Leadership Studies Educational Leadership – Master of Arts

Master of Arts Degree in Educational Leadership (Principal Administrative Licensure)

Students looking to obtain principal administrative licensure have two avenues to pursue. The first is through the Master of Arts Degree in Leadership Studies–Education Leadership. The second is by completing the post-master’s certification program in school principalship, which is available to those who already possess a master’s degree in education. The information below is for the Master of Arts Degree in Leadership Studies. If you wish to view the post-master’s certification information, please go to the post-master’s page.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements for Educational Leadership Area of Emphasis

Applicants should follow the admissions process described in this catalog or at the Graduate Admissions website at www.marshall.edu/graduate/admissions/how-to-apply-for-admission. In addition:

Each candidate for the Educational Leadership Area of Emphasis must meet all admission requirements as a degree student. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination, the Miller Analogies Test, or a previous master’s degree from an accepted, accredited institution must be on file at the time of admission. Students must score at least a 392 on the Miller Analogies Test. Students who take the Graduate Record Examination must have a combined score of 286 (combined verbal and quantitative). Students must hold a Professional Teaching Certificate and have a minimum of two years of teaching experience at the time of admission to the program.

Admission Requirements for Leadership Specialist Area of Emphasis

Applicants should follow the admissions process described in this catalog or at the Graduate Admissions website at www.marshall.edu/graduate/admissions/how-to-apply-for-admission. Applicants should select the Distance-Only application and under programs, select "Leadership Studies (M.A.): Leadership Specialist" on the application.

In addition to Marshall University's requirements for graduate admission, applicants must have:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accepted, accredited institution; and 
  • An undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale.

Applicants may be admitted provisionally when a GPA does not meet the minimum requirements at the discretion of the program director. The student will be directed to complete 12 hours of selected courses designated by the department. If a 3.25 Grade Point Average is maintained in those courses, then the applicant will be fully admitted to the degree program. 

Program Requirements

  • Students will follow a program Plan of Study consisting of 36 credit hours.
  • Every student must designate a practicing principal who agrees to act as his/her mentor during the program.
  • Field experiences are a required component of this program and are embedded into the program class.
  • The Capstone course must be taken in the student’s final semester with no more than one additional course.
  • All admitted students are expected to maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.
  • Upon completion of the degree, candidates seeking school principal administrative licensure in West Virginia are required to pass the PRAXIS 5412 Educational Leadership Administration and Supervision test.
  • West Virginia licensure also requires the candidate to complete the Evaluation Leadership Institute from the West Virginia Department of Education.
  • Students seeking licensure in other states should contact the state’s local licensing agency for information on requirements.

Required Courses

  • LS 510 – The Principalship
  • LS 515 – Instructional Leadership
  • LS 520 – Admin of Elementary, Middle & Secondary Schools
  • LS 530 – Human Relations
  • LS 550 – Schools as Systems
  • LS 600 – School Personnel Administration
  • LS 606 – Planning, Research and Evaluation for School Leaders
  • LS 610 – Leadership for School Improvement
  • LS 612 – Educational Technology for Administrators
  • LS 630 – School and the Community
  • LS 675 – Legal and Policy Issues
  • LS 685 – Capstone: Portfolio Assessment


The Evaluation Leadership Institute (ELI) prepares principals and central office administrators to evaluate personnel effectively. Aspiring administrators complete a brief online ELI course to obtain their provisional administrative certification. Once administrators are hired, they must complete in-person, ELI training within 90 days of employment. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Austin at jessica.austin@k12.wv.us or call the Office of Leadership and System Support at 304-558-3199.

Huntington Campus
Education Building Room 220
One John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755
Phone: 304-696-3131

South Charleston Campus
100 Angus E. Peyton Drive
South Charleston, WV 25303
Phone: 304-746-1992