Skip to main
Grad students in classroom.

Educational Leadership, M.S.

The Master’s in Educational Leadership at McDaniel provides a clear path to career advancement—at one of the best and most respected graduate programs in Maryland.

Degree Types
Dollar sign
Program Cost
$548 per credit
Total credits
Online (Hybrid available for School Partnership cohorts)

About the Program

The program in Educational Leadership instills the theories and practices of the discipline while providing multiple paths for certification and career advancement. In this program, you’ll interact with students preparing for positions in public schools, private schools, or schools for special populations, as well as with those progressing toward jobs in higher education leadership. Clearly aligned with state licensing requirements and recommended highly by educators in the field, the McDaniel College program offers not just an M.S. degree, but the opportunity to prepare for and gain the knowledge that are the hallmarks of an outstanding administrator.

Key Features

We’ve designed our program to make sure it meets the needs of aspiring leaders. Specifically, our program leads to:

  • Maryland certification as an Administrator I (Assistant Principal or Supervisor)
  • Maryland certification as an Administrator II (Principal) with the passing of the School Leaders Licensure Assessment
  • Pennsylvania certification for Assistant Principal or Principal (satisfactory achievement on the Pennsylvania test required)
  • Certification options for candidates who already possess a master’s degree

Approved & Aligned

McDaniel’s programs in Education are well known, highly respected, and have been thoroughly evaluated and accredited. The M.S. in Educational Leadership is:

  • Approved by the Maryland State Department of Education
  • Aligned to the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) Standards & the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL)
  • Aligned to Maryland Standards for Educational Leaders (MSEL) & the Core and Corollary Pennsylvania Leadership Standards

McDaniel College is a member in good standing of the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), a national accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. McDaniel is working toward Initial Accreditation Status for its educator preparation programs with an anticipated accreditation review in Spring 2024.

What You Need to Know About the M.S. in Educational Leadership

Admissions Requirements

Applicants to the program must submit:

  • Completed application for graduate study
  • Official transcripts verifying completion of an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0
  • Copy of a Teaching Certificate - Maryland State Department of Education Standard Professional Certificate (SPC I or SPC II). Students with Professional Eligibility Certification or evidence of completion of teacher preparation program and passing Praxis II scores can be accepted in lieu of teacher certification.  Teachers who hold a license or certification from states outside of Maryland may also provide a copy of their teaching certificate.  Students holding Provisional or Conditional teacher certification would not be eligible for the MS in Educational Leadership program. Provisional or conditional certificate holders should discuss program options with the Graduate and Professional Studies office.
  • Evidence of an undergraduate or graduate course in special education (students may take this as a corequisite requirement while in the program)

Requirements for the Degree and Licensure

Master’s Degree

  • Completion of 33 credits (including a 3-credit internship), maintaining a GPA of 3.0 (B) or better throughout the program


M.S. Degree in Educational Leadership required for:

  • Administrator I - Asst. Principal/Supervisor in Maryland
  • Administrator II - Principal certification in Maryland
    • Requires passing the School Leaders Licensure Assessment
  • Principal licensure in Pennsylvania
    • Requires satisfactory achievement on Pennsylvania required test


See the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Web page for "Teacher and Principal Certification Assessment" for additional requirements.

Advancing Your Career

The Educational Leadership program offers multiple paths to leadership in education, including careers such as:

  • Assistant Principal (Maryland and Pennsylvania)
  • Principal (Maryland and Pennsylvania)
  • Supervisor (Maryland)
  • Supervisor with five years of experience on a valid subject matter certificate (Pennsylvania)
  • Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction K – 12 (Pennsylvania)
  • Higher Education Leader.

Alumni Spotlight John Baugher M.S. ’06

Westminster High School Principal John Baugher reflects on how his McDaniel master's degree changed his leadership style and has allowed him to become a mentor. “I had some incredible professors at McDaniel. I was really kind of wavering about whether I wanted to go into administration, but several of them had spoken to me privately and suggested I continue down that path. They saw something in me that others did not.”

Student writing in notebook.

Alumni Spotlight Steve Guthrie, M.S. '84

Carroll County Public Schools Superintendent Steve Guthrie was named the 2015 Maryland Superintendent of the Year. He earned his master's degree in Education from McDaniel and served on the faculty of the graduate program for 10 years.