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

Master's Programs

School Leadership

In the School Leadership Program (SLP), you will join a dynamic and diverse cohort of experienced teachers and education professionals ready to develop and hone your leadership knowledge, practice, and skills. SLP provides an exciting learning experience with a focus on race, equity, and excellence that combines rigorous academic work with two 250-hour internships. This combination of research, theory and practice prepares students to lead change, schools and organizations, people, and learning.

Playing a leadership role in education is something that's joyful. It's a way to improve the world; it's a way to provide service and it's a way to benefit children – our most precious resource.

Senior Lecturer Mary Grassa O'Neill, faculty director

SLP is a one-year, full-time program that engages you in learning experiences to develop critical leadership skills and make a real difference in the lives of learners. The many strengths of SLP include:

  • Cohort and Community – All SLP students share a desire to be influential agents of change, turning around underperforming institutions, and making already good schools and organizations even better. The diverse experiences and perspectives of your close-knit cohort will enrich your HGSE experience. Through common courses and cohort events, you will build strong relationships to support you as you move into leadership roles.
  • Fieldwork and Internships – Work with outstanding leaders in two different semester-long internships at district, charter, pilot, faith-based, or independent schools, or educational organizations in the Greater Boston area. You will engage in robust field-based learning through two 250-hour internships and work directly with leaders and coaches to develop and hone your leadership practice.

Curriculum Information

As an SLP student, you will choose one of two strands — Principal Licensure or School Development. Each strand requires 32 total credits which consist of core course and electives. 

Principal Licensure Strand 

This strand is a match for you if you are interested in earning a Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Principal License.

View Requirements

View all courses and information on cross-registration.

School Development Strand

This strand is a match for you if you are interested in leadership and entrepreneurial roles in district, charter, independent schools, and education nonprofits.

View Requirements

View all courses and information on cross-registration.

View all SLP Electives

Program Faculty

HGSE consists of a faculty of the whole and students can work with and take courses with faculty throughout HGSE and Harvard. The faculty that SLP students most often work with include: 

Fieldwork & Internships

Every SLP student engages in two 250-hour internships, one in the fall semester, and one in the spring semester. Students in the Principal Licensure strand intern directly with principals who meet state requirements at schools in Boston and the Greater Boston area. Students in the School Development strand intern at a range of sites in entrepreneurship, non-profit leadership and in-school leadership. Through the internship, you will learn from experienced leaders and have opportunities to take on substantial leadership roles in schools and organizations. Your leadership development will be supported by internship mentors, coaches, and faculty. 

Alumni & Student Profiles

All SLP students share a desire to be influential agents of change, turning around underperforming institutions and making already good schools and organizations even better. Our alumni can be found in leadership positions around the U.S. and the world, working in organizations, and public, charter, independent, faith-based, and international schools, in roles such as: principal, assistant principal, head of school, school founder, director of education and leadership, and program director.

Shiroy Aspandiar

Narrowing the Gap: Shiroy Aspandiar, Ed.M.'15

How one Houston-area alum is working to close the opportunity gap for low-income students.

Tamesha Webb

Improving Girls' Education: Tamesha Webb, SLP'18

The Intellectual Contribution Award recipient for School Leadership reflects on her time at HGSE and looks toward the future.

Connect with Admissions

More information about our admissions application requirements and instructions, tuition and financial aid, and answers to frequently asked questions is available on our website. If you have additional admissions-related questions, please contact Alicia Peralta or call 617.495.3414.

Introduce Yourself

Receive tailored admissions information about upcoming programs, events, and opportunities to connect with us.

Connect with Program Staff

If you have remaining program-specific questions, reach out to SLP Program Administrator Abbie Bloom.

Virtual Information Sessions

View the School Leadership recorded virtual information session to learn more about the program from faculty, students, and staff.