Sep 26, 2023  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Educational Leadership, M.Ed.

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Priority Admission Application Deadlines

This program is offered partially online.


  • K-12 Public School Leadership
  • Non-Public Or Charter School Leadership
  • Curriculum Leadership

Contact Information

College: Education
Department: Leadership, Policy and Lifelong Learning

Contact Information:

USF offers one program, with three different concentrations, united across three campuses. Our program is strengthened through diversity of the overall body: faculty, students, partners, and communities. We are committed to offering holistic and personalized educational opportunities to support learners’ preparedness to enact leadership collaboratively toward equitable and excellent education and educational system and educational policy. The M.Ed. in Educational Leadership offers students an opportunity to pursue a concentration in one of three areas: K-12 Public School Leadership, Non-Public or Charter School Leadership, and Curriculum Leadership. Each concentration has a unique focus in Educational Leadership; students are encouraged to consider their career goals to determine the appropriate concentration.

•    K-12 Public School Leadership Concentration: Effective school leaders must be focused instructional leaders who are able to lead in diverse school settings. Successful completion of the concentration fulfills degree and core curriculum requirements for Florida certification in Level I K-12 Educational Leadership – Administrative Class.

•    Non-Public or Charter School Leadership Concentration: The face of education is changing nationwide and many private, charter, alternative, or independent schools are emerging. This concentration is designed for educational leadership positions in non-public K-12 settings that do not require Florida administrator certification. The program emphasizes leadership elements related to instruction, decision-making processes, constituent relationships, and fiscal and facility management. This concentration does not satisfy all requirements for administrator certification.

•    Curriculum Leadership Concentration: Graduates of this concentration bring leadership skills to curriculum focused roles in schools, district offices, and education-related organizations. The concentration is designed to teach and assess the knowledge, skills and dispositions of effective leadership in curriculum, instruction, and professional development for K-12 teachers or other educators. This concentration does not satisfy all requirements for administrator certification.

Students in the program engage research in order to develop decision-making strategies, engage and inform stakeholders, sustain motivation for change, and build academic improvement opportunities for all children. Program students are prepared through collaborative inquiry, culturally relevant pedagogy, and applied leadership opportunities. Accordingly, the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership prepares schools leaders to perform their designated tasks in an effective, equitable and ethical manner aligned to the Florida Principal Leadership Standards (FPLS) for K-12 schools.

Accredited by National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education/Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (NCATE/CAEP); and the Florida Department of Education.

Admission Information

Admission may occur in the fall, spring, or summer semester. Admission is based on a holistic evaluation of each applicant’s demonstrated academic potential to complete all degree requirements successfully. Success in the M.Ed. program requires a commitment to utilizing rigorous inquiry, developing strong analytical and writing skills, and demonstrating a commitment to purposeful inclusive practices that lead to learning for all students. The program faculty will consider each applicant within the context defined by her or his personal and professional qualifications.

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • Professional Resume
  • Letter of Intent outlining experience and goals for the degree (2-3 pages).  For applicants to the Non-Public or Charater School Leadership Concentration, in the letter, individuals should indicate that they are seeking an educational leadership position in a private, non-public, charter, or other school setting that does not require Florida State Certification.
  • Three letters of professional recommendation from persons knowledgeable about the applicant’s academic and professional competence, addressing the applicant’s instructional expertise and leadership potential. At least one of the three (3) recommendations must be from the applicant’s current or recent direct supervisor.
  • Applicants to the K-12 Public School Leadership Concentration may also be required to submit:
    • A State of Florida Level I Educational Leadership Certification (a valid Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate)
    • Two years of full-time teaching experience
    • Documentation of successful demonstration of the core standards for effective educators outlined in the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices (FEAPs) and a documented track record of achieving student gains. Candidates not employed by a Florida public school district may provide equivalent documentation of two years of effective instruction with a record of learning gains.
    • Proof of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) training (e.g. ESOL endorsement; completion of ESOL certification exam plus 120 hours of ESOL district in‐service training; or, completion TSL 5085; ESOL 1 or equivalent.) Note: in consultation with the program coordinator, students without this training may meet the training while in program by enrolling in a USF ESOL Course.
  • Applicants to the Curriculum Leadership Concentration may also be required to submit:
    • Satisfactory two (2) years of Post-Bachelor’s Teaching or Satisfactory Curriculum-related Experience (K-12preferred) with either a Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate or a Letter of Verification from the Employing Institution.

International Students

International students should check with International Services ( for the latest information on requirements related to State testing, internship and practica.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours: 30 Credit hours

  • Core Requirements - 18 Credit Hours

  • Concentration/Electives - 12 Credit Hours

Concentration (12 Credit Hours)

Students choose one of the following three (3) concentrations:

K-12 Public School Leadership Concentration (12 Credit Hours)

Non-Public or Charter School Leadership Concentration (12 Credit Hours)

Comprehensive Exam

A comprehensive electronic portfolio is submitted for evaluation in lieu of a comprehensive examination.

Graduation Requirement

The Florida Educational Leadership Exam (FELE) must be passed prior to graduation. Official FELE score report submission required.


Please be advised that program and/or course requirements are subject to change, per state legislative mandates, Florida State Department of Education program approval standards, and accreditation criteria.

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