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MS - School Administration and Supervision

This Master of Science (MS) in Education concentration is designed for certified teachers and other certified personnel pursuing leadership positions in kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) school settings and is approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for certification in administration and supervision. Designed primarily for those pursuing principalship and supervisory positions, this 39-credit program is aligned with the nationally recognized Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards, as well as with the Maryland Instructional Leadership Framework outcomes. Program options are also appropriate for preparing department chairs, team leaders, or curriculum coordinators. In addition to the standard School of Education admissions requirements, applicants are expected to be: 1) certified teachers or other certified school personnel, and 2) currently employed by a school district or an accredited independent school.

A strong emphasis is placed upon the provision of opportunities for students to develop the skills and competencies that are necessary for successful educational leadership.  Students have the opportunity to combine their practical experience with current research regarding best practices in areas such as leadership, curriculum and instruction, school law, technology, and other important curricula areas.  The seminar is a capstone class where students synthesize prior learning as well as explore some current issues; the internship provides an opportunity for students to create a portfolio based on hands-on experiences in a school.  The internship is completed in the school where the students are assigned to work and is completed under the careful supervision of an in-school mentor and a university supervisor.

Please note that students must attend an organizational meeting or make arrangements to meet with the program coordinator in the semester prior to registering for the internship.

The program is delivered in the face-to-face mode.

Program Mission, Goals and Student Outcomes

View an online information session with Dr. Annette Anderson and Rob Caples to learn more about the School Administration and Supervision programs. 

Program Plan

Number of Credits Required: 39, three credit hours for each course.

First Sequence of Concentration Requirements (24 credits)

Must be taken prior to second sequence.

851.601 Organization and Administration of Schools
Students examine the role of the school administrator, with emphasis on instructional improvement, pupil development and services, school and community relations, administration of facilities and finance, professional development and services for staff, and organizational relationships and responsibilities. Participants will explore best practices for fostering student achievement.
851.603 School Law
Participants explore the legal foundations and structure of education and consider contemporary issues based on legislation and court decisions. Students develop techniques of legal research and analyze a topic of interest.
852.602 Supervision and Professional Development
Students examine models of instructional supervision, including clinical supervision and various approaches to personalizing supervisory strategies. Emphasis is on supervision skills, including the assessment of teacher performance, effective conferring strategies, and working with teachers to construct instructional improvement plans. Students apply concepts developed to practical situations in laboratory sessions.
881.610 Curriculum Theory, Development, and Implementation
Students examine curriculum theory through philosophical, historical, and sociological perspectives and apply course content to contemporary curriculum issues. Topics include aligning instruction with state and school district curricula and modifying curricula to meet individual learner needs. Students also explore effective strategies for implementing curriculum changes.
851.708 Systemic Change Process for School Improvement
Students examine the literature on systemic change in schools, with an emphasis on the roles of the teacher leader. Topics include planning, implementing, and evaluating the change process for school improvement.
881.611 Action Research for School Improvement
Students explore the role of the educator as an action researcher, with special emphasis on formulating and refining research questions as well as on selecting appropriate methodologies for classroom or school-based research. Students review research as a tool for assessing and improving teaching/learning environments.
881.622 Advanced Instructional Strategies
Students review recent research on effective instruction and explore advanced classroom strategies and techniques designed to enhance their effectiveness in meeting the needs of diverse populations of learners. Examples include direct instruction, cooperative learning, dimensions of learning, creative problem solving, and applications of technology to thinking and learning. Students develop expert teaching skills and learn to diagnose and deliver instructional strategies that are most appropriate in specific circumstances.
851.705 Effective Leadership
Students review the principles and techniques required of principals, assistant principals, and teacher leaders. The course emphasizes diagnosis of the school climate, principles of distributed leadership, motivation of faculty teams, and the dynamics of working in and with groups to accomplish school improvement goals. Emphasis is placed on the leader’s role in creating a collaborative vision/mission for a school and in establishing meaningful working relationships with the larger community.

Second Sequence of Concentration Requirements (9 credits)

Take the following two courses for a total of 6 credits:

851.609 Administrative and Instructional Uses of Technology
Prospective and practicing school administrators examine the issues, ideas, and programs surrounding the use of technology as a tool for administration and instructional management. Through hands-on experience, participants explore practical uses for software that can be applied to their daily work.
851.616 Issues in K-12 Education Policy
This course provides an introduction to and an overview of several key and rapidly expanding areas of educational policy research, teacher effectiveness, teacher labor markets and teacher policy. The goals of this course are to familiarize students with some of the most current research in these areas, and to encourage and support students to develop skills as critical consumers of empirical work and policy debates in educational policy.


Choose one of the following 3-credit electives:

882.524 Education of Culturally Diverse Students
Participants analyze recent research related to the education of culturally diverse children and youth and explore case studies of successful minority education programs. The course focuses on understanding the interrelated roles of the school, the family, and the community in addressing the educational needs of culturally diverse children and youth.
851.630 School, Family, and Community Collaboration for School Improvement I
Participants examine the theory, research, and best practices on school, family, and community partnerships. Individuals explore different types of partnerships, challenges to developing school-based partnership programs, and the components of effective partnership programs that enhance student performance and success. Participants design an action plan for partnerships to address school improvement goals.

Final Sequence (6 credits)

The following courses may be taken only after completing the first sequence of 24 credits:

851.809 Seminar in Educational Administration and Supervision
Students prepare and present a seminar paper on a problem in educational administration or supervision. The paper includes a comprehensive literature review, an assessment of implications for administrative and supervisory behavior, and an implementation plan for addressing the problem in an educational setting. Students engage in case study analyses, role playing, and assessment exercises.
851.810 Internship in Administration and Supervision
Students participate in a supervised practicum experience in an educational setting. Individual and group sessions of the interns are held. (3 credits)

Admissions Requirements:

  • Completion of online application
  • Submission of application fee
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (Cumulative GPA must be 3.0 or better)
  • Essay
  • A current resume or CV
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • If selected, completion of an admissions interview

For more information on the application process, please view the SOE Admissions page.

Note: Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Education: School Administration and Supervision program may not simultaneously enroll in, nor are they eligible to earn, the Graduate Certificate in School Administration and Supervision.

If you are interested in a certificate, you may want to consider:

School Administration and Supervision (Face-to-face and online options)

Educational Leadership for Independent Schools