Educational Leadership | Online

Program Type
Master’s Program (Online)
Master of Science in Education (MSEd)
Mode of Study
Accelerated Online

Earn your MSEd in as few as 14 months

Aligned to the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL), our MSEd program offers a rigorous in-depth study of proven leadership skills and practices. Throughout the program, you will learn to apply research-based instructional techniques, establish clear learning standards and multiple forms of assessment, delve into the holistic role of teaching, and reflect on current best practices, learning strategies, and growth mindsets in your chosen field of education.

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All students receive our e-tuition rate. This accelerated online program does not charge Mandatory Fees. See cost details

Credit hours

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

Financial aid

Over 150 graduate assistantships available with stipend & tuition assistance, plus scholarship, fellowship & research opportunities. Explore aid


6 entry terms per year. No GRE required. View application process & deadlines

Program highlights

  • Earn your degree in as few as 14 months with our accelerated online program.
  • Begin as soon as you’re ready: We offer 6 start dates throughout the year.
  • Save money with affordable tuition: Online students receive our e-tuition rate.
  • Gain the credentials to serve in expanded PK-12 leadership roles, including school principal.
  • Enhance your leadership skills through fieldwork and research with support from an engaged faculty member and current K-12 principal.
  • Join a network of outstanding alumni who have been named Assistant Principal of the Year, Principal of the Year, and Superintendent of the Year.
  • Learn from EdD and PhD faculty who have experience as practicing K-12 teachers and administrators.
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Admission information: Educational Leadership (MSEd) | Online

The information below is for our fully online MSEd in Educational Leadership. If you are interested in the blended program, which includes a mix of online and in-person courses, please review the Educational Leadership (Blended) Admission Information.

Application deadlines & program start dates

Choose from 6 start dates per year.

SessionApplication deadlineProgram start date
Summer 2024 term: Session 1April 24, 2024May 13, 2024
Summer 2024 term: Session 2June 12, 2024July 1, 2024
Fall 2024 term: Session 1August 15, 2024September 3, 2024
Fall 2024 term: Session 2October 9, 2024October 28, 2024
Spring 2025 term: Session 1January 2, 2025January 21, 2025
Spring 2025 term: Session 2March 5, 2025March 24, 2025
Summer 2025 term: Session 1April 30, 2025May 19, 2025
Summer 2025 term: Session 2June 18, 2025July 1, 2025

Applicant must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, and have earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in a baccalaureate degree program. Applicants who do not have a 2.5 overall GPA must enclose a letter asking for special consideration, in which they provide evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who fail to meet eligibility requirements may be automatically denied.

In addition to the general requirements of the program, applicants to the educational leadership program should provide evidence of strong overall undergraduate performance and, in the administrative strand, are expected to have two years of teaching experience with the expectation of completing the third year of teaching during USM graduate study. The Maine Department of Education requires three years of teaching experience for administrator certification.

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: Type a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study. This should be a well-written, thoughtful personal statement.
  • 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.
  • Proof of teacher certification: See details below.

About proof of teacher certification

  • The evidence should be a copy of your teacher certification from the state in which you are certified. Teacher certification must be at the level of provisional or professional, and not at the level of conditional certification.
  • This program requires that students are certified teachers at the time of admission and for the duration of the program.
  • Students seeking an exemption to this requirement must write a request for a waiver that includes both an explanation and justification for the request.
  • Submit your proof of teacher certification or request for a waiver along with your application materials to

Transfer credit

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

Learn more about our online Educational Leadership MSEd

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In-depth fieldwork

Your capstone experience includes a three-semester internship. Through on-site fieldwork under the guidance of a school principal, you’ll be immersed in the daily functions of a school administrator. Along with additional research and leadership projects, you will complete the required 240 fieldwork hours for the state of Maine. Other states may require additional hours for certification.

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Faculty expertise

Our faculty have extensive leadership experience in the field. They also regularly present at regional and national conferences, and publish their research findings in books and journal articles.

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Graduate student support

Our Office of Graduate Studies connects you with opportunities for professional development, scholarships, and graduate assistantships. They also foster our graduate student community through Peer Mentorship and the Graduate Student Board.

Browse resources
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Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships offer financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid. We encourage students in graduate degree programs to apply for scholarship opportunities.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Our graduates are prepared to assess school climate and culture and develop positive organizational environments.

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Connect with us

Our monthly Graduate Information Sessions are an excellent way to learn more about the benefits of our program, as well as our admissions and financial process.

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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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