M.Ed. student Mitch Lynch at USF

Classes start May 28!

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Advance your career with a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Leadership from the University of Sioux Falls! This program leads to K-12 principal licensure, which qualifies individuals to be a principal or lead in other administrative roles.

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Best Reasons to Earn Your M.Ed. in Educational Leadership at USF

Career Outcomes: Our graduates serve as principals, assistant principals, instructional coaches, curriculum directors, program directors, department heads, classroom teachers and more. Holding the K-12 principal certification guarantees a diverse perspective of the "behind the scenes" work that makes K-12 schools run. Regardless of position, having the insider experience of how decisions are made will make you a better educator.

Versatility: Whether you aspire to be a principal or pursue other building-level leadership positions, our program provides the comprehensive skills and knowledge to thrive in diverse educational leadership roles. Elevate your impact and transform education -- apply now to chart your course towards leadership success.

Flexibility: For added flexibility, the first summer of the program is 100% online! Starting Fall 2024, we will offer a "dual modality" experience for on-campus classes. Students will have the option to join synchronously via Zoom or in the classroom on campus -- expanding your opportunity to connect with individuals from across the region. This means you can complete the entire program without being on campus.

Christian University: Discover your graduate journey at USF, where faith intersects learning. As a private Christian university, our commitment to serving others resonates at every level. Join our vibrant community of graduate students, where we welcome educators of all faiths into a transformative degree experience. Embrace the calling -- choose USF for your graduate adventure!

Accreditation: The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the Fredrikson School of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership program is approved by the SD Department of Education.

Did you know USF is the only private university in the state that is CAEP Accredited?

Educational Leadership Certification: When you graduate from USF’s Master in Educational Leadership degree program, you will fulfill the South Dakota Department of Education requirements for K-12 principal certification. This program meets USF, state and National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) Building-Level Program standards.

Leadership Role: The M.Ed. in Educational Leadership prepares you to assume building-level leadership responsibilities, such as:

  • Collaborating with leadership teams
  • Building quality staff development
  • Ensuring effective instructional leadership
  • Mentoring others
  • Articulating and implementing a vision for excellent and safe schools

Higher Salary: Many school districts offer teachers with master’s degrees an increase in pay.

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

You’re eligible for USF’s Master of Education in Educational Leadership degree program if you meet the following criteria:

  • You already hold a valid teaching certificate
  • You have a 3.0 grade point average shown through prior degree
  • You have at least one year of teaching experience
  • You submit an application. Applications include a personal statement. Using your best writing skills, you will explain in 250-500 words your long-term education and career goals, stating any areas of specific interest and experience that may be relevant to your graduate program.

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Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Leadership Degree Program Overview

To earn your M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, you’ll complete a total of 33 credits.


Credit Hours


Summer Year 1   

EDU 521 Curriculum and Development and Design



EDU 531 Legal Foundations of Education



EDU 551 Professional, Student and Staff Development 



EDU 501 Professional and Ethical Leadership



Summer Year 1 or Fall Year 1   

EDU 585 Research Methods



Fall Year 1   

EDU 595 School Leader Internship (A)


On campus 1x per month

Spring Year 1   

EDU 596 School Leader Internship (B)


On campus 1x per month
Summer Year 2   

EDU 562 Diversity and Inclusion in Education



EDU 561 Management of School and Community Resources



EDU 566 Site-Based Fiscal Administration


On campus

Fall Year 2   
EDU 589 Critical Issues Research Seminar/Internship2On campus 2x per month
Spring Year 2   

EDU 589 Critical Issues Research Seminar/Internship 2


On campus 2x per month

Total Credits:



In the above chart, some classes marked as online are considered remote, meaning designated synchronous online class meeting times are expected, and some are considered asynchronous, meaning no designated meeting times. Remote components to classes have the benefit of regular virtual access to fellow graduate students, the instructor, and a community feel, and asynchronous components allow for great flexibility for personal and professional schedules. Please contact education.web@usiouxfalls.edu with specific course questions. All USF instructors are trained in online pedagogy.

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When can I start?

This program is designed to begin in the summer (late May) because this is when most pre-requisite courses are offered. Depending on exact dates and circumstances, the program can offer extra flexibility, so please contact USF to discuss the next starting opportunity. We are here to help!

Next Steps

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