College of Education

About Us Admissions & Academics Research & Engagement Departments & Faculty Student Resources

Principal & Superintendent Endorsements and Degrees

Our Educational Administration and Leadership (EAL) programs prepare outstanding social justice leaders who think creatively, engage broadly, and act boldly in leading complex, equitable organizations to ensure all students experience deep learning within a caring and just community.

What makes our programs unique?

  • Cohort model
  • Rigorous and relevant coursework and internship
  • Strong record for preparing administrators for K-12 schools and districts
  • Small programs and dedicated faculty with expertise across the field of educational leadership
  • Innovative hybrid model based on best practices in virtual and in-person learning
  • Geared toward working professionals; 95% of our students work full-time in K-12 public, charter, and private schools in Illinois
  • 99% pass rate on ISBE exams 195 and 196 from 2016-2021

Principal Preparation: Endorsement and EdM or EdD

(Hybrid: Online and On-campus)

Address pressing educational inequities and be a part of a state-wide community of principals and scholar practitioners. Create an administrator pipeline within your district and use Cooperating Professional Waivers to advance your career. Program length is two years: four hybrid semesters and one online summer term to earn an endorsement and a master's degree. Additional coursework is required for a doctoral degree.

Typical Plan of Study

Six hybrid courses, two online courses, and a year-long internship for the master's degree and endorsement, additional coursework required for a doctorate.

  • Hybrid courses meet the first and last Saturday of the semester on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, and once a week online in the evenings during the rest of the semester.
  • Online courses generally meet once a week during the semester. Online sessions are synchronous.
  • Internship involves remote and in-person meetings with your university supervisor and work done at your own school site (if your principal meets ISBE requirements to serve as a mentor; if not, your supervisor will work with you to find an appropriate site).

**Applications due by April 1.

Master of Education
Doctor of Education

Superintendent Preparation: Endorsement and EdD

(On-campus or Off-campus/Chicago-area)

Recognize and emphasize the essential role of effective leadership in school reform initiatives, and ensure that policies are equitable and facilitate every student's achievement. Create and disseminate knowledge for leadership development, education policy, and school improvement. Succeed in leadership, administrative, and supervisory positions in elementary and secondary schools and school districts.

Typical Plan of Study

  • Courses are held in Des Plaines or Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.
  • Earn your superintendent endorsement, including a year-long internship, in three years (prior to completing an EdD).
  • Earn your EdD in approximately five total years.
  • Internship involves remote and in-person meetings with your university supervisor and work done in your own district.
  • 64-credit program, including 36 credits for endorsement. Remaining 28 credits will be entirely online.

**Applications due by April 1.

Doctor of Education
Please email the Graduate Student Services Office with any Educational Leadership and Administration program questions.