Educational Leadership at Montclair State University

Educational Leadership (MA)

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Educational Leadership (MA)

The Educational Leadership program at Montclair State University is committed to preparing excellent and dedicated school leaders for the state of New Jersey. This practice-driven program will guide aspiring leaders to develop principles of moral leadership and cultivate a democratic vision for schools and learning. With both a strong theoretical foundation and a practical structure framed around the principles of adult learning theory, the program will provide students with an excellent academic background and professional preparation to become accomplished school leaders. The program integrates classroom-based studies with extensive and intensive fieldwork. It guides students to develop their own practical wisdom and to relate that wisdom to the scholarship of educational leadership.

Montclair State ELAD Program Named No. 1 in New Jersey by US News and World Report

Graduate students have several options for format, time, duration and place in order to complete the specific requirements for the MA in Educational Leadership.

Our fast track option allows students to earn the full master’s degree with both principal and supervisor certifications in 14 months while working full-time. Each cohort runs on a summer-to-summer time schedule.

Classes are offered on select weekends and evenings in both online and hybrid formats. The program’s structure enables working professionals the flexibility of an intensive yet manageable course of study in an accelerated fashion.

Individuals interested in a more traditional pace of study may pursue the master’s degree through the Core Choice option, where they can select and schedule their courses each semester from a variety of formats: weekend, online, face2face and hybrid. Students choose their courses, schedules and formats in the way that works best for them each semester as they work toward the completion of the master’s degree.

Students who live a distance from our campus and wish to be part of the Montclair experience can take advantage of our off-site opportunities for the master’s degree and/or certifications. These courses are offered in the various regions of the state and bring our faculty expertise and student choice of formats directly to a school district.

The fully online program offers the masters degree to students who seek the flexibility of distance learning. All 36 credits of the master’s degree are offered in 7.5 week sessions that are fully online. Students will work in cohorts and follow a prescribed sequence of coursework.

You must have three years of teaching or educational services experience to earn the Supervisor certification from the state of NJ and five years of teaching or educational services experience to earn the Principal certification from the state of NJ, but you can apply to the MA Educational Leadership program with less experience. If you work in a private school (and don’t have experience in a public school setting), you can pursue this program as a degree only student.

Along with the Educational Leadership (MA) degree, the department also offers the following options for graduate study: Educational Leadership (MA – Online), Educational Leadership (MA – Fast Track)Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education, and an Educational Assessment certificate.

Hear from current students and alumni on their experiences in the Educational Leadership (MA) program at Montclair State:

“The MA Educational Leadership FTO program helped me to be a competent school leader. The program exposed me to skilled professionals who offered their expertise, knowledge and experience to aspiring school leaders. The program was extremely relevant to the current status of school leadership including a shared vision, data-driven instruction, coaching and supporting teachers and understanding the ins and outs of school budgets. Not only did the program assist in school-related matters, but it also dealt heavily with overall leadership competencies that can be adapted in any field. Due to the experiences in the program, I was able to become a Vice Principal within a year of completing the program.”
Jonathan Olavarria – Educational Leadership, Fast Track Option Alumni

Please refer to our programs of study page for a comprehensive list of all of the graduate programs offered within the university.

Admission Requirements

The Graduate School requires the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible to apply for a graduate program. Applicants with non-U.S. degrees, please visit the International Applicants page to review the U.S. degree equivalency information.

Application Checklist

In order to make applying for graduate school as seamless as possible for you, we have
created an application checklist. This checklist can be a reference point for you during the
application process to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the steps
needed to apply, as well as all corresponding supplemental materials for your specific
program of interest.

  • Application Deadline: Rolling Admission.
  • Submit Online Application: Please create your online account and submit your application by following the general application instructions and pay (or waive) the non-refundable $60 application fee. Once this step has been completed, the online portal will allow you to upload your supplemental materials.

The following is a list of the supplemental materials that will accompany your application for the Educational Leadership (MA) program:

  • Transcript: One from each college attended.
  • Essays/Personal Statement: In one integrated essay, thoughtfully discuss each of the areas identified below:
    • Why you are interested in the profession/specialization in which you want to pursue graduate work and, if applicable, the particular concentration within that profession;
    • Your knowledge of issues and trends in this profession or field of specialization;
    • What areas and topics you hope to study in depth and why;
    • Any related professional or personal experiences you have had, including opportunities to collaborate with other professionals, and how these experiences make you particularly well-suited for the profession or for your intended specialization;
    • Potential challenges and opportunities associated with diversity you think are relevant to the profession or specialization you are pursuing. Be sure to explain what you mean by “diversity” (related, for example, to race, gender, age, sexual orientation, language, dis/ability) and how it may pose challenges or present opportunities.
  • Resume: Required.
  • Teacher Certification: One.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two
  • Standardized Test Scores: GRE or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) (see test waiver policies).
  • Applicants with non-U.S. degrees, please visit the International Applicants page to review the US degree equivalency information.

Complete 36 semester hours. For more information, please visit the Educational Leadership (MA) program listing in the University Catalog.


If you have any general questions regarding the application process and requirements, please email or call us:
The Graduate School
Telephone: 973-655-5147
Fax: 973-655-7869

If you have specific inquiries regarding your program of interest, please contact the Educational Leadership (MA) Program Coordinator:

*During the summer months, there will be a rotating department chair available to answer your inquiry. To find the updated summer chair for this program.*

Program Coordinator: Dr. Carlos McCray
Office: University Hall 2117
Telephone: 973-655-7262