Is becoming a school leader among your professional goals? Are you passionate about being an educator?

ECU’s master of school administration program in educational leadership is designed to prepare individuals to become school leaders. Program studies are aligned with the North Carolina School Executive (NCSE) standards and include strategic planning, problem solving, instructional leadership, managerial leadership, political analysis, organizational theory and development, and leadership skill application. You will also receive internship experience and have the option to pursue full- or part-time study.

With successful completion of the appropriate licensure exam, the MSA may lead to license in the areas of administration (North Carolina principal license 012, class P) and supervision (North Carolina curriculum instructional specialist level I license 113, class S).

ECU Advantage

For more than a century, East Carolina University has delivered the highest level of preparation to future educators. We understand the vital role they play in shaping the future of our state and nation. That’s why East Carolina produces more educators than any other school in the state.

That’s also the reason the ECU College of Education has taken steps to offer a variety of programs that will ensure the quality of educators graduating from ECU. On-campus preparation programs emphasize extensive clinical field experiences and technology integration. Distance education and alternative-licensure programs offer convenient ways for East Carolina to reach out and educate talented professionals looking to become the newest educators in North Carolina and beyond.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Heidi Puckett (202 Ragsdale Hall; 252-328-6444; pucketth14@ecu.edu)

The master of school administration degree (MSA) is designed to prepare individuals to become school leaders. Program studies include a significant service-learning component. The MSA encourages and supports students to serve as problem-solvers, communicators, innovators, collaborators, and change agents in their respective schools and school districts. A supportive school and district setting is essential for MSA students as they immerse themselves into these service learning experiences. Upon admission to the program a "MSA Letter of Agreement and Support" will be signed by the student, principal, and superintendent to solidify a partnership with the MSA program and to establish guidelines of agreement for the MSA student, the principal, and the superintendent.

At the end of the final semester, the student will have completed six service learning projects (SLP) and provided the written documentation of these projects via a webfolio. The department chair's verification of the completion of all degree requirements including six SLPs is necessary to meet North Carolina principal license (012, class P) and the North Carolina curriculum instructional specialist level 1 license (113, class S).

The MSA is designed to allow full-time or part-time study. Part-time students begin the program in the second term of summer and continue for six continuous semesters. Full-time students begin the program in the fall semester and continue for 3 more semesters.

Candidates for the MSA program should have an entry-level school license and a minimum of three years teaching/public school experience. For additional information concerning admission, contact the Department of Educational Leadership or view the departmental web site www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/leed/Admission.cfm.

The program consists of 42 s.h., including 27 s.h. of coursework and 15 s.h. of a year-long internship as follows:

Core - 27 s.h.:
  • LEED 6901 - Introduction to School Leadership
  • LEED 6902 - Strategic Leadership for 21st Century Schools
  • LEED 6903 - Micro-Political Leadership and Decision-Making within a Legal Context
  • LEED 6904 - External Development Leadership for Cultivating Partnerships
  • LEED 6905 - Managerial Leadership for Complex School Operations
  • LEED 6906 - Human Resource Leadership for Professional Growth
  • LEED 6907 - Leadership Skill Development
  • LEED 6908 - Instructional Leadership for Teaching and Learning
  • LEED 6909 - Cultural Leadership for Systemic School Improvement
Internships – 15 s.h.

(Choose one.)

    • LEED 6926 - Internship in Management and Leadership
    • LEED 6929 - Internship in Management, Leadership, and Supervision
    • LEED 6921 - Internship in Management
    • LEED 6922 - Internship in Leadership
    • LEED 6924 - Internship in Management and Leadership
    • LEED 6925 - Internship in Management, Leadership, and Supervision
For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

Careers With This Degree

Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

  • Educational Leadership and Administration, General
  • Education Administrators, Preschool and Child Care Cntr/Prgm
  • Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School
  • Education Administrators, Postsecondary
  • Education Administrators, All Other
  • Educational Leadership and Administration, General

Career Opportunities

ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

NC Tower

This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

  • Self-employed;
  • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
  • Work outside of North Carolina.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

Degree-specific internships

For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.