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.

Our MSA cohort for Fall 2019 will only be for Principal Fellows and/or individuals willing to engage in a full-time, paid internship in the second year of the program (2019-2020).

Important Dates
January 15, 2019
Fall Admission Application deadline
Our MSA cohort for Fall 2019 will only be for Principal Fellows and/or individuals willing to engage in a full-time, paid internship in the second year of the program (2019-2020).
Principal Fellows applicants should apply to BOTH NC State University and the Principal Fellows Program. NC State:
NC Principal Fellows:

8:30 am- 5:00 pm
January 26, 2019
Candidate Assessment Day
Friday Institute

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 to:

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.

Full Curriculum

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

Northeast Leadership Academy (NELA)

NC State’s Northeast Leadership Academy (NELA) serves the county school districts of Bertie, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Nash-Rocky Mount, Northampton, Roanoke Rapids, Vance, Warren, Washington, and Weldon City but 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 four 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. For more information on NELA, please go to:

Principal Fellows

The Principal Fellows Program (PFP) provides a competitive, merit-based scholarship loan to individuals of exceptional academic ability who have teaching or relevant experience and desire to enter school administration in a North Carolina public school.

For those interested in the North Carolina Principal Fellows Program, go to