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.

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

Core Choice (36 cr.)

The Core Choice program offers the most flexibility of all our graduate programs in Educational Leadership.  Students can take anywhere from 1-4 classes in a given term to work within their schedule and budget.  Coursework is offered in a diverse number of formats: online (8 week sessions), hybrid (including weekend), and campus-based instruction, so students can select the format that works best for them!  Candidates often select this option if they want to control the pace of their graduate work. For example, students who are receiving reimbursement from their school district may need to match the pacing of their program to their district’s reimbursement schedule (regarding credits covered per semester). The Core Choice option is also good for individuals who may need to take a certain semester off due to commitments such as coaching or activity advisor.  (The theme of this program is Choice – You select your pace and your course format!)

Fast-Track (36 cr.)

Our Fast-Track option allows students to earn the full Master’s degree with both Principal and Supervisor certifications (if eligible) in 14 months while working full-time.  This cohort-based program runs on a summer-to-summer time schedule.  Classes are offered on select weekends and evenings in both online and hybrid formats.  This program’s structure enables working professionals the flexibility of an intensive yet manageable course of study completed in an accelerated fashion.  Cohort members take three courses per semester. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and interested applicants should submit an Application by April 1st at the latest to begin in summer.

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

Fully Online (36 cr.)

The Fully Online program offers the Master’s degree in Educational Leadership to students who seek the convenience of distance learning.  All courses are fully online, which means you don’t have to commute to class.  You choose your own learning environment — whether it’s your couch, classroom, or the café down the block!  This two-year program has students take one course at a time, completing two 8-week classes per semester.  Students follow a prescribed set of classes in a cohort model that begins in either the fall or spring terms. The fully online program is a good option for out-of-state students.

Off-Site (36 cr.)

Our Off-Site program is for students who work in or near districts that have chosen to partner with Montclair State University and wish to be part of the Montclair Experience.  Courses for the Master’s in Educational Leadership are offered in school districts across various regions of the State and bring our faculty expertise along with the expertise of local district and school leaders directly to a school in your district.  If you are interested in learning more details about having an offsite location hosted in your school district, please click on the link below.

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), and an Educational Assessment certificate.

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

“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 Office of Graduate Admissions 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.
  • Two Short Answer Questions (250-350 Words each). The prompts are:
    • Describe a time when you demonstrated leadership in your school/district OR describe a challenge you have faced that has influenced your leadership approach.
    • The Ed. Leadership Department at Montclair State University aims to prepare culturally responsive and anti-racist leaders who create more equitable schools and a more just society. Describe some ways you could contribute to supporting equity and diversity in your school/district.
  • Resume: Required.
  • Teacher Certification: One.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two.
  • Standardized Test Scores: Not required.
  • 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:
Office of Graduate Admissions
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