Master of Education (M.Ed.) Major in Educational Leadership (Principal Certification Concentration)

Program Overview

The purpose of the Educational Leadership program is to prepare leaders for the schools of Texas. The program offers graduate work leading to the master’s degree in educational leadership and certification as a principal (for students who already hold a master’s degree) or superintendent (for students with a master’s degree and a principal certificate). Questions about admission to the educational leadership program may be directed to the coordinator of the educational leadership program.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires multiple background checks for progression through the Educator Preparation Program. The student may be ineligible for issuance of a certificate upon completion of the Educator Preparation Program, based on information recorded in the criminal history. Student's with criminal history may obtain a Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation from TEA. For more information, go to: https://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Educators/Investigations/Preliminary_Criminal_History_Evaluation-FAQs/.

Application Requirements

The items listed below are required for admission consideration for applicable semesters of entry during the current academic year. Submission instructions, additional details, and changes to admission requirements for semesters other than the current academic year can be found on The Graduate College's website. International students should review the International Admission Documents webpage for additional requirements.

  • completed online application
  • $35 Texas Education Agency technology fee (if offered admission)

          and either

  • $55 nonrefundable application fee

          or

  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials
  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • official transcripts from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 2.75 GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
  • GRE not required
  • copy of official teaching certificate documenting initial teaching certification
  • copy of official teaching record documenting at least one year of teaching experience

TOEFL scores

Non-native English speakers who do not qualify for an English proficiency waiver:

  • official TOEFL iBT scores with minimum individual scores of
    • 22 listening
    • 22 reading
    • 24 speaking
    • 21 writing

This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree with a major in Educational Leadership principal certification requires 36 semester credit hours. Students are required to maintain a 3.25 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) for all courses listed as Course Requirements. 

Course Requirements

Required Courses
EDCL 5339Understanding Self: Developing a Personal Vision of Leadership3
EDCL 5340Shaping Organizations and Using Inquiry: Management and Leadership3
EDCL 5345Understanding People: Professional Development3
EDCL 5347Understanding Environments: Social, Political, Economic, Legal, and Technological3
EDCL 5348Supervision of Instruction3
EDCL 6342Curriculum Design3
EDCL 6344Campus Leadership3
EDCL 6348School Law3
EDCL 6352School as Center of Inquiry3
EDCL 6358Integrative Seminar3
EDCL 6387Principal Field-Based Practicum I3
EDCL 6388Principal Field-Based Practicum II3
Total Hours36

Comprehensive Examination Requirement

As a capstone for the degree, students design a school-based action research project. graduate degrees must pass one or more comprehensive examinations. In addition to preparing a written plan for this project as an academic paper, students present their action research plan to a panel of three faculty members. This is a formal presentation and constitutes the Comprehensive Examination for the master’s degree. A passing grade is required for degree completion. The faculty panel may request revisions to the written plan before issuing a final passing grade for the Comprehensive Examination. A student may not submit revisions and redo the Comprehensive Examination more than twice.

Students who do not successfully complete the requirements for the degree within the timelines specified will be dismissed from the program.

Master's level courses in Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education, and School Psychology: EDCL

Courses Offered

Educational Leadership (EDCL)

EDCL 5100. Educational Leaders’ Continuing Professional Development.

This course provides state-of-the-art continuing professional development for in-service, non-degree seeking educational leaders. New topics will be addressed with each offering. The course may be repeated once if necessary.

1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 5339. Understanding Self: Developing a Personal Vision of Leadership.

Successful leadership in organizational settings requires an understanding of human behavior. This understanding begins with the knowledge of self and leads to the understanding of others. The focus of this course is on the individual student. The intent is to enhance the student’s self-awareness of values, beliefs, and attitudes related to successful school leadership.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 5340. Shaping Organizations and Using Inquiry: Management and Leadership.

This course includes an understanding of the basic structural components of educational organizations and the theoretical frameworks that describe organizational behavior. Students will focus on the process of action research, planning, decision-making, change in organizations, and leadership. Prerequisites: EDCL 5339, EDCL 5345, EDCL 5347, and EDCL 5348.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 5345. Understanding People: Professional Development.

This course includes fundamental issues related to the development of personnel, entry-level knowledge of staff appraisal, adult learning and development, and staff development. Prerequisite: EDCL 5339. Corequisite: EDCL 5339.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 5347. Understanding Environments: Social, Political, Economic, Legal, and Technological.

Concepts of the internal and external environment of educational organizations are explored. Entry level concepts are presented in areas of school environments. Prerequisite: EDCL 5339. Corequisite: EDCL 5339.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 5348. Supervision of Instruction.

Concepts of curriculum and instructional leadership models for schools will be developed. Factors such as curriculum leadership and instructional improvement are considered part of the internal environment of schools. Prerequisite: EDCL 5339 and EDCL 5345.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 5349. Practicum in Instructional Leadership.

Students obtaining an MA in educational leadership with a concentration in instructional leadership apply the knowledge and skills they have developed in their program of study in a school setting, with mentoring by a school administrator and under the supervision of a faculty member in the educational leadership program. Prerequisite: EDCL 5339, EDCL 5345, EDCL 5348, EDCL 6342, EDCL 6352, and EDCL 6358.

3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 6 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 5351. Understanding Self Within School & Community Environments.

Successful leadership in school settings requires an understanding of human behavior and its ethics within a diverse context. This understanding begins with knowledge of self and leads to the understanding of organizations within the micro and macro environments. The focus of this course is on you, the learner, and your school and community. The goal is to enhance the student’s self-awareness of values, beliefs, attitudes and the ecological context informing and impacting their school leadership experience. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 5352. Instructional Leadership, Supervision, and Professional Development.

The relationship between school improvement and instructional leadership will be examined. The course will examine current research and trends related to professional learning and supervision in a school setting. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of individual, campus, and district professional development. The course is designed to promote leadership knowledge and skills that will enhance the instructional capacity of all campus staff members and thereby improve overall student success. Prerequisite: EDCL 5351 with a grade of "C" or better and instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 5353. Campus Leadership and School Law.

This course is designed to develop campus leadership skills in elementary and secondary schools, focusing on the role and functions of the principal as a leader. This course also surveys and examines the implications of legal issues likely to be encountered by a school leader, examining constitutional provisions, statutory laws, court decisions, and regulations governing public schools with special reference to state and federal relationships. Prerequisite: EDCL 5352 with a grade of "C" or better and instructor approval.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 5388. Problems in Administration.

Individual problems not related to thesis or research problems. Designed to place emphasis on selected areas of study. May be repeated once for additional credit at the discretion of the department chair.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 6342. Curriculum Design.

Theory and practice in planning for curriculum needs assessment, development, implementation, and evaluation. Prerequisite: EDCL 5339, EDCL 5345, EDCL 5347, EDCL 5348, and EDCL 6352.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 6343. Continuous School Improvement.

Applies the concept and principles of Total Quality Improvement to schools and classrooms and integrates Total Quality Improvement with other school improvement models. Prerequisite: All Level I core courses or permission of instructor.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 6344. Campus Leadership.

This course develops campus leadership skills for elementary and secondary schools, focusing on the role and functions of the principal as a leader. Students practice skill development in evaluation processes, student activity programs, staffing patterns, site-based decision-making, community relations, and accounting procedures. Prerequisites: EDCL 5339, EDCL 5345, and EDCL 5348. Corequisite: EDCL 5347.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 6348. School Law.

This course examines the constitutional provisions, statutory laws, court decisions, and regulations governing public schools with special reference to state and federal relationships. Prerequisite: EDCL 5339, EDCL 5345, EDCL 5347, EDCL 5348, EDCL 6342, EDCL 6344, EDCL 6358, and EDCL 6387.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 6351. Instructional Models.

Characteristics of effective teaching are identified and correlated with learning theories and their corresponding instructional models. Matching instruction to the needs of learners and integrative approaches are emphasized. Prerequisites: All Level I and II courses or permission of instructor.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 6352. School as Center of Inquiry.

Prepares the educational leader to be an intelligent consumer of research and to assume a leadership role in school-wide action research. This course is a prerequisite for EDCL 6358. Prerequisites: EDCL 5339 and EDCL 5345. Corequisite: EDCL 5345.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 6358. Integrative Seminar.

This course integrates key theories, concepts, and principles learned during the student’s course of study. The student will complete a paper including an action research plan designed to solve an educational problem present within a specific educational setting. The master’s student will defend the plan during the oral examination. Prerequisites: EDCL 5339, EDCL 5345, EDCL 5347, EDCL 5348, and EDCL 6352. Corequisite: EDCL 5348.

3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

EDCL 6387. Principal Field-Based Practicum I.

The practicum provides students the opportunity to develop leadership skills needed by principals of elementary and secondary schools. Students will develop a practicum proposal in cooperation with their site-mentor and university supervisor. The course focus is on the development of administrative skills in a real world setting. Prerequisites: EDCL 5339, EDCL 5348, EDCL 6344, and EDCL 6358. Corequisites: EDCL 6344 and EDCL 6358.

3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 6 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

EDCL 6388. Principal Field-Based Practicum II.

This course is a continuation of EDCL 6387 and allows students to continue projects and activities begun in the fall semester and to work further with their on-site mentor and university supervisor. This course is offered in the spring semester only. Prerequisites: EDCL 5339, EDCL 6358, and EDCL 6387.

3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 6 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

EDCL 6389. Superintendent’s Practicum I.

The practicum is intended to give prospective school superintendents the opportunity to hone their leadership skills under the guidance an experienced and successful school leader. Offered fall semester only and may be taken concurrently with other superintendent certification courses.

3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 6 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

EDCL 6390. Superintendent’s Practicum II.

A continuation of EDCL 6389, this course allows students to carry through projects and activities begun in the fall semester and to work further with their on-site mentor and university supervisor. Offered spring semester only. May be taken concurrently with other superintendent certification courses. Prerequisite: EDCL 6389.

3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 6 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit