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M.Ed. in Educational Leadership (World Campus)

To be considered for admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates. 

Prior to submitting an application for the program, please be aware of the following:

  • Applications to the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership with School Leader emphasis need to have a minimum of three years of school related experience by the time they complete the program. 

  • At this time, only Pennsylvania-certified educators are eligible to apply for the Graduate Certificate for Principalship and/or the School Leader emphasis of Master of Education in Educational Leadership with pathway to Pennsylvania Principal Certification. Students must have the capacity to complete a required, (calendar) year-long internship with a qualified mentor principal (who has been a Pennsylvania principal for at least three years).

  • A limited number applicants will be admitted to the School Leader emphasis without the pathway to Pennsylvania Principal Certification. These students will complete a modified one-semester internship.

  • Our Master of Education in Educational Leadership program with the Teacher Leader emphasis is open to educators from other states and countries. Please note that switching from one emphasis area to another is not permissible once the student has been accepted into a specific program emphasis.

The Graduate School at Penn State uses an online platform to begin the admission process, which includes a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

  1. Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of their academic history. 

  2. GPA A successful undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate record with a minimum GPA of 3.0

  3. Three references - You will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering names and email addresses of three references. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to each reference requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment for success in an online program.
    Ask for recommendations (completion of an online form and an attached recommendation letter) well in advance of the application deadline. Notify all recommenders that they must submit their recommendation in order for your application to be complete.
    Ask for letters from recommenders who can make a strong case for your commitment to success in an online program of graduate study. At least one of these recommenders should be your current school principal/supervisor. Remaining references should include individuals who have supervised you in an academic or professional setting, who can speak to your intellectual ability, communication and problem-solving skills, creativity, sensitivity to others, and educational leadership potential.

  4. Current Résumé or Curriculum Vitae - Upload your résumé to the online application.

  5. Statement of purpose - Write a brief statement of about 1000 words explaining your interest in the Penn State University Educational Leadership program, why you are interested in pursuing the Master of Education, and your academic and professional goals.

  6. Writing Sample - Select an article from a current education journal or peer reviewed journal, such as Education Policy/EPX (Sage), Educational Administration Quarterly (UCEA), International Journal of Educational Policy and Leadership (electronic journal), Educational Leadership (ASCD), or a similar option. Briefly summarize, in a maximum of three pages, the main points of the article and then critique the content from the vantage point of your experiences as an educator. Your critique can include agreement as well as disagreement with author's perspective. Include a complete citation for the article in your writing sample.

  7. International Applicants Only: English Proficiency - The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

Application Deadlines for M.Ed. in EDLDR (World Campus)
Semester of Admission Deadline
Summer 2024      April 1, 2024
Fall 2024 July 1, 2024
Spring 2025 November 1, 2024
Summer 2025 March 15, 2025
Fall 2025 July 1, 2025

If you are ready to proceed to the application but have NOT read the Graduate School requirements, please visit that website at

Applicants for admission to the Educational Leadership Program at Penn State must submit all application materials to the Graduate School at Penn State by the application deadline. The Graduate School confirms eligibility for admission of all applicants. The Educational Leadership Program will select and recommend applicants for offers of admission.

How to Apply

If you have read the Graduate School and program requirements and are ready to apply, you may proceed to the application at

Go to Graduate School application