Master of Education in Instructional Leadership

Program Description
This minimum 33-credit hour program is designed to offer advanced coursework in teacher leadership, educational research, and inquiry processes to elementary and secondary teachers who are already licensed. It also offers the opportunity to construct individual specializations which enhance their effectiveness as teachers.

Progression through the program involves three checkpoints. Checkpoint #1 is admission to the graduate program, which requires a valid teaching license, a minimum 3.0 undergraduate grade point average, and two letters of recommendation. Checkpoint #2 occurs halfway through the program through submission of a portfolio based on the NBPTS standards and an observation of teaching completed by University faculty in the teacher's classroom. To pass Checkpoint #2, a student must have maintained a 3.0 grade point average. Checkpoint #3 occurs at the end of the course of study and entails the completion of all coursework and a research project. An overall 3.0 grade point average is required for the completion of the degree. 

Teachers may use this degree to add a minor or an endorsement to their licenses. In combination with the special education program, teachers may also use this degree to add a special education content area to their existing license.

This program is not designed to earn the initial teaching licensure. For teaching licensure programs, please see the M.Ed. Initial Licensure program. 

For information on optional concentration in Humane Education, click here.


Core Foundation Requirements
21 credits
Choose One
ED 572
Data-Driven School Improvement-OR-
3 cr
SPED 644 Assessment in Special Education
 3 cr
Choose One
ED 580
Developing Professional Learning Communities -OR-
3 cr
SPED 550
Models of Collaboration & Consultation in Special Education
 3 cr
Remaining Requirements
ED 610
Research in Education
3 cr
ED 671
Cultural Leadership in a Multicultural Society
3 cr
ED 680
Developing Professional Leadership Communities
3 cr
ED 688
Statistical Interpretation for School Program Evaluation
2 cr
ED 692
 Research Project  2 cr
ED 693  Capstone Project  2 cr
Education Electives
3 credits
Choose one:  
ED 612 Decision Making in Curriculum & Instruction -OR-
3 cr
ED 690 Seminar in Education -OR-
3 cr
SPED 550 Models of Collaboration & Consultation in Special Education
3 cr
Specialty Concentration Options
12 credits

In consultation with their advisors, students select a specialization with graduate courses chosen from the Education Department and/or other departments. The specialization must focus on a single topic (12 credits) relevant to the student's professional work and goals.

  1. Special Education licensure
  2. New Literacies & Technologies
  3. International Perspectives on Teaching & Learning
  4. Theology
  5. Personalized Concentration 
Requirements for these specialty concentrations are available from the program coordinator.
12 cr

A Flexible And Individualized Program
Graduate study at VU requires both diligence and motivation. Classes are generally small, and close mentoring by faculty is the norm.

This program is designed around the needs of teachers, with coursework scheduled in the evening and during the summer. Individuals may choose to complete the program on either a part-time or full-time basis. A full-time load is considered 3-4 courses per semester, and at least 2 courses during the summer sessions. Students with significant outside teaching commitments are encouraged to complete the study through part-time study consisting of 2 courses each semester and 1-2 courses during the summer sessions. Full-time study enables completion of the program in 2 years; part-time study may require 3-5 years.

Criteria for Admission
Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School, which include:

  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 (B) in all previous coursework;
  • A teaching certificate or state licensure in teaching.

As part of the application process, students must provide:

  • Valparaiso University Graduate Application and Initial Licensure Supplemental Application Form;
  • Official transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework.  If you have received an undergraduate or graduate degree from Valparaiso University, you are not required to submit an official transcript from Valparaiso University;
  • Two letters of recommendation;
  • Essay relating graduate study to your professional goals clearly stating reasons for wanting to become a teacher. NOTE: This letter substitutes for the reflective essay required by the Office of the Graduate School;
  • Application Fee: $30;
  • Copy of Current Teaching License.

Applicants not meeting the standard admission criteria will be considered on an individual basis. Such applicants should provide evidence of their ability to meet VU's high academic standards as part of their personal essay.

Financial Considerations
Students may be surprised to discover the affordable tuition rate at Valparaiso University.  Please visit the Student Financial Services website for current tuition rates. Financial aid may be available for students taking 6 credits or more during fall and spring semesters. 

Are you interested in learning more? 
Request more information from the Office of the Graduate School. 

Click here to apply online!