Master's and Educational Specialist Degree Options with Dual Licensure for Educational Leadership & Special Education Administration
This online interdisciplinary program is offered with two degree options, each of which also prepares you for dual licensure as both a Principal and a Special Education Director.
- Educational Leadership and Special Education Administration Master of Arts (MA) – with dual licensure as a Principal and Special Education Director – for those who have earned a bachelor's degree.
- Educational Leadership and Special Education Administration Educational Specialist (EdS) – for those who have already earned a master's degree. Though the dual licensure is not in the official degree name, this program does include that preparation.
Add valuable credentials, help create positive change, and be prepared to successfully lead high-achieving, culturally responsive schools.
Course Topics Include:
- The principalship
- Contextual understanding of systems
- Program planning & organization
- Policy, budget & resource development
- Parent/community engagement
- Applied research/evaluation
- Contemporary educational issues
Take the Lead and Make a Difference
Our online and hybrid delivery options allow participants to remain in their schools and communities while completing an advanced degree that will open a variety of doors to career advancement. Graduates assume roles as building principals at elementary, middle, or high school levels; and district level positions as special education directors and/or central office administrators.
Time to Completion:
24-32 months (depending on your enrollment choices)
Delivery Option & Start Term:
Online: start any term
This program is 39 credit hours, which can be completed online in as few as 7 or 8 academic terms (less than 3 years). You will earn dual licensure as a Principal* and Special Education Director, and either an Master of Arts (MA) or Educational Specialist (EdS) degree.
*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.
Synchronous Online Sessions
Each online course will include synchronous learning sessions where the professor and students meet online at the same time approximately one weeknight per week during the academic terms.
Required Coursework (39 Credit Hours)
To see a typical list of courses by term, visit an example Current Students page.
Educational Leadership Courses (21 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 650 School Finance and Budgeting (3)
- 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)
Special Education Administration Courses (9 Hours)
- EDSE 680 Administration and Supervision of Special Education (3)
- EDSE 681 Administrative Planning & Program Evaluation in Special Education (3)
- EDSE 718 Advanced Seminar in Education of Students with Hearing and/or Visual Handicaps (3)
Research (3 Hours)
- MA degree students: SRM 600 Introduction to Graduate Research (3)
- EdS degree students: SRM 670 Evaluation: Models and Designs (3)
Field-Based Learning (6 Hours)
Field-based learning experiences will involve 360 hours of internship experience in your home school to expand your leadership and help you apply principles learned in your academic coursework.
Students must obtain a passing grade on a final comprehensive exam, which is a “take home” essay that requires students to apply the knowledge gained in coursework from both disciplines to address a practical educational leadership organizational dilemma.
For full details, see the official program listings in the UNC Graduate Catalog:
- Visit the Educational Leadership & Policy Studies department to learn more about each degree option.
- This program features coursework from the School of Special Education and Department of Educational Leadership. Learn more about the nationally and internationally recognized Special Education and Educational Leadership & Policy Studies faculty.