Department of Educational Leadership and Administration

Chairperson:  Albert H. Fein

The Department of Educational Leadership and Administration bases its degree programs on the premise that the education profession must be composed of knowledgeable, skilled, and committed leaders who operate from a strong value base. At the master’s level, leadership is defined as possessing the knowledge, abilities, and commitment to facilitate transformation in educational settings.

This department offers four master’s degree programs:


Selection of candidates is based on the information gathered from the materials identified below. Each applicant should submit the following materials to the School of Education Graduate Admissions Office:

  1. A completed application form (see the School of Education website:
  2. A non-refundable fee.
  3. A written statement of purpose. Gonzaga University belongs to a long and distinguished tradition of humanistic Catholic, and Jesuit education. The School of Education upholds the University tradition and exemplifies it through its dedication to preparing socially responsive professionals who serve with competence, commitment, and care. Additionally, the department’s mission is to prepare reflective educational leaders who promote student, professional, and organizational learning to address challenges and opportunities inherent in a changing world. With these perspectives in mind, please submit a typed statement of purpose that presents:
    a) Briefly describes your background.
    b) Describes why you are interested in the Gonzaga graduate program.
    c) Describes and gives examples of the strengths that you bring to the program that will help you as an educational leader.
    d) Describes leadership experiences that you have had in or out of the school setting, including examples from leadership experiences.
    e) Describes and gives examples of your personal commitment to working/teaching students, service to others, and advocate for all students.
    f) Shares with us what you expect to accomplish in acquiring a masters degree and what you hope you will accomplish once you have received your degree.
  4. Two letters of recommendation, from recent supervisors sent directly from the recommending persons to the School of Education Graduate Admission Office with the Confidential Recommendation forms attached (see the School of Education website).
    a) Written Recommendation:
    Please write your letter of recommendation on school or district letterhead. It is crucial that you address all of the items; we score the candidate’s likelihood of success in graduate work and “fit”  to our program against all of   these criteria.
        i) Describe and give examples of the candidate’s ability to lead or leadership experiences in the school setting.
        ii) Describe and give examples of the candidate’s commitment to serving students.
       iii) Describe and give examples of the candidate’s teaching ability.
       iv) Describe and give examples of the candidate’s commitment to diversity and ability to advocate) for the success of all students.
    b) Professional Dispositions
    * Please rate the candidate according to the scale five (5) strongly agree to one (1) strongly disagree. The last column on the rating sheet may be checked if your feel you have “insufficient knowledge” of the candidate to make
       a judgment.
  5. One official transcript from each college or university attended. International applicants must submit foreign transcripts in the original language and an English copy. Final transcripts must bear a posted Bachelor’s degree. Only degrees and courses from a regionally accredited institution will be accepted.
  6. A resume that shows career history and highlights leadership experiences. Applicants, please structure your vita as shown below and explicitly address each of the bulleted items:
    •    Work Experience
          Describe your work history (most recent first), including location, length of service, and position
    •    Professional Development/ Training
          List career related training and professional development programs completed within the past four years. Include the source of training, and the duration and year completed.
    •    Technology Training
          Briefly describe your level of training and experience in using information technology including computers, software and telecommunications networks as tools for business, education, teaching and personal use.
    •    Volunteer/unpaid service
          List and describe and voluntary/unpaid post-secondary employment and/or community service experience. Please include name of organization, length of service, and a brief description of duties.
    •    Leadership Experience
          Please describe any specific training and/or experiences you have had as a group/project leader, co-coordinator of change initiatives, or as a trainer.
  7. An official TOEFL score of at least 550 (minimum score of 80 if taken via Internet) by each international applicant who has graduated from a foreign college or university and whose native language is not English.

Master of Arts in Leadership and Administration - Washington State

The Master of Arts in Leadership and Administration Program is designed as an integrated program for educators who aspire to be effective teacher leaders or administrative leaders. We believe that educational teams become stronger when greater understanding exists about the roles of each of its members. Because the program integrates content and professional standards appropriate to both teachers and administrators, candidates also may elect to complete their principal or program administrator certification in conjunction with the master’s program. Theory and practice are explored from the perspective of both teachers and administrators, and coursework is differentiated depending on the candidates’ career goals.

The program is designed for working educators with a focus on linking theory and research to the practical issues in teaching and leadership using their local districts as the context for their study. Candidates are admitted into a cohort of educators from their local areas and experience the benefits of a collaborative learning community. Faculty travel to the candidates’ location. Courses are held in the evenings or on weekends depending on the needs of the cohort. As candidates work on assignments for each of the program courses, they have the opportunity to explore issues important to them in their own classrooms, schools, and districts. Each cohort is assigned a faculty advisor who works with them through the entire program. Currently, the program is approved to be delivered in the state of Washington.


A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required and a minimum of three (3) years of teaching experience is preferred.

Program Outline: 34 credits

The Master of Arts in Leadership and Administration is a 34 credit degree program.