Educational Leadership and Administration (MA)

Volume 1: 2021.2022

Effective 1 June 2021 through 31 May 2022

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program is offered by the School of Education. It is available online and at the St. Louis home campus.

Program Description

The master of arts (MA) in educational leadership and administration is designed to prepare candidates for leadership and administrative positions in a variety of educational settings. This program emphasizes an understanding of the complexities of change in schools, communities and organizations. Participants develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and dispositions  necessary to create and maintain learning environments that value diversity, continual knowledge acquisition, instructional leadership, innovative and ethical decision making, reflective and relational practice, and successful achievement of all students. 

The MA in educational leadership and administration is for K-12 teachers who are passionate about schools, teachers and student learning. This program is an excellent way for students to rekindle their passion and to work on school improvement and student learning while meeting their professional development goals. 

A challenging curriculum will deepen leadership capabilities, enhance learning and professional growth, and help candidates to think critically about the challenges in education today. Coursework provides opportunities for students to integrate knowledge learned in the field of leadership. Internship hours are required and offer students an opportunity to integrate leadership skills learned in coursework under an approved on-site mentor. Learning opportunities are presented in large and small group discussions, case studies, lectures, scenarios, simulations, problem-based actives, project based learning and field experiences which are integrated into the coursework. 

This program meets the standards of the National Educational Leadership Preparation Program (NELP) program for building leaders and the MO Leader Standards. It is approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Skills taught prepare students to assume leadership roles in instruction, management, supervision, school improvement and problem solving.

Webster University does not issue principal certification but provides the coursework leading to certification. Students seeking an out-of-state certificate must contact their state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for information on requirements for administrative certificates. Some states require students to complete the entire program at one university before issuing certification.

Students seeking certification must take the appropriate Praxis for their state. Missouri students will take the MOCA 78. All students will take the Missouri Performance Assessment. This assessment is embedded in coursework. 

This program is designed to be completed in three semesters and one summer term.


To make value-added contributions to international, national, state, district and school-level policy for purposeful inclusive leadership practices that lead to equitable learning for all. 


To empower educational leaders to improve teaching and learning using practices, policies and systems that create high-quality and equitable learning environments. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Successful candidates will be able to create and implement a vision of learning with stakeholders. 
  • Successful candidates will use positive and appropriate communication, engagement, partnerships and advocacy that foster positive relationships and the success and well-being of students. 
  • Successful candidates will be able to develop innovative programs supporting teaching and learning including diversity, equity and inclusion, resulting in a professional culture for student achievement. 
  • Successful candidates will be able to interact and make ethical decisions that support students and staff academically, behaviorally and operationally through data analysis, fiscal management and legal compliance. 


The manner in which an individual behaves (his or her dispositions) affects an entire community. The National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) Standards stipulate three foundational dispositions that subsume all others. If one acts with integrity, fairness and ethically then one will be able to promote success of all students in the global community.

  • Program completers understand and demonstrate the capacity to reflect on, communicate about, cultivate and model professional dispositions and norms (i.e., fairness, integrity, transparency, trust, digital citizenship, collaboration, perseverance, reflection, lifelong learning) that support the educational success and well-being of each student and adult.
  • Program completers understand and demonstrate the capacity to evaluate, communicate about and advocate for ethical and legal decisions. 
  • Program completers understand and demonstrate the capacity to model ethical behavior in their personal conduct and relationships and to cultivate ethical behavior in others.

General Requirements & Certification

The master of arts (MA) in educational leadership and administration requires satisfactory completion of 32 credit hours of prescribed curriculum that includes coursework, internships and a capstone course. This course includes a formal review of the student's portfolio of documented competencies in field experiences as well as other documented established competencies. 

Coursework is based upon the requirements as stated by the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) and the Missouri Leader Standards from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The goal of the program is to increase student leadership, knowledge and skills for successful passing of the principal licensure test issued by the department of education in the state where students reside. Therefore, it is in the students' best interest to confirm certification requirements with the department of education in the state in which they reside or which to obtain certification. Certification requirements vary from state to state. 

Students wishing to combine the MA in educational leadership and administration with certification must communicate with their advisor and MA faculty to meet certification requirements and document performance. Students in the educational leadership and administration major can work toward elementary, middle or high school principal certification. After successful completion of state-required assessment activities, students can apply for administrative certification.

Students seeking Missouri administrative certification must also hold valid teacher certification for the appropriate grade level or specialty area. Students seeking an out-of-state certificate must contact their state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for information on requirements for administrative certificates. Some states require that students must complete the entire educational leadership and administration (MA) before certification is granted. 

MA students are required to demonstrate graduate level writing skills. Students who are unable to do so will be required to seek assistance for every writing assignment at Webster University's Writing Center. The expectation is for students to demonstrate professionalism at all times.

Program Requirements

The following are required courses for the educational leadership and administration (MA):

  • LEAD 5500 Field Experience I in Educational Leadership (2 hours)
  • LEAD 5501 Foundations of Educational Leadership and Administration (3 hours)
  • LEAD 5502 Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment (3 hours)
  • LEAD 5503 Ethics for Leaders (3 hours)
  • LEAD 5504 School Finance & Facilities (3 hours)
  • LEAD 5505 Collaboration & Leadership (3 hours)
  • LEAD 5506 Vision, Innovation and Technology (2 hours)
  • LEAD 5507 School Law (3 hours)
  • LEAD 5508 Educating for Equity and Cultural Competence (3 hours)
  • LEAD 5509 Relational Leader, School and Community (2 hours)
  • LEAD 5510 Talent Management for Recruitment, Development and Retention of Teachers and Personnel (2 hours)
  • LEAD 5511 Practical Statistics & Data-Driven Decision-Making for Educators (2 hours)
  • LEAD 5512 Capstone in Field Experience Seminar (2 hours)

Program description materials providing additional information on course requirements for specific certification can be obtained from an MA advisor.

Degree Program Requirements

Complete all coursework while maintaining a GPA of 3.25 or higher.


See the Admission section of this catalog for general admission requirements. Students interested in applying must submit their application online at Transcripts should be sent from your institution electronically to If this service is not available, send transcripts to:

Office of Admission
Webster University
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119 

Additional Requirements

Requirements for admission to the MA in educational leadership and administration program include:

  • Possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Completion of the course Education of the Exceptional Child, or equivalent, for Missouri certification.
  • Essay.
  • Letter of recommendation from a faculty member or associate.

Completed application files will be reviewed by the Graduate Department of Education.

Advancement to Candidacy

The student is advanced to candidacy upon the successful completion of the advancement packet. The timeline for advancing to candidacy is after successful completion of the first 6 hours and before completion of 12 hours. Completing the Advancement to Candidacy packet is the student's responsibility. The packet must be completed at this time in order for the student to continue to take courses. 

Requirements for Missouri Initial Principal Certification

  • Hold a valid professional initial teaching certificate.
  • Have had two years teaching experience.
  • Successful completion of all coursework with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Passing the required Praxis (in Missouri this is the required MOCA).
  • Passing the Missouri Performance Assessment (required for all students).

NOTE: In Missouri, school counselor certificates, speech-language certificates, etc., are not considered initial teacher certificates. Students pursuing special education administration will be able to work as administrators in these fields, but not as building principals unless the valid professional initial teaching certificate is also held, in addition to two years teaching experience. See the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for more information. 

Requirements for Missouri Special Education Director Certification

Special Education Director is an add-on certification. In Missouri, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires special education teaching certification, completion of the above requirements and the following courses, totaling 9 hours:

  • LEAD 6138 Foundations of Special Education Administration (3 hours)
  • LEAD 6122 Special Education and Law (2 hours)
  • LEAD 6136 Special Education Internship (2 hours)
  • LEAD 6006 Advanced Internship (2 hours)