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    Walden University
  Sep 19, 2017
2017-2018 Catalog (September 2017)

Educational Leadership and Administration (Principal Preparation) - MS in Education

Return to: MS in Education  

This specialization prepares aspiring educational professionals to become licensed principals and educational leaders in diverse P–12 settings. Grounded in research and best practices, this scholar-practitioner program integrates coursework with field experiences at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Courses explore effective communication, collaboration, and leadership practices; public policies and legal issues affecting school governance and management; budgeting and resource management; and human resource practices for hiring, evaluating, and motivating qualified staff. In support of its focus on student outcomes, the specialization also includes specific coursework on leading curriculum initiatives to improve literacy and math skills, using data to strengthen schools, and boosting achievement among English language learners. Participants learn strategies for creating safe schools, resolving conflict, and administering discipline effectively. Field experiences integrate learned skills and concepts in school settings under the mentorship of a licensed and practicing school principal. Principal candidates must complete a total of 240 hours of field experience at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Candidates will complete 160 of those hours at the candidate’s preferred level or level of primary teaching experience, and 40 hours each at the other levels.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Design and lead initiatives that evaluate and improve instructional programs.
  2. Develop, implement, and manage ongoing evaluation and professional development in teaching and learning.
  3. Create strategic plans using a visioning process to be shared and supported by stakeholders.
  4. Use data to effectively manage the organization and resources for a safe, secure, and effective learning environment.
  5. Communicate and collaborate with external publics to address community interests and diverse needs.
  6. Articulate the school’s role within the broader political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context and respond effectively to changes that impact the school community.
  7. Model democratic value systems, ethics, and moral leadership.

Degree Requirements

  • 36 total semester credits
  • Foundation course (3 sem. cr.)
  • Core courses (27 sem. cr.)
  • Field Experience courses (6 sem. cr.)
  • Minimum 5 semesters enrollment

Specialization Curriculum


Walden University requires that all candidates in its principal preparation program review the Principal Candidate Handbook and Field Experience Handbook to help them understand the guidelines and requirements of the program.

Candidates can access both handbooks from their myWalden university portal. Candidates enrolled in the principal preparation program should refer to the Principal Candidate Handbook for complete information on the program and other university policies and procedures related to the program’s specializations. Candidates should refer to the Field Experience Handbook for detailed information regarding the field experience requirements in the program.

Note on Licensure

For initial licensure or adding endorsements (e.g., new teaching fields) to existing licenses, individuals are often required to complete a state-approved licensure program. Walden offers Minnesota state-approved licensure programs in special education, elementary education, and P–12 principal licensure (EdS) as well as an endorsement program in reading. Walden also offers an Ohio state-approved principal licensure program at the master’s level.

Prospective students seeking licensure must research their state licensure requirements to determine (1) if they are required to complete a state-approved licensure program, and (2) if there are any other requirements that apply, especially requirements pertaining to programs provided by out-of-state (except Minnesota) or online institutions.  Additionally, not all of Walden’s programs include a practicum or cover the grade span of K–12, which are requirements for obtaining an endorsement in some states, especially in the area of reading.

The graduate degree program and coursework within the program in which you are enrolling may be accepted by many states toward upgrading or renewing a license or obtaining a salary increase (depending on state or district policy).

Walden enrollment advisors can provide guidance on licensure issues; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with all state licensure requirements. Walden makes no representation or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure or endorsement. For additional guidance on licensure issues, please refer to

Program Data

Walden is committed to providing the information to students about their program. Please find detailed information for the M.S. in Education with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Administration (Principal Preparation program) relating to the types of occupations this program may lead to, completion rate, program costs, and median loan debt of students who have graduated from this program.