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Educational Leadership, EdS - Superintendent

Educational Leadership Degree for Superintendent of Schools

Achieve big-picture goals for the school district while managing administrators and programs as a superintendent of schools. The University of Central Missouri’s Educational Leadership - Superintendent EdS program prepares you to lead a school district and communicate effectively with key constituents while promoting academic success.

UCM is a regional leader in education, with a long history of producing educators who are equipped with the most recent knowledge, skills and tools to lead effectively — that’s why so many local schools partner with us. As a UCM student, you can be confident that our Superintendent degree in Educational Leadership will help you meet all the state-required coursework and develop the competencies you need to advance to the highest levels of school leadership.

Flexible degree options for school leaders

We know you’re busy and need the flexibility to take classes that fit into your schedule as a teacher and school leader. We designed our two-year Educational Leadership degree for Superintendents with educators in mind: Classes are offered on campus in Warrensburg and Lee’s Summit, with some being also available online.

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Dr. Bryan McDonald 
Associate Professor and Educational Leadership Program Coordinator
Lovinger 4110
Warrensburg, MO
Tel: 660-543-8996

College of Education

Department of Counseling and Educational Leadership

Educational Leadership Program Brochure

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Flexible degree for work-life balance

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CAEP-accredited Advanced Program

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Close ties with area school leaders

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100% of faculty have terminal degrees

A certificate

Qualify for MO Superintendent Cert

What you will study

Expert UCM faculty designed our Educational Leadership - Superintendent degree for educators who already have an advanced degree in leadership and are seeking the knowledge and certification they need to pursue a career as a district superintendent or work in a district central office. UCM’s Educational Leadership program curriculum covers all facets of leadership, including administration and supervision, curriculum assessment, data analysis, finance and law. 

In addition to the core educational leadership curriculum, you’ll complete coursework focused specifically on the competencies that superintendents need, including:

  • School Personnel Administration
  • School District Administration
  • Advanced School Finance
  • School Facilities
  • Politics and School Leadership

At the end of the graduate program, you’ll apply what you’ve learned during a year-long practicum in school administration at the district level, giving you first-hand experience for what it takes to be a successful superintendent of schools. Your coursework and practicum will challenge you to apply your learning in a real-world environment, ensuring that you’re prepared to solve whatever challenges you’ll face in the future.


Excellence in Educational Leadership

  • Top 15%: Most Focused Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 6%: Most Popular Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)


Unique learning opportunities in educational leadership

At the University of Central Missouri, we focus on providing a variety of ways for you to engage with faculty, local school leaders and fellow classmates through applied learning experiences. You’ll have plenty of chances to put your knowledge into action, giving you a better understanding of the challenges that a superintendent of schools faces and preparing you to lead a school district. 

Through coursework and projects, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the legal, educational and operational aspects of district leadership. You’ll also develop the skills needed to become the transformational leader needed in districts today. At the end of the program, you’ll apply what you’ve learned to real-life scenarios during a year-long practicum. You’ll work with a school administration to identify challenges and develop effective solutions that create meaningful change.

Collaborative Principals Preparation Program

UCM partners with 14 Kansas City area suburban school districts in the Cooperative Principals Preparation Program. Students must be recommended by their district for this leadership program. The CPPP is a two-year cohort program offered at UCM Summit Center (Lee’s Summit, MO). The program includes district mentoring, high quality professional development, and intensive leadership development.


What can you do with an Educational Leadership degree for Superintendents from UCM?

Our Superintendent degree prepares you for state certification, equipping you with the knowledge and credentials you need to pursue advanced leadership positions within your school district or elsewhere. Be prepared to excel in challenging leadership roles such as principal or a range of central office positions, including superintendent.

If you plan to pursue a doctoral degree before becoming a superintendent of schools, your UCM degree will prepare you to excel in a doctorate program and a meaningful career as a superintendent or other school leader.

Career outlook for educational leadership and superintendents

Use the tool below to discover career possibilities in educational leadership and view salary potential, employment trends and other career data.




Financial assistance options for your Education Specialist - Superintendent degree

Completing your Education Specialist degree is an investment in your future. At the University of Central Missouri, we strive to keep education affordable by offering a regionally recognized degree at a lower-than-average cost — we’re recognized as a Best Value College by U.S. News & World Report and we’re one of LendEDU’s top-ranked universities for low student debt. We also offer a variety of ways to finance your college education, including scholarships, grants and awards. 

UCM awards dozens of graduate scholarships each year, and the College of Education offers two scholarships specifically for our Educational Leadership students: 

  • School Administration Scholarship
  • Dr. John Paul Mees Scholarship

Learn more about program-specific scholarships by using the UCM Scholarship Finder.


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Make yourself more marketable.

Adding a graduate certificate to your Superintendent degree provides additional credentials that can help you advance your career in educational leadership:

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Explore programs related to superintendency.

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge and skills as an educator, you may also want to consider our other Educational Leadership EdS degrees at UCM:


Degree Options

  • Elementary Principal (MSE can be in leadership or another area)
  • Secondary Principal (MSE can be in leadership or another area)
  • Special Education Director (MSE can be in leadership or another area)
  • Superintendent (MSE should be in leadership, leading to initial building level certification)

Degree programs can also be modified to support certification as a Middle School Principal.

Entrance Requirements

  • A master's degree from an accredited institution
  • 3.25 or higher cumulative GPA
  • Teaching or student services (special education) certification
  • Experiences as a teacher or student services (special education) provider

Course Sequencing

Courses are offered on a rotating basis at both the Warrensburg and UCM-Lee’s Summit campuses. A few courses are offered online. Students have flexibility with their schedules and time of completion. EDAD 5110 Foundations of Educational Administration should be taken within the first six hours. The Principal and Central Office Internships may only be taken toward the end of the program of study.


At the end of the program you’ll complete an advanced practicum at your own school or another location of your choice. This gives you the opportunity to tie together everything you learned throughout your courses with local administrators and real life scenarios. The Internships are also designed to provide support for those completing the DESE Performance Tasks, required for certification.



UCM is the longest continuously CAEP accredited public institution in Missouri


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