Jun 16, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog [Working Draft] 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog [Working Draft]

Educational Leadership – K-12 Administration [M.A.]

Location(s): Online

The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership is designed for professional educators seeking the skills and knowledge to become effective educational leaders. Graduates of the K-12 Administration Program are prepared for careers in K-12 building and/or district-level leadership roles. Four major content areas comprise the educational leadership curriculum: leadership, research, professionalism, and management competency/proficiency. Further development in the areas of human relations, diversity, and technology is emphasized. This is a state-approved program for the building level principal license in the State of Michigan. It also has reciprocity across the United States.

Online Education Eligibility

  • The U.S. Federal Government limits the number of online courses international students may enroll in while living in the United States. For this reason, we cannot admit students on F1 or J1 VISAs to fully online programs. Please check with International Admissions to confirm eligibility before applying.
  • All applicants, please review Online Education for Out-of-State Students to confirm your eligibility to enroll in an online program based in Michigan.
Please see online.emich.edu for additional information regarding this online degree program.

Program Admission

Admit Terms and Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with six available starting points (Summer A, Summer B, Fall A, Fall B, Winter A, or Winter B). See Application Deadlines.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

For full admission, applicants must have 1) Earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution, 2) a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program. Conditional admission may be available to applicants not meeting minimum admission requirements.

Program Requirements

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements:

  • Recommendation forms from two professional supervisors and/or supervising professors that address the applicant’s professional work quality. The completed forms are due within the online Application for Graduate Admissions. By entering the recommender’s email address within the online application, they will upload a letter and the required recommendation form directly to your application. The recommendation form must come directly from your reference.
  • Submit a résumé that details their professional and educational experiences.
  • A personal statement of accomplishments and academic goals portion describing the reasons for requesting admission. This essay must be a minimum of 250 words and will be reviewed as an indicator of writing ability.


Your application will be submitted using GradCAS, a Centralized Application Service (CAS) hosted by Liaison. After reviewing the admission requirements, please review the application instructions  and select the appropriate application.

Domestic Applicants Domestic applicants are required to submit only the transcript from the institution granting their bachelor’s degree if either of the following criteria is met: 1) Lists 30 or more credit hours with an overall GPA of 3.0 or over OR 2) Lists 60 or more credit hours with an overall GPA between 2.7 and 2.99. Within the application, follow the instructions to submit an official transcript. The University may ask applicants to submit additional transcripts after applying.

International Applicants Before applying, applicants must review the international application/process deadlines at emich.edu/international as they may differ from general program requirements.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

The admission process for the master’s degree is as follows:

  • The Office of Admissions will receive and gather ALL required documents. Completed applications that contain the required GPAs, confidential appraisal forms and the résumé will be forwarded to the coordinator of advising for the educational leadership program.
  • The faculty review committee will review completed applications. Those applicants who have submitted acceptable GPAs, résumé, recommendations, and personal statement will be admitted, assigned an advisor, and invited for an advising interview. An application may be deemed “questionable” due to a combination of low GPA, fair or poor recommendations, poor writing ability, and/or statements inconsistent with the student’s goals as an administrator. The full faculty will review these “questionable” applications, giving special consideration to the life experiences, verbal skills, writing skills, educational background, and GPAs.
  • Applicants who are accepted will be notified following admission decisions.
  • All decisions by the faculty regarding admissions are final.

Department Information

Leadership & Counseling 304 Porter, 734.487.0255

Kimberly Kappler Hewitt, PhD, Department Head

Advisor Information

Ronald Clement, PhD, 304 Porter, 734.487.0255

Phillip Caldwell, PhD, 304 Porter, 734.487.0255

Program Requirements

Retention Review Requirements

A retention review will be conducted, by the faculty review committee and coordinated by the EDLD coordinator of advising. Students who have not met the following criteria will be identified and asked to meet with their academic advisors. Students must have:

  1. A minimum GPA of at least 3.25, in required educational leadership courses;
  2. Acceptable progress made in developing a professional portfolio after completing 18 hours of coursework; and
  3. An overall academic skills assessment of average or above in any educational leadership class.

Retention Process

The objective of this retention plan is to assure that students have an opportunity to review the appropriateness of their career choice and to receive assistance in achieving their master’s degree in educational leadership should they choose to continue in the field. The retention review will be conducted by the EDLD coordinator of advising with the faculty review committee.

  1. After completing 18 hours of coursework, students should schedule a meeting to discuss their progress in the program.
  2. Faculty may complete the Leadership Candidate Evaluation form for any student in any class if they choose to do so. These forms will be filed in the student’s folder.
  3. Each semester the Office of Graduate Studies and Research will review the GPA of each student completing 12 hours. The EDLD coordinator of advising will examine the files of all students who have not achieved the required GPA and recommend the review by the faculty review committee.
  4. The coordinator of advising will request each identified student to meet with their advisor to discuss career goals and the need for assistance. If the need for assistance is established, a plan will be developed. For example, if difficulties exist with skill or concept acquisition, the student may be required to audit a class.

Exit Process

Professional Formation

As part of your internship experience, you were asked to write a Professional Formation, which required you to review your self-assessment, journal, critical incident report(s), interview notes, your supporting materials, as well as your EDLD coursework and develop a synthesis of your learning in your program. Because of this reflection, you have developed a personalized understanding of “what it means to be an administrator.”

In this process, you prepared a 4-5-page paper addressing the following questions:

  • During the program, students read a lot and participate in many assignments and activities. Of all these things, what two or three are most memorable and how have they shaped who you are as a leader?
  • As you reflect on your internship and the experiences you have had in your coursework, what are the skills, attitudes, and feelings you would want to promote as an educational leader? Why are these important?
  • What experiences in the internship shape your beliefs? What experiences in your coursework have shaped your beliefs? How have they changed because of the internship and/or coursework? How have you changed as a leader? What stands out as areas of significant growth for you as an educational leader?
  • As you reflect on your internship and the experiences you have had in your coursework, what other experiences do you need to engage in as you continue your professional growth?

As your final experience in the program, we would like you to share your Professional Formation with your adviser as well as participate in an exit interview.

Exit Interview

You must schedule a mutually agreed upon time with your faculty advisor for a formal presentation of your Professional Formation from your internship and an exit interview. It is important to schedule this meeting early in the semester to coordinate your schedule with your adviser’s schedule. Students planning to graduate during the spring or summer should know that not all faculty may be teaching those semesters. Accordingly, you must make arrangements early with your advisor to ensure their availability. As part of your Internship experience, you complete and included in your internship notebook a Professional Formation. To complete your exit interview, you must submit a copy of your Professional Formation to your adviser by sharing a copy with your faculty advisor in Watermark at least seven (7) days in advance of your exit interview so that your adviser may have an opportunity to review your Professional Formation prior to your interview.

Your presentation of the Professional Formation will consist of a brief discussion of your reflections of your understanding of “what it means to be an educational leader,” followed by a discussion with faculty regarding the student’s personal learning and growth, along with perceptions of the strengths and weaknesses of the overall program.

Assessment of the Professional Formation and exit interview will be made using the following criteria:

  • Quality of written and oral communications
  • Comprehensiveness
  • Meaningfulness as evident through reflection
  • Demonstration of personal growth

The Professional Formation/Exit Interview will be evaluated as follows:

  1. Pass without revisions
  2. Pass with minor revisions by the date indicated
  3. Pass with major revisions by the date indicated
  4. No pass

Degree Requirements: 35 hours

In addition to completing a minimum of 35 credit hours of graduate coursework as outlined below, students must also:

  1. Complete a Professional Formation and an exit interview (see Program Requirements above for additional details). 
  2. Earn a minimum GPA of at least 3.25, in required educational leadership courses. 

The student’s advisor will assist in developing the program of study that may include coursework necessary for both administrative certification and the master’s degree.

Additional Information

Course Substitutions/Program Changes - The advisor must approve changes in the student’s official program and substitution of courses before registration.

Courses Outside the Program - The Program faculty has prepared a suggested list of courses. Other courses may be used for electives in this area if approved by the student’s advisor.

Internships - Information is available from the director of the intern program or at emich.edu/coe/lc. Internship placements should be arranged at least one semester in advance and approved by the internship director.

Contact the department head for more information about the program, admissions, etc.

Critical Graduation Information

Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

Master’s degree requirements must be completed within six (6) years of first enrollment in the master’s degree program.

In the event a student does not complete the master’s degree requirements within six years of the date of their original registration, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their degree in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

The following are minimum requirements for all master’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some programs require more than the minimum in one or more areas below.

  • A master’s degree must require a minimum of 30 credit hours.
  • No more than six credits of independent study courses and no more than 12 credit hours of special topics and independent study courses combined may be applied to a graduate degree.  
  • Residency Requirement:
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 36 or fewer required hours, at least 24 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere). 
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 37 or more required hours, at least 30 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. Minimum degree hours must still be met for graduation. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
    • Residency and enrollment in multiple programs: Students enrolled in multiple master’s/specialist degree programs must have 24 unique credit hours in each degree program.
  • Only credits from one completed graduate certificate may be applied to a master’s or specialist degree in a relevant field of study, as determined by the Graduate School and with the approval of the degree-granting academic department, and be included in the residency hours above.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at EMU and in their program of study to remain in good academic standing and be eligible for graduation. Students do not need to be registered for classes during the semester of graduation.
  • The Graduate School does not permit the use of undergraduate courses (499 and below) to meet degree requirements on graduate programs of study.
  • Some master’s programs require a thesis; others require a special project or internship; others require students to pass a final exam. See the Graduate School website for Thesis and Dissertation Manuals, all forms, and information about research and human subject approval. Every completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to Digital Commons. Any form of graduate student work submitted to Digital Commons must first be approved by a faculty advisor and the Graduate School.