Master's in Educational Leadership and Administration

Take Your Education Career to New Heights

Position yourself to become a principal or administrator with the ability to facilitate change and lead a supportive and inclusive culture of teaching and learning. Inspire your PreK-12 school community to reach ever-higher goals by earning a Master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration (ELA) at GW.

The ELA program is designed to develop equity-centered intellectual leaders who understand curriculum and instruction, motivate and support classroom professionals and provide practical ideas necessary to lead diverse and vibrant educational communities. Prepare to meet today's educational challenges, and build on your leadership skills with a focus on building your capacities and practical skills and knowledge necessary to improve student learning and achievement on the local, state, or national level.

Learn how a degree in Educational Leadership and Administration can help you become an equity-focused leader and drive positive change in schools >

Circle image with the words "The George Washington University Educational Leadership and Administration" along the outside ring, "Equity-Centered Leader" in the center and "Dispositions,Knowledge & Practices" in the middle.






Tradition of Excellence
For 30+ years, our faculty, who are research productive and possess extensive professional and practitioner experience at the local, state, national and international levels, have prepared students for leadership roles in PreK-12 education.


Gain Credentials
Academically prepare for licensure eligibility as an administrator or principal and meet the curricular requirements for endorsement in DC and partner states of the interstate compact agreement.


Accessible & Accredited
This accelerated part-time program, accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and nationally recognized by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA), is designed for working PreK-12 professionals and can be completed in our off-campus classrooms or online in as little as 2 years.


Hands-On Experience
Acquire critical skills in leadership, management, supervision of instruction and related principles through evidence-based coursework, group work, observation, and high-quality internships.




The GW Advantage

Our unique location in the heart of our nation’s capital positions students to benefit from the University’s extraordinary access to leading national and international organizations, diverse school settings and unprecedented access to research.

Whether attending off-campus or online, a GW education is unlike any other. GSEHD’s Educational Leadership and Administration program has garnered national recognition as a program of distinction from the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA). The program is accredited and embeds the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) standards required by our accrediting body, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), in all of its licensure courses and internship experiences.





 Program at a Glance

Degree Awarded:

Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in the Field of Educational Leadership and Administration


Educational Leadership

Course Delivery:

-Alexandria Center
-Hybrid Cohort Options

Program Entry:

-Online: Spring, Summer, Fall
-Off-Campus: Fall

Our Mission

The Educational Leadership and Administration Program at the George Washington University develops thoughtful and reflective educational leaders prepared to critically use evidence and to use appropriate judgment in making decisions that promote excellence through equity and social justice in meeting the needs of all students. Leaders are prepared to engage with a variety of stakeholders in schools and communities to improve student learning.

Through internships, team-based projects, and individual assignments, students gain hands-on, relevant experiences in schools and diverse opportunities to reflect and think critically about those experiences as they connect research and theory to practice.

Students learn from faculty who are engaged in both research and practice in the field of educational leadership, and value our commitment to student learning and development and the rigorous expectations that promote them. Our program values our partnerships with school organizations and educational institutions, both locally and around the globe, as well as a network of alumni with whom we continue to partner and support.


The following requirements must be successfully fulfilled: 30 credits in required courses and all required internship hours and criteria.

The ELA courses below, unless designated by a *, are 8-week courses. This format allows two instructional sessions within a 16-week semester/term and has been found to at most times, provide an option to students who desire an accelerated time to completion. (Closed cohorts may experience different session models).

EDUC 6114 Introduction to Quantitative Research
EDUC 6232 Supervision of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
EDUC 6234 Foundations of K-12 Educational Leadership
EDUC 6236 School Law and Policy
EDUC 6238 Leadership for Equity and Social Justice
EDUC 6240 Instructional Leadership for School Improvement
EDUC 6242 Administrative Issues in Education
EDUC 6244 School, Family, and Community Engagement
EDUC 6246 School Finance and Resource Management for School Leaders
EDUC 6287* Internship: Administration (taken for 3 credits)
Program Outcomes

Your successful completion of the GW Master's in the field of Educational Administration degree will have completed your trajectory toward mastery of the knowledge, best practices, and dispositions that exemplify your commitment to becoming an equity-centered leader. As an aspiring leader, you have been prepared for:

  • Leadership for Instruction and School Improvement
  • Fostering an Inclusive School Community and Culture
  • Shared Leadership Practices
  • Ability to make data-informed decisions
The Master's in Educational Leadership and Administration program includes courses and internship experiences designed to meet the academic requirements for administrative certification/licensure in the District of Columbia (D.C.). Though our alumni have successfully applied and met the requirements for certification/licensure in D.C., many have also met the requirements for other interstate compact agreement partner states, such as Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. In the event that alumni plan to practice outside of D.C., the location of our university’s campus, please consult with the local licensing board in the state any plan to practice may be envisioned to establish the requirements. For your convenience, GW provides you with general professional licensure disclosure and State / local board contact details to begin/conclude your state specific research.
Cohort Options

Charles County Cohort: Convenient and flexible classes offered in a hybrid model for the Master's and Post-Master’s Certificate in Charles County with some classes held online and some held on-site at a CCPS school.

DC Public School Cohort: Convenient and flexible classes offered in a hybrid model for the Master's and Education Specialist degrees.

Loudoun County Cohort: Convenient and flexible classes offered in a hybrid model for the Post-Master’s Certificate, Masters and Education Specialist degrees in Loudoun County, with most classes held on-site at an LCPS Building and some held online.

Please note: Cohort admissions is limited to employees of the specific cohort’s division.



Additional ELA Programs Offered


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Post-Master's Certificate

If you currently hold a master's degree, have at least one year of teaching experience, and are interested in advancing your skills in ELA, you might consider the Post-Master's Certificate. Upon successful completion, if additional requirements are met, you may have the opportunity to transfer the certificate credit hours toward the EdS in ELA degree.

Explore the Certificate >

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Education Specialist (EdS)

Alternatively, if you currently hold a master's degree in a subject other than ELA and have at least one year of teaching experience, you could pursue the EdS in ELA as opposed to our Master's program. If you earned our Post-Master's Certificate in ELA, are admitted to the EdS program, and meet additional requirements, you may qualify to complete the degree with only four additional courses.

Explore the EdS >

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Doctor of Education (EdD)

If you currently hold a master's degree (in ELA or other), you may be eligible to pursue the Doctor of Education in ELA. Graduates will have the capability to facilitate change to ensure achievement of all students through thoughtful and deliberate connections between research and practice.

Explore the EdD >



 Apply Now

GSEHD’s Office of Admissions invites you to apply for a spot in our program. Please review the following admission and financial information.

Ready to take the next step in your career? Review our step-by-step guide to applying to GSEHD >

To learn more about the program, admission process, and upcoming events, please connect with the GSEHD Admissions Team at or 202-994-9283.

Apply Now   Schedule Consultation with Admissions Counselor  

To be considered for admission, applicants must submit the online application form as well as the following required supporting documents. There is no application fee.

  • Prerequisite: Bachelor's Degree, minimum of one year of teaching experience

  • Resume

  • Transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities

  • Statement of Purpose (500-750 word essay): Please address the following statements in an essay (please avoid using bullets and numbers in responding, but demonstrate your writing skills in a coherent essay):
    • Rationale for seeking a Master's in the field of Educational Administration and Administration at GW;
    • Current knowledge, skills, and leadership experiences that contribute to your readiness to assume an administrative role as an equity-centered leader;
    • Vision for serving as a leader who advocates and promotes equity, diversity, inclusion, and transformative practices in your school and communities.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (at least 1 from a current administrator preferred)

  • Interview may be required

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants.

View more details about requirements  

We are accepting applications on a rolling basis. We encourage you to apply as early as possible.

Please note: Cohort applications may carry alternate deadlines to those reflected below. Contact for more information.

Application Timeline Spring Summer Fall

Fully Completed App Deadline

Nov 15 April 1 Aug 1




 Tuition & Financial Aid

We know embarking upon graduate school is a big decision. At GW, we understand the time and thought behind making graduate school work for you. Please take a moment to learn more about the options and opportunities available to help fund your graduate education.

Learn more about financing your education  

Graduate tuition is charged per credit hour, unless otherwise noted. This program requires 30 credits.

Rates vary by program and designated location of admission. Current tuition rates may be updated during the year.

  The tuition rate* for the off-campus Master's in ELA program is $970 per credit hour.

  The tuition rate* for the online Master's in ELA program is $1,000 per credit hour.

Please note: Additional fees may apply for international students, late fees, etc.

*Summer 2024, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

View the current fee chart    

Scholarships are available to eligible admitted students. Please review eligibility requirements on our Funding Your Education page.



Arianna Allen poses for a professional photo wearing a shirt that reads "Black School Leader Loading..." with a progress bar beneath
quotation mark

GWU's Educational Leadership and Administration program has equipped me with the ability to serve as an equitable and transformative leader. Through this program, I have become more self-aware and confident in my ability to lead as a Black woman in today's society.

Master's of Educational Leadership and Administration




 Career Outlook

With a master's in Educational Leadership and Administration, broaden your opportunities for a leadership position within your school, district, or in higher education.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Services, elementary, middle and high school principals earned a median $98,420 annual salary in 2021, with jobs in the field expected to grow 5% by 2031.1 Postsecondary education administrators earned a median $96,910 in 2021, with jobs expected to grow 7% by 2031.2

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals, at (visited October 31, 2022).

2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Postsecondary Education Administrators, at (visited October 31, 2022).

ELA Career Opportunities
professional female stands in front of white board presenting information to a group of colleagues
  • Assistant Principal
  • Athletic Director
  • Central Office Administrator
  • PK-12 Dean
  • Department Chair
  • Director of Admissions
  • Education Advisor
  • Education Consultant
  • Principal
  • Program Director
Potential Employment Settings
professional female reviews document in her office, globe on the desk in background
  • Public, private or charter PK-12 schools
  • Higher education institutions
  • Government departments or agencies
  • Consulting organizations



Educational Leadership & Administration Faculty

Dr. Jennifer Clayton

Department Chair and Professor, Educational Leadership

(202) 994-0757
Dr. Kimberly Jamison

Assistant Professor and Co-Program Director, Educational Leadership and Administration

(202) 994-1828
Dr. Christine Nganga

Associate Professor, Educational Administration

(202) 994-0957
Dr. Kelly Sherrill Linkous

Assistant Professor, Educational Administration

Dr. Matthew Shirrell

Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Administration

(202) 994-4515
Dr. Abe Tekleselassie

Professor, Educational Administration

(202) 994-0132
Dr. Rebecca Thessin

Associate Professor, Educational Administration

(202) 994-1342
Dr. Leslie Trimmer

Assistant Professor of Practice, Educational Administration

(703) 299-0198



Request Information

Complete the form below to learn more about degree requirements, course descriptions, tuition, and more.