Educational Leadership

The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (MA-EDL) is designed to equip educators with the skills for positions of administration in PK-12 schools, higher education, and educational organizations.  The Principal Administrative Endorsement is an option that many students choose to complete within the required course work for their MA-EDL. The Principal endorsement program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education.


Students are assigned an advisor when they are admitted to the program. The advisor will contact the student during the first semester of enrollment. The academic advisor will assist students in planning their program of study.

Grading Policy

Students should refer to the campus policy on Grades Acceptable Toward Master’s Degrees section of this catalog. 

The EDL master's degree requires completion of 36 hours which includes course work in leadership, research, and curriculum.


Required Courses
EDL 505Introduction To Research4
or EDL 541 Educational Research Methods
Educational Leadership
EDL 509Organizational Dynamics4
EDL 511School Improvement4
or EDL 543 Assessment for Learning
Electives - EDL 500 - Level Electives20
Master's Closure
EDL 531Capstone I2
EDL 532Capstone II2
Total Hours36

Master of Arts in Educational Leadership with Principal Endorsement

This EDL master’s degree requires completion of 36 hours. There are four core area requirements for the educational leadership graduate degree with the  principal endorsement.  The principal endorsement is offered as a standalone endorsement for students who already hold a master's degree.


Required Courses
AREA 1 Instructional Leadership
EDL 505Introduction To Research *4
or EDL 541 Educational Research Methods
EDL 511School Improvement *4
EDL 525Supervision Of Instruction4
AREA 2 Management of Public Schools
EDL 502School Finance4
EDL 509Organizational Dynamics *4
EDL 519The Principalship4
AREA 3 Schools and Public Policy
EDL 503School Law4
AREA 4 Principal Internship
EDL 526Principal Internship I 12
EDL 527Principal Internship II 22
EDL 531Capstone I *2
EDL 532Capstone II *2
Total Hours36

Principal Endorsement Requirements

Educators interested in obtaining administrative positions in Illinois public schools must earn the Principal Administrative License.  Requirements for this license are established by the ISBE Licensure Board and include a master’s degree, two years of documented successful full-time teaching or four years of documented school service personnel experience, admission approval to an accredited Principal Administrative License program, 32 semester hours of required graduate courses, and an extensive internship experience. 

As required by ISBE, all candidates in the Principal Endorsement program will complete the following during their first enrolled semester: 

1) Turn in a portfolio which contains a letter of recommendation from the applicant’s employer (school district); a letter of intent from the district that assures that at the appropriate point in the program the student will receive a placement as an intern in the district and will be permitted to complete his/her internship experiences; a current resume; a copy of the applicant’s teaching license or the page from the Illinois Educator's Licensing Information System (ELIS) that shows current licensure; documents illustrating current leadership activities and skills, using data to solve problems, and implementing strategies used to improve student achievement. 

2) Complete an interview with EDL faculty.  Interview timeslots are open each month and scheduled once the student submits the application portfolio.

Courses required for the principal endorsement can be completed as just an endorsement track or as part of the MA-EDL.  All students desiring principal endorsement from the ISBE must apply for admission to the endorsement program in addition to admission to the university.  Internship experiences are required in the program and fulfill ISBE requirements for the principal endorsement.

Master’s Closure

All Master of Arts in Educational Leadership degree candidates are required to complete master’s closure activities in order to graduate. EDL 531 and EDL 532 will be conducted during the internship experience at the school site. Students will work with a Capstone professor and Internship supervisor on this process.


To obtain the licensure for principal, candidates will show proof of passing both ISBE principal exams and the Teacher Evaluator Training. Please refer to the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) website for the testing schedule.