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 MEd 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 MEd granted upon graduation.

This program of study has been developed to prepare effective K-12 principals. Using a blended delivery model, it seeks to meet the needs of students who desire convenience and face-to-face interaction.  Courses will be delivered using distance educational methods during the school year and a few face-to-face instructional sessions. Other face-to-face sessions will be held in conjunction with various administrator association meetings during the semester. During the summer, students will meet on the Bozeman campus for two full weeks of face-to-face instruction. The face-to-face instruction will usually take place during the latter weeks of June or early July.

Program Flow

The ideal time to begin the Educational Leadership masters program is in the summer. 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.

All options in the Educational Leadership program are offered using a combination of delivery methods. Online courses are delivered completely via distance technology and blended courses use a combination of distance delivery and face-to-face meetings. The structure of the course will determine the delivery methods employed.  For example, the MEd principal preparation coursework is delivered almost completely online using distance delivery methods during the school year with one or two weekend face-to-face sessions, while the summer courses are blended with two weeks of face-to-face instruction.

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. Tena Versland, Program Leader
406-994-6799  Email: [email protected]

Dr. Bill Ruff
406-994-4182  Email: [email protected]