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Here, you lead the next generation to success.

Your experience as a PK-22 educator has already prepared you to mold lives—take the next step by obtaining skills to transform the next generation. Governors State’s Master of Arts in Educational Administration – Principal Leadership prepares experienced teachers to step into administrative roles where knowledge, practice, and skills create real growth and impact in schools and the community.

This nationally accredited program inspires educators to engage in equity-focused school leadership to accelerate school improvement.  Our aspiring leaders are empowered with the knowledge, dispositions, and skills critical for effective leadership through a blend of theoretical and experiential learning grounded in research, standards, and best practices.  Graduates will earn the Principal as Instructional Leader licensure and will have completed the state-mandated training for teacher evaluation.  The program is fully aligned to the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) standards.

Reach your career goals.

As a PK-22 administrator, your impact is not limited to a single classroom—it can resonate throughout the entire community. In the Principal Leadership M.A., you will obtain the theoretical knowledge and practical skills you need to lead at the PK-22 level. Graduates of the program may explore other career options in school administrative roles or go on to pursue superintendent licensure through GSU’s Interdisciplinary Doctorate Program.  

Why get a Master of Arts in Educational Administration – Principal Leadership?

School administrators are crucial for student success. Teachers who are inspired to become leaders of their fields will learn the skills needed as principal to advance a school’s organization by establishing a successful curriculum, proficient instructors, and academically prepared students.

Data collected in 2021 reports the median salary for  principals in Illinois was $100,870, while the annual mean wage for the Chicagoland area principals was $105,660 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

 Delivery Format

Governors State’s 36-credit hour Principal Leadership M.A. is offered in a cohort format with a convenient blend of online, hybrid, and face-to-face coursework. Classes meet on campus or at off-site district partner sites one evening a week. The cohort model accelerates learning in 7.5 week class sessions, engaging students in one course at a time. Students take courses with the same cohort throughout the six semesters, building lifetime relationships with future school leaders.

Academic Advising

The Division of Education provides professional Academic Advisors to serve the needs of all of its candidates. Your program's Academic Advisor is the ideal first contact for:

  • Individuals considering transfer into this degree program.
  • Newly admitted candidates who need to develop a plan of study, including evaluation of transfer credits.
  • Continuing candidates who have questions or comments on program policies, procedures and requirements.

The Academic Advisor for the Master of Arts in Educational Administration program is Ms. Carla Johnson. She can be reached via email:

Faculty Testimonials

Jeannine Klomes

"Our nationally accredited program connects foundational knowledge with real-time experiences. Throughout the coursework, students engage in purposeful analysis representative of current practices. This conjunctive learning empowers candidates to examine application processes that complement educational policies. Governors State University is proud to support future leaders who are eager to embark upon their school leadership journey!"

Dr. Jeannine Klomes, Associate Professor

Chris Dignam

"High-performing Instructional leaders empower the communities they serve and those whom they lead. Governor State University’s principal leadership program provides teacher leaders with skills to effectively lead school communities and positively impact organizational growth. The coursework at GSU is student centered and emphasizes the power of servant leadership and shared leadership. These are among the reasons I believe our program at GSU effectively prepares future leaders."

Dr. Christopher Dignam, Assistant Professor

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