Educational Leadership

Program Contact Information
Karen Gibson
Program Coordinator
Office: Nursing/ Education 605
Telephone: (920) 424-7235
Web Site:

I. Faculty


II. Purpose

The graduate program in Educational Leadership is designed to prepare professionals for leadership and change-agent roles in various educational and helping settings. The program attempts to meet individual needs by providing wide latitude in student/adviser program planning consistent with the career goals and needs of the clientele served by the program. The program attracts people from public and private/parochial school settings; individuals working in higher, technical and adult education; and those engaged or interested in education and training in a variety of corporate and community organizational settings.

Throughout this program you will develop the capacity to (1) envision and guide organizational change; (2) communicate effectively, engage constituents, develop people and build community; (3) advocate and promote equity for diverse populations and respect for individuals; and (4) integrate theory, data, research and ethical standards into the context of one's practice through continuous learning. 

III. Degree
Completion of the program will lead to the degree: Master of Science (MS).

IV. Additional Admissions Requirements Information

In addition to the requirements of the Office of Graduate Studies specified in the first section of this Bulletin, the program has established the following policies and procedures for admission:


Three reference letters are required.

V. Summary

A. Structure
The program is comprised of core courses, emphases and electives.

B. Academic Plans of Study
The following are the descriptions for the Educational Leadership plan(s) of study:
Educational Leadership (general)
Educational Leadership (library science)
MS Guest - Cooperative Program with Madison

C. Minimum Unit (Cr.) Requirements
30 credits applicable to the graduate degree constitute the minimal requirement for students who choose to write a thesis or complete the seminar.

D. Admission to Candidacy
Students must satisfy fully the Office of Graduate Studies requirements for advancement to candidacy as stated in the first section of this Bulletin. Students must meet with their program coordinator to plan and receive program approval for their admission to candidacy. Students should apply for Admission to Candidacy after completing 9-21 credits. The Office of Graduate Studies gives final approval to Admission to Candidacy.

E. Graduation Requirements
Candidates must satisfy all program and Office of Graduate Studies academic, culminating and degree requirements to be eligible for graduation and degree conferral.

VI. Degree Requirements

Core Courses 

21 credits:

*Students are recommended to take ED LRDSHP 701 early in their program to provide direction for the program.


Emphases/ Research Areas

12 credits
In Introduction to Educational Leadership (701), students will identify an area of emphasis or theme, which will provide direction in planning coursework beyond the core. This may include combining a certificate program with the degree program. Available certificate programs include Leadership for Social Justice; Athletics Program Leadership; Technology Leadership in the Classroom; Leadership in Postsecondary, Technical and Adult Education; Educational Administration Principalship; and others established across campus. 

Students in K-12 school settings may earn additional state of Wisconsin licensure as K-12 principal, instructional library media specialist, instructional library media supervisor, or Technology Coordinator by taking that Department of Public Instruction approved program as their area of emphasis. 


Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis Degree

Students desiring licensure as principal, director of special education and pupil services and director of instruction in the state of Wisconsin should discuss, with the program coordinator, entry into the Cooperative Program in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis offered in cooperation with the UW-Madison.


Culminating Experience

Each student must successfully demonstrate proficiency in integrating the knowledge of the discipline. Options include:

  • Thesis - 1-6 credits
  • Seminar Course - 1 credit


Students in K-12 school settings already holding the master's degree may be able to obtain licensure for instructional library media specialist or instructional library media supervisor without obtaining another master's degree. Eligible students should discuss this option with the program coordinator.


Degree requirements may exceed licensure requirements.

A. Educational Administration Certificate Program for Principal Licensure
Focus on the preparation of candidates for Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Code 51 Principal Licensure eligibility. It may be completed as a certificate program for those already holding a masters degree or in conjunction with the MS Educational Leadership degree. 


Other Requirements 

  • A Master's degree or equivalent (30 graduate credits in educational administration). 
  • Completion of an approved program leading to licensure, holding or being eligible to hold any license to teach or work as a school counselor, or school social worker at the early childhood through adolescence level. 
  • Evidence of three years of successful full-time classroom teaching at any of the grades at the early childhood through adolescence level or work as a school counselor, a school psychologist, or a school social worker, which includes evidence of at least 540 hours of successful classroom teaching experience. 

B. Instructional Library Media Specialist (902 Initial)
This is a five-year only, non-renewable license. To continue as a library media specialist, you must complete the 902 professional license within five years of receiving the 902 initial. Must also hold a non-library/media license as a teacher in Wisconsin. 

C. Instructional Library Media Specialist (902 Professional)
Must hold 902 initial/901 license for at least 3 years and master's degree or equivalent (30 credits in library/media/ technology coursework)

D. Instructional Library Media Supervisor (91)
Must have eligibility to hold the instructional library media specialist (902 Professional) certification, hold a master's degree and have three years of school experience. 


Additional Program Information:

VII. Course Descriptions