Master’s in Education Leadership (MEd Degree)

Master of Education in Educational LeadershipAdvanced Program for Continuing Professional Education

Offered By: College of Education

Advance Your Teaching Career With a Master’s in Educational Leadership

A Master of Education (MEd) in Educational Leadership degree from Grand Canyon University (GCU) can prepare you for a future in educational administration to lead teachers and students at school sites. This program can prepare you to lead teachers and students at school sites. Entry to both the in-person and online degree program requires proof of teaching experience to ensure that GCU students in the program are continuing their professional development.

This program is specifically tailored for individuals who already hold their teaching license and does not lead to licensure. Rather than serving as a pathway to obtaining a teaching license, this program is designed to provide further specialization and advanced training for licensed educators.

To help you in these areas, the in-person (in the evening) and online educational leadership courses focus on strategic leadership and management. You will be taught how to support teachers at school sites by helping grow their skills and promoting self-efficacy. Knowledgeable faculty from the College of Education will focus on teaching you how professional development can impact teachers’ capacity and performance while improving school culture.

Benefits of Earning a MEd in Educational Leadership From GCU

Earning the Master of Education in Educational Leadership from GCU can have many benefits. GCU educators provide learners with detailed coursework and specific field experience that can prepare you to understand and practice school leadership strategies. You will examine topics such as financial records regulations, school budgeting and practice facing challenges that are often present in the daily operation of schools. 

You will study modern teaching methodologies, delve deeper into your subject areas and enhance your overall teaching skills to help you in your existing teaching careers. By focusing on professional development and refinement, this program can offer licensed teachers the opportunity to stay current with educational trends and best practices, with the goal of benefiting your students and the education community as a whole.

Visit GCU’s blogs to see how you can position yourself to land a school administration job.

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Many professionals who pursue their master’s degree may also be juggling a full-time job or even raising a family. GCU understands your time is precious, which is why we offer the master’s in educational leadership program both online and on campus, including day and evening courses. This allows you the flexibility to attend school without facing major schedule changes. To learn more about GCU’s online degrees, view our Online Learning page. 

Leadership and Education Coursework You Can Expect

The core focus of GCU’s master’s in educational leadership degree program is to help you understand and apply the professional and ethical responsibilities of being a school leader. These responsibilities include topics such as:

  • School finance
  • Education law
  • Creating and sustaining positive school cultures
  • K-12 legal issues
  • Curriculum development
  • Professional development
  • Empowerment of teachers
  • Instructional leadership

Career Paths for Master’s in Educational Leadership Degree Graduates

This MEd in leadership education degree offers a unique opportunity for educators who already have their teaching license or principal licensure. It is designed to empower you with a comprehensive set of skills and knowledge vital for effective leadership within educational settings, such as certain public and private schools where licensure may not be a mandatory requirement for school leaders. 

By leveraging your expertise and acquired leadership abilities, you may be able to seek careers that contribute to the advancement of education and fostering the growth and development of students. This non-licensure program can opens doors to diverse leadership opportunities in schools, allowing dedicated educators to continue making a difference in the lives of learners and the education community as a whole.

Because of the leadership and administrative skills taught in this MEd in Educational Leadership program, graduates may go on to work as:

  • Preschool and daycare education and childcare administrator
  • Elementary and secondary education administrator
  • Postsecondary education administrator
  • Teaching assistant (secondary)

Accredited by AAQEP

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The Master of Education in Educational Leadership (Advanced Program for Continuing Professional Education) degree program at GCU is designed to meet high standards of quality and excellence. It is meticulously crafted to uphold exceptional standards of quality and excellence. GCU proudly holds institutional accreditation from the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), a nationally recognized accrediting organization sanctioned by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. This accreditation guarantees that GCU adheres to rigorous academic criteria and undergoes continual evaluation to ensure constant enhancement and effectiveness.


If you are interested in pursuing careers in educational leadership, be sure to check for state accreditation can certification requirements. Each state may have its own requirements and regulations for educational leadership programs, and having state-specific accreditation ensures that the program aligns with the specific standards set by the state's education authorities. 

Master of Education in Educational Leadership Degree FAQs

We aim to provide you with comprehensive answers to frequently asked questions related to this graduate-level program. Whether you are considering pursuing a career in educational leadership or are already enrolled in the program, this section can address key aspects, degree completion requirements, curriculum details and career prospects.

If your goal is to leave an impact on the students and teachers you help, a master’s in educational leadership can be worth the investment. A degree in leadership education can lead to many school leadership opportunities, such as school administrators. Those with an educational leadership degree may also decide to work toward earning their principal licensure. If you want to position yourself for possible career advancement or affect change in the system, an educational leadership degree may be just what you’re looking for. 

The MEd in Educational Leadership degree requires a total of 30 credits for completion. Most of the classes are six weeks in length. Fill out the form on this page to speak to a university counselor to better understand how long it takes to earn your master’s in educational leadership online or evening degree.

Leadership education can influence other educators in an administrative setting. Professionals who choose to study educational leadership may want to transition into a leadership role or work toward preparing for principal or superintendent certifications later. If you enjoy working toward finding ways to increase learning and to improve the process of educating students, an education leadership degree program may be right for you.

Knowledgeable faculty within the education leadership degree program teach valuable skills and knowledge that extend beyond the field of education, providing opportunities outside of traditional educational settings. Some potential options include:

  • Design and implement trainings and developments for businesses and organizations.1
  • Contribute to talent development, organizational culture and employee engagement initiatives within human resources.1
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of education-related policies and initiatives within the government.1
  • Lead and manage projects, teams and initiatives within nonprofit and community organizations.1

Your desire to lead teachers and students in an educational setting can make you a great potential school administrator. Follow your passion with GCU’s in-person or online educational leadership courses by earning your master’s degree at GCU. Join us today!

If seeking licensure or certification, applicants to the program are responsible for contacting their state department of education for licensure requirements and program approval. In addition, fingerprint and background clearance is required.

1 Best Colleges (2023, May 12). Educational Leadership Careers. Retrieved on August 8, 2023.

Total Credits: 30
Online: 6 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $605 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

30 credits
Degree Requirements:
30 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course begins by acquainting candidates with the learning management system while preparing them to be successful graduate-level students and future educational leaders. With a programmatic focus on developing leaders, this course examines school missions and visions that promote the values of equity, diversity, and community, with an emphasis on a leader’s character development, modeling and advocating for ethical behavior, and leadership.

Course Description

This course introduces candidates to the laws and policies governing and relating to education in the United States. Emphasis is placed on ethical professional practice and personal responsibility. Other topics covered include the educational leader's role in implementing laws, rights, policies, and regulations to improve outcomes for students.

Course Description

Effective management of human and capital resources is a critically important responsibility for system leaders. Leaders need to make the most of potentially scarce resources and align their resource management strategy with the mission and vision of the organization. This course focuses on identifying and allocating resources, including funding, people, facilities, and systems, to promote improvement. Emphasis is placed on collaboration and ethical decision making. Prerequisite: EDL-517.

Course Description

This course emphasizes the critical role of the leader in creating and sustaining a positive school culture and shared vision. Given diverse settings, contexts, and leadership situations, candidates will explore how to manage and cultivate productive relationships with students, families, and the educational community that promote student development and success. Emphasis is placed on effective communication with community stakeholders in a variety of contexts.

Course Description

This course explores the application of professional dispositions and virtues based on a personal mission and vision in a manner that promotes democracy, individual freedom and responsibility within the educational community. Topics include self-awareness and self-reflection as a leader, as well as building and maintaining positive relationships with all education stakeholders. Prerequisite: EDL-527 or CEA-527.

Course Description

This course prepares candidates to promote effective and safe learning environments to support school improvement initiatives. Research-based best practices in establishing a consistent, organized, and respectful learning environment will be explored. Emphasis is placed on equitable, inclusive, and culturally responsive practices. Character education is addressed to support the social, emotional, and behavioral well-being of all school community stakeholders, and to sustain a positive learning environment.

Course Description

This course introduces candidates to the entrepreneurial mindset in education that is required to identify emerging trends and promote innovation. Collaborative and data-informed decision-making and risk tolerance and management are emphasized. Prerequisite: EDL-537

Course Description

Candidates are introduced to models and frameworks of change management as well as necessary communication skills to manage risk, create buy-in, and build coalitions to promote positive educational change. Emphasis is placed on the importance of relationships, understanding and preparing to lead lasting change, and the moral purpose of change. Prerequisite: EDL-557.

Course Description

This course focuses on building a collaborative culture that fosters effective teams and projects. Topics explored include delegating responsibility and supervision of projects and leaders. Prerequisite: EDL-567.

Course Description

This capstone course provides educational leadership candidates the opportunity to implement an innovative solution to an educational issue. An emphasis is placed on conducting research, data analysis, and analyzing research themes to draw conclusions. Practicum/field experience hours: 30. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: EDL-577.

Program Locations

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.