Educational Administration and Leadership Post-Master Graduate Programs

Other Information

Graduate Catalog: ELHE

  • Admission requirements
  • Program details
  • Course descriptions

Application Deadlines

Department: Educational Leadership and Higher Education

Graduate Director:
Dr. Janine Dahms-Walker

Sixth Year Program: Educational Administration and Leadership Overview

We offer a post-master graduate certificate that can lead to three administrative licensures.

  • Specific coursework for each administrative licensure is determined through a pre-assessment of Minnesota Licensure Competencies during a student's first semester enrollment in EDAD 601, Introduction to Education.
  • During the course, SCSU faculty will review a student's academic and professional credentials and provide a list of courses needed to complete licensure requirements.
  • Students may pursue multiple licenses at one time.
  • We have "packaged" the three licensure tracks into post-master graduate certificate programs.
  • Admitted certificate students are able to apply for and receive federal financial aid (based on individual financial eligibility).
  • Apply for completion and a Post-Master Graduate Certificate will be transcribed on your SCSU transcript.

The post-master graduate certificate tracks are competency-based to meet Minnesota state requirements for licensure in:

  1. K-12 school principal
  2. Special education director
  3. Superintendent of schools

Specialist Degree Program Overview

The  Educational Administration and Leadership specialist program develops  leaders for Minnesota's schools. 

  • The  program provides coursework leading to eligibility for a  K-12 principal, superintendent, or director of special education licensure. 
  • The program includes a core of pre-professional leadership courses and  academic experiences appropriate to the particular program. 
  • A minimum of 36 credits, including a thesis is required. 
  • Students holding a specialist or higher degree will complete a minimum of 16 credits, including a field study, to earn a second specialist degree.
  • Upon completion of the program, a graduate will be eligible to qualify for licensure: K-12 principal, special education director or superintendent.
  • Apply to graduate and a Specialist degree will be transcribed on your SCSU transcript.

Should I pursue a Post-Master Graduate Certificate or a Specialist degree?

  • Either the certificate or specialist degree will be transcribed to your SCSU transcript.
  • You can apply for and be considered for financial aid and graduate assistantships while enrolled in either program.
  • Upon completion of a Post-Master Graduate Certificate program or the Specialist program, a graduate may be eligible to apply for specific Minnesota administrative licensure.
  • A Post-Master Graduate Certificate can be completed in 30 credits and does not require a thesis.
  • A Specialist degree can be completed in 36 credits.  The additional credits are related to research courses and the writing of a thesis.
  • A Specialist degree is recognized throughout the nation.
  • A Specialist degree provides an excellent springboard into an Ed.D. or Ph.D. program in Education Administration.

Program Location - St. Cloud Campus or Twin Cities Cohort
Your choice! 

  • The Post-Master Graduate Certificate is offered on the St. Cloud Campus and at the Twin Cities Graduate Center (TCGC) in Maple Grove Minnesota. 
  • The Specialist degree is offered only on the St. Cloud Campus, although some coursework may be available at the TCGC.
  • Join our Twin Cities cohort to obtain licensure as a K-12 Principal, Director of Special Education or Superintendent of Schools. 
  • The TCGC cohort will meet on Friday evenings and Saturdays during the academic year and for eight days in the summer. Find us a few blocks from the intersection of 494 and Bass Lake Road.
  • Courses on the St. Cloud campus are held at various times throughout weekdays, weekends, mornings, afternoons and evenings.  Numerous summer courses are available to accommodate educators.

The Profession

The educational administration and leadership program prepares students for a profession in education administration for K-12 school organizations. Specifically, these positions include principals, superintendents, special education directors, and directors of community education.


Graduates will be able to seek employment in public and private K-12 school settings, area education agencies or regional educational service units, and positions at the state department level.

Accreditation specific to the program

  • National Council for Accreditation and Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • Minnesota Board of School Administrators

Admission Information

  • Applicants to the post-master certificate programs and Specialist program should note that admission decisions are made as completed application files are received (rolling admission).
  • You will be offered admission for the next available term.  Students may be admitted for fall, spring or summer terms.
  • For priority consideration, applicants are encouraged to apply by the deadlines posted. If space remains in the program, applications will continue to be reviewed after the posted priority deadlines as feasible.
  • The application process is easy:
    • Apply online
    • Upload your unofficial transcripts
    • Upload your statement of intent. 
      • In the statement of intent, please discuss the licensure specialization(s) you will seek.
    • Recommendations are not necessary
    • GRE is not required
    • Electronically submit the application with an online payment of $40
  • Post-Master Graduate Certificate applicants or Specialist applicants will complete a graduate admission application and submit a $40 application fee for the first licensure track pursued.
  • To add a second licensure track complete the FREE Graduate School Petition Form.

Minnesota Administrative Licensure Requirements

  • Currently the state of Minnesota requires that applicants for administrative licensure have at least three years teaching experience or be eligible to apply for alternative licensure.
  • Licensure requires a Masters of Science plus 30 semester credits. 
  • If the Master of Science degree is not in Educational Leadership/Administration additional coursework may be required. 
  • A final portfolio assessment is also required of licensure candidates.

Gainful Employment

Certain graduate certificates at St. Cloud State University prepare students for employment in specific fields and do not result in a degree. Federal law requires publication of data associated with those programs of study, including approximate program costs, program length, and employment statistics. The Minnesota State Colleges and University's (MnSCU) Chancellor's office has provided this report containing the aforementioned information for all required programs.

Individuals interested in the Professional Specialization of Community Education Director can find information at