Educational Leadership | Online

Program Type
Certificate of Advanced Study (Online)
Certificate of Advanced Study
Modes of Study

Tuition per credit hour

Online mode of study: $460 for in-state and $494 out-of-state residents. Blended mode of study: cost varies. See details and other costs

Credit hours

30 required credit hours. Most courses are equal to 3 credit hours. Browse course list

Program duration

Finish in as few as 2 years. Explore program requirements


Apply for fall, spring, or summer term. View application process & deadlines

Program Highlights

  • Choose a mode of study that is blended (a mix of online and in-person courses) or fully online.
  • Balance your schedule: Our blended program option offers evening classes and our fully online program option allows you to complete coursework from wherever you are.
  • Engage in research and scholarship, oral and written presentations, and applied projects.
  • Self-design a course of study that supports your career goals and leads to certification as a Maine school administrator.
  • Complete a capstone project or internship in the focus area of your choice: school administration, special education administration, superintendency, or curriculum administration.
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Program requirements

This certificate program is designed to meet the needs of practicing educators, including teachers, principals, curriculum directors, special education directors, and superintendents, who are interested in pursuing advanced academic work in educational change and leadership.

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Faculty expertise

Our EdD and PhD faculty have extensive K-12 school leadership experience. They also regularly present at regional and national conferences, and publish their research findings in books and journal articles.

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Do you live in New England?

You may be eligible for a special reduced tuition rate, as part of the New England Regional Student Program (RSP).

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Frequently Asked Questions

In this program, you’ll earn the credentials to become an educational leader who seeks to create positive change.

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Next steps

Our graduate admissions counselors are here to answer your questions about the admissions process, our academic programs, and student support services.

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Meet us

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Admission information: Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership

Application deadlines

We accept applications on a rolling basis and review them continuously.

Application deadlineFall term startSpring term startSummer term start
RecommendedMay 1October 15March 15
FinalAugust 1December 15April 15
International applicantsJune 1October 15Not available
Students that apply by the recommended deadline are given preference for space in the program.

Criteria for admission include successful completion of a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, EDU 600 or equivalent research course, strong recommendations, documentation of excellent written communication skills, and clarity and strength of professional goals.

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

General requirements

  • Application: Online application
  • Application fee:
    • In-state, out-of-state, and Canadian applicants: Free to apply
    • International applicants: Submit US $50 fee to apply
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Students whose first language is not English may be required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo. Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information regarding test scores and requirements.

Additional requirements

  • Essay: A brief essay (500-750 words) which includes the applicant’s reason(s) for pursuing advanced graduate study; the proposed focus of the applicant’s program, including specific courses if known; and an explanation of how the proposed program fits the applicant’s personal and professional goals.
  • References: Names and contact information of three references who can speak to the applicant’s interest in pursuing graduate study.
  • Recommendation: One letter of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s knowledge of current scholarship, capacity to connect theory and practice in posing and solving educational problems, achievement of excellence in educational practice, and demonstrated capability and motivation to engage in advanced graduate study.

Transfer Policies

Previously completed graduate courses may be approved for transfer into a graduate program within the educational leadership program if credits for the courses were earned no more than five years prior to matriculation, with grades of B or better. A syllabus for each course submitted for transfer credit must be provided upon application. Credits proposed for transfer may not have been used to qualify for a previously earned degree.

For previous work completed through the University of Maine System (UMS), up to twelve credits may be accepted if the courses meet the requirements above and they are equivalent to core courses or elective courses in the relevant USM program of study. Up to six graduate credits completed at institutions outside of the University of Maine System may be accepted if the courses meet the requirements above and are equivalent to core courses or elective courses in the relevant USM program of study.

Transfer of more than twelve University of Maine System credits or six non-University of Maine System credits may be approved by the program coordinator and faculty. These credits may include a certificate of graduate study program courses and professional development in-service graduate courses. Requests for the transfer of credits taken more than five years prior to matriculation may also be evaluated and approved by the program coordinator and faculty.

International student instructions

View additional application requirements

English proficiency test scores

View test requirements

Where to send application materials

Get our mailing address and email address