Program Details

Master of Education in Educational LeadershipAdvanced Program for Continuing Professional Education

Offered By: College of Education

Earn a Master’s in Educational Leadership at GCU

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

Two of the core focuses of the master’s in educational leadership program are learning and practicing 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

To help masters of educational leadership students excel in these areas, the coursework focuses on strategic leadership and management. Master’s in educational leadership graduates will learn how to support teachers at school sites by growing their skills and promoting self-efficacy. Graduates will learn how professional development impacts teachers’ capacity and performance and improves school culture.

What Can I Do With a Masters in Educational Leadership Degree?

While this Master of Education in Educational Leadership degree at GCU does not lead to teacher or principal licensure, the coursework does prepare students to lead in educational settings. Some public and private schools do not require licensure for school leaders and the masters in educational leadership at GCU would qualify graduates to work in those environments.

Because of the leadership and administrative skills learned in a masters of educational leadership program, some GCU grads have gone on to work as:

  • Preschool and childcare center program administrators
  • Elementary and secondary school principals
  • postsecondary leaders and teachers
  • Distance learning coordinators
  • Fitness and wellness coordinators

Your desire to lead teachers and students in educational setting makes you a great potential school administrator. Follow your passion with the Master in Education in Educational Leadership degree program at GCU. Join us today!

Get More Information!
Loading Form...
Total Program Credits: 30
Online: 6 weeks
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)

Online: $545 per credit [More Info]

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. For information about specific course content, credit length and VA approval in your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
30 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
30 credits

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This course begins by acquainting candidates with the GCU learning management system, while preparing them to be successful graduate-level students and future educational leaders. With an intense programmatic focus on developing people into leaders, this course examines the essential value of Leading with Purpose, a principal cornerstone of the College of Education's mission statement and Conceptual Framework. Major leadership styles, philosophies and the characteristic leadership behaviors will be a fundamental focus while candidates begin to understand and develop their own leadership style and philosophy. This development will occur in context as candidates are exposed to the leadership foundations provided through the professional standards and code of ethics for educational leaders. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

This course will introduce candidates to the laws and policies governing and relating to PreK-12 education in the United States. Through case studies, a broad range of topics will be examined including, due process, discipline, freedom of speech, school safety, discrimination, religion in schools, and rights of students with disabilities. These and other topics will be framed in context to inform the future principal’s role in improving outcomes for all students. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance not required. Prerequisite: EAD-501.

Course Description

This course examines PK-12 education finance with a fundamental focus on issues and practices that directly affect the operation of the school and local education agency (LEA). Candidates will be exposed to the regulations encompassed in the Uniform System of Financial Records (USFR) and the implications of these regulations at the school site level. School finance topics related to education at the federal, state, and local levels will be examined. Candidates will explore school budget and accounting principles, fiscal responsibility, resource allocation, basic administrative theories, processes, and techniques, as well as discuss the major challenges facing them in the daily operation of local schools. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance not required. Prerequisite: EAD-501.

Course Description

This course surveys effective strategies and practices in professional development. Special focus is placed upon theories and models, including andragogy, that enhance knowledge and skill development for adult learners in educational settings. Candidates develop and implement professional learning activities aligned with the needs of learners, schools and systems that ensure learner growth and advance the profession by leading collaborative interactions. Fingerprint clearance not required.

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 various leadership styles, philosophies and behaviors can promote or hinder the development of a quality learning culture and positive workplace conditions. Additionally, candidates will examine supervisory processes and strategies by which educational leaders can empower teacher self-efficacy and promote instructional improvement that enriches the outcomes for all students. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course prepares candidates to become effective instructional leaders in the evaluation of school-wide curricular programs to promote continuous school improvement. Candidates will explore processes in planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs and curriculum, while ensuring that curricular design, instructional strategies, and learning environments integrate appropriate technologies that maximize learning and teaching. Data-driven analysis is emphasized throughout. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course prepares candidates to become effective building-level instructional leaders in the development of professional capacity. Candidates will investigate various school professional development program practices including Professional Learning Communities, Collaborative Learning Communities, beginning teacher induction, and mentor program models. Additionally, candidates will analyze theoretical models, research, and best practices for improving teaching as well as learning outcomes for all students, with a strong emphasis on data-driven, learner-centered decision-making. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course prepares candidates to become effective building-level instructional leaders who are able to positively enrich teaching and learning experiences/outcomes through leadership practices that improve teacher performance, self-efficacy, and morale. Course topics promote the learning of strategies including coaching; collaborative learning and decision-making; creating a safe and supportive professional learning culture; and reflective practice. Candidates will examine current policy and practice in the areas of teacher observation, evaluation, and teacher performance ratings. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course prepares candidates to employ leadership and mentoring strategies that promote the development of quality teachers into effective instructional leaders. Course topics promote the learning of distributed leadership practices and identifying and empowering instructional leaders within a faculty. Candidates will be prepared to foster an understanding of leading the evaluation of assessment data, components of peer observation, and strategies to provide feedback to teachers relevant to instructional planning and delivery. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: EAD-501.

Course Description

This course will explore critical issues facing school principals, including the challenge of attracting and retaining a quality work force, managing and allocating resources, innovative instructional leadership, creating community partnerships, and meeting the myriad of district, state and federal policies and laws. With a focus on all six Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards, candidates will holistically analyze a school’s Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) and focused action plans in various contexts. This analysis will inform the candidate's understanding of the important implications of managing school resources in order to meet operational needs and improve outcomes for all students. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Program Locations


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 offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.


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. Night classes are designed for a specific number of students, providing a warm and nurturing environment that supports an engaging experience. In an evening cohort, you will progress through your degree program with the same career-minded classmates, providing an opportunity to network and forge relationships that go beyond the classroom. Classes begin frequently at various locations, including our main campus.

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

Program Domains

* The Department of Education defines how an institution must calculate a program's On-Time Completion rate for federal disclosure purposes. The On-Time Completion rate is based on a program's published required number of months to complete all degree requirements as provided in the institution's catalog. Completion statistics are updated every January and are based on the cohort of students who started the program in the same year and then graduated within the published program length .

Online and Evening program disclosures (1.333 years)

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.