Every successful student is guided by a leader.

Whether your goal is to be a school principal or to direct corporate training, use the powerful organizational and motivational skills at the heart of St. Thomas University’s innovative M.S. in Educational Leadership online degree program to become a transformative leader!

The 36-credit Educational Leadership curriculum focuses on the organizational leadership skills, professional knowledge, and operational management abilities necessary for success in academic and corporate environments.

The results-focused Educational Leadership program is led by experienced administrators and educators who know the real-world practices needed to successfully guide students, teachers, and employees to academic achievement. You’ll learn a variety of skills and abilities, from creating annual budgets to implementing professional development programs, as part of the larger goal of becoming an inspiring, ethical, and engaged organizational manager.

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Program Features and Benefits

Our Educational Leadership M.S. program will give you the skills and knowledge to be an effective, ethical and results-focused professional well-grounded in instructional leadership, operational leadership, and institutional leadership.
Want to learn more? Download your FREE program brochure now!


The core objective of the M.S. in Educational Leadership from St. Thomas University is to give you a strong grounding in the three branches of educational leadership: instructional leadership, operational leadership, and institutional leadership. Each type of leadership is crucial to the function and quality of educational organizations.

Instructional Leadership

In your coursework and field experience in the M.S. in Educational Leadership, you will learn how to:

  • Evaluate and develop curricula that meet state and national standards
  • Design comprehensive professional development plans
  • Use data to implement best practices that improve educational outcomes
  • Analyze the various components of a research proposal

Operational Leadership

An effective educational leader must be an efficient manager of the day-to-day operations of the educational organization. In our program, you will learn how to:

  • Develop a budget and effectively allocate funds
  • Manage front office, maintenance, and support staff
  • Ensure a safe and healthy learning environment

Institutional Leadership

The educational leader must also manage the long-term strategy of the educational organization and its relation to the larger community. Through our degree program, you will learn how to:

  • Develop and implement an educational organization's vision, mission, and strategic plan that supports a positive learning culture
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively with the educational organization's stakeholders
  • Understand the larger social, political, legal, and policy issues surrounding the successful management and leadership of an educational organization


St. Thomas University’s M.S. in Educational Leadership is a 36 credit-hour online degree program. Courses are seven weeks in length, and the time to degree completion is two years.

M.S. in Educational Leadership Course Sequence (36 credit hours)

Educational Leadership
36 credits
EDU 503 (3)
Applied Research Methods

This is an introductory course that surveys the variety of research designs used in educational settings with an application of evaluation research. This course is intended to make the student an informed consumer of research.

EDU 530 (3)
Educational Measurement

This course introduces teachers and educational leaders to elements of assessment that are essential to good teaching. It provides students with an understanding of the role of assessment in the instructional process. Students will learn how to construct effective test questions that are aligned with learning objectives and how to evaluate published tests and properly interpret scores of standardized tests as well as how to make appropriate modifications for ESOL students.

EDF 660 (3)
Social, Philosophical and Historical Foundations of Education

This course will assist student in examining and explaining the differing social contexts of schooling, the diverse value orientations represented in formal and informal education, and the major historical forces shaping schooling in America.

EDF 621 (3)
Psychological Foundations of Education

An intermediate course designed to apply psychological theories and principles of learning and development to teaching and student learning in career areas related to education. Challenges of diversity and teacher effectiveness are emphasized.

EDA 601 (3)
Leadership in Education

This course will review, analyze, and apply concepts and theories of leadership with an emphasis on the importance of instructional and ethical leadership within a school. The impact of organizational and environmental factors, group dynamics, and change processes on school-site administration are explored.

EDA 616 (3)
Technology to Support Educational Leadership

This graduate course is designed for Education Administration students. It provides students with a knowledge base on issues and concerns on computer uses in education with an emphasis on technology planning and evaluation in K-12 settings. The course exposes students to a variety of computer applications for administration and instructional uses and provides opportunity for hands-on activities.


EDA 602 (3)
Communication in Educational Leadership
Analysis of principles, processes, and techniques of effective communication, public relations in educational leadership, and school community relations.
EDA 603 (3)
School Law
Students will investigate the impact of school law on the rights of students and educators as guaranteed by the Constitution and its amendments. This investigation will include state and federal statutory and regulatory provisions, professional conduct of teachers, staff and administrators, and tort and contract liability.
EDA 604 (3)
School Finance
Describes and analyzes current and emerging school finance plans; the influence of courts and federal and state legislation on those plans; the Florida Education Finance Plan; and the budget responsibilities of the school principal.
EDA 606 (3)
Curriculum and Instruction for Diverse Student Populations

A study of curriculum development and planning with an emphasis on meeting the needs of special need and limited English students. Educational program at all levels are reviewed in light of new federal and state accountability standards. The development of assessment skills related to curriculum evaluation is emphasized. Strategies for curriculum improvement are explored.

EDA 608 (3)
School Personnel Management

This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the rationale and organizational structure that support effective human resource administration. Major dimensions of the entire human resource management function will be examined. Processes, procedures, and techniques necessary to carry out these dimensions will be identified. Focus is on skills needed for exercising leadership in school personnel recruitment, selection, assessment, and development.

EDA 612 (3)
The Principalship: A Guided Leadership Experience

Students will analyze the authority and responsibilities of the Principalship through a guided field experience/project-based internship in a K – 12 setting or an alternative setting. In addition, current topics on the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for school leadership will be explored in a seminar format. The final product for the course includes the portfolio, implementation timeline, final evaluation of the plan, and reflection on the individual’s leadership and administrative strengths and opportunities for future professional growth.

The candidate completing this program is eligible to apply for the Florida Educational Leadership Certificate (Level 1). The applicant must be employed as a Florida educator and have his/her fingerprints processed and cleared to have the Certificate issued.


The M.S. in Education Leadership from St. Thomas University provides an excellent theoretical and practical foundation to launch a successful career as an instructional leader or administrator. The following are just a few of the many education career paths available to graduates:

  • Principal or Vice Principal
  • Department Head
  • Director of Curriculum
  • Athletic Director
  • Academic Program Developer
  • Technology Director