K-12 Leadership Program Overview

The Educational Leadership Program is committed to transforming students' passion for education with the professional and organizational skills necessary to be leaders in and of education who focus on student success.

Our program allows you to work collaboratively with professors and colleagues in real time, building educational leader networks.

The major goals of the program are to:

  • Deliver an approved leadership program and credential program.
  • Increase the effectiveness of K-12 leadership, thereby increasing student performance.
  • Provide professional service to area schools, school districts, practicing educational administrators, and to state & national associations.
  • Expand the research on the knowledge base of education, leadership, and the administration of educational programs.

Delivery Methods

The K-12 Leadership option offers two delivery methods for obtaining the same degree!


Individuals interested in earning their M.Ed. should enroll in the on-campus method. Courses include both face-to-face (synchronous) and online (asynchronous) teaching methods. Candidates enrolled in face-to-face courses meet in real time on campus in Fargo and/or through NDSU's teleconferencing system for those at a distance. Our class sessions are intended to create relationships with NDSU faculty members and other candidates in the program.

Leadership Academy

The Leadership Academies (LAs) provide teachers in school districts within North Dakota the opportunity to earn their degree together as a group. Each academy has a District Liaison who is actively involved in the design and delivery of the model, and district initiatives are incorporated into each course. The LAs uses a cohort model so all candidates start the academy at the same time and take the same courses in the same sequence. LA courses are face-to-face with NDSU faculty teaching in the district.

Career Paths

The principle purpose of the K-12 Leadership Program is to provide professional/academic education for individuals preparing for PK-12 building leadership and school district positions:

  • Teacher leadership
  • Elementary or secondary school principal
  • Superintendents


The School of Education’s advanced licensure programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). We are preparing for re-accreditation review by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) to occur in Spring 2022.


  • Deadline to Apply: April 1
  • Program Start: Autumn semester
  • Prerequisites/Pre-major Requirements: Undergraduate degree (3.0 GPA minimum)
  • Minimum Program Hours: 32
  • Coursework: Leadership, planning, and organizational behavior; educational law; curriculum, instruction, and learning theory; personnel, supervision, and staff development
  • Other requirements: Portfolio

View the M.Ed. (Elementary) Curriculum Sheet or M.Ed. (Secondary) Curriculum Sheet

North Dakota Credential Endorsement

Coursework is designed to help graduates meet credential requirements in North Dakota.  However, actual credential is a function of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.

Earning an academic/professional degree does not necessarily lead to state credential. People seeking credential must provide evidence of the required number of years of teaching at the level for which they are seeking credential. Students should consult with their adviser for advice about requirements for credential, or should communicate with the state official at the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.

Students should design their plans of study to meet any specific or unique credential requirements.

When all appropriate requirements have been completed, a student must initiate a request for credential to the appropriate state office and the Educational Leadership Program Coordinator.

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