The Ed.S. in Educational Leadership consists of 36 semester hours of superintendent coursework for educators who already have their master's degree and Iowa Administrator License.

At the conclusion of the program, students will be responsible for the submission and presentation of an Entry Plan focused on their area of interest. The Ed.S. does not have a dissertation requirement.

Candidates obtain the Superintendent Endorsement upon completion of coursework requirements. Note: In order to obtain the Superintendent Endorsement (State of Iowa Endorsement 171) upon the completion of the coursework requirements, candidates must already have an Iowa Administrator License, and have at least 3 years of principal experience.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall semester – July 1 (April 15 for international students)
  • Spring semester – December 1 (October 1 for international students)
  • Summer session – April 30 (March 1 for international students)

**If you have missed a deadline, you may sign up for up to 6 semester hours of classes as a non-degree taking student.

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from a Regionally Accredited American College or University, or an equivalent degree from another country as determined by the Office of Admissions
  • Undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 or better on a four-point scale
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General test – verbal and quantitative
  • English Proficiency Requirements (international applicants)
  • Evidence of academic ability and professional promise
  • Iowa Administration License
  • *At least 3 years of serving as a K-12 building administrator

*If you are applying to a licensure program without having completed three years of teaching/administrative in-school experience, please contact the Program Coordinator directly to explain your circumstances.

Application Process

  1. Create an application account to begin the application process.
  2. Submit the online application to the Graduate College and pay the $60 application fee by credit card ($100 for international applicants).
  3. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive email instructions on how to establish your HawkID and password which you will use to access MyUI, our online service center for students and applicants.
  4. You will use your Admissions Profile on MyUI to upload required supplemental materials.

Required Supplemental Materials

  1. Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
  2. Official GRE scores from Educational Testing Service (the University’s institutional code is 6681)
  3. Official TOEFL scores may be required for some non-native speakers of English
  4. Answer each question in 500 words or less:
    a. Please describe why you want to be a principal or district leader. Why is the leadership program at the University of Iowa a good match for you?
    b. Graduate school will be a major time commitment. Please discuss specific strategies you plan to use to successfully balance your personal life, your professional life, and the demands of graduate school.
    c. Schools are diversifying across the state and the UI program aims to create leaders who focus on social justice. Please explain why social justice is important to you.
    d. The UI program will prepare you to be an instructional leader. What is the best way to prepare students to succeed and reach district and statewide expectations? What does this mean for students who may not be prepared academically?

  5. *Submit three letters from individuals who can speak to your promise as a leader. One letter should be from your current district superintendent. One letter should be from your current principal, or equivalent. If you are not currently employed as an educator, you may request letters from previous administrators who know your promise as a leader, and please explain your situation in your answer to Question 1a (see above).
  6. Review the Iowa Board of Education’s Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics. Please reflect on your own ethics as you answer the following questions:
    a. On which social media sites do you have an account (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, other)?
    b. Is there anything posted on any of those accounts that would cause you concern as a future administrator? If so, what?
    c. Have you ever been placed on a remediation or intensive assistance plan? If so, please explain.
    d. Is there anything else we should know about you?

* You will be asked to give the contact information of your recommenders, including their email, on your Admissions Profile. The recommender will then get an email with instructions on how to upload the recommendation letter and/or form.


Application questions can be directed to: Sue Cline in the Office of Student Services   319/335-5260,

We look forward to receiving your application!

Student Handbook

Educational Leadership Ed.S. and Superintendent Certification

Note: The Ed.S. program requires 60 semester hours past a bachelor's degree. At least 30 semester hours have to be taken at the University of Iowa after admission.

Course and Clinical Requirements

Course Requirements (26 s.h.)

  • EPLS:6315 Orientation to the Superintendency (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6317 Operational Leadership and Management (1 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6270 Policy & Politics of Leadership (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6319 Human Resources Leadership (2 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6321 Social Advocacy Summit (1 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6323 School Finance (2 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6325 Organizational & Educational Leadership (2 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6265 Standards-based Education and Accountability (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6329 Legislative Summit (1 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6405 Supt. Entry Plan (1 s.h.)
  • Elective 1 (3 s.h.)
  • Elective 2 (3 s.h.)
  • Elective 3 (2-3 s.h.)

Clinicals (10 s.h.)

  • EPLS:6417 Operational Leadership Clinical (1 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6415 Orientation to the Superintendency Clinical (2 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6419 Human Resources Leadership Clinical (2 s.h.)  *Iowa Evaluator Approval Training opportunities are available through the School Administrators of Iowa or local AEA.
  • EPLS:6425 Organizational & Educational Leadership Clinical (1 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6404 Central Administration Clinical (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6405 Superintendent Entry Plan (1 s.h.)

Students are required to spend 40 clock hours of effort for each semester hour of clinical courses. Documentation of these hours must be maintained and submitted at the end of the course. Documentation should include date, time spent, description of the activity, and reflections. Each activity must be identified with the corresponding Iowa School Leadership Standard. A syllabus will be provided to guide the clinical activity.

Comprehensive Examinations

EPLS:6405 Superintendent Entry Plan (1 s.h.) plan satisfies the Comprehensive Exam requirement.

Entry Plan and Portfolio Presentation

The culminating activity for the Ed.S. program is a presentation of the student’s first year entry plan and portfolio.

Candidates work as:
  • Superintendents in Iowa
  • Leaders in K-12 school districts,
  • Chief administrators in area education agencies and state and federal departments of education
Application Deadlines
  • Fall semester – July 1 (April 15 for international students)
  • Spring semester – December 1 (October 1 for international students)
  • Summer session – April 30 (March 1 for international students)
Application Questions

Sue Cline
Office of Student Services