Educational Leadership

Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership

The Post-Master's Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership is designed to meet the needs of practicing educators, including teachers, principals, curriculum directors, and superintendents, who are interested in pursuing advanced academic work in educational change and leadership. The CAS requires thirty (30) credit hours of graduate coursework beyond the master's degree and a three- to nine-credit capstone experience. Students engage in careful reading of research and scholarship, oral and written presentations, and applied projects. CAS students design their own plan of study in consultation with their CAS advisor. As a result of completing this program, students will have demonstrated: self-assessment and reflective practice tools, skills, and habits of mind; research design and methodological decision-making skills; advanced oral and written communication skills; knowledge of current scholarship in educational change and leadership; and capacity for connecting theory and practice in posing and solving educational problems.

Program Requirements (30 credits)

Self-designed Concentration (21-27 credits)

Graduate coursework may be taken in any existing graduate program within the School of Education and Human Development or USM's Muskie School of Public Service, School of Business, and College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Science or from other institutions, upon approval of the faculty advisor.

Capstone Project (3-9 credits)
     Two capstone options are available:
          1. One of the following:
               EDU 685 Internship in School Administration
               EDU 686 Internship in Special Education Administration
               EDU 687 Internship in Superintendency
               EDU 688 Internship in Curriculum Administration
          2. Or EDU 665 CAS Directed Study

Applicant Requirements

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.

Application Procedures and Required Materials

Application Deadline:

Rolling with priority deadlines. May 1 for fall matriculation, October 15 for spring matriculation, and March 15 for summer matriculation.

Applicants are required to provide the following materials: 

  • Application: Online Application
  • Application fee: Waived for all applicants
  • 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.
    • International College transcripts: In addition to an official copy of the transcript, an official evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency is required
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • 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.
  • TOEFL or IELTS: Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores.

Where to send transcripts and application materials

Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:

Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412

Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to edocs@maine.edu. Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to edocs@maine.edu.

For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation

International Applicants

In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:

  • College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
  • Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
  • International students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

English Proficiency Test Scores

Official English proficiency examination scores are required from international applicants and/or applicants whose primary language is not English, unless the applicant has received a degree from an English-speaking institution. The University of Southern Maine accepts the following score reports sent directly from the testing agency.  TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for a graduate program.

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 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.