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 for this program is $693.25 per credit hour for VA state residents, $893.25 per credit hour for Non-VA residents. There is a 15% PreK-12 VA Educators Discount available for VA state residents who are eligible and apply. See the Cost tab below for a breakdown of tuition and fees. All of Mason’s tuition rates and fees can be found on our Student Accounts site.

Application Deadline

This program has a priority application deadline of March 15 for Fall. We will continue to consider complete applications received through August 1 as space is available. For all application information and deadlines, see the CEHD Admissions site.

Information Sessions

The Education Leadership program will be hosting Virtual Information Sessions for the MEd Concentration in Independent School Leadership (ISL). Sign up today to learn more about the program.


2023 Information Sessions coming soon!

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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 school leaders. Each has a genuine interest in developing your potential to impact PK-12 student learning positively.
  • 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 Independent School Leadership Program incorporates the use of the International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation – Model Core Standards
  • 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 613: Education Law for Independent and Nonpublic Schools (3 credit hours)
  • EDLE 616: Curriculum Development and Evaluation (3 credit hours)
  • EDLE 615: Managing Financial and Human Resources for Independent Schools (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 here.

Tuition (2021-2022)

Virginia Resident$543.00
Non-Virginia Resident $743.00
Mandatory Student fee $150.25
Total Cost for Virginia Residents per Credit $693.25
Total Cost for Non-Virginia Residents per Credit $893.25
Graduate New Student Fee$60 (non-refundable, one-time fee)

Please Note: In addition to the tuition and fees described, various course and lab fees may be assessed depending on the course(s) in which the student is enrolled. Please refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees. Internship courses will incur a higher CEHD course fee to fund on-site assistance involving intensive clinical training/supervision.

*VA state residents who are eligible must apply for the 15% PreK-12 VA Educators Discount in order to take advantage of the lower tuition Discount applies to tuition and mandatory student fees only.

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 work with faculty to engage in coursework 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.

The program prepares our graduates for leadership and entrepreneurial roles in independent, private, charter schools, and education nonprofit organizations.

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 US institution that is accredited by one of the organizations found here
  • 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, charter, private school, or educational nonprofit organization

Application Materials

  • Graduate application
  • Application fee
  • Goal statement (750 -1000 words) that addresses reasons for choosing leadership as a profession
  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and/or universities attended (applicants do not need to send transcripts for courses taken at George Mason University). Once admitted official transcripts will be needed.
  • Two recommendation forms – one recommendation must be from an administrator who has supervised you in a school setting, and the second recommendation can be from anyone you choose.
  • Resume with your education, professional licenses/certifications, and professional experience.

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.