The Educational Leadership program at Montana State University is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) as well as by the Montana Board of Public Education.  The focus of the program is to prepare K-12 school principals to effectively serve Montana communities and rural communities throughout the Northern Plains and Northern Rocky Mountain region of the United States. Those students completing the degree requirements for the M.Ed. will also have met the academic requirements necessary for a Montana Class III Administrative license with a K-12 Principal Endorsement. This is a full Master's program with a M.Ed. granted upon graduation.

Program Flow

Students are expected to take coursework in the sequence outlined in the course offerings found below. Developing a learning community is a critical aspect of principal preparation. To enhance the development of a learning community among the students and to facilitate learning by offering an integrated curriculum, students will be placed into a cohort based on year of acceptance into the program and will matriculate together.

The M.Ed. in Educational Leadership  is considered an online program, offered more than 80% online.  M.Ed. principal preparation coursework is delivered completely online using distance delivery methods during the school year. Students are provided opportunities to attend administrator association meetings during the academic year. During the summer, students will meet on the Bozeman campus for one or two  weeks of face-to-face instruction. The face-to-face instruction will usually take place during the latter weeks of June or early July.

K-12 Principal Cohort Typical Program of Study

Course Number
Course Title
Course Credits
School Law (spring)
Supervision of Instruction (spring)
Foundations of Educational Leadership (summer)
Schools & Diverse Communities (summer)
Administration and Supervision of Special Education Programs (summer)
School Finance (summer)
K-12 Instructional Leadership (fall)
Field Exper in Ed Ldrshp (I-fall and II-spr)
Planned Change (spring)

Total Credits



Students in the Educational Leadership Master's program will be assigned an advisor. The advisor will guide the student's course selection and progress toward degree completion including the submission of the student's Graduate Program of Study form.

Contact Information

Dr. Jason Cummins, Program Leader and Assistant Professor of    Educational Leadership
Phone: 406-994-4142  Email: [email protected]

Dr. Bill Ruff, Professor of Educational Leadership
406-994-4182  Email: [email protected]