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Educational Leadership

The Educational Leadership Program is dedicated to serving the diverse, pluralistic leadership needs of schools throughout Ohio and the nation. The mission of the Program is to prepare administrators for our nations schools; to generate and test knowledge that directs the profession to excellence; and to lead the profession to improved practice. The Program is fully accredited by the Ohio Department of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and meets the standards of the University Council for Education Administration.

The M.Ed. in Educational Leadership is a principal licensure program designed to prepare students for school-level educational leadership. Graduates lead at the school and district level, and are dedicated to the creation and facilitation of high-quality, successful learning environments for the children, families, and communities that they serve.

Principal Licensure in Ohio: The Educational Leadership Program meets the requirements for principal licensure in the State of Ohio while also satisfying program requirements for a master's degree. 

Applicants who already possess a master's degree with a desire to obtain principal licensure in the State of Ohio are suggested to apply here to the accelerated post-master's program in principal licensure.

States other than Ohio: Each state has its own requirements for licensure. A student from a state other than Ohio should check with their state department of education to ensure the degree will meet the requirements for principal licensure/certification for that state.


Quick Info

Program Code





Distance Learning Only


Educational Leadership
College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services


610G Teachers College
PO BOX 210022
Cincinnati ,OH  45221
Dr. Carlee Escue Simon
Phone: 513-556-2006

Career Possibilities

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

The Educational Leadership Program is designed for a student to complete the program within one year.  The program consists of seven (7) core courses (to earn the principal license) and three (3) additional courses to complete the Master’s degree.  All courses are focused on completing the state of Ohio’s requirements for principal licensure.  These courses have assignments embedded that provide the student with experiences across all accreditation standards. 

Areas of Concentration include:

Special Education Leadership

Today, school administrators are required to lead an inclusive school that educates all students. According to the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics during the 2011-2012 school year, approximately 13 percent of students with disabilities constituted all students enrolled in public schools. Educational leaders must have an understanding of current issues, programs and legal aspects of working with special education programs.

Career Possibilities:
District level Special Education Coordinator (In conjunction with a Administrator License)
State Special Education Director (In conjunction with an Administrator License)
Administrators in Special Education Agencies (In conjunction with an Administrator License)
Special Education Director (charter schools and cyber schools) (In conjunction with an Administrator License)
District level Special Education Consultant
State level Special Education Consultant

Early Childhood Leadership

Leaders of Early Childhood Programs have unique needs as compared to a Principal of an Elementary School.  Most of the time these leaders are called “Administrators” or “Directors” as opposed to “Principals”.  While the skill set is similar, the early childhood program’s facilities are dramatically different.  The curriculum is different (especially for Infants and Toddlers) and supervision of the staff is different due to state licensing rules and regulations. 

The Early Childhood Leadership Area of Concentration includes coursework in the Administration of an ECE Program, Supervision and Organization of staff, and the Operation of an ECE program (the business side of an ECE Program).  This concentration would be beneficial for leaders in public preschools, day care centers, and Head Start Centers or other social service agencies that have child care programs. This concentration also prepares the student for principal licensure IF the student holds a valid Ohio teaching license.

Online Learning and Leadership

Leading initiatives, teams or programs in the field of online learning requires an understanding of instructional design, collaboration, legal issues, ethical issues and leadership of the administration, design and delivery of online courses.  Practitioners in this field may include those in higher education, k-12 education, health education, e-learning business solutions and countless others. Leaders in online learning support online instructors and students, lead teams designing online courses, administer online programs, and lead professional development related to online learning for faculty, support staff, facilitators and trainers. 

Leadership in Online Learning moves beyond instructional design–the focus of the vast majority of programs related to online learning–to draw connections between design, methods, pedagogy, legal/ethical issues, and leadership. It prepares practitioners to lead and support design teams, guide online program development, and understand and overcome the challenges of developing and leading online courses, programs, and e-learning initiatives.

Career Possibilities:

               • Director of online learning

               • Lead instructional designer

               • Coordinator of an online program

               • Lead online instructor

               • E-learning consultant

               • Educational technology specialist


Data and Accountability

This area of concentration focuses on data and accountability.  Students will gain knowledge in statistics and program evaluation.  Principals are expected to make data-driven decisions regularly to evaluate programs, teachers, and student performance.  The data and accountability concentration prepares principals to be data experts.  Principals will be able to objectively evaluate the data and make sound decisions.

Career Possibilities:

  • Principal
  • Testing Coordinator
  • Assistant Principal
  • District Data Personnel

Principal Leadership (licensure)

This area of concentration takes a traditional focus on school leadership, with an emphasis on social justice and community partners necessary for successful school administration.  Principals need to be focused on equity, social justice, and collaboration with community supports to develop and maintain a fair and equitable education for the students within the school and surrounding community.  Principal candidates in this concentration will gain a broad understanding of school leadership and will be prepared to serve in a variety of school contexts.

Career Possibilities:


Dean of Students

Assistant Principal

General district personnel

Educational Leadership (non-licensure)

To serve students interested in educational leadership who come from unique backgrounds (i.e. the private sector, non-profit education supports), we also offer a non-licensure master’s degree.  In this concentration, students will learn organizational and leadership skills, and they will have the opportunity to specialize in a variety of areas that will cater to their specific area of interest.  While this concentration will not culminate in a principal licensure, students in this area will work closely with faculty to design a program of study to prepare them for future work in the field of educational leadership.

Career Possibilities:

Executive Director of non-profit in education areas

Private school leadership

Educational foundation director/leader


These tools assist students to identify course requirements and individual progress toward completion of academic programs. It is important to utilize these resources with personalized guidance from a UC academic advisor regularly to ensure timely graduation..

My Degree Audit - for confirmed and current students

My Transfer Course Equivalencies - for students considering transfer to UC

UC Schedule of Classes - search course availability and descriptions

Curriculum Guide Versions:

Educational Leadership Curriculum

Predominant Program

    Educational Leadership Core Courses
    • EDLD7035, Educational Leadership Theory, 3
    • EDLD8034, School Finance, 3
    • EDLD7050, Principal Clinical Internship I, 3
    • EDLD8035, School Law, 3
    • EDLD8032, Human Resources Administration in Education, 3
    • EDLD8036, Curriculum Development and Data Analysis, 3
    • EDLD8038, Instructional Supervision, 3
    Principal Leadership (licensure)
    • EDLD7038, Leadership for Social Justice, 3
    • EDLD8037, School and Community Partnerships, 3
    Special Education Leadership
    • CI7001, Educational Research for Masters Students , 3
    • SPED7056, Foundations, Trends, and Issues in Special Education Leadership , 3
    • SPED7092, Master's Project Guidance: Special Education I, 1
    • SPED7093, Master's Project Guidance: Special Education II, 2
    Online Learning and Leadership
    • CI7085, Ethical Use of Technology in Education, 3
    • CI7087, Collaboration and Support in Online Education, 3
    Early Childhood Leadership
    • EDLD6070, Supervision and Organization of ECE Programs, 3

Admission Requirements

Candidates who wish to apply to the EDLD Master’s program must meet the following requirements:

  1. Prerequisite Degree - The applicant must possess a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university if applying for a Master’s Degree. 
  2. Minimum GPA - The applicant must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 at the undergraduate level leading to the Bachelor Degree. An applicant who possesses a Master’s Degree or has undertaken any graduate level work before applying must have an average of at least 3.0 in their graduate work. All calculations are based on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Letters of Recommendation-All applicants must submit three letters of recommendation.  One of the three letters must be from an immediate supervisor that can address the applicant’s formal teaching evaluations.
  4. Goal Statement- Goal statement indicating career goals and area of concentration of interest.

Application Deadline and Procedures

Prospective students will complete the on-line application for their requested program by the posted application deadline.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required materials and support documents are successfully submitted.  Incomplete applications will not be processed or reviewed.


Providing academic records during the application process. All applicants are required to upload their unofficial transcripts during the application process. The university defines “unofficial” transcripts as transcripts that have been in the hands of students, are typically printed on plain paper, and do not have a college seal or registrar's signature. Applicants should NOT send official transcripts as part of the application process.

Providing academic records after admission. Once an applicant has been extended an offer of admission to the University of Cincinnati and has accepted the offer, s/he must submit an official transcript showing conferral of a baccalaureate degree or higher as soon as possible to the address below. The university defines “official” transcripts as transcripts that have been received from a secure, authenticated issuing institution and bears validation (e.g., a seal, logo, or watermark), including a date, and an appropriate signature. Official transcripts MUST be sent forward in their original, sealed envelope. The absolute final deadline for submission of official transcripts is one week before the start of the student’s first semester. Students will NOT be allowed to complete a full semester without providing verification of an earned baccalaureate degree or higher. Any discrepancy later found between student-provided unofficial transcripts and official transcripts will be grounds for dismissal. Official Transcripts should be sent to one of the following addresses:


Regular U.S. postal mail:               Delivery via parcel delivery service (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.):

Graduate School                             Graduate School

University of Cincinnati                 University of Cincinnati

110 Van Wormer Hall                    2614 McMicken Circle

P.O. Box 210627                            110 Van Wormer Hall

Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627         Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627


UC Alumni

Students who have received degrees from the University of Cincinnati do not need to submit official paper copies of their UC transcripts.


Students with degrees received in China

Applicants who have received degrees in China will upload their unofficial transcripts during the application process. The university defines “unofficial” transcripts as transcripts that have been in the hands of students, are typically printed on plain paper, and do not have a college seal or registrar's signature. Unofficial transcripts do NOT need to be verified at this stage of the application process.


After being accepted to join a graduate program

Applicants who have earned a degree in China must submit an English-version verification report from the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) of their final transcripts and degree certificates.  All verification reports must be sent to the University of Cincinnati directly by the CDGDC to be considered official. No other verification will be accepted. Applicants with Chinese transcripts must contact the CDGDC after their degree is completed and request that their degree verification report be submitted directly to the University of Cincinnati. Students who request a verification report prior to degree conferral will be required to submit a second report after conferral.

Verification reports can be ordered at the following websites:


Verification reports are due to the Graduate School one week prior to the start of the student’s first semester. Failure to submit verification reports on time will result in a student being placed in non-matriculated status and loss of his/her student visa status. Verification reports should be sent to one of the following addresses:

Regular U.S. postal mail:               Delivery via parcel delivery service (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.):

Graduate School                             Graduate School

University of Cincinnati                 University of Cincinnati

110 Van Wormer Hall                    2614 McMicken Circle

P.O. Box 210627                            110 Van Wormer Hall

Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627         Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0627


Application Deadlines

Admission Term

Application Deadline

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The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.