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Are you looking to move into an administrative role? Do you want to empower others and lead in the P-12 school environment? The online Master of Science in Educational Leadership with a concentration in School Administration prepares educators for a variety of functions school administrators must perform. The online coursework encompasses robust topics such as school leadership, school legal and ethical decision making and leading school curriculum. The program is designed to complement the professional lives of educators and can be completed in 14 months.

Program highlights:

  • Participants are provided extensive opportunities to make connections between research and practice and to experience interactive teaching and learning.
  • Coursework for this degree will teach you to analyze data, evaluate instruction, improve student achievement, promote change, establish a positive school culture, understand budgets and manage resources.
  • The college is nationally accredited by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council and approved for administrative licensure by the Mississippi Department of Education.
  • It is also accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
What are some potential careers?

Graduates are prepared for a wide range of professional positions in education including principals, assistant principals, headmasters, deans, athletic directors, lead teachers or chairs of academic departments.

Who should pursue this degree?

This degree is what those interested in school administration in elementary, secondary or postsecondary schools will need to advance their careers.

Program Structure

Required Courses

Course Number Course Title Hours
EDL 8413 School Legal and Ethical Perspectives 3
EDL 8423 School Leadership 3
EDL 8433 Using Data for School Improvement 3
EDL 8513 School Leadership Internship I 3
EDL 8523 Educating Diverse Learners 3
EDL 8613 School Leadership Internship II 3
EDL 8623 Leading Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment 3
EDL 8633 Human Resources Leadership for Schools 3
EDL 8713 School Business and Facilities 3
EDL 8723 Leadership for Positive School Culture 3
Total Hours: 30

A comprehensive examination is also held during their final semester. Students will be required to complete the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA). Students must also submit their SLLA results to the program for completion.

Admissions Process

To be eligible for admission to the program, the applicant must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, meet the basic requirements specified for graduate students at Mississippi State University, demonstrate interest in the mission of P-12 schools, and demonstrate academic proficiency based on the following indicators:

  • Grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale on the last half of the bachelor's degree
  • Recommendation letter
  • Statement of purpose
  • Copy of valid teacher's license
  • Evidence of three years of teaching experience
  • Current resume
  • Letter of endorsement from current school administrator
  • Interview

Domestic/International Classified Admissions

  1. Submit online application. You will choose Master of Science - Education Leadership with a concentration in School Administration (EDLD) as your Program of Study and Online Education as your campus.
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. Three letters of recommendation
    • You will be asked to submit three names and three email addresses of individuals you are using as references. Once you click submit, these individuals will be sent an email from MSU, which will provide a link to an online form for completing their recommendations.
  4. TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for international students.
  5. One official transcript showing bachelor’s degree or progress toward degree. (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
  6. One official transcript showing ALL work after bachelor’s degree. (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
    • Electronic transcripts should be sent to: Mississippi State University, Graduate School. Only one copy of an electronic transcript is required.
    • Paper Transcripts Address (USPS):
      Mississippi State University
      The Office of the Graduate School
      P.O. Box G
      Mississippi State, MS 39762
    • Physical Street Address (for DHL, Fed Ex, UPS, DHS, etc.):
      Mississippi State University
      The Office of the Graduate School
      175 President Circle
      116 Allen Hall
      Mississippi State, MS 39762
  7. Payment of $60 non-refundable application processing fee for domestic students.
    Payment of $80 non-refundable application processing fee for international students.
  8. Once you are admitted, you will receive an email with complete instructions on registering for classes and contacting your advisor.

Faculty and Staff

Photo of Anusha Rijal

Anusha Rijal

Online Education

  • Coordinator
Photo of Dr. Paula Tharp

Dr. Paula Tharp

Department of Educational Leadership

  • Assistant Professor