2022–2023 Walden University Catalog (September 2022) 
    Jan 29, 2023  
2022–2023 Walden University Catalog (September 2022)

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

MS in Education Program Description and Outcomes

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

**Note: In addition to Walden’s general technical requirements, candidates must have access to technology (i.e., scanner or camera) that allows them to electronically submit signed documents verifying their field experience hours.

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 ePortfolio. 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.


Walden is approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education to offer a program leading to initial principal licensure. All candidates must pass the required Ohio principal licensure exam (OAE 015 Educational Leadership Exam) in order to complete the program. Candidates seeking licensure in Ohio are responsible for completing any other Ohio requirements beyond Walden’s state-approved program. The Ohio Department of Higher Education is solely responsible for reviewing applications and issuing licenses.

Individuals interested in licensure in states other than Ohio may qualify by virtue of completing a state-approved educator preparation program; however, individuals must review their state’s regulations to ensure the program meets all requirements, paying particular attention to any requirements specific to out-of-state program completers. Individuals who reside in certain states may be ineligible to enroll in this program. Walden Enrollment Specialists can provide guidance on licensure questions; 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.

For Minnesota Residents Only: Students who wish to pursue licensure as an educational leader who reside in Minnesota are not eligible for admission into the MS in Education, Educational Leadership and Administration (Principal Licensure Program), but should instead enroll in the EdS – Educational Leadership and Administration (Principal Licensure Program) that is approved by the Minnesota Board of School Administrators to meet requirements for eligibility for licensure as a school principal in Minnesota.