Master of Education (MEd) — Educational Leadership

Program overview

Become an effective educational leader who thrives in diverse settings

Utilizing current research and best practices, this Master of Education (MEd) degree in Educational Leadership prepares you to excel as a principal or program administrator. With its rigorous curriculum, you will be prepared to excel and serve in a school, district central office, resource center, or other administrative center.

Benefit from a 45-credit online or on-site program designed for working professionals.

Program Overview


Seattle Pacific was founded more than 125 years ago, and the University has been preparing some of the most sought-after educators in the region for more than 90 years. Today, entrance to School of Education graduate programs is highly competitive. Faculty members – each teaching his or her own courses and each holding a doctorate – have worked to develop rigorous programs of quality.

The School of Education at Seattle Pacific University offers more than a dozen graduate programs. You can choose from three doctoral programs, seven master’s degree programs, and five certification programs, all of which focus on developing competence, character, leadership, and service in educators. While many students train to become teachers, others prepare for roles as school counselors, principals, superintendents, district office personnel, or professors in higher education. SPU's reputation in P–12 education in Washington and across the country is strong, and students who complete our graduate degree and certificate programs enjoy a higher rate of employment than the state's average.

Why Seattle Pacific for your MEd in Educational Leadership?

The Master of Education (MEd) degree in Educational Leadership prepares individuals who aspire to earn Principal or Program Administrator certification to serve as an administrator in a school, district central office, resource center, or other administrative center. This 45-credit program offers current research and best practices to help principals and program administrators interact with students, teachers, parents and their communities. Courses are available both on the Seattle campus and from any geographical location with WiFi via synchronous online courses.

  1. Accomplished Faculty

    Expert, caring faculty have a desire to help students succeed. Faculty are known for mentoring their students during and following their educational programs. These professors model lifelong learning through scholarly activities of their own, publishing frequently, and presenting at professional conferences.

  2. AACU Membership

    Seattle Pacific is a member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. SPU certification programs are approved by the Washington state Professional Educator Standards Board. The School of Education is also a member of the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education, and has a chapter, Sigma Phi Upsilon, of Chi Sigma Iota, an international honor society that values academic and professional excellence in counseling.

  3. Deep Character Emphasis

    Built on an character education foundation, the graduate programs at SPU offer first-class education through the lens of Christian faith and values. Students take ethics courses, and character issues are integrated throughout the curriculum.

  4. Flexible Format

    Designed for full-time working educators, Educational Leadership classes are usually offered on on weekday evenings (usually 4:45–7:15 p.m.). In summer, classes may be offered during the day between late June and mid-August. Courses are offered in-person on the main campus and online via a synchronous meeting platform.

  5. Connected Alumni

    School of Education graduates move on to purposeful careers in schools and district-level leadership throughout the country. When you obtain a graduate degree from SPU’s School of Education, you join a community of alumni who stay connected.

Related Master’s Programs

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To be eligible for entry into the MEd in Educational Leadership program with the intention of earning a Principal Certificate, you must be a certificated teacher or certificated Educational Staff Associate (ESA). If you are seeking the Program Administrator Certificate, you are not required to hold a pre-requisite educational certificate for entry into the program.

With the exception of the focus and location of the internship, the academic program is identical for whichever certificate you seek, including course requirements, certification requirements, and class locations. Only the internship location and focus varies. 


Professional Core

EDU 6085   Moral Issues in Education (3)

EDU 6600   Communication and Collaboration (3)

EDU 6975   Interpreting and Applying Educational Research I (3)

EDU 6979   Action Research in Schools (3)

Major Core

EDAD 6580   Leadership in Education (3)

EDAD 6581   Leadership for School Culture (3)

EDAD 6584   School Finance (3)

EDAD 6585   School Law (3)

EDAD 6586   Human Resources Management (3)

EDAD 6588   Supervision of Instruction (3)

EDAD 6589   Engaging Communities (3)

Approved 3-credit elective at the graduate level


The MEd in Educational Leadership includes a one-year integrative internship (9 credits, 3 per quarter).

If you are pursuing a Principal Certificate, you will perform administrative and leadership activities under the supervision of a mentor principal or assistant principal in a school setting. Over the course of a full school year, you will acquire and practice skills that are crucial to your future success as a school leader.

If you are pursuing a Program Administrator Certificate, you will also fulfill the internship requirement. In your case, however, the internship would occur in a district or administrative office rather than in a school.

In conjunction with SPU's Educational Leadership faculty, you are responsible for securing the site mentor and district approval for your internship. While the principal internship requires 540 hours of experience during the entire school year, it is designed to be completed in conjunction with a full-time contract. It is not necessary to take a leave of absence.

Comprehensive Exam

You will complete this two-part examination, consisting of a written essay and an oral defense of the answers to these questions, at the end of the program.

Submit your request to take the exam to the graduate programs manager one month in advance. The oral defense is arranged individually through the chair of the program. You will complete the written exam prior to your oral defense.


Upon successful completion of the program, you will be recommended to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for a Residency Certificate in Washington state. Most states have reciprocal agreements that will allow certificates to be transferred between states.

Option for a Second Certificate

Applicants who have earned Residency Principal or Program Administrator certification from SPU may earn the other certificate (either Principal or Program Administrator) by completing 6 additional internship credits and an elective course of interest. A valid teaching or ESA certificate are required for those who wish to add a Principal Certificate. Students must complete all coursework for the second certificate within three years of earning the previous certificate.

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John B. Bond

Emeritus Faculty
EdD, Seattle Pacific University

Julie Antilla

Associate Professor of Educational Leadership
PhD, UC Santa Barbara

Phone: 206-281-2216
Office: Peterson Hall 410
First Generation student

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Continuing Education

To meet the changing needs of adult learners, Seattle Pacific University offers a wide range of programs and courses to meet the needs of today's professionals. With competitive credit and program rates, these personal and professional development opportunities make lifelong learning very affordable. As the largest provider of continuing education credits for teachers in Washington State, SPU's Center for Professional Education is focused on the current needs of K-12 educators.

Courses taken for credit and numbered at the 5000 level are graduate-level courses and are designed primarily with the needs of teachers and other professionals in mind for the purpose of meeting certification, endorsement, district pay lane requirements and other professional needs. These Graduate-level courses may be considered to meet elective requirements in some cases.

Still have questions? Review FAQs.

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Tuition and fees for 2023–24

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per credit

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application fee

See additional fee details.
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credits to complete

Financial aid

Before applying for aid, you must first be admitted to a graduate program. Make sure you:

  • Enroll in at least 3 credits (or half-time) toward a degree or eligible certificate each quarter.
  • Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.

You may take advantage of scholarships and loans. SPU does not have a deadline for graduate financial aid, though earlier is always better than later! 

Learn more about the FAFSA and applying for financial help.

Learn more about scholarships, assistantships, and loans available to graduate students.

Second master’s benefit

Students entering the Master of Education in Educational Leadership program with an advanced degree may take advantage of a second master’s benefit at SPU. Through a petition process, students may receive a waiver for three foundations and research courses: EDU 6600, EDU 6975, and EDU 6980.

Students who have earned an advanced degree need only complete EDU 6085, an elective, and comprehensive exam, in addition to all core certification courses to earn a second master’s at SPU. In total, students may complete certification and a second master’s for 36 credits.


Find out more about administrative and other School of Education program fees.

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Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. The MEd in Educational Leadership admits candidates each quarter.


Applicants must submit the following items:

  • Application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Copy of Residency Teacher certificate or Educational Staff Associate Certificate (ESA) or Career Tech Educator certificate (CTE)—for principal certificate candidates only.
  • Official transcript documenting bachelor's degree (including official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended).
    • Note: To be considered official, transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope from the college or university. Transcripts may be delivered to Graduate Admissions as long as they remain in their original, unopened university envelope. Electronic transcripts received via eSCRIP-SAFE or Parchment Exchange are also acceptable.
    • If your degree is not from a US college or university, please arrange for your transcript to be evaluated by an accredited transcript-evaluation company, such as FIS or WES. Have the report forwarded directly to Graduate Admissions.
  • Résumé.
  • Personal statement (1–2 pages).
  • GPA of at least 3.0 (4.0=A) in the last 45 quarter credits of coursework completed.*
  • Two letters of recommendation (one supervisory, one professional).
    • One recommendation must come from the current administrative supervisor (principal and/or other school administrator) who has direct knowledge of your abilities and potential for a leadership position and will recommend support of your pursuit of administrative certification. 
    • The second letter of recommendation must come from another school administrator or if possible a district–level administrator who affirms your abilities and potential for an administrative internship.
  • District Acknowledgment of Future Administrative Internship Form is required for all applicants pursuing an internship for a Washington State Administrative certificate. 
  • Prerequisite Experience for a Principal's Certificate Form is required for anyone pursuing a Washington State Principal Certificate.

*The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) or (MAT) Miller Analogies Test will be required if GPA is less than 3.0. On the GRE, preferred minimum scores of Verbal: 148 and Quantitative: 147. On the MAT, preferred minimum scaled score of 400.


Autumn Quarter: August 15
Winter Quarter: November 15
Spring Quarter: February 15
Summer Session: May 15


Contact Graduate Admissions at 800-601-0603 or

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Frequently asked questions

How selective is admission to the SPU School of Education graduate degree programs?

This varies by program. Admission to some programs, such as the Accelerated Master in Teaching Mathematics and Science (AMTMS), Accerated Master of Arts in Teaching (AMAT), and MEd in School Counseling, is very competitive. Admission to each of SPU's graduate programs in education is standards-based, and all applicants must meet all standards for admission.

Can I continue to work while enrolled in a graduate degree program in the SPU School of Education?

Yes, in most cases. Most of the graduate degree programs offered by the School of Education are part-time programs, with classes offered in a variety of worker-friendly venues. Education graduate courses are scheduled at SPU or off campus, in the evenings, occasionally on Saturdays, and during the summer.

The Acclerated Master of Arts in Teaching (AMAT) and Accelerated Master in Teaching Mathematics and Science (AMTMS) programs are exceptions. They are one-year full-time programs due to their full-time internships.

Is it possible to complete a graduate degree from SPU's School of Education online?

The School of Education offers several fully online programs, including the AMAT-OnlineAMTMS-OnlineDigital Education Leadership, and Teacher Leadership programs. Please review the program pages for eligibility requirements.

Is a graduate program at SPU more expensive than comparable education programs at other universities?

SPU's graduate tuition rates are competitive with other accredited universities in Washington.

How does a graduate degree or graduate certificate from SPU compare with a similar degree or certificate from other universities?

SPU's School of Education has been offering a wide range of fully accredited master's and doctoral degrees in addition to graduate certificates for more than 20 years. SPU's reputation in P–12 education in Washington and around the country is strong, and students who complete our graduate degree and certificate programs enjoy a higher rate of employment than the state's average.

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