Master's Degrees

Master's Degrees

Master of Science in Educational Leadership - School Administration

The program for the Master of Science in Educational Leadership with a concentration in School Administration prepares educators for careers as school administrators. Program candidates learn to analyze data, evaluate instruction, improve student achievement, make strategic decisions, creatively solve problems, involve families in their children’s education, empower others, supervise staff, promote change, establish positive school culture, understand budgets, and manage resources. The program is nationally accredited by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) and approved for administrative licensure by the Mississippi Department of Education. Graduates are prepared for a wide range of professional positions in education, including principal, assistant principal, coordinator, and director.

Curriculum

The program is designed to complement the professional lives of P-12 educators and can be completed in 14 months. The program can be completed on the Starkville or Meridian campuses, or online via the Center for Distance Education.

To be eligible for admission to the program, the applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, meet the basic requirements specified for graduate students at Mississippi State University, demonstrate interest in the mission of P-12 schools, and demonstrate academic proficiency based on the following indicators:

  1. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale on the last half of the bachelor’s degree;
  2. Letter of endorsement from current school administrator and two other letters of reference;
  3. Statement of purpose*;
  4. Copy of valid teacher’s license;
  5. Evidence of three years of teaching experience;
  6. Current résumé; and
  7. Interview.

*We encourage applicants to follow the guidance below when preparing a Statement of Purpose. In no more than two pages, please respond to the following items:

  • Describe your interest and purpose for applying to the program, including your short- and long-term career goals. 
  • Describe your experience in P-12 education, including the variation of your experience and why you believe the experience prepares you for a leadership role. 
  • Describe your demonstrated competencies in increasing student achievement citing specific data examples. Provide explanation of instructional expertise leading to increases. 
  • Describe your demonstrated competency in creating a classroom culture of equity and high expectations. Provide explanation of evidence-based strategies to establish such a culture and at least one specific example. 
  • Describe your vision for leadership including the skills and behaviors you believe contribute to productive and effective educational leadership.

Required Courses
EDL 8413 School Legal and Ethical Perspectives 3
EDL 8423 School Leadership 3
EDL 8433 Using Data for School Improvement 3
EDL 8513 School Leadership Internship I 3
EDL 8523 Educating Diverse Learners 3
EDL 8613 School Leadership Internship II 3
EDL 8623 Leading Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment 3
EDL 8633 Human Resources Leadership for Schools 3
EDL 8713 School Business and Facilities 3
EDL 8723 Leadership for Positive School Culture 3
Total Hours 30

A comprehensive examination is also held during their final semester. Students will be required to complete the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA). Students must also submit their SLLA results to the program for completion.

Program Coordinator

Dr. Paula Tharp
Email: ptharp@colled.msstate.edu


Master of Science in Educational Leadership - Teacher Leadership

The Teacher Leadership program is designed to enable future teacher-leaders to develop strong leadership characteristics so that they are better equipped to improve student achievement, evaluate instruction, promote collaborative learning, empower others, supervise staff, and promote healthy learning communities. Teacher Leadership candidates will develop skills that will enable them to be educators and leaders in and outside of the classroom. Teacher Leadership graduates will be highly employable in a myriad of professional positions, such as instructional coaches, lead teachers, coordinators, and directors.

Curriculum

Newly developed courses for the Teacher Leadership program have been designed using the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and will be relevant to all students interested in becoming teacher leaders. The 30-hour program is designed to complement the schedule of full-time educators and can be completed in 15 months.

To be eligible for admission to the program, the applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, meet the basic requirements specified for graduate students at Mississippi State University, and demonstrate academic proficiency based on the following indicators:

1. Grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale on the last half of the bachelor’s degree;
2. Letter of endorsement from current school administrator and two additional letters of reference;
3. Statement of purpose;
4. Valid teacher’s license;
5. Evidence of full-time P-12 classroom teaching experience;
6. Current résumé; and
7. Interview.

Required Courses  
First Summer  
EDL 8423 School Leadership 3
EDL 8433 Using Data for School Improvement 3
EDL 8343 Effective and Reflective Practitioner for Teacher Leadership 3
Fall    
EDL 8523 Educating Diverse Learners 3
EDL 8323 Differentiation of Instruction for Teacher Leadership 3
Spring    
EDL 8623 Curriculum Leadership 3
EDL 8333 Teaching Practice & Learning Environment for Teacher Leadership 3
Second Summer    
Elective EDL, EDF, EDE, EDS, or EPY Elective 3
EDL 8723 Leadership for Positive School Culture 3
EDL 8313 Assessing Content Knowledge for Teacher Leadership 3
Total Hours 30

Program Coordinator

Dr. Leigh Ann McMullan
Email: LMcMullan@colled.msstate.edu 


Master of Science in Elementary Education

Designed to enhance the teaching practices of educators in graduates K-8, MSU’s Master of Science in Elementary Education requires 33 semester hours of graduate coursework beyond the bachelor's degree and successful completion of a comprehensive written examination. This degree program prepares students to lead in the classroom and make a difference in students’ lives. Program graduates are eligible to be recommended for the Class AA Mississippi Educator License.

Curriculum

Program Coordinator

Dr. Rebecca Robichaux-Davis
Email: rrr102@msstate.edu 
 


Master of Science in Secondary Education

Designed to provide new and veteran classroom teachers the opportunity to expand their knowledge and vision of education in terms of theory, research and practice. The Master of Science in Secondary Education requires 33 semester hours of graduate coursework beyond the bachelor's degree and successful completion of a comprehensive written examination. Program graduates are eligible to be recommended for the Class AA Mississippi Educator License. Classes for this program can be done online, please see advisor for online class offerings.

Curriculum

Program Coordinator

Dr. Missy Hopper
Email: pfh7@msstate.edu 
 


Master of Science in Special Education

The Master of Science in Special Education requires 33 hours of graduate coursework beyond the bachelor's degree. Program graduates are eligible to be recommended for the Class AA Mississippi Educator License.

Curriculum

Program Coordinator

Dr. Patricia Hampshire
Email: pkh80@msstate.edu