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Master of Educational Leadership

30 total credits | average 2 years to complete

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Start Date
$36,060 / $31,060*
10 courses

Fall 2024

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Become an Innovative Leader in Education 

For educators ready to take a more defined leadership role in their school or district, an online Master’s in Educational Leadership opens up new opportunities by equipping you with the knowledge, skills, and competencies to be a reflective leader. Our faculty’s expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion provides unique insight into the study of the cultural, political, economic, and social realities of education and school. This perspective on complex educational issues allows you to inclusively lead at the building or district level. Wake Forest University strives to support our local schools and educators. That is why current North Carolina teachers benefit from a *$5,000 automatic scholarship (a nearly 15% tuition discount) when they enroll. 

The flexibility of our online courses allow you to obtain your degree on your schedule and at your own pace. Prepare to serve the students of tomorrow while you continue to work with the students of today.   

Career Prospects and Outcomes

With a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, avenues open for teachers to advance their career in many roles such as:

  • Principal
  • Assistant Principal
  • Assistant Superintendent 
  • Area Superintendent
  • Curriculum Director 
  • Learning and Development Coordinator/Manager 
  • Chief Officer (Human Resources, Instructional, Operations, Academics, etc.)
  • Employee Trainer/Training Manager
  • Director of Online Education
  • Adjunct Professor

Apply now, and develop the skills to facilitate sustainable change in the school you serve.  

Core Courses

The Education Leadership program comprises of 9 core courses. Students must begin the EL  program with EDL 710-Foundations of Educational Leadership. Outside of pre-requisites, there is no prescribed order for the courses, you may take them in the order that works for you when your selection is available.

Students will need complete 12 credit hours, and have permission of the academic director prior to enrolling in the internship courses. Students will have a choice on taking: EDL 732 Internship: School Executive II or CUI 799 Capstone in Education.

  • Foundations of Educational Leadership

    Begin your program with an introduction to foundational concepts and challenges of educational leadership. The course focuses on school-level leadership and accountability, roles and responsibilities, and the principles of educational leadership.
  • Instructional Leadership

    Study and implement strategies to be an effective instructional leader and analyze how these approaches yield positive teaching and learning outcomes. The course emphasizes the skills to build productive relationships and effective mentoring among educators, and consensus-building among a course design team.
  • Social Foundations of Education

    A critical examination of the political, social, and economic goals of schooling and their intersection with educational equality and student diversity through the lens of educational philosophy and positionality with a view to developing a culturally responsive multicultural pedagogical praxis that enhances student success.
  • Using Research and Data to Lead School Improvement

    Focus on how data can be used to enhance equitable decision-making processes for comprehensive school improvement, including instruction, school culture, and community involvement. The course uses assessment and research data to identify school improvement needs and to design projects that respond to those needs.
  • Education Law and Ethics

    Explore legal and ethical responsibilities of the school leader and implications of federal, state, and local education policies. The course focuses on regulations and responsibilities in areas such as special education, confidentiality, liability, due process, finances, search and seizure, employment matters, and church/state conflicts.
  • Administration, Supervision, and Community

    Learn more about organizational theories, the politics of education, and building safe, supportive, and inclusive environments in schools and communities. The course allows students to reflect on various theories and how these concepts inform their practice as school leaders. Additionally, students will focus on distributive leadership, developing skills for team management, and collaborative analysis of community building.
  • Human Resources and School Finance

    Examine the management of an organization’s workforce planning through the design and implementation of effective human resources policies and procedures, including in the financial implications. This course introduces students to the processes and systems related to performance management, talent management, diversity, and employee wellness.
  • Internship: School Executive I

    Learn in the field with an internship in a public school setting. This is part 1 of two courses and provides the opportunity for students to illustrate potential solutions to school-related problems and evaluate the duties of school administration in an approved school setting. The internship will be supervised by school-based administrators as well as SPS academic director and include a reflective evaluation.
  • Internship: School Executive II

    Build on the skills developed in the first internship course by engaging in activities with school leaders. In part 2, students complete and analyze an educational leadership internship portfolio in accordance with the specifications provided.The internship will be supervised by school-based administrators as well as SPS academic director and include a reflective evaluation.
  • Capstone in Education

    Thread together what you have learned throughout the program in a culminating capstone experience. This course allows students to demonstrate knowledge and competencies of educational leadership.
  • Elective Course Options

    Students may choose 1 elective course. You may take the course at any time your selection is available.

  • Assessment and Evaluation

    This course is designed to introduce students to the variety of assessment and evaluation techniques and their purpose, including how these techniques are used in instructional planning, decision-making, and curriculum development.
  • Instructional Design and Digital Learning Technologies

    This course will provide an overview of the digital tools, techniques, opportunities and challenges associated with learning technologies and leading teams. The course will also introduce learning technology applications, provide tools to evaluate learning technology solutions and related multimedia learning design models, address digital accessibility, and engage in best instructional technology practices.
  • Differentiated Instruction

    This course will focus on the practice of differentiating instruction as a way for educators to meet diverse learning needs and preferences without having to individualize instruction for every student. In this course, students learn how to differentiate five instructional elements—content, product, process, affect, and learning environment—according to students’ interests, readiness, and learning profile.
  • Curriculum Mapping for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    This course will focus on curriculum mapping, the practice of ensuring that teaching is structured in a meaningful and logical sequence to build knowledge and achieve desired curricular outcomes. This process includes charting and tracking academic program priorities and redundancies, and identifying educational gaps
  • The People Behind the Program

    To accelerate your career growth, reach your professional goals, and expand your network, we created the Educational Leadership Programmatic Advisory Board (PAB) to bring knowledge from experts in the field into the classroom. These board members are committed to your academic excellence and keeping Wake Forest University School of Professional Studies graduates industrycompetitive and globally impactful. 

    Leading Diverse Schools

    Leading diverse schools: an emphasis on evidence-based knowledge and professional skills to lead diverse, equitable, and inclusive teams across various family and school demographics.  Wake Forest has strong pedagogical expertise in the area of culturally responsive teaching and multicultural education, and the WFU Department of Education is committed to equitable and socially-just educational opportunities for all students.

    Creative Problem-Solving

    Creative problem-solving: a foundation for addressing the challenges faced by many schools that are working to improve student achievement while maintaining student safety. Wake Forest offers courses in Design Thinking that use design as a practical everyday process to spur innovation and effective implementation.


    Distributive Leadership and Sustainable Change

    Distributive leadership and sustainable change: a set of skills to address capacity-building,  coaching, and leading change in complex systems. SPS has courses that emphasize the gaining of the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to successfully undertake change efforts that result in organizational transformation.