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Master of Education (M.Ed.), Educational Specialist (Ed.S.)

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Educational Leadership

The BGSU educational leadership graduate program is a flexible, rigorous program that can be completed entirely online in two years, including summers. It prepares educators to lead in a variety of roles from assistant principal, principal and director to coordinator and supervisor. 

In Ohio, the primary licensure required for these roles is the Professional Administrator’s License (or principal’s license) issued by the Ohio Department of Education. Our educational leadership program provides three pathways to this license. 

The program also has a pathway to a superintendent’s license for those who already have their professional administrator’s license.


All applicants to the educational leadership program must have an educator license issued by the Ohio Department of Education or the equivalent.

Pathways to a Professional Administrator (Principal) License

We offer three options for educators who want to become school administrators and obtain their administrator license.

Our M.Ed. program in educational leadership offers the 33 semester hours of coursework necessary to get your professional administrator’s license.

Our educational leadership program has a principal licensure program that allows you to take all the coursework necessary to obtain your ODE professional administrator license  – typically 24 semester hours, depending on previous graduate level coursework.

The educational leadership program offers an Educational Specialist degree (Ed.S.) that includes all the coursework (30 semester hours) required for the professional administrator  license or a number of educational administration specialist licenses. 

Does your school district have a master's plus 30 semester hours column on its salary schedule? The Ed.S. degree would fulfill the 30 semester-hour criterion and allow you to boost your salary.

Pathway to a Superintendent License

If you already have a Professional Administrator’s License and are seeking Superintendent licensure, the educational leadership program offers a superintendent licensure program.

Have questions?

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Program highlights

  • Convenient, online courses. Our online delivery is geared to working, professional educators. Most classes are asynchronous. Log in whenever and wherever you want.
  • Expert faculty. Learn from leaders in the field of education who have extensive experience in PreK-12 educational leadership. They have served as principals, district office administrators, legal counsel, superintendents and board of education members. Our faculty members continue to serve the education profession through their teaching, service, research and leadership roles in educational organizations.
  • Nationally recognized, accredited program. The BGSU educational leadership programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (C.A.E.P.). We are a recognized member of the University Council for Educational Administration, a consortium of higher education institutions.

    BGSU is also nationally recognized by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) for effectively integrating these leadership skills, practices and dispositions into our coursework:
    • Visionary leadership
    • School culture and instructional leadership
    • School management and organizational leadership
    • Community collaboration and leadership
    • Ethical leadership
    • Political and legal leadership

Career opportunities

Educational leadership graduates serve in primary and secondary schools, as well as in district and regional educational centers.

Career paths

  • Teacher leaders
  • Assistant principals
  • School principals 
  • Instructional coaches
  • School directors/coordinators
  • Educational consultants

Quick Facts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

View Average Salaries


The goal of the educational leadership master’s program is to give you the tools to lead where you are – whether you’re a teacher or an administrator – and to always lead so that students learn.

Ed.S. program

In addition to required coursework, you must complete two administrative internship experiences:

  • A building-level internship – A three-semester hour, hands-on experience to provide a first-hand experience of an entire school year from the perspective of a building principal
  • A district-level internship – A three-semester hour, hands-on experience to provide a first-hand experience of a central office from the perspective of a central office administrator

M.Ed. program

One of the essential experiences of the M.Ed. program in educational leadership is the successful completion of the leadership practicum and internship. This program is spread over three semesters to give you a first-hand experience of an entire school year from the perspective of a building principal.

The M.Ed. offers two options for graduating:

  • A 30-hour program culminating with a thesis
  • A 33-hour program culminating with a comprehensive examination

Required courses for M.Ed.       Required courses for Ed.S.

Student working on a computer at home

Sample courses

  • Introduction to Organizational Leadership and Change
  • Law, Ethics and Negotiations in School Administration
  • Fiscal Management and Resource Allocation
  • School Culture, Instructional Program and Professional Staff Development
  • Leadership Practicum/Internship 
  • Diversity of School Communities and Political Dynamics

Quality Matters LogoBGSU is the only university in Ohio and one of just ten in the nation to earn the BGSU is the only university in Ohio and one of just nine in the nation to earn the Quality Matters Online Learner Support certificate for all of our seven-week online programs. The certificate recognizes that our programs provide the critical services needed for student success and that we use student feedback to continuously improve those services.

Updated: 05/08/2024 11:11AM