Feb 21, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 

Master of Science in Education in Educational Administration

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This 36-semester-hour principal preparation program focuses on the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for persons who are interested in obtaining a principal endorsement on a Professional Educator License (PEL) in order to be eligible to work as a principal, an assistant principal, or in related or similar positions. The goal of the program is to prepare visionary leaders with the skills and knowledge to effectively implement and manage an educational environment that utilizes evidence of student learning to drive continuous school improvement.

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.


Applicants for this program must complete all Northern Illinois University application procedures for admission related to the graduate program in the College of Education and meet that program’s admission criteria. Faculty decisions are based on the total profile of each applicant.

Applicants must possess and provide evidence of the following in order to be considered for admission:

  • A preferred minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00.
  • GRE with a preferred score at or above the 50th percentile. May be waived if the candidate already holds a master’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Contact the department for details.  
  • For teachers, a valid and current Illinois professional educator license (PEL) (i.e., early childhood, elementary, middle level, secondary, special K-12, or special preschool-age 21) and data providing evidence of two years of student growth and learning within the last five years. For school support personnel, a valid and current Illinois professional educator license (PEL) (i.e., school support personnel) and a minimum of two years of related experience in an educational setting.
  • Successful completion of any state-mandated tests.
  • Submission of a portfolio that presents evidence of a candidate’s achievements during his or her educational experience (see Requirements).
  • A nomination letter from the superintendent in the district where they will be completing their internship.
  • A prospective internship mentor commitment letter.
  • Successful completion of LEEA 500 and LEEA 501 with a grade of B- or higher.
  • Selection through an in-person interview with at least two full-time NIU faculty members.
  • Successful completion of a written response to a scenario.

Any applicant who is denied admission may submit an appeal to be reviewed by the admissions committee and the faculty. Appeals must be in writing, explain the basis for the appeal, and include information not previously submitted.


Prior to formal admission into the MS.Ed. in Educational Administration principal preparation program, prospective students must enroll in and complete LEEA 500 as a “student at large.” The preparation of the admission portfolio, the response to a written scenario, and the interview with two full-time NIU faculty members takes place as part of LEEA 500.

Students enrolled in the NIU Principal Preparation Program must complete the 10-course sequence plus a 3-semester internship.

Course work includes curricula that addresses student learning and school improvement with a focus on:

  • All grade levels (i.e., preschool-12)
  • The role of instruction with an emphasis on literacy and numeracy
  • The Illinois Professional Teaching Standards (12 Ill. Adm. Code 24 Standards for All Illinois Teachers)
  • Students with special needs (e.g., students with disabilities, English language learners, gifted students, students in early childhood programs)
  • Collaborative relationships with all members of the school community (e.g., parents, school board members, local school councils or other governing councils, community partners)

Candidates may transfer up to 15 credits pending an evaluation of official transcripts from accredited institutions for comparable courses. A final determination of the courses for transfer will be made by the LEPF department chair (or designee) upon transcript review.

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