Post-Master's Certificate in Educational Leadership and Administration

Build A Foundation for Equity-Focused Leadership

Propel your leadership abilities in education through coursework and a variety of required activities and high-quality internships designed to build a broad foundation in equity-focused leadership. Students will synthesize and apply their knowledge as they develop a deeper understanding of curriculum design, collaborative leadership, and culturally responsive instruction and support. By earning a Post-Master’s Certificate in Educational Leadership and Administration from the George Washington University (GW), students will acquire the knowledge and skills to lead in diverse and vibrant learning communities.

The certificate is designed for students who have earned a master’s degree in education and desire to pursue positions in PreK-12 leadership, including school or central office leadership or supervisory positions or increased responsibility in PreK-12 teaching or advanced professional responsibilities.



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.






Accredited + Nationally Recognized
This accelerated graduate certificate program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and nationally recognized by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA).


Prepare for Licensure
The post-master's certificate coursework, requirements, and designed field experiences prepare students academically in meeting eligibility for the administrative certification/licensure requirements of DC and partner states of the interstate compact agreement.


Streamlined Time to Completion
Our part-time program is designed for working PreK-12 professionals and can be completed in our off-campus classrooms or online in as little as 1 year.


Gain Real Life Experience
Become more competitive in the job market by advancing your skills in leadership, management, instruction supervision, and related principles through evidence-based coursework and high-quality internships.




The GW Advantage

Whether attending off-campus or online, a GW education is unlike any other. Benefit from our unique location in the heart of the nation’s capital, with unprecedented access to research, national archives and libraries, diverse school settings, and leading national and international organizations.

For 30+ years, our research productive faculty, who possess extensive professional practitioner experience at the local, state, national and international levels, have prepared students for leadership roles in PreK-12 education. The program curriculum embeds the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) standards required by our accrediting body.





 Program at a Glance

Degree Awarded:

Post-Master's Certificate in Educational Leadership and Administration


Educational Leadership

Course Delivery:

-Alexandria Center
-Hybrid Cohort Options

Program Entry:

-Online: Summer Session II, Fall,
-Off-Campus: Fall

*Spring apps and admission could result in adjusted enrollment pacing and program completion

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: 18 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 6232 Supervision of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
EDUC 6234 Foundations of K-12 Educational Leadership
EDUC 6236 School Law and Policy
EDUC 6240 Instructional Leadership for School Improvement
EDUC 6246 School Finance and Resource Management for School Leaders
EDUC 6287* Internship: Administration (taken for 3 credits)


Program Outcomes

The Educational Leadership post-master’s certificate prepares aspiring leaders committed to the success of their diverse school community. The certificate’s research-based coursework and real-world education leadership projects will have cultivated the knowledge, dispositions and instructional practices leaders need to promote equitable, high-quality student achievement. Foundations of your preparation will include:

  • Fostering an Inclusive School Community and Culture
  • Ability to make data-informed decisions
  • Leadership for Instruction and School Improvement
  • Shared Leadership Practices

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

The Post-Master's Certificate 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 (DC). Though our alumni have successfully applied and met the requirements for certification/licensure in DC, 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 DC, 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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Master's Degree

If you are seeking a master's degree or hold a master's in a different subject and wish you advance your skills in ELA, you might consider our Master's program.

Explore the Master's Degree >

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Education Specialist (EdS)

Upon successful completion of the Post-Master's Certificate, if additional requirements are met, you can apply to the EdS in ELA program and, if accepted, transfer the earned certificate credits and 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 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: Master'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 Post-Master’s Certificate 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 18 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 Post-Master's Certificate in ELA program is $970 per credit hour.

 The tuition rate* for the online Post-Master's Certificate 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.




 Career Outlook

The post-master’s certificate in Educational Leadership & Administration program prepares you to promote high-quality student achievement as a leader in various PK-12 school-based and central office positions. Nationally recognized by CAEP, this program includes courses and required internship experiences designed to meet administrative certification/licensure requirements in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and other states that honor interstate compact agreements.

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).

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

ELA Career Opportunities
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  • Assistant Principal
  • Athletic Director
  • Central Office Administrator
  • PreK-12 Dean
  • Department Chair
  • Director of Admissions
  • Education Advisor
  • Education Consultant
  • Principal
  • Program Director
Potential Employment Settings
professional male sits on desk in front of chalkboard
  • Public, private or charter PreK-12 schools
  • Higher education institutions
  • Government departments or agencies
  • Consulting organizations



Educational Leadership & Administration Faculty

Dr. Jennifer Clayton

Interim Director of Accreditation; Professor, Educational Administration

(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



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