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Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Educational Leadership

About the Program | Academic Themes | Course Sequence

Admissions | Program Requirements | Graduation Requirements

Forms | Advisors


Applications Accepted for Until
Nov. 1st for Spring 2016
June 1st, for Fall 2016
(Note: there is no summer admission)

 About the Program

The Educational Leadership & Policy Studies Program (ELPS) strives to be among the nation's premier departments of graduate study for the administration and management of educational organizations. And as such, faculty and staff prepare educational leaders who will develop innovative, efficacious, and equitable educational policy solutions through collaborative research activities. In addition, the ELPS program faculty and staff continuously maintain - and pursue - mutually beneficial school, district, legislative, and corporate partnerships to improve educational environments for all students. Accordingly, ELPS program prides itself on the multiple forms of diversity embraced and respected by our students, faculty, and community including multiple perspectives on age, culture, ethnicity, exceptionality, geographic origin, and professional experience.

Important: The Master’s Program Coordinator does not recommend starting classes as a non-degree seeking student for various reasons. Our course sequence is the result of careful deliberation on foundational and applied knowledge and tasks. They are designed to build on each other. You would begin taking classes with no orientation to the program. Students receive an orientation to the program requirements, licensing procedures, academic and writing expectations, Canvas, and program personnel in August. Additionally, it is more likely that students who begin out of sequence may find that they would have to wait a semester or two to take the last class, as most classes are only offered once a year (at this point).

Students desiring attendance at another USF institution must apply directly to those institutions.


Academic Themes and Curriculum Specifications


The Master of Educational Leadership (M.Ed.) degree consists of a minimum of thirty (30) credits of coursework beyond the Bachelors degree. Students in the program engage in research in order to develop socially just decision-making strategies, engage and inform stakeholders, sustain motivation for change, and build academic improvement opportunities for all children. Through collaborative inquiry, culturally relevant pedagogy, leadership opportunities, and public deliberation, students address historical and perennial issues confounding public education. Accordingly, the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership prepares schools leaders to perform their designated tasks in an effective, equitable and ethical manner aligned to the Florida Principal Leadership Standards (FPLS) for K-12 schools. Successful completion of coursework and degree requirements fulfills core curriculum requirements for state of Florida level I Educational Leader hip certification.


Course Sequence - Note: courses are subject to change based on enrollment

Year 1

Foundations of Curriculum & Instruction

Educational Leadership


Principles of Administration

School Law

Administrative Analysis & Change

Culturally Relevant Leadership

Data Decision Making

Year 2

Practicum I

School Curriculum Improvement

Practicum II

Educational Leadership: Building Capacity



*ESOL requirement: waived with documentation of completion of a three (3) credit hour course in ESOL; ESOL endorsement; or completion of 120 hours of ESOL district in-service training plus ESOL certification exam

Courses are offered either on Saturdays or week days evenings. Classes are populated on a first come, first served basis.

Students should expect to be involved in practicum activities throughout the second half of the program.

Courses taken at other Universities

The USF Graduate Student Catalog states that “Students may, with the approval of their graduate degree program, transfer credits from any regionally accredited institution into their graduate degree program, as long as the majority of the credits are earned at the institution granting the degree.” And, the language continues:

 “Students taking courses at USF System Institutions other than their home USF institution should seek the approval of their graduate program director prior to taking the courses to ensure that the courses are eligible for transfer.”

For Further information please review the USF Graduate Student Catalog





Admission to the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership program occurs in the Fall and Spring. Admission is based on a holistic evaluation of each applicants’ demonstrated academic potential to complete all degree requirements successfully. Success in the M.Ed. program requires a commitment to utilizing rigorous inquiry, developing strong analytical and writing skills, and demonstrating a commitment to purposeful inclusive practices that lead to learning for all students. The program faculty will consider each applicant within the content defined by his or her personal and professional qualifications.

Preferred applicants must:

  • Have a minimum 2 years of post-Bachelor’s teaching experience by the application deadline of the semester before your enrollment would begin if accepted.

  • Possess a Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate.

  • Have a minimum 3.00 GPA in the last half of the bachelor's earned at a regionally accredited institution.  Applicants with GPA’s below 3.0 must submit GRE scores taken within the last 5 years (see


How to apply:

  1. Submit application and supporting documents by June 1(Fall Admissions) or November 15 (Spring Admissions).

  2. Apply online through graduate admissions:

  3. Submit one original, sealed copy of bachelor’s and master’s (if applicable) transcripts to the Office of Graduate Admissions.  Previous USF graduates do not need to submit transcripts of USF coursework.

  4. Submit GRE scores, if needed, to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Submit the following items to the contact below:

  1. Submit three letters of professional reference emailed by recommender to Lisa Adkins (; ask references to include your name and “letter of reference” in subject line when emailing the letter. Two of the letters should be professional references from an administrator/leader or a faculty member.

  2. Submit a Statement of Intent: Please write (in 3-5 page double-spaced pages with a 1 inch margin) a description of your beliefs about leadership, values that inform your beliefs about leadership, related leadership experience, and leadership goals. Explain how your leadership experience strongly relates to an aspect of the Department's mission statement and/or values. Additionally, discuss the aspect of the mission statement and/or values you feel least prepared to enact and how this might affect your leadership goals. 

  3. Submit current resume.

  4. For those students seeking Florida Educational Leadership Certification, submit a COLORED copy of the Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate that clearly shows all borders and the state seal or

    we will also accept as verification of Florida professional teaching certification a printout from the Florida Department of Education’s public Educator Certification Database which can be found here: printout must show that the student has a Florida Professional Teacher Certificate (a temporary certificate is not acceptable) and that the certificate is current as of the time of admission.

Please email, fax or mail the materials listed above to:

Lisa Adkins, Academic Program Specialist

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

USF, 4202 E. Fowler Ave. EDU 105, Tampa, FL 33620

fax 813-974-5423


Program Requirements

Required Courses

EDA 6061 Principles of Educational Administration

EDA 6192 Educational Leadership

EDA 6194 Educational Leadership I: Building Capacity for Continuous Improvement

EDA 6232 School Law

EDG 6285 School Curriculum Improvement

EDA 6106 Administrative Analysis & Change

EDA 6213 Culturally Relevant Leadership

EDA 6271 Data-based Decision Making

EDA 6945 Administrative Practicum I & II

EDG 6627 Foundations of Curriculum & Instruction

TSL 5085 ESOL 1 (waived with documentation of completion of another three (3) credit hour course in ESOL; ESOL endorsement; or completion of 120 hours of ESOL district in-service training plus passage of ESOL certification exam)

Total proposed program hours: 30 (Current catalog 36)


Degree Completion Requirements

To be eligible for graduation, a student must earn an overall grade average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.  Grades below "C" are not acceptable toward degree requirements.  At the time of graduation, only those courses completed within the previous 5 years will count for the degree.  A planned program of study must be completed and filed during first semester of study.

After successfully completing all courses within the required 5-year period, the following steps must be completed for graduation:

  1. Apply for graduation (applications MUST be received by the posted deadline date).

  2. Complete a required department assessment portfolio during the semester the student applies for graduation.  Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 2 credit hours the semester the portfolio is submitted and graduation is applied for.   Portfolio Requirements

  3. For those seeking Florida Educational Leadership Certification, submit COLORED copy of current Florida professional teaching certificate.

  4. Submit proof of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) training. You must provide documentation of completion of a three (3) credit hour course in ESOL; or completion of 120 hours of ESOL district in-service training plus passage of the ESOL certification exam; ESOL endorsement; or successfully complete TSL 5085: ESOL 1 as part of MEd educational leadership program.

  5. For those seeking Florida Educational Leadership Certification,

    submit official score report showing successful completion of the Florida Educational Leadership Examination FELE


For more information please e-mail or call:

Lisa Adkins

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