San Diego State University's (SDSU) Department of Educational Leadership invites educators to apply to SDSU's fully-online Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. This program is designed for teachers and school administrators aspiring to be leaders at the PK-12 classroom, school, or district level; and for those who wish to lead the revolution in training students to use technology in tandem with critical thinking.

  • SDSU is listed No. 60 out of the top 464 public universities in the U.S.
  • Professors in our program are world-renowned for their work in leadership and instruction.
  • SDSU EDL Online program is ranked first in California (US News and World Report Ranking 2017) and 11th in the nation (

Duration: Ten courses over two summers and two semesters
Cost: $17,940 (lower cost than competing programs)

Apply by June 30, 2018 for the next cohort starting in Spring 2019. Apply now. 

MA in Educational Leadership Contact

Dr. Cheryl James Ward
Professor, Department of Educational Leadership
Director, San Diego State University
(619) 594-2566

Deadline to apply is June 30, 2018.

Apply Now


Reimagining Educational Leadership Through Technology

Read the Experiences of Students from the Program's First Cohort

Michelle SnyderAmong the program’s first-ever cohort of 25 educators is Michelle Snyder, a mother of three who says the program is a perfect fit for her. Not only is she able to take her classes online from home, she can also apply what she learns to her current position as an English teacher at an accredited Vista Unified School District high school that offers online and blended learning.

“I’m learning the same way my students learn,” she said. “It really has changed the way I teach. The class is a good balance of technology, pedagogy, and leadership.”

Before taking the MA program, which focuses on technology, Snyder checked with SDSU College of Education administrators to make sure it was a match for her.

“For a long time, I wanted to get a master’s degree with a program that appealed to me,” she said. “This one came along and it was right up my alley. I could tell it was very cutting-edge in education.”

Alex GonzalezAlex Gonzalez, technology coordinator at a San Diego charter school, already had two degrees from a local computer training college and a master’s degree in educational technology from Michigan State University.

He said SDSU’s 15-month program, which runs through December, gives him insight into how administrators facilitate education. (The second cohort began in May.)

“It’s a good experience to pull back the curtain and see why things are the way they are,” he said. “A lot of people want to change education; you have to look at the changing landscape of education first.

“There’s a big shift in how students are learning. They don’t just open books, they’re navigating online. There’s a big need for administrators who have their ear to the ground and are taking a look at strategies.”

Those strategies involve both educators and their students.

“You can’t just drop devices on teachers and students and expect them to learn it,” Gonzalez said. “When these students graduate from high school, they’re going to be on their own. The global workforce is looking for people who can think on their feet.”

Ulises CisnerosUlises Cisneros, second-grade Spanish-immersion teacher at a Lakeside Elementary School, noted how fellow students in the inaugural program refer to themselves as “trailblazers.”

“It’s been an amazing experience getting to start from the beginning,” he said. “We see how things work and don’t work. We get to collaborate with our instructors on how to make the program better.”

As Cisneros noted, students are learning aspects from their professors that you cannot “Google” to find out. The SDSU course includes discussion groups and management systems designed for master’s students to think deeper, and ultimately challenge the students they teach at the K-12 level to do the same.

“This program really makes us think big-picture,” Cisneros said. “We think far into the future, not just the near future. It helps us become better leaders in education.”


2018 Summer2018 Fall2019 Spring
ED 0690 Methods of Inquiry

Procedures for gathering, analyzing, and synthesizing information; reviewing the literature; designing studies. Section selection to be made with department graduate advisor.

Course Date(s)

James Marshall
ED 0795A Seminar

An intensive study in selected areas of education culminating in a written project. Limited to students following Plan B for the Master of Arts degree in education.

Course Date(s)

EDL 0610 Visionary Leadership

Concepts and techniques of leadership, analysis of factors and practice in procedures of individual and group leadership as applied to preK-12 educational environments.

Course Date(s)

Ian Pumpian
EDL 0630 School Improvement Leadership

Analyzing data to identify opportunities for school improvement. Appropriate and effective school improvement theories and strategies. Communication skills and leading others in improvement and monitoring of these efforts.

Course Date(s)

EDL 0650 Professional Learning and Growth Leadership

Model professional growth development. Principles of adult learning; identify and facilitate appropriate professional growth opportunities for staff. Collaboration with others to achieve mission of improving teaching and learning.

Course Date(s)

EDL 0655 Communication, Problem Solving, and Decision Making in PK12

Educational leadership principles and practices for communication, problem solving, and decision making in preK-12 schools and educational organizations.

Course Date(s)

EDL 0680.01 Seminar: Tech Architecture

Educational administration in preK-12 schools and school districts. Field experience when appropriate. May be repeated with new content. See Class Schedule for specific content. Maximum credit six units applicable to a master’s degree.
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor

Course Date(s)

Dennis Danielson