Educational Leadership: Principal Certification

Teacher talking with students

Maryville’s highly acclaimed program is recognized throughout the St. Louis region as providing the best educational leaders. Across the country, school leadership continues to be extolled as the key to student success and the value of schools. We believe that educational leaders must lead with vision, strength of conviction, and a firm grounding in the belief that all students can learn and grow. We foster a philosophy of leadership that embraces the strengths of all democratic institutions and provides voice to all participants.

This program is for certified teachers who seek to become administrators. Developing leaders with vision, this cohort program leads to the principal certificate with special emphasis on moral leadership. Personal mentoring through active approaches and an internship make this a master’s degree that truly creates sought-after leaders. While this program allows you to be a principal upon passing a national licensure exam for the principal certification, it also prepares you for many levels of school leadership both within and outside classrooms and in school and district offices.

The Educational Leadership and Administration concentration of the M.A. degree in Education will help you become a leader who has a deep understanding of leadership, is a change agent capable of initiating and sustaining positive change, and is a reflective learner with skills to gather information in a democratic environment. This program sheds light upon and prepares you for a broad range of careers in school settings.

For more information: email us at or call 314.529.9542.

Program Features

Recognized for Excellence
When you earn your MA in Education from Maryville, you’ll have opportunities for excellence on every level. Our program is nationally accredited and recognized regionally for being a leader in administrator preparation. You’ll work with outstanding faculty members and exemplary professionals in the field. You’ll enjoy small classes, innovative approaches and plenty of opportunities for professional growth. With a strong foundation of theory, practical application, and a developed personal philosophy about leadership, you’ll be a highly respected educator.

Cohort Based Experience
Our program is organized around a cohort plan: cohorts, or student groups, usually consist of 12 to 20 students who advance through their classes together. This builds camaraderie among your peers, provides another educational resource and helps you recognize your own strengths. This 33-credit program takes two years to complete by meeting just one night a week.

Connected to Schools
A field-based internship is required by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and will occur during both a summer semester as well as selected, planned experiences throughout the year. Maryville University has a number of school districts that provide internship opportunities for students and these will be arranged.

Professional/Career Opportunities

Successful completion of this program allows you to pursue many levels of school leadership, both within and outside classrooms and in school and district offices. From the principal track of studies, you are prepared for the state principal licensure exam that you will need in order to obtain a Missouri principal’s license. Once you’ve successfully completed the exam, you can be an elementary, middle, or secondary school principal or assistant principal.

Degree Offerings and Requirements

Admission Requirements

For admission to the master’s program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Submit official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. You must have maintained at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA from your undergraduate studies; below 3.0 may apply for provisional acceptance.
  • Complete an application for admission to the program (online).
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from qualified professionals.
  • Submit the application essay to demonstrate that you have the necessary competencies for the program.
  • Complete an essay on-campus.
  • Complete an interview with the program faculty.
  • International students must submit appropriate TOEFL scores.

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