Educational Leadership and Administration

Program: Master's degree in Education with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Administration

Optional: Preliminary Administrative Services Credential and/or Administrative Services Internship Program (see below for eligibility requirements)

Coordinator: Dr. Andrea Somoza-Norton

Master's Degree in Education: Educational Leadership and Administration

Overview: While designed primarily for K-12 leaders, the master's degree in Education with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Administration is beneficial for leaders from other fields, including sports administration, teacher leadership, higher education, and nonprofit leadership. The program emphasizes applied theories of educational leadership, mastery of practical skills required for effective leadership and administration, and competence in research methods necessary for understanding and assessing learning organizations. Qualified candidates who meet standards established by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing can earn the California Preliminary Administrative Services Credential with the master's degree.

Preliminary Administrative Services Credential

Overview: The California Preliminary Administrative Services Credential program prepares candidates to assume positions of leadership in California's K-12 school system. This credential program is open to candidates who currently hold a valid California teaching/service credential with five years of full-time teaching/service experience. Three quarters of fieldwork experiences are incorporated into the program. Qualified candidates who meet standards established by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing will be recommended for the credential.

Administrative Services Internship Program

Overview: California does not provide an emergency provision to hire someone to be an administrator who does not possess an administrative credential. The Administrative Internship Program supports districts that have an immediate need for an administrator and are without suitable candidates. Applicants must verify proof of a valid basic teaching or appropriate service credential and five years of teaching and/or related service, documentation of being offered an administrative position, and support for this internship from the superintendent of schools in employing district or county office of education. Students will earn the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential as they serve in an administrative capacity and complete the program of study for the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential.

Delivery Format

Coursework for the master's degree is delivered in "fast track" format, designed to meet the needs of working adult learners. The Fast-Track program allows students to complete the master's degree in just 16 weekends (Friday evenings and all day Saturdays) and a five-week summer session during an 11-month period. Although accelerated, this is a rigorous, practical program that requires serious academic commitment on the part of interested applicants. Qualified candidates can also earn the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential concomitantly with the master's degree.

Coursework for the Master's Degree in Education with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Administration:

Fall Quarter - Organizational Leadership
EDUC 512 Organizational Theory (4 units)
EDUC 513 Leadership and Decision Making (4 units)
EDUC 518 Supervised Fieldwork (3 units*)
EDUC 586 Introduction to Inquiry in Education (4 units)
Winter Quarter - Instructional Leadership
EDUC 515 Curriculum and Program Evaluation (4 units)
EDUC 516 Personnel Supervision and Evaluation (4 units)
EDUC 518 Supervised Fieldwork (3 units*)
EDUC 589 Research Methods (4 units)
Spring Quarter - Managerial Leadership
EDUC 510 Finance and Resource Allocation (4 units)
EDUC 511 Law and Governance (4 units)
EDUC 519 Professional E-portfolios for Educational Leaders (1 unit)
EDUC 542 Administration of Special Programs (4 units)
EDUC 518 Supervised Fieldwork (3 units*)
Summer Session - Community Leadership
EDUC 587 Foundations and Policy (4 units)
EDUC 588 Education, Culture and Learning (4 units)
EDUC 590 Research Applications in Education (4 units)

*Required only if candidates pursue BOTH the master's degree AND the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential concomitantly.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the master's degree program in Education with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Administration is competitive and requires the following:

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university
  • 3.0 GPA in last 90 quarter units of university work
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Current resume or curriculum vita
  • Complete questionnaires

If seeking admission to both the master’s degree in Education and the Preliminary Administrative Services credential and the following:

  • Valid California Teaching/Service Credential
  • Five years of full-time teaching/service experience
  • Evidence of passing the Basic Skills Requirement (i.e. CBEST)
  • Letter of support from employing district**

**Administrative Services Internship Program applicants only

How to Apply?

Students are admitted once each year to start in the fall, and they progress through the program as a cohort. To apply to Cal Poly, go to Once you have submitted your CSU Mentor Application, applicants then must submit unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended through Interfolio. You will need to click on the Interfolio link and scroll to the bottom and select Apply Now. Once there you will sign up for new account and upload unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. To apply to the program, follow the instructions in the document links on this page.

Application Documents and Instructions

Questions? Contact the Credential Office at (805) 756-2126 or email

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School of Education
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407