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Program Overview
The program aims to prepare you for leadership in Pre-K-12 educational organizations. The curriculum highlights an integrated and interdisciplinary skill-based focus on leadership, management and administrative development. With a nationally and internationally recognized faculty and a tradition of quality, the Master of Arts in School Leadership will provide you with a unique blend of theory and practice in preparation for positions of leadership.  The School Leadership Concentration leads to the State of Illinois Principal Endorsement. It will prepare you for a career as a practitioner and scholar to lead and transform a wide variety of Pre-K–12 educational organizations. Our graduates serve in leadership positions at the district and school levels.

Principal Endorsement
On September 7, 2012, the Illinois State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board (SEPLB) approved Northeastern Illinois University’s new principal preparation master’s degree program in school leadership leading to the new State of Illinois Principal Endorsement. Students who complete the 12-course master’s degree program in school leadership at Northeastern matriculate to positions of leadership in their schools and communities and receive the new State of Illinois Principal Endorsement.

The sequence of courses and the objectives of the school leadership program have been designed to develop exemplary school leaders and to foster their continued growth and effectiveness. Our program includes three internship experiences, thus providing for a unique blend of theory and practice in preparation for positions in leadership. Successfully completing the course concentration in school leadership will develop your competencies in effective leadership, educational management practices and staff development at the school level. 

Program Objectives
The program objectives for the School Leadership Concentration have been designed to:

  • Develop exemplary administrative school leaders.
  • Foster a school leader’s continuing growth and effectiveness.
  • Serve diverse communities.
  • Develop competencies and skills related to effective leadership.
  • Master management practices and staff development at the school level.

Department Website

Admission to the Program 

Admissions Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) from most recent degree
  • Valid and current Illinois teaching certificate (i.e., early childhood, elementary, secondary, special k–12 or special preschool–age 21 certificate)
  • Completion of two years of pre-k–12 full-time teaching on a teaching license
  • Must pass the Illinois Test of Basic Skills (ITBS/Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP)
  • Two letters of recommendation (completed by supervisors)
  • Two Northeastern Disposition Assessments (completed by supervisors)
  • In-person interview
  • Successful completion of a written exam provided by the department
  • Completion of a successful teaching portfolio


Required Courses

Course Number

Course Name

Credit Hours

36 Total

Sequence I


Introduction to Evaluation of Certified and Support Staff



Educational Leadership and Organizational Analysis



Research Design and Analysis of Educational Data



Human Resources Administration in Education


Upon successful completion of Sequence I and admittance to the program, Part I of the Comprehensive Exam must be taken.

Sequence II


Instructional Leadership



The Principalship



School and Community Relations



School Finance and Budgeting



School Law and Ethics


LEAD-434, 435, 437

Internship (three-course sequence)

3 each = 9

Upon successful completion of at least three of the five Sequence II courses (not including the internships) Part II of the Comprehensive Exam must be taken.


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