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Give back to HGSE and support the next generation of passionate educators and innovative leaders.

Master's Degree Program

School Leadership Pathway and Principal Licensure Strand

The Education Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship (ELOE) Program offers two focused options for you to expand your preK–12 school leadership skills — the School Leadership Pathway and the School Leadership Pathway with Principal Licensure. For both options, a minimum of four years full-time professional experience in an education setting and demonstrated leadership experience in school or organization-wide initiatives is preferred.


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Every child in every school deserves a great principal. Engage in robust academic and internship experiences. Learn to become a school leader who expands access to options and opportunities, promotes engaged teaching and learning in a positive culture where everyone thrives. This is joyful and important work. 

— Mary Grassa O’Neill, Faculty Lead, ELOE School Leadership Pathway

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School Leadership Pathway

Excellent school leaders impact student and teacher outcomes and also the well-being of the communities they serve and their economic success. Students need school leaders who can effect change and help their schools excel.

The School Leadership Pathway is a match for you if you are interested in leadership and entrepreneurial roles in preK–12 district, charter, independent, and faith-based schools. You will develop a diverse skillset that will prepare you to be a successful school leader, including how to develop a strategic vision, manage change, lead with an equity mindset, and solve problems of practice.

All students in the School Leadership Pathway will complete two 250-hour internships at public district, public charter, independent, or faith-based schools for 4 credits each semester. These internships are designed to provide you with on-the-job experience that will help you develop the necessary skills for leading and implementing change in a preK–12 environment. You will be matched with an experienced mentor and a distinguished leader coach, who will support your growth throughout the year. Students also will take an education law course.

Principal Licensure Strand

Research shows that principals impact everything from how much students learn to graduation rates to teacher retention. Currently, there is great demand for skilled principals who can be a positive force in schools at every level.

The Principal Leadership strand within the School Leadership Pathway allows you to earn a Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Principal License. To earn your license, you will complete a basic skills test of reading and writing and The Massachusetts Performance Assessment for Leaders (PAL), which includes four performance-based tasks. As a graduate of a state approved principal preparation program, you will be able to apply for the equivalent credential in other states.

Principals require an enormous range of knowledge and skills — through the course of your studies, you will develop skills including how to be a highly effective leader, achieve positive school outcomes, implement change, and promote educational equity and excellence.

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Career Pathways

School Leadership Pathway: 
  • Lead an education organization
  • Lead a public, charter, independent, or faith-based school
  • Become an assistant principal, department chair, dean, etc.
  • Launch your own school or organization
  • Become a licensed principal through the Principal Licensure Strand
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Connect with Admissions

If you have additional admissions-related questions, please contact Paola Muñoz.

Connect with Program Staff

If you have remaining program-specific questions, please contact ELOE Assistant Director Karen Bottari.


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