Program Contact

Gregory E. Hicks
Teaching Assistant Professor
MSA Program Coordinator
Program Contact

Dr. Brenda Champion
Teaching Assistant Professor

Master of School Adminstration

Educational Leadership

Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development (ELPHD)

NC State’s program in Educational Leadership for school administrators is designed to improve the quality of K-12 schools by preparing leaders who are dedicated to educational excellence and equity.  Graduates are expected to use leadership strategies that will improve student performance in environments that are dynamic, interactive and culturally diverse.

Only individuals applying as NC State Principal Fellows will be considered for our MSA cohort for Summer 1, 2020.  A full-time internship in 2021-2022 is required. 

Important Dates
January 15, 2020
Summer 1, 2020, Admission Application deadline
Only individuals applying as NC State Principal Fellows will be considered for our MSA cohort for Summer 1, 2020. Full-time internship in the second year of the program (2021-2022).
THERE IS NO LONGER A SEPARATE APPLICATION for Principal Fellows--only an NC State Graduate School application is necessary.

8:30 am- 5:00 pm
January 25, 2020
Candidate Assessment Day
Poe Hall

Information Sessions

Program Description

As a student pursuing a Master in School Administration, you will develop the professional expertise required for entry or advancement in K-12 leadership. MSA program faculty are committed to preparing leaders who embody the latest Professional Leadership Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL).

In addition, students will benefit from several distinct program characteristics:

  • Diverse students and faculty representing a variety of backgrounds, experiences and research interests
  • Access to distance education for those not located in Raleigh (depending on demand)

The MSA program requires completion of eight, 3-hour courses (24 credit hours), plus 18 credit hours of internship for a total of 42 credit hours. Courses are offered in person, once per week, in the afternoon or evening to accommodate full-time professionals who are students in the program.

Distance Education (DE) cohorts are delivered onsite to participants working in selected North Carolina counties. For more information on NC State’s NC Principal Fellows, go

Admission Requirements

  • Personal statement including career goals and aspirations, research interests or focus and other relevant experiences
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended (except NC State)
  • Teaching experience in K-12 public or private school (3 years preferred)
  • Current professional resume
  • Three letters of recommendationOne recommendation is to be from current supervisor.
  • Minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA (preferred)

Note:  All application materials must be submitted through the Graduate School’s online application process only (see ‘Apply Now’ button at top of this page).  No hard copies will be accepted.

Course of Study

Time to degree for the Master of School Administration is typically 2 years and takes place in a closed cohort.


Course descriptions can be found in the university course catalog.

  • Teacher Empowerment & Leadership
  • School Law
  • Organizational Mgt. I: Human Resources
  • Organizational Mgt. II: School Finance
  • Community & Interagency Partnerships
  • Leadership in Professional Learning Communities
  • Leading & Transforming School Culture
  • Contexts & Challenges of School Improvement
  • Internship in Educational Leadership

Specialized MSA Programs

NC State Educational Leadership Academies (NELA)

NC State’s Educational Leadership Academies are based on the work of Dr. Bonnie Fusarelli and colleagues and the award winning first-iteration, The Northeast Leadership Academy. The first several cohorts of The Northeast Leadership Academy prepared leaders to serve in the the county school districts of Bertie, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Nash-Rocky Mount, Northampton, Roanoke Rapids, Vance, Warren, Washington, and Weldon City. NELA is nationally recognized for its innovation and quality. NELA was selected by the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) to receive its Exemplary Educational Leadership Preparation Program Award (one of only five programs nationally to have ever earned this distinction).  The UCEA is a consortium of the nation’s leading leadership preparation programs and is committed to advancing the preparation and practice of educational leaders. Its Exemplary Educational Leadership Preparation Program Award was established to celebrate exemplary programs and encourage their development. NELA is currently training Fellows in the Wake Principal Leadership Program (WPLP), the Johnston Principal Leadership Academy (JPLA), and the NCSU cohort. NELA is currently accepting applications for traditional MSA students and NC Principal Fellows. For more information on NELA, please go to: