Program Description

The MEd in Education Leadership with a concentration in Independent School Leadership is a 30-credit hour program offered entirely online. The Independent School Leadership concentration is a non-licensure path within the Education Leadership program with a focus on the unique leadership and instructional needs of directors, heads of schools, and other professionals responsible for the growth and management of independent and private schools. Like other candidates in the Education Leadership program, students will develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to create and maintain learning environments that value diversity, instructional leadership, innovative and ethical decision-making, reflective practice, and the successful achievement of all students, with an emphasis on the independent school context.

What it costs

The cost is $630.75 per credit hour for VA state residents or $536.14 per credit hour for VA state residents who are eligible and apply for the 15% PreK-12 VA Educators Discount. All out-of-state students qualify for an automatic 40% discount and a cost of $830.75 per credit hour. Fees include a $35 per credit hour Distance Learning fee. New Student and other mandatory university and course fees may apply.

Application Deadline

This program has an application deadline of April 1 for Fall.

Upcoming Information Sessions:

Register here: EDLE Independent School Leadership Virtual Information Session-11/13/18, 7-8 pm.

Request Info

Program Summary

100 Percent Online

Program: Education Leadership

Concentration: Independent School Leadership

Degree: MEd

College/School: College of Education and Human Development

Credits: 30 total

Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Who should apply?

This 30-credit master’s degree is ideal for candidates interested in pursuing leadership positions in independent school settings and…

  • Are invested in improving instruction and student achievement
  • Are self-directed and focused on connecting theory to practice
  • Are prepared to engage in scholarly and professional dialogue through collaboration
  • Are committed to life-long learning
  • Are willing to embrace a disposition for advocacy, integrity, intellectual curiosity, and responsibility for one’s own learning

Why choose George Mason?

  • Mason’s Education Leadership program is supported by a large faculty, comprised of 11 professors with impressive backgrounds as researchers, entrepreneurs, and current and former district level leaders, such as superintendents and principals. Each has a genuine interest in developing your potential to positively impact PK-12 student learning.
  • A selective admissions process means you’ll learn alongside colleagues who are experienced, high-performing educators. Your fellow students will become part of a professional network that lasts a lifetime.
  • The Education Leadership program is nationally recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC).
  • The program is carefully structured for an online format and designed to fit a busy life, with 1-2 courses offered online each semester. This allows for timely completion with most students earning a master’s degree within two years.
  • Mason is a great value, with in-state graduate tuition among the lowest of comparable institutions.

Program requirements are subject to change; please refer to the Mason Course Catalog for the most up-to-date requirements.

Requirements: 30 credits total

  • EDLE 620: Organizational Theory and Leadership (3 credit hours)
  • EDLE 690: Using Research to Lead School Improvement (3 credit hours)
  • EDLE 792: Internship in Independent School Leadership (3 credit hours)
  • EDLE 612: Education Law (3 credit hours)
  • EDLE 616: Curriculum Development and Evaluation (3 credit hours)
  • EDLE 614: Managing Financial and Human Resources (3 credit hours)
  • EDLE 618: Supervision and Evaluation of Instruction (3 credit hours)
  • EDLE 610: Leading Schools and Communities (3 credit hours)
  • EDLE 635: Governance and the Independent School Boardroom (3 credit hours)
  • EDLE 636: Adult Motivation and Conflict Management in Education Settings – A Case Study Approach (3 credit hours)

See the Online Course of Study (Fall 2018) here.

Tuition (2018-2019)

Virginia Resident$630.75 plus fees
Virginia Resident and Prek-12 VA Educator
enrolled in a CEHD graduate program
Non-Virginia Resident enrolled in a CEHD
graduate program
$830.75** plus fees
Distance Learning Fee$35
Graduate New Student Fee$60 (non-refundable, one-time fee)

*For Virginia Educators: PreK-12 educators in Virginia may receive a 15% discount off of the university’s approved tuition rate for in-state CEHD graduate students. For application deadlines and requirements, see

**For Out-of-State Students: Out-of-state CEHD students may receive an automatic discount of approximately 40% off of the university’s approved tuition rate for out-of-state graduate students. For further details, see here.

Please refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees.

Financial Aid

For information on loans and scholarships, visit the Financial Aid website or call 703-993-2353. General information for funding options in the College of Education and Human Development is available here.

Many school districts offer tuition reimbursement options. Speak to your employer for more information.

Career Enhancement

The Education Leadership Program is dedicated to improving the quality of PK-12 education through teaching, research, and service. Candidates and practicing administrators engage in course work devoted to experiential learning, professional growth opportunities, and doctoral research that informs practice. We educate exceptional leaders who act with integrity as they work to improve schools.

Specific positions that graduates of this program may obtain include Assistant Principal at the Elementary or Secondary levels, Dean, Principal, Athletic Director, Activities Director, Special Education Leadership, or district level positions, such as Curriculum Specialist or Professional Development Coordinator. Key employers of graduates include county and public schools in Virginia, Maryland, and the DC Metropolitan area.

All Mason students have access to career guidance and resources through University Career Services.

Further Studies

Students with a Masters degree in a related field may apply for Mason’s PhD in Education Leadership face-to-face program.

Academic Program OfficeEducation Leadership
Graduate School of Education,
College of Education and Human Development
Phone: (703) 993-3633
Department Website
CEHD Website

All applicants should review the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) Admissions page. For international applicants, see guidelines for International Graduate Requirements.


  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of study (Some applicants with a lower GPA may be admitted provisionally if there is sufficient evidence of potential success)
  • Professional experience working or teaching in an independent school is preferred

Application Materials

  • Graduate application
  • Application fee
  • Goals statement (750 -1000 words) that addresses reasons for choosing leadership as a profession
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and/or universities attended (applicants do not need to send transcripts for courses taken at George Mason University)
  • Two recommendation forms completed by professional references targeting leadership skills and academic abilities (both must be from current or past administrators/supervisors)
  • Current resume

The last step in the admissions process will be an interview. You must complete the online admissions application and submit all required information by listed deadlines in order to be scheduled for an interview.

If you have any questions about pre-requisites, please contact the EDLE program at If you have any questions during the application process, please contact the CEHD Admissions Office at or (703) 993-2892.