Today’s teachers do so much more than just teaching. They serve as peer coaches and mentors. They lead curriculum teams. They model and design exemplary instructional practices. Become the type of leader that your school community needs with our online Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership Program.

Teacher Leadership Webinar Series

Want to learn how to become an educational leader? Join us for our three-part Teacher Leadership Webinar Series.

Leading for Equity — April 13 | 5:30-6:15 pm PDT
Leading Collaboration for Impact — May 18 | 5:30-6:15 pm PDT
Leading for Evidence-Based Practices — June 29 | 5:30-6:15 pm PDT

Sign up for one, two, or all three webinars today!
Click here to register.


We’re excited to announce that
applications for Fall 2021 are now open!
Fall 2021: Oct. 1-Aug. 1

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The Master of Arts in Education, with an emphasis on Teacher Leadership, is designed for teachers who want to take on leadership roles in their school communities without sacrificing their impact in the classroom.


About the program

Today’s teachers do so much more than just teaching. Many educators take on other roles outside of the classroom, becoming coaches and mentors for new teachers, leading initiatives and conducting program evaluations, and leading their professional learning communities. Collectively and individually, these teacher-leaders influence their colleagues, principals, and other members of the school community to improve teaching and learning practices in order to create a more cohesive and productive learning environment for their students.

Estimated CostTotal Estimated Cost
Pending approval
Completion Time Completion Time
12 to 14 months
Course Format Course Format

Become a leader in your school community by earning your Master of Arts in Education in Teacher Leadership online from San Diego State University. This online program is designed and developed by SDSU’s Department of Educational Leadership with the goal of strengthening educational communities across San Diego, the country, and throughout the world.

Many educators have the ability to lead in the classroom, but those leadership skills don’t automatically transfer to the task of leading fellow teachers and colleagues. Often, professional development opportunities for teachers are limited to the occasional conference or workshop session. This program gives you the skills you need to take on those leadership roles, helping to train and coach your fellow educators and colleagues towards smarter educational practices.

You can complete all necessary coursework in as little as 12 to 14 months. And because the coursework is online, you’ll be able to earn your Master’s degree on your schedule.

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Program is perfect for

This online Master of Education in Teacher Leadership program is designed for passionate educators who are interested in assuming leadership roles in addition to their teacher duties. This program prepares you for these roles by providing you with new knowledge and leadership skills, furthering your sense of inquiry and your ability to lead change in your school, and providing you with a scholarly community of educators with similar career goals and trajectories. If you have a passion for leadership, and you want to actively strengthen your school community, this program can help.

Upon graduation, you’ll have the skills you’ll need to be effective in leadership roles in your school community by taking on diverse leadership roles as:

  1. A master teacher
  2. Curriculum leader
  3. Assessment leader
  4. Mentor
  5. An instructional coach

Today’s teachers are busier than ever. Between designing lesson plans, submitting grades, creating assignments, leading classrooms and discussions, and of course, teaching, most educators don’t have time to further their education. This program is designed to lower the barriers, making it easier to earn a well-rounded graduate-level education from a reputable university.

Since the program is entirely online and can be completed in as little as 3 semesters, you’ll be able to earn your Master’s degree in your busy schedule. Best of all, upon graduation, you’ll have earned the same degree as our on-campus students: a Master of Arts in Education in Teacher Leadership from San Diego State University.

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What you can learn

The online Teacher Leadership program is designed to help strengthen school communities everywhere by helping educators become leaders. You’ll be prepared to lead your fellow teachers and colleagues towards better educational practices. You’ll learn about the power of collective efficacy, its impact on a school, and the expectation that you’ll contribute to building it.

You’ll develop a deep understanding of high-quality instruction to the point where you can see it, feel it and know when it’s not present. You’ll also learn how to work productively on a team, and through teamwork, influence the learning and practice of adults from a parallel position of authority.

The goals of SDSU's Teacher Leadership program are:

  1. To provide exceptional classroom teachers with the skills they need to pursue leadership roles, such as a department chair, instructional coach, or a coordinator, while maintaining their impact in classrooms
  2. To provide teachers a foundation for personal and professional growth in leadership skills who then provide high quality instruction in their own classrooms
  3. To provide experiences that transfer research into practice through leadership opportunities

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The outlook for teacher leaders is bright. Over the past year, there were over 145,000 job postings across the country, with more than 25,000 job postings in California alone. And as educators continue to take on more active roles in leadership in their school communities, those employment numbers are expected to grow by almost 8.5% over the next decade. As a teacher leader, you can expect to make between $45,000 and $92,000 per year, which is much higher than the average salary of teacher leaders who hold a Bachelor’s degree ($51,122) or an Associate’s degree ($41,253).

Job Postings

K-12 Teaching


Teaching Support & Enrichment


Education Administration


Instructional & Curriculum Design


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Employment (2018)

K-12 Teaching


Teaching Support & Enrichment


Education Administration


Instructional & Curriculum Design


Category Title


Projected Growth over Next 10 Years

K-12 Teaching


Teaching Support & Enrichment


Education Administration


Instructional & Curriculum Design


Category Title


Salary Range

K-12 Teaching


Teaching Support & Enrichment


Education Administration


Instructional & Curriculum Design


Category Title


Labor Analysis
M.A. in Teacher Education and Professional Development — Nationwide

Job Postings
Job Postings
Last 12 months

Projected Growth
Projected Growth
Over 10 years

Salary Range
Salary Range

Source: BLS & Burning Glass Technologies, 2020

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Why Should You Choose Us?


We understand that teachers are busy, and teachers who take on leadership roles in their school communities are even busier. Because you can earn your degree with just 30 units of coursework, you can complete the program in as little as 3 semesters. The courses are held entirely online, meaning that you’ll have more time to use your degree to improve your school.

Proven Curriculum

When you graduate from this Teacher Leadership program, you’re earning a Master’s degree that’s based on proven leadership principles. The program outcomes (Equity, Evidence-based Instruction, Mentoring, Coaching and Collaboration, and Organizational Engagement) are designed to help prepare the next generation of teachers to take on leadership roles in their school communities. These outcomes were designed by the Educational Leadership faculty and local district leaders to be in full accordance with California’s Teacher Leadership Standards.

The program was developed with the help of Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., an experienced leader in the education industry. Professor Fisher is the Department Chair of Educational Leadership and is the recipient of a Faculty Monty Award.


Even though the program is designed exclusively for current teachers with 3 or more years of experience, the curriculum will prepare you for a variety of leadership roles in your school community. Teacher leaders design curriculums, lead workshops, become coaches and mentors, and help schools adapt to changes in the educational environment. No matter what leadership means to you, this program can help you achieve your professional goals.


In order to earn your Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership, you’ll need to complete the following:

  • Core Courses — 21 Units total (three 5-unit courses and one 6-unit course)
  • Research Courses — 9 Units total
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Core Courses (21 Units)

EDL 615: Leading Equity in Schools (6 Units)
The purpose of this course is to prepare participants for supporting equity for students in PreK-12 schools through a variety of leadership roles. In particular, this course provides an examination of common biases and inequities in schools that affect students.Participants will study and apply current best practice to design school systems and structures for reducing inequities and promoting optimal learning environments and experiences for all learners.

EDL 616: Leading Teams to Use Evidence-Based Practices (5 Units)
The purpose of this course is to prepare participants to lead the use of evidence-based instructional practices in PreK-12 schools. Participants in this course will develop a deep understanding of high-quality instruction to the point where they can see it, feel it, and know when it’s not present.

EDL 617: Mentoring, Coaching, and Collaboration (5 Units)
The purpose of this course is to prepare participants to use mentoring, coaching, and collaboration in their roles as leaders to promote school improvement. Participants will learn about various models and methods for mentoring and coaching from a parallel position of authority.

EDL 618: Organizational Engagement (5 Units)
The purpose of this course is to prepare teachers to lead organizational change using principles of implementation science. Using principles of implementation science, participants will design professional learning opportunities and professional learning communities to promote and sustain organizational change.

Research Courses (9 Units)

ED 690: Methods of Inquiry (3 Units)
This course is designed to provide graduate students in the College of Education an introduction to educational research. Students will take this course in their first semester.

ED 795A: Seminar (3 Units)
The purpose of this graduate seminar is to prepare graduates to develop an action research proposal to be carried out in a school. Students will take this course in their first semester.

ED 795B: Seminar (3 Units)
The purpose of this graduate seminar is to prepare participants to implement and evaluate a school-based action research project. The report of this research serves as the culminating project for graduates earning the Master of Art in Teacher Leadership. Students will take this course in their first semester.


Admission Requirements


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the requirements that applicants for graduate study at SDSU submit scores for the GRE or GMAT are suspended for the Spring and Fall 2021 admissions cycles.

In addition, a number of students were admitted conditionally for Fall 2020 without submitting standardized exam scores, an earlier accommodation to the pandemic. Conditions established at the time were that those students must submit official exam scores by the end of the calendar year. Those conditions have been waived.

Out-of-State Applicants
While we welcome out-of-state students, SDSU Global Campus currently cannot accept applications from students residing in the specific states. Please check back often, as this list of approved states does change. View the list of authorized states here.

For admission to the Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership program, candidates should have at least 2 years of PK-12 teaching experience and a desire to serve in a teacher leadership role, rather than school or district leadership position. To be considered for admission, graduate applicants should meet all the minimum SDSU requirements, at the time of enrollment:

  • Hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree earned at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association, or have completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by the graduate dean
  • Have attained a grade point average of at least 2.85 in an acceptable earned baccalaureate degree, or at least 2.85 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted, or hold an acceptable post-baccalaureate degree earned at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association
  • Have been in good standing at the last institution attended
  • Have achieved satisfactory scores on all sections of the GRE for degree seeking applicants.

We understand that every student's academic journey is unique, and we encourage you to contact one of our Student Service Representatives to find out what you'll need to successfully apply to the program.

Application Instructions

To apply for the online Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership program, you’ll need to complete the following steps:

  1. Apply to the University through the Cal State Apply application
  2. Create your SDSU WebPortal Account after receiving your Red ID number
  3. Submit Official Documents, which include:
    1. Official transcripts sent in sealed envelopes (issued by the school) from all postsecondary schools attended. Do not send transcripts before submitting the Cal State Apply application as this may result in processing delays.
    2. If you have international coursework, you should have your school send one record of all academic coursework and proof of degree, both in the original-language. For each original-language document you should also send a certified literal English translation, which can come directly from the school itself or from a professional, certified translator. The translation should contain all information shown on the original-language documents and in the same format.
    3. Official documents should be mailed to:
      Graduate Admissions
      San Diego State University
      5500 Campanile Drive
      San Diego, CA 92182-7416
    4. Electronic transcripts are highly encouraged. Please ensure that you indicate this preference when making your request. If you are required to provide an email address to send the secure online document to SDSU, please use
  4. Submit Official Test Scores, which include:
    1. GRE Test Score — exam score should be sent electronically from Educational Testing Service (ETS) to SDSU using the SDSU institution code: 4682.
    2. English Proficiency — All graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants (regardless of citizenship status) applying to SDSU from an international institution where the medium of instruction was not English, should submit test scores for either a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE as proof of English proficiency.
  5. Submit a Program Application and Program Specific Documents, which include:
    1. Statement of Leadership Philosophy — write a Statement of Leadership Philosophy, 1-2 pages, addressing your beliefs and values about leadership, curriculum and instruction, students, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders.
    2. Résumé/CV
    3. Letters of Recommendation from two (2) individuals who you have interacted with both academically and/or professionally and who would be able to write a letter of recommendation for you. One of the recommenders should be an immediate supervisor.

Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership Program

  Unit Cost Program Unit Range* Cost
Tuition $482 30 $14,460
Associated Students $19 30 $570
Technology $21 30 $630
Student Engagement $21 30 $630
Total Estimated Costs $543   $16,290
Pending approval

* Everyone is unique, your admissions advisor will work with you to determine the right path that suits your needs.

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