Online Educational Leadership Graduate Programs & Schools

Online educational leadership programs offer professionals a flexible and convenient option for pursuing graduate-level education. Whether pursing a certificate, master’s degree, or doctorate degree in educational leadership and administration, graduate students can typically access classes, complete coursework, and engage in course discussions at times more convenient to them. Educational leadership online programs also enable students to enroll in schools throughout the country, and even the world, without having to move. Online education ultimately may present a wider and farther reaching variety of Online Educational Leadership Graduate Programs options. It may also enable students to network with people near and far. For many professionals pursuing a graduate-degree in educational leadership online, these may be valuable benefits.

What is Educational Leadership and Administration?

Educational leadership and administration is a field in which professionals with particular skillsets take action to improve education. They commonly focus on promoting student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and institutional success. They may also support students, teachers, and other professionals in the field in a variety of capacities. Many professionals in the field may create and enact policies, training, and other tools to ensure that teachers and other faculty are supported, satisfied, and able to teach and work effectively.

Professionals in the field of educational leadership and administration may work closely with governmental and non-governmental entities, faculty, students, parents, and other ancillary professionals to develop and maintain effective schools and school systems. They may work in areas such as K-12, community college, adult education, university, student affairs, or academic affairs administration and leadership; or they might provide administration and leadership in the educational branches of governmental agencies, non-profits, and NGOs or work in other areas critical to educational success.

Many professionals in the field of education pursue graduate-level certificates and degrees in educational leadership and administration to develop their capacities to enact and direct institutional and systemic policies, procedures, and reform. Graduate-level programs may prepare professionals to apply for licensure and pursue leadership roles in K-12, collegiate, and administrative organizations. Professionals in the field might work as principals, administrators (such as deans), counselors, content developers, or in a variety of other capacities.

Why Might Someone Pursue a Graduate Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration Online?

There are many reasons one might pursue online educational leadership graduate programs. Perhaps you work fulltime and prefer a flexible schedule that allows you to engage in class from home or the office. Or maybe you want to attend a school in another city, state, or country. You may even prefer the digital interfaces prevalent in an online program; perhaps communicating via video and having more time to think as you type out responses in group discussions serves your learning style. Another potentially attractive benefit of Online Educational Leadership Graduate Programs is their scope; often times, people from throughout the country and world may participate in a given program. This could allow for conversation and interaction across broader cultural contexts. For many students, these and other characteristics of online education may make it attractive.

Who Might Pursue a Graduate Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration Online?

Many professionals who pursue graduate-level education in educational leadership and administration already work in the field of education. They typically have bachelor’s degrees, and some might even have master’s degrees. They may also have teacher certifications and experience working as educators, or they might have backgrounds as supervisors, leaders, or in other roles in K-12, collegiate, or adult education. They may also have experience working in a school-based or central offices in areas such as administration, content design, or educational advocacy. In most cases, people who pursue an educational leadership degree online are passionate about education and care deeply about cultivating high-quality educational systems and opportunities.

What Educational Leadership and Administration Graduate Programs Are Available Online?

Certificate, master’s degree, and doctorate degree programs in educational leadership and administration are available online. At any of these program levels, students might specialize in areas such as educational policy, educational research, or student affairs and development.

Online Certificate Programs

Online educational leadership certificate programs may provide a wonderful option for students who want to direct their careers toward educational leadership but already have a master’s degree in another area. Online certificate programs commonly teach students the basics of educational leadership and administration and may prepare students to apply for licensure. Students typically earn their certificates through one year of online study.

The Online Master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration Online

There are two primary types of master’s degrees in educational leadership and administration that students might earn online: the Master of Science or the Master of Art. Depending on their program, they might study a breadth of educational leadership and administration subjects, or they might emphasize a specific area. Some examples of areas for emphasis include: the history, politics, and sociology of education; student learning and development; program curricula, delivery, and assessment; educational analysis and assessment; educational access and opportunity; and general leadership and administration.

In either type of Online Educational Leadership Graduate Programs, students might pursue their master’s degree over the course of one to two years of fulltime study, depending on course load and program specifics.

The Educational Leadership Doctorate Online

Online doctoral programs in educational leadership come in two primary types: the Doctorate of Education (EdD) and the Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD). EdD programs typically help students pursue work in schools and central offices as principals, deans, managers, and a variety of other leadership positions. Their curricula often emphasize practical application. Meanwhile, PhD programs typically help students pursue work as educators and researchers in colleges and universities. Their curricula often emphasize research and theory. The precise curricula and intention of EdD and PhD programs, however, vary from program to program, so be sure to research each individual program carefully to ensure it matches your needs and goals.

Most students pursue their online doctorate in educational leadership through three to six years of fulltime study, though again, this varies by program and student.

What Might I Study in An Online Educational Leadership and Administration Graduate Program?

Students in certificate, master’s degree, or doctorate degree programs in educational leadership and administration commonly study the same curricula as their on-campus counterparts—they simply do so through digital means.

In the case of most online programs, students take a collective of core and elective classes and conclude their programs—especially master’s or doctorate degree programs—by taking a comprehensive exam, writing and defending a thesis or dissertation, or completing an internship. They might also test for professional licensure.

Students in graduate programs in educational leadership and administration might study subjects and areas of the field such as:

  • Theories of leadership and leadership styles
  • Philosophies of teaching and learning
  • The sociology, politics, history, economics, and anthropology of education
  • Curriculum, instruction, and assessment
  • Pedagogy and epistemology
  • Using data, statistics, and analysis to affect change
  • Department, school, and district-level leadership
  • Diversity in the classroom and institution
  • Resource management
  • Literacy and learning (adolescent or adult)
  • Integrating technology in the classroom
  • Methods of educational research (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Legal and ethical aspects of leadership and administration

These are just some of the many subjects and areas students might study in their programs. The depth to which they’ll do so depends on whether they’re in a certificate, master’s degree, or doctorate degree program. It will also depend on their Online Educational Leadership Graduate Programs’ emphases, goals, and objectives.

In many cases, programs in educational leadership and administration design their credits, coursework, and internship requirements to meet the state requirements for students to obtain licensure. Therefore, in an online program—one that could be offered through a state or country other than the one in which you intend to work and live—you may want to ensure that the program helps you meet the requirements of your desired state. You can check state requirements by contacting the state’s Department of Education.

How Can I Find Online Educational Leadership Graduate Programs?

If you already know what type of graduate-level education you’re pursuing, you can use our search tool to narrow your search by program level. and browse program that offer certificates, master’s degrees, or doctorate degrees in educational leadership and administration. Alternatively, you can look through our full list below to view certificate, master’s degree, and doctorate degree programs in educational leadership and administration together. Once you’ve found Online Educational Leadership Graduate Programs you like, contact it directly to request additional information. We wish you luck on your journey!

  • Accredited online university.
  • Capella University offers doctoral programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.
  • Competency-based curriculum delivers both foundation knowledge and real-world skills, so that what you’re learning in your courses is immediately applicable to your career goals.
  • Northcentral University

  • Grand Canyon University

  • East Central University

  • Queens University of Charlotte

  • Purdue University Global

  • Messiah University

  • Concordia University Chicago

  • University of West Florida

  • Pennsylvania State University

  • Virginia Wesleyan University

  • Liberty University Online

  • Pepperdine University