Master of School Administration (MSA) in Educational Leadership

The Master of School Administration (MSA) meets state standards for North Carolina Level I administrator licensure principal). The degree requires 42 semester hours. Students engage the content of leadership preparation through graduate classroom engagement and assignments, observing schools and school leaders in their practice, and performing tasks under the supervision of a school-based and university mentor during the internship.

Courses are offered in the evenings during the Fall and Spring terms and at various times in the Summer term. Courses are offered off campus or in blended, online formats. Most students are enrolled part-time.

NC Principal Fellows Scholarship: The NC Principal Fellows Program is an essential part of the Master of School Administration Degree Program at UNCG. Students who are admitted to the MSA degree program at UNCG and who have applied and been accepted by the North Carolina Principal Fellows Commission, receive a financial scholarship loan in the amount set by the state legislature. The scholarship loan must be paid back, if, upon graduation from the MSA program, the recipient does not work for a minimum of 5 years as a school administrator to the state of NC. The Principal Fellows program was established to ensure that highly qualified students are able to earn the Master of School Administration degree in two years on a full-time basis and to provide a well-qualified group of administrators for schools in North Carolina.
Please visit to read more about the program, to access the application, and to read endorsements of the program written by former Principal Fellows recipients.

Career Opportunities

Internships, hands-on job experience, exciting career leads and more. Get connected.

Program Contact

Brian Clarida
School of Education Building Room 362


All you need to know about the application process – click here to get started.

Example Careers:

Assistant Principal, Principal, Executive Director, Assistant Superintendent

Designed For

Typically, the program attracts students who would like to pursue school administration.

Program of Study

Degree Requirements

Required Courses (24 hours)

  • ELC 616 Culturally Responsive Leadership
  • ELC 660 The School Principalship
  • ELC 670 Leadership for Teaching and Learning
  • ELC 673 Principal Leadership for Special Education
  • ELC 675 Schools as Centers of Inquiry
  • ELC 683 Engaging the Public in Education
  • ELC 684 Teacher Rights, Recruitment, Retention, and Evaluation
  • ELC 694 Cultural and Political Dimensions of Schooling

Electives (6 hours)

Students will work with their advisers to choose two electives (6 hours)— either in the Department or outside it—that match the student’s interests and provide both content and activities that are necessary to complete the student’s preparation. Advisers will encourage students to choose electives that create interdisciplinary and interprofessional connections in the student’s preparation.

Required Field Experiences (12 hours)

Students are required to complete an internship experience that is the equivalent of one year of full-time administrative field experience.

  • ELC 690 Practicum in Educational Administration

Capstone Experience

To be eligible to receive NC state licensure as a principal, students must submit a Licensure Portfolio to the department for review. The portfolio will include material drawn from the student’s course work and internship and provide documentary evidence of meeting state leadership standards. ELC faculty members will review the student’s portfolio for approval.

Program and Course Delivery

We offer students a coordinated blend of online and hybrid online/face-to-face courses. Our approach to program and course delivery is academically rigorous at the same time it is mindful of students’ professional obligations and personal lives.

Application Deadline

March 30th

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