Master of Arts in Educational Leadership


Female students teaching a classroom.

Admissions requirements

  • Resume of curriculum vita (CV).
  • Written statement.
  • Education history information and transcripts.
  • More information

Student TEstimonial

  • "WMU is a very special place where dreams become reality."Lisa Williams, Principal, '04, read more

Program Overview

The Master of Arts in educational leadership degree in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology at Western Michigan University is based on a performance-driven leadership model in which students actively participate in a variety of activities designed to prepare them for the challenges faced by today’s educational organizations. Supporting students who want to develop as leaders ready to handle the many educational challenges facing institutions and organizations in a diverse society. Students will be better prepared for current and future challenges and be more competitive in the job market.

Classes for each concentration are taught in a manner to support working professionals and full-time students who hold graduate assistantships (GA), involving evening, weekend and/or online courses. Prospective students are encouraged to explore the individual concentrations within educational leadership. Each concentration has specific requirements, courses and program coordinator contact information. 

  • The higher education and student affairs (HESA) concentration curriculum emphasizes diversity and inclusion and is offered in-person, on campus in Kalamazoo.
  • The educational and global leadership concentration emphasizes development of knowledge and skills needed for educational or cultural organizations that have international dimension, on-campus with some online and hybrid courses.
  • The K-12 principal and interscholastic athletic administration concentration is designed to prepare a student for the leadership role of being a building principal, as well an athletic director. Students who complete the concentration will be recommended to receive the Michigan School Administrator Certificate. 
  • The K-12 school principal leadership concentration is designed  to prepare a student for the leadership role of being a building principal. Students who complete the concentration will be recommended to receive the Michigan School Administrator Certificate. 

Read more about the master of arts in educational leadership

Career opportunities

After graduating from this program, depending on the concentration students will be prepared for leadership positions in an educational capacity in institutions and organizations.  Some examples include: K-12 building level principal or other administrator, positions emphasizing student development and student services at colleges and universities, higher education administrator, or leaders in educationally related nonprofit organization.

Internship experiences

Internship and field experiences vary depending on which concentration students choose.  The capstone is a culminating experience taken in the final semester of the performance-driven leadership curriculum. Students enroll in a course where they will complete their performance-driven leadership portfolio and also complete a field-based experiential learning internship to put theory into practice.  This phase of the program is designed to bring clarification and closure to concepts explored throughout the master's degree.   While students work with their faculty advisor to discuss options and opportunities, it is the student’s responsibility to research and seek internship opportunities.

Current students

Cost & Funding

Helpful links



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