M.S. in Educational Leadership
The master of science in educational leadership (MEL) program focuses on preparing you to lead educational organizations. Develop as a leader, utilize your skills to lead change, and understand how to better use data to inform decision making. With program leadership and faculty who are actively involved in working with complex school systems and districts, we are able to continuously evolve our program to address the most relevant issues facing educational leaders today.
The Master of Science (M.S.) in Educational Leadership program is designed for educators seeking the principal certification and director of instruction license. Graduates expand their leadership knowledge and skills to serve leadership roles in schools. The degree leads to Wisconsin certification as principal (#5051) and director of instruction (#5010). You will expand your leadership capacity for roles such as site council member, grade-level coordinator or department chair too. The format of the program is an accelerated cohort model with courses typically lasting six to eight weeks. The program is offered online and face-to-face on Stritch’s campus or through synchronous technology. The course content emphasizes the knowledge, skills and dispositions of effective school leadership. Standards. During the 30-credit program, you will participate in a practicum and complete a leadership portfolio assessing your proficiency in the administrator licensure requirements.
- Introduction to Leadership
- Leading Complex Systems
- Leading Beyond Organizational Improvement
- Leadership in Planning, Facilitating and Assessing Learning
- Developing, Supervising and Evaluating Staff
- Legal and Financial Leadership in Adaptive Change
- Analysis of System Leadership
- Leading in a Culture of Continuous Improvement
- Fundamentals of Research Methods
The specific degree requirements on the website are for illustrative purposes and may change at any time. Please contact the Registrar's Office, Academic Advising or refer to the course catalog for detailed program requirements.
Choose your Pathway
Master of Science in Educational Leadership Degree with 5010 Director of Instruction and 5010 Principal Licenses
- For those educators who have not already earned a master’s degree
- 18 months and 31 credits
- For those educators who have already earned a master's degree
- 15-18 months and 24 credits
Professional Credential and Competency
- A valid Wisconsin teaching license, including 3 years teaching experience with this license, is currently required by the end of the program, to receive the administrative licenses from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
- Students who do not hold a valid Wisconsin teaching license earn the master degree only.
Two Letters of Recommendation
Your letters of recommendation should be provided by your building principal, department leader, or another individual who can comment on your professional leadership abilities.
As part of the online application process, you'll enter names and contact information for your building principal, department leader, or another individual who can comment on your professional leadership abilities. We'll send a request to them, on your behalf, to obtain letters of recommendation.
Essays should be a maximum one-page (double-spaced) word-processed statement addressing the challenges you see in K-12 education today and how you as a leader hope to make a positive change.
Visit the websites for each college or university you've earned credits from to request official transcripts. The official transcripts must be emailed directly from the college or university to Tuition discounts of 20%-50% are available for educators based on the school, district, or county you teach email@example.com. We cannot accept copies or transcripts sent by any other part than the college or university.
If you are just interested in getting a licensure click the tabs for more information.
#4 online program in the nation
On March 7, 2022, OnlineMastersDegrees.org released their annual rankings of Best Online Master’s Programs in Educational Leadership. Cardinal Stritch University is proud to be ranked as the #4 school in the nation for this program.
Stritch offers this leading program online, in-person and as hyflex options.
"Earning an MEL degree opened the door to several administrative opportunities" - Ann Newman '02
Stritch offers the principal certification (#5051 license) and the director of instruction certification (#5010 license) in both an online or a face-to-face program format. The face-to-face program uses technology to create a "Hyflex" option for educators around the state to attend coursework. Educators may earn a principal certification, director of instruction certification and graduate degree or simply earn the principal and director of instruction Wisconsin DPI administrator license if they already have a master's degree.
The accredited program focuses on preparing you to lead educational organizations as described by the National Educational Leadership Program Standards and the Wisconsin Administrative Standards. You will develop as a leader, utilize your skills to lead change and understand how to better use data to inform decision making. Stritch continuously improves our program to address the most relevant issues facing educational leaders today. Participants are encouraged to become active in professional organizations such as the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators and the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.
Unique to Stritch
- One of the first online administrative certification programs in the state of Wisconsin
- Collaboration and study team focused
- 30+ years of experience preparing school leaders across the state
- Offer the principal and director of instruction license concurrently
Alumni Spotlight: Walter Cullin, Jr., '19
"Stritch helped me realize the importance of being a servant leader"
Walter Cullin Jr., 2017 (M.A Urban Education) & 2019 (M.S. Educational Leadership) serves as the credentialing coordinator Milwaukee Area Technical College.
"In this program, I had the ability to conduct action research, which challenged me as a teacher and administrator. I was able to see the impact of my decisions made on my students, staff, parents and organization."
Students who choose to major in Urban Education or Educational Leadership will learn a myriad of skills and practical wisdom through the content and educated professors.
"My confidence grew from the opportunities that I was given by my professors. Dr. Thompson invited me to be a panelist at one of his speaking engagements to doctoral students. I was able to speak based on my own experiences and knowledge gained through academia."
Alumni Spotlight: Ann Newman, '02
MEL alumna Ann Newman feels that Stritch met her needs as an adult learner. "I found that the transferability and applicability of what I was learning to my profession was superior to anything that I had experienced."
The core of the MEL program has remained constant over the years - students have the opportunity to learn about themselves as leaders.
"If you are looking to find something unique and different about yourself and your experience, you will thrive and excel and truly can reach far beyond what you thought you ever could."
For more information please contact admissions or the program faculty.
Associate Director of Graduate Admissions|Director of Recruitment for the Kellner College of Education, Literacy, and Leadership
Enrollment Management - Admissions GraduateEnrollment Management - Admissions Graduate
Corey L. Thompson
Chair - Leadership Education & Pupil Services|Faculty - Urban Education