Welcome to The University of Iowa's Educational Leadership Masters of Educational Leadership Program and Principal Endorsement program. Our MA degree in Educational Leadership is offered with or without licensure. The Educational Leadership faculty and students come from a variety of backgrounds and work experiences. The educational leadership program is committed to preparing educators to be effective school leaders. This handbook is intended to serve as an introduction, a guide, and a resource for all students in our graduate programs.

M.A. in Educational Leadership Program (With Licensure)

This is a master’s program consisting of 36 semester hours (s.h.): 24 s.h. of academic coursework and 12 s.h. of clinical coursework.  Upon completion of this degree, students will have completed the requirements to earn a master’s degree from the University of Iowa and to obtain Iowa Endorsement #189 (PreK-12 Principal and PreK-12 Supervisor of Special Education).  In order to obtain the Iowa Endorsement 189, the individual must have at least 3 years of teaching at the PreK-12 level.

The holder of this endorsement (#189) is authorized to serve as a principal of programs serving children from birth through grade twelve, a supervisor to instructional special education programs with children from birth to the age of 21, and a supervisor of support for special education programs for children from birth to the age of 21. The MA with principal licensure program requires a minimum of 36 s.h. of graduate credit.

A Note about Out of State Teaching Licenses:
Graduates from institutions in other states who are seeking Iowa licensure must meet the requirements for the standard teaching license in addition to the 3 years teaching experience requirements. It is the responsibility of the individual candidate to apply for an Iowa teaching license from the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners before the University of Iowa can recommend you for a principal license.

M.A. in Educational Leadership (Without Licensure)

This is a master’s degree program consisting of 36 semester hours (s.h.): 24 s.h. of leadership academic coursework and 12 s.h. of elective coursework to be selected in consultation with the student’s advisor.  This degree does not lead to administrative or leadership licensure.

The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership prepares individuals interested in leadership positions that do not require licensure or endorsements, such as governmental agencies or non-profit organizations.

Professional and Ethical Expectations and Behavior

All students in the Educational Leadership Program are expected to comply with the highest professional and ethical standards in all of their activities, including their classes and research, as advisees, when interacting with peers, and as graduate assistants. Students should honor commitments, keep confidences, make and keep appointments, fulfill assignments in a timely manner, avoid plagiarism, conduct themselves in accordance with all ethical standards in research, and be honest in their interactions with faculty and students.

Examples of misconduct include, but are not limited to, cheating on examinations, signing another person’s name on a form, misrepresenting the truth about oneself or others, submitting the same paper for two or more classes, and submitting another student’s paper as one’s own. Students are expected to behave ethically in and out of the classroom. Students should be familiar with appropriate ethical standards that help define their professionalism.

When preparing papers and reports, students are responsible for following the style manual recommended by the instructor (typically APA). Not knowing how to give credit and cite sources is not an acceptable reason for plagiarism or failure of attribution. Plagiarism and other misconduct are viewed seriously by the faculty and can result in disciplinary action by the Department, College, and University.

Iowa Standards for School Leaders (ISSL)

All coursework (academic and clinical) in the MA/Principal Licensure Program is based upon, and aligned with, the Iowa Standards for School Leaders (ISSL). There are six standards contained in the Code of Iowa that guide school leader preparation programs, as well as the evaluation of practicing school administrators:

  1. An educational leader promotes the success of all students by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the school community. (Shared Vision)
  2. An educational leader promotes the success of all students by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and staff professional development. (Culture of Learning)
  3. An educational leader promotes the success of all students by ensuring management of the organization, operations, and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment. (Management)
  4. An educational leader promotes the success of all students by collaborating with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs and mobilizing community resources. (Family and Community)
  5. An educational leader promotes the success of all students by acting with integrity, fairness and in an ethical manner. (Ethics)
  6. An educational leader promotes the success of all students by understanding the profile of the community and responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context. (Societal Context)

A link to the ISSL standards with supporting criteria can be found on the Iowa Department of Education’s webpage:

Academic Progress

We follow closely the Graduate College policies regarding grades and progress toward degree. As such, students should be aware that any grade below a “C-” is considered a failing grade and will not count toward your degree. Students should also be mindful of the threshold for academic probation status. These and other academic policies are detailed in the Graduate College Manual.

More information about residency, updating old credits, and registration requirements can be found on the Graduate College website.

Academic Advising

All Educational Leadership students will be assigned to a faculty academic advisor who will work with the student in developing a program of study, authorize the student to register each semester, share important communications from the College and the University with the student, and respond to student questions regarding the program. The advisor assignment can be changed at the request of the student.

Forms and Worksheets

Please contact the department office if you have questions.