Master of Education (Ed.M.) in Educational Leadership

Department of Educational Leadership and Sport Management

This is a 35-credit, non-thesis degree program designed for those preparing for leadership positions in K-12 schools or other educational institutions. While it is not required that students in this program be practicing teachers or aspiring K-12 administrators, it is important to note that over half of the courses focus on preparing professional educators for administrative leadership positions in K-12 schools.

Program Requirements


The Ed.M. program requires successful completion of graded coursework and a pass/fail comprehensive exam. Coursework is distributed across three areas: foundations, research and leadership. A typical program of study looks like this:

  • ED_PSYCH 505: Research Methods
  • ED_AD 503: Values and Ethics in Education
  • ED_AD 507: Social Foundations of Education
  • ED_AD 509: Leading School Improvement*
  • ED_AD 516: Instructional and Curricular Leadership*
  • ED_AD 522: Race and Representation in Education
  • ED_AD 580: School Organization and Administration
  • ED_AD 583: Community and Communications*
  • ED_AD 585: Financial Management in Education*
  • ED_AD 588: The Law and Education*
  • ED_AD 589: Leadership Development Seminar*
  • ED_AD 702: Master’s Exam

*Indicates courses required for the Administrator Certificate

Master’s Exam (ED_AD 702):

This is a take-home exam based on a case study and students are evaluated on their ability to synthesize their learnings in coursework. The exam is completed over four weeks and asks students to write a response that shows the multiple leadership lenses through which issues identified in the case study would be addressed. The evaluation of the exam (pass/fail).

Alignment with Certification Programs

The Ed.M. program is closely aligned with the Administrator Certificate programs. All required graded courses for the certificate can be applied to the Ed.M. program of study. Combining the Ed.M. degree with the Administrator Certificate increases the total required credits from 35 to 41. Course sequences are designed to permit students to complete both the degree and certificate in approximately three years.

Application and admissions

Applications for the Ed.M. program as well as the combined Ed.M. plus Administrator Certificate are revised and available in January of each year. Please contact our Academic Coordinator, Jennifer Gallagher, at or 360-546-9075 to request an application.

Both the Ed.M. program and the Ed.M. plus Administrator Certificate programs admit students to begin in either summer (May) or fall (August).

  • Summer applicants: submit applications by March 1, but no later than April 1. Late applications will be accepted on a space available basis through April 15.
  • Fall applicants: submit applications by June 1, but no later than July 1. Late applications will be accepted on a space available basis through August 1

NOTE: Degree and certification programs in Educational Leadership do not accept state of Washington tuition waivers. This includes the following graduate programs: Ed.M., M.A., Ed.D., and Ph.D., as well as these certification programs: principal, program administrator, and superintendent.