Educational Leadership and Policy Studies M.Ed.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Master of Education Degree


The master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies is designed to cultivate leaders who can apply knowledge toward leading and building learning communities designed to make a positive difference in the lives of children, youth, families, adults, and communities. The program prepares public and private school leaders, curriculum leaders, teacher leaders, leaders of educational and social service agencies, and leaders for other educational organizations. Additionally, professionals (i.e. police, non-profit administrators, civil-servants and care workers) involved in leading educational training and programming for their respective organizations and services are often attracted to this program of study.  The program is designed to prepare leaders to think and act creatively, responsibly, and effectively in leadership roles.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Education

There are two application deadlines. Applications are due November 15th for admission the following spring and April 1st for admission the following summer and fall. The process for application is as follows:

  • Students apply to the Graduate College through electronic submission of the application materials. Materials are available on the website for the University of Vermont Graduate College.
  • Applicants may be required to interview with the master's program coordinator or program faculty member.
  • Applicants will receive written notification of the status of their application from the Graduate College. Applicants are responsible for making sure all application materials have been submitted to the Graduate College.
  • Once accepted, applicants will receive a letter of acceptance from the program coordinator and will be assigned an advisor.

Minimum Degree Requirements

The program requirements, depending on a degree focused on general educational leadership studies or a focus on school building administration with licensure, include:

  • 33 to 36 credits distributed among courses, summer seminars, independent study, clinical field experiences, and internships.
  • 15 of which compose the core curriculum, with the remainder making up the student's individual concentration. Students desiring the Vermont Administrative Licensure will take a majority of their electives in areas required through licensure standards as defined by Vermont Competencies for Administrative Endorsement and Vermont Standards for Professional Educators.
  • The core curriculum consists of the following courses:
  • A leadership portfolio which marks the final requirement of the program. Portfolios are presented as part of the Master’s Comprehensive Orals at the completion of each student’s degree program.

A maximum of 9 credits may be accepted in transfer into the program. Transfer credit may be completed prior to admission to the program provided that the credit is approved by the student's graduate studies committee and that the credit conforms to all other Graduate College requirements.

Thesis Option

The EDLP program has a thesis option in which 6 credits of EDLP 391, Master's Thesis Research, replaces the equivalent number of elective course credits. A thesis is developed in collaboration with a supervising EDLP faculty member and adheres to policies and procedures of the Graduate College.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination is taken in the last semester prior to graduation.  The examination consists of an oral presentation of a portfolio built throughout the program.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Education

Successful completion of any prerequisite courses, and at least 15 graded graduate credits with a 3.00 GPA or better, including all core courses.