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Educational Leadership

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

The Master of Education in Educational Leadership program is designed for educators who wish to specialize in K-12 administrator and supervisory functions in public and/or private educational school settings. Each educational leadership concentration provides a different focus and offers practical applications, as well as the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to be successful as an educational leader.

This online master's degree is meant for practicing teachers seeking administrator roles which do not require state certification.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this program follows industry trends to help ensure relevancy to today's marketplace. View all courses.

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Manage a school setting with awareness of historical, social, political, legal, and economic influences on education, show effective leadership, and also recognize the importance of community and collaboration.
  • Demonstrate effective interpersonal communication skills to work well with school personnel, pupils, and parents and to acknowledge and appreciate diversity in its many forms to assess and instruct without influence of bias.
  • Use educational technology as an effective tool to promote student learning as well as a means to improve communication among colleagues, staff, parents, students, and the larger community.
  • Develop school policy, implement strategic plans and new programs, exhibit problem-solving skills, analyze and respond to emerging issues and trends in education, and put into practice the accepted norms and principles of educational research.
  • Manage daily school operations including record keeping, finances, and reports, and show effective leadership in the areas of supervision, evaluation, professional development, legal issues, and school reform.
  • Evaluate and effectively use performance-based assessments, and implement assessment, instruction, evaluation, and intervention plans as appropriate for diverse learner needs.

View learning outcomes assessment results.

Degree at a Glance


Concentrations are designed to help you group courses together so you can further specialize in your field and pursue a more focused path to degree completion. You will be asked to select a concentration when you enroll in this program.

Explore the concentrations available for this program.


K-12 Non-Certification in Athletic Administration

Teaches an array of leadership skills necessary for managing an athletic department in nontraditional K-12 learning organizations such as charter and private schools. Topics include: budgeting and financial management; legal issues, risk, and liability management; conflict resolution; managing facilities; and strategies for coaching and mentoring teachers.


High School Athletic Administration


Sports Finance


Leadership and Management in Sport


Legal Issues in High School Athletic Administration


Supervision of Instruction


Capstone Seminar K-12 Learning Organization


K-12 Non-Certification Track

Explores the unique structures of nontraditional K-12 learning organizations, including charter schools and private schools. Topics include: effective teaching strategies during the observation/walkthrough process; methods of collecting and analyzing assessment data; effective fundraising programs; and the importance of quality financial reporting and controls to protect and sustain nonprofit organizations.


Nonprofit Fundraising Planning and Implementation


Financial Management in Nonprofit Organizations


Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment


Supervision of Instruction


Technology Leadership in Education


Capstone Seminar K-12 Learning Organization


K-12 Non-Certification Virtual School Track

Looks at online learning in nontraditional K-12 learning organizations. Topics include: different types of software/genres and their effect on raising student achievement; intellectual property and copyright infringement issues; philanthropy and effective fundraising programs; and the differences between the learning needs and abilities of adult learners and K-12 learners.


Nonprofit Fundraising Planning and Implementation


Online Learning for the Adult and the K-16 Learner


Ethics and Legal Issues in Online Learning


Online Learning and Student Achievement


Financial Management in Nonprofit Organizations


Capstone Seminar K-12 Learning Organization

Admission Requirements

All APU graduate programs require you to have earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an institution whose accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

In addition, the following documentation is required for admission into any of the Educational Leadership program concentrations, and must be provided prior to course registration:

  • Official bachelor’s or master’s transcript showing conferral of degree
  • School of Education non-certification questionnaire
  • Graduate writing sample
  • Signed statement of understanding (SOU)
  • Documentation of 3 years teaching experience or 3 years managerial experience in an instructional setting

Please be prepared to submit a legible copy of your valid government-issued photo ID (civilian students) or government issued JST or CCAF transcript (military students) upon request.

An APU admissions representative will contact you with further details about how to submit the required documentation including your transcript after you complete the enrollment application.

Important notes:

  • This program is not designed to lead to certification or licensure.  In order to make an informed decision about your education, prior to applying here we strongly encourage you to explore any state-specific or other requirements applicable to you, including with respect to certification, licensure, and certificate enhancements.
  • As of November 1, 2014, a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5 is required for admission into this program.
  • You are required to take EDUC509 as the first course in this degree program, but other courses may be taken in conjunction with EDUC509.
  • You must be physically located in proximity to a school district where the right to conduct on-site observations is approved.
  • Background check requirements and fees for on-site observations might be required and are your responsibility.

Need help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an APU admissions representative at 877-755-2787 or

Graduate Tuition Rates 

Per credit hour: $350 | $325 with military grant*

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, APU offers a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans. See all military-affiliated student benefits.

Paying for School

Because our university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (the same as the Ohio State University, Univ. of Chicago, and U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few), we can accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Transfer Credits 

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

APU has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.

School of Education

School of Education

This program resides in the American Public University School of Education which provides opportunities for practicing teachers to enhance their professional training in critical needs areas such as differentiated instruction, reading and literacy, gifted education, online learning, and educational leadership. We offer programs at all educational levels ranging from undergraduate certificates to masters of education. Undergraduate programs include pre-K child development, family and adolescence studies, and courses in instructional design. We also offer graduate-level certificates designed to enhance your leadership skills as school administrators.

The School of Education also provides individual continuing education courses to help you earn CE credits or meet your employer's professional development requirements. Our online educational courses are taught by the same professors teaching our degree programs. These courses are convenient, relevant, and affordable, and are ideal if you are an educational professional seeking to maintain certification or looking for career or salary advancement.

At APU, we understand your need for flexibility because most of our students are working adult learners balancing school around work and life commitments. This is why we offer 8-week or 16-week online courses that start monthly. Through an online virtual classroom, you’ll communicate with students and professors in forum communities as you work to complete your weekly written assignments on your own schedule from anywhere in the world. And with our mobile application, you can even work offline and upload your assignments when you reconnect.

We encourage you to browse the School of Education webpage to learn more about the school and to find a program that’s right for you.