Master's Degree: PK-12 Educational Leadership (non-licensure)

Leaders of PK-12 schools and districts face an extraordinary array of challenges and possibilities as they work to improve the lives of students. The PK-12 Educational Leadership program is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to create and sustain meaningful and positive educational change in diverse contexts. Seven required courses and four electives will deeply engage you in the fundamental, innovative practices and principles that are necessary for all transformative leaders while also giving you the freedom to tailor your coursework to your own needs and interests. A capstone project will allow you to apply and test your learning in a real-life setting. Throughout the program, close collaboration with professors and peers will expand your understanding of education beyond the boundaries of your own experiences, and extend the scope of your professional network to include school leaders from across the state and region.

Students who enroll in the program full-time (3 classes per semester) can expect to finish within 2 years. Students who enroll part-time (2 classes per semester) can expect to finish within 2.5 to 3 years, depending on their ability to take summer classes.

Admissions Criteria

The master’s degree in PK-12 educational leadership is designed for professionals with relevant field experience. In admitting new students, we look for applicants who can demonstrate a professional commitment to educating students across a variety of contexts, a commitment to issues of equity and social justice, and career goals congruent with the program. The admissions process for the master’s degree in PK-12 educational leadership starts with the completion of the UMass Amherst Graduate School online application.


The M.Ed in PK-12 Educational Leadership requires a total of 33 credits — 7 required courses and 4 electives.

Required Courses*

EDUC 726: Introduction to School Leadership
EDUC 618: Law for School Leaders
EDUC 770: Systems of Educator Evaluation and Development
EDUC 646: Leadership for Curriculum and Instruction**
EDUC 686: Making Sense of School Data
EDUC 638: Collaboration for Student Achievement
EDUC 698: Capstone

*Specific required courses may be subject to change
**Students who do not have extensive experience designing curricula may also need to take EDUC 665: Organization for Curriculum Development

Elective Courses

Students will have the opportunity to take advantage of the rich and diverse curricula offered at UMass-Amherst by choosing elective courses from a range of domains, including:
School Psychology
Supervision and Evaluation
Special Education
Content/Discipline Specific Courses
Public Policy

Contact Information

For questions about the program, please contact Rebecca Mazur.

Associated Faculty

Jeffrey Eiseman (Associate Professor); Kathryn McDermott (Professor); Sharon Rallis (Dwight W. Allen Distinguished Professor in Education Policy and Reform); Rebecca Woodland (Interim Chair, Associate Professor); Rebecca Mazur (Lecturer).