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Educational Leadership Graduate Programs with Principal Licensure – Courses & Requirements

Three Program Options

Note: this program will prepare graduates for Principal Licensure in Colorado. Residents of other states may be eligible for reciprocal recognition or your advisor will work with you on state-specific licensure requirement needs.

For details on how courses are delivered and an example schedule of classes, visit the Get Started / Apply page for the delivery options that interest you.

Principal (K-12) Licensure – 27 Credit Hours

Leadership Core – 12 Hours

ELPS 601 Leadership Development Through Inquiry (3)

ELPS 603 Shaping Organizations: Management and Leadership in Education (3)

ELPS 604 Understanding People: Professional Development and Educational Leadership (3)

ELPS 605 External Environments: Social, Political, and Economic Influences in Educational Leadership (3)

Additional Coursework – 9 Hours Minimum

ELPS 654 Instructional Leadership and Supervision (3)

ELPS 660 Law and the Administrator (3)

ELPS 670 The Principalship: Leadership at the School Site Level (3)

Field-Based Learning - 6 Hours Minimum

ELPS 606 Internship in Educational Leadership (6) – Satisfactory performance on activities approved by division faculty, in accordance with Graduate School policy, must be demonstrated. The Online for Rural Educators delivery option spreads internship work across each Fall and Spring term. Other delivery options apply these credits as a concluding activity.

Educational Leadership Master of Arts (MA) – 30 Credit Hours

Educational Leadership Courses – 27 Hours

Complete the same curriculum listed above for Principal Licensure.

Research – 3 Hours

SRM 600 Introduction to Graduate Research (3)

Educational Leadership Educational Specialist (EdS) – 30 Credit Hours

For those who already have a master’s degree and would like to obtain the principal license with an advanced degree. Coursework earned in the EdS may be applied toward a terminal degree.

Educational Leadership Courses – 27 Hours

Complete the same curriculum listed above for Principal Licensure.

Research – 3 Hours

One of the following courses, determined by group consensus:

SRM 602 Statistical Methods I (3)

SRM 670 Evaluation: Models and Designs (3)

SRM 680 Introduction to Qualitative Research (3)

PSY 674 Measurement I: Educational Testing (3)


Credits Required:
Licensure-only: 27
MA or EdS Degree with Licensure: 30
Time to Completion:
15-20 months (varies by delivery location)
$575/credit hour

Delivery Options:

What Students Say

"The rural cohort has been an excellent way for me to collaborate with so many other professionals in my field of study. Though our setting is non-traditional, 21st Century technology works seamlessly for all of us to "gather" during a time that works best for us."

– Kimberly Ehnes, Graduate

Lois Oestreich headshot photo
"UNC's ELPS program is one of the best I've seen on many levels and it has been a pleasure to be involved with an amazing group of students and faculty!"

– Lois Oestreich, Graduate

"I was nervous about how the technology would work, and I did have some glitches to start out, but I had excellent support from my professors and extremely helpful technical support from the help-line to solve the problem."

– Jennifer Ellsperman, Graduate

Lois Oestreich headshot photo
"What I appreciate most about the course of study is how relevant I find it. Often, I can take what I'm learning and directly apply it to the work I'm currently doing."

– Katie Baldassar