ed. in Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $734 per credit

accreditation National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education,

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 352-273-4333

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs M.Ed. in Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
Georgia Southern University

intelligent score 97.05

Award Best in the South

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best in the South

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $358 per credit

accreditation Georgia Professional Standards Commission, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, GaPSC, NCATE

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 912-478-1447

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
University of West Florida

intelligent score 95.81

Award Best Public University

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Public University

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Educational Leadership Certification

Required Credits to Graduate 33 credits

Department College of Education and Professional Studies

Estimated Cost per Credit $417 per credit

accreditation National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, NCATE

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 850-474-2893

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Educational Leadership Certification

Required Credits to Graduate 33 credits

01
University of Louisiana Monroe Online

intelligent score 95.14

Award Best Public Research University

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Public Research University

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education, Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $500 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, SACS/CC

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 800-917-3236

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education, Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
University of Dayton

intelligent score 94.81

Award Best Catholic University

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Best Catholic University

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department School of Education and Health Sciences

Estimated Cost per Credit $626 per credit

accreditation National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, NCATE

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 937-229-3146

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Science in Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
Texas Tech University

intelligent score 94.79

Award Most Affordable

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Most Affordable

Delivery Format Online, Blended

Programs Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Principal Professional Certification Preparation

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

Department College of Education

Estimated Cost per Credit $290 per credit

accreditation National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, NCATE

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 806-834-3670

Learn More

Delivery Format Online, Blended

Programs Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Principal Professional Certification Preparation

Required Credits to Graduate 36 credits

01
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

intelligent score 94.73

Award Fastest Completion Time

Rankings


School Information

Graduation Rate:

Admission Rate:

Urbanicity:

School Size:

No

Award Fastest Completion Time

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

Department College of Education and P-16 Integration

Estimated Cost per Credit $458 per credit

accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, SACSCOC

more program informationEmail: [email protected]
Phone: 956-665-3661

Learn More

Delivery Format Online

Programs Master of Education in Educational Leadership

Required Credits to Graduate 30 credits

01
Best Global Campus
Colorado State University Global
01
Best Catholic Education Focus
Fordham University
01
Best for Veterans
The University of Texas at Arlington
01
Best for Georgia Teachers
Georgia College & State University
01
Best Charter School Focus
Kennesaw State University
01
Best Financial Aid
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
01
Best Superintendent Focus
University of Idaho
01
Best for Arizona Teachers
Arizona State University
01
Best Community College Leadership Focus
Iowa State University - School of Education
01
Best for Accelerated Classes
Louisiana State University
01
Best Non-Licensure Option
University of Cincinnati
01
Best in the West
University of Wyoming
01
Best for Iowa Teachers
The University of Iowa - College of Education
01
Nationally Recognized
American College of Education
01
Best Internship
Ball State University
01
Most Affordable Christian University
Campbellsville University
01
Best Return on Investment
Columbus State University
01
Best for Alabama Teachers
The University of Alabama
01
Best Building Principal Focus
Fort Hays State University
01
Best Administration Focus
Lamar University
01
Best for California Teachers
San Diego State University
01
Best K-12 Literacy Focus
University of New England
01
Best for South Dakota Teachers
University of South Dakota
01
Best Research Focus
Angelo State University
01
Most Innovative Curriculum
University of Central Florida
01
Best Online University
Western Governors University
01
Best Licensure Exam Pass Rate
University of Arkansas
01
Best Application-Based Curriculum
Arkansas State University
01
Best Workforce Education Focus
Mississippi State University
01
Best Lead Teacher Focus
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
01
Best Policy Studies Focus
University of Colorado Denver
01
Best in the Midwest
Indiana University Bloomington
01
Best in the Northwest
Gonzaga University
01
Best Educational Technology Focus
Texas A&M University-Commerce
01
Best Christian University
Liberty University
01
Best in the Northeast
Lehigh University
01
Best Principal Licensure Program
Regis University
01
Best Principalship Focus
University of Northern Iowa
01
Best in the Southeast
George Mason University
01
Best Embedded Fieldwork Experiences
Touro University California
01
Most Flexible
Montclair State University
01
Student Recommended
Umass Global
01
Best Accelerated Program
University of North Texas
01
Best for International Experience
University of San Diego
01
Best Student Support Services
Florida State University
01
Best Hybrid Program
California Lutheran University
01
Best Concentration Options
University of South Florida - Sarasota-Manatee
01
Best Cohort-Based Program
University of St. Francis
01
Best Private Research University
Boston University
01
Industry-Leading Faculty
George Washington University
01
Most Flexible Completion Time
Saint Joseph's University
01
Most Customizable
Pennsylvania State University
01
Best Non-Thesis Program
Dallas Baptist University
01
Best Scholarship Availability
University of St. Thomas
01
Best in the Southwest
Nova Southeastern University
01
Most Flexible Completion Time
University of Michigan
01
Best Blended Program
University of Denver
01
Nationally Recognized
Seton Hall University

What You Should Know About This Degree

As anyone who currently works in education knows, being a principal or administrator can be an extremely demanding job. School leaders must be capable of making decisions, resolving conflicts, and dealing with students, teachers, and parents, often with limited resources.

Because of the complex nature of this job, the process of becoming a school principal is carefully regulated by states, which each develop their own standards for granting certification or licensure as a school administrator. These standards include educational requirements. When researching programs, it’s important to check with your state’s education board to confirm that the program you attend is compliant with their regulations for certification or licensure.

As part of these standards, most states require a practical learning component in your degree program, even if all coursework is offered online. Depending on the program, you may be able to complete this requirement where you currently teach, or you may need to work in a different institution. Either way, you should confirm the exact requirements with your program of interest and make sure they will fit into your schedule.

Although all schools need principals and vice-principals, the projected job growth rate for these positions is 8 percent, about as fast as the average for all jobs in the U.S., meaning there will be stiff competition for these positions.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Master’s in Educational Leadership programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Many master’s in education leadership programs seek students who are already licensed and have teaching experience. Check with your program of interest to find out what their requirements are and if you fulfill them.
  • Is this school authorized to provide online education in my state? Regulations for providing online education vary state by state, and not all schools are authorized to provide online education to students in all states. Check with your program of interest to verify they can grant you a degree based on the state you live in and that your state will recognize your degree.

While you are researching programs’ plans of study, you should also look at their application deadlines and admissions requirements. This information is usually available online, or you can contact the school’s admissions department.

Now is also an ideal time to explore options for financing your graduate degree. These funding resources can include scholarships, assistantships, loans, grants, and tuition assistance benefits from your current employer.