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.

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Delivered Fully Online

The master's or educational specialist program 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)

You will complete 39 credit hours, including field-based learning experiences involving 360 internship hours conducted in your home school to expand your leadership and help you apply principles learned in your academic coursework.

To see a typical list of courses by term, visit an example Current Students page for this program.

For full program requirement details, see the official program listings in the UNC Graduate Catalog:

Note: for the research course requirement, MA degree students will take SRM 600 Introduction to Graduate Research (3) and EdS degree students will take SRM 670 Evaluation: Models and Designs (3).

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