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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
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Program Cost
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About the Program

The program in Educational Leadership instills the theories and practices of the discipline while providing multiple paths for certification and career change. 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 recommendations and recommended highly by educators in the field, the McDaniel College program offers not just an M.S. degree, but a chance for the knowledge and preparation 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)
  • Pennsylvania certification as a K-12 principal
  • Certification options for candidates who already possess a master’s degree

Accredited, 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:

  • Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) *
  • Approved by the Maryland State Department of Education
  • Aligned with the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) Standards, which incorporate the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards
  • Aligned with the Maryland Instructional Leadership Framework

*The Educational Leadership program in Graduate and Professional Studies was reviewed and accredited by the NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teachers) in 2017. McDaniel College will be reviewed by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) in the next cycle of accreditation in 2024.

Upcoming Graduate Information Sessions for School Partners

Jan 19

Regional and Carroll County Public Schools Cohort

4:30 p.m.

M.S. in Educational Leadership

This session is intended for the Regional and Carroll County Public Schools Cohort enrolling in the M.S. in Educational Leadership.

Join program coordinator, Margaret Pfaff, to learn more about this program. Register here.

Requirements for an M.S. in Educational Leadership Degree

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

Requirements for the Degree and Licensure

Master’s Degree

  • Completion of 34 credits, maintaining a GPA of 3.0 (B) or better throughout the program.
  • Successful completion and presentation of developmental portfolio and final presentation.


  • Administrator I (Asst. Principal/Supervisor in Maryland) or Principal Licensure (Pennsylvania)
  • Completion of the M.S. Degree in Educational Leadership (as outlined above).
  • EDL 552 Internship in Educational Leadership.
  • *For candidates seeking licensure through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), see PDE's "Out-of-State Prepared" Web page for additional requirements.

Administrator II (Principal) Licensure in Maryland

Want to see more courses? Select your program of interest below.

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.