In this article, we profile the top 30 most affordable online master’s in educational leadership degree programs for 2017.

Most school principals, superintendents, and administrators hold a master’s in educational leadership or related degree. According to the Occupation Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for educational leaders is favorable. Job growth is expected to increase by 6% over the next seven years. Today, online master’s in educational leadership programs are available to accommodate working students.

We looked at 247 accredited colleges and universities listed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator that offered online master’s in educational leadership or closely related degree programs. We narrowed our list of schools by selecting institutions with regional or national rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. We also chose institutions with rankings for online graduate education degree programs. We then listed the schools in order of affordability based on in-state graduate tuition rates/fees published by NCES College Navigator.

Below are the resulting selections for our top 30 most affordable online master’s in educational leadership degrees.

#30 – University of New England

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Biddeford, Maine

Website

University of New England - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

University of New England – Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $23,172

University of New England earns a spot on our list as having one of the top online master’s in educational leadership degree programs. Designed for K-12 educators who are considering the move into school administration, this 30-credit program may be completed entirely online. Courses are taught by the same university professors who teach on campus. These courses include educational leadership, organizational theory and strategic planning, school finance, school law, and supervision and evaluation of instructional personnel. The University of New England is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 80th best regional university in the North. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #98 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#29 – Northeastern University

Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration

Boston, Massachusetts

Website

Northeastern University - Online Master's in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $23,166

Northeastern University offers an accredited and fully online master’s in school administration program designed for those interested in pursuing higher education leadership roles. The program is available 100% online and requires no application fee or GRE test scores. Courses are taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. Required courses include education as an advanced field of study, education law and finance, globalization of education, landscape of higher education, and the demographics of higher education. Several electives allow students to tailor their degree with classes like digital media literacy, models for learning design, and social media and beyond. Northeastern is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 39th best national university and 7th most innovative school.

#28 – Pennsylvania State University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

University Park, Pennsylvania

Website

Pennsylvania State University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,832

Pennsylvania State University’s online master’s in educational leadership program is a 30-credit degree designed to equip educational professionals and teachers as school leaders. The program may be completed entirely online with courses taught by the same professors who instruct in the classroom on campus. Courses include curriculum design theory and practice, introduction to educational leadership, leadership for inclusive education, principles of instructional supervision, school improvement, and technology applications in educational leadership. An internship is also required. Penn State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 50th best national university and 14th top public school in the country.

#27 – Southern New Hampshire University

Online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction in Education Leadership

Manchester, New Hampshire

Website

Southern New Hampshire University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,810

The affordable educational leadership master’s online program from Southern New Hampshire University is a ranked and accredited degree, which requires no GMAT or GRE scores for admission. This accredited program is offered entirely online and is designed for licensed teachers seeking endorsement as educational leaders. Online courses include curriculum development, learning through technology, school and community relations, school facilities and finance, and school organizational leadership. Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 101st best regional university in the North. Also, the school is recognized by U.S. News as the #1 most innovative institution.

#26 – University of Massachusetts

Online Master’s in Educational Administration

Lowell, Massachusetts

Website

UMASS Lowell - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,613

One of the top school administration programs online degrees on our list is found at University of Massachusetts. This 30-credit program is designed to equip experienced educational practitioners who want to deepen their knowledge in administration. All courses are delivered online and taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. Courses include leading the professional learning community, managing resources and finances, principles of supervision, program evaluation, and school policy and the law. Admission to the program is highly competitive and requires three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and a summary of immediate and long-range goals. The institution is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top public school and best national university. Also, the graduate education programs are ranked #16 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#25 – University of Cincinnati

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Cincinnati, Ohio

Website

University of Cincinnati - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,468

University of Cincinnati’s educational leadership master’s online program is ideal for experienced school professionals with the desire to become administrators or teacher leaders. The program may be completed entirely online with courses taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. Courses include curriculum development and data analysis, educational leadership theory, human resources administration in education, instructional supervision, school finance, and school law. An internship may also be required, especially if the student is pursuing licensure. University of Cincinnati is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 135th best national university in the country. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #43 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#24 – University of Florida

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Gainesville, Florida

Website

University of Florida - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,737

The online master’s in educational leadership degree program from University of Florida is designed to provide working professionals a graduate degree from a nationally recognized institution. The online program also leads to Florida principal certification should a student wish to participate in the certification track. Courses are delivered online and include administration of school personnel, communication in educational leadership, educational organization and administration, supervised practice in educational administration, and technology leadership. Admission requires an academic or scholarly paper, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. University of Florida is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 50th best national university and 14th top public school. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #1 in the nation.

#23 – Tiffin University

Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration

Tiffin, Ohio

Website

Tiffin University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,600

One of the most affordable school administration programs online on our list is the online master’s in higher education administration from Tiffin University. The online program is designed for professional educators wanting to pursue a career in some aspect of higher education administration. Curriculum is delivered online with courses taught by university professors. Courses include diversity in education, educational leadership, ethical and legal issues in education, philosophy of education, technology for educators, and world history of education. Students are also required to complete a capstone project and educational research. Tiffin is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as a top regional university in the Midwest.

#22 – Montclair State University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Montclair, New Jersey

Website

Montclair State University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,590

Montclair State University offers one of the most affordable online educational leadership programs on our list. The program is delivered in a fully online format with each course lasting for eight weeks. The program is designed to be completed in two years without taking multiple courses simultaneously. Admission to the program requires official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. However, the GRE may be waived if the applicant has an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. All classes are delivered online and include education law, effective leadership in a diverse society, ethical leadership and decision making, leadership and the learning organization, school and community relations, and theory and research in administration. Montclair State is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 176th best national university in the country. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #47 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#21 – Florida State University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration

Tallahassee, Florida

Website

Florida State University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,543

Florida State University offers an accredited online master’s in school administration program that is designed to help those in school leadership roles to provide leadership for teaching and learning. The online master’s program offers fall and spring admission and requires GRE test scores, a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA, and a minimum of two full years in the classroom gaining teaching experience. All courses are delivered online and include data driven school improvement, leadership for diversity, planning effective instruction, resource management for educational leaders, and teacher leadership development. Florida State is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 92nd best national university and 38th top public school. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #3 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#20 – Arizona State University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Arizona State University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,304

One of the top educational leadership master’s online programs on our list is the online master’s from Arizona State University. All classes are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who instruct on campus. These courses include competency and performance in educational administration, critical issues in educational leadership, instructional supervision, leadership in curriculum and assessment, school finance and human resources, and school law. An applied project and internship may also be required for completion of the program. Arizona State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as the 129th best national university. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #40 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#19 – Old Dominion University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Norfolk, Virginia

Website

Old Dominion University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,136

Old Dominion University’s online educational leadership programs include the master’s in educational leadership and administration degree. This 30-credit hour program requires the completion of 24 credits of coursework and six credits of clinical experience. Internship hours may be embedded into the coursework and offer students a way of gaining even more hands-on experience. Rolling admission and optional GRE test scores make the application process convenient and flexible. The program is designed for individuals interested in pursuing careers as assistant principals, department leaders, lead teachers, principals, and superintendents. Old Dominion is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national institution and public school. Also, the online graduate education program is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 77th best program in the country.

#18 – Kansas State University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Manhattan, Kansas

Website

Kansas State University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,532

Kansas State University’s online educational leadership programs include the affordable online master’s in educational leadership. This accredited program requires 30 credits for the master’s degree and 36 credits for the degree and licensure. While courses are delivered primarily online, hybrid style web-enhanced components and face-to-face sessions may be required. Courses include administrative leadership in curriculum, educational human resources administration, ethical dimensions of educational leadership, historical and philosophical analysis of leadership in education, and school-community relations. The program is also designed to equip students with the foundation needed to enroll in a doctoral program. Kansas State is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national university, and the online graduate education programs are ranked #61 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#17 – University of Iowa

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Iowa City, Indiana

Website
University of Iowa - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,357

University of Iowa’s educational leadership master’s online program is designed to prepare degree candidates to be principals and/or supervisors in educational settings. The master’s degree offers an optional principal licensure and requires a total of 36 semester hours. Those pursuing the licensure must dedicate 12 semester hours to clinical coursework. Online courses are taught by university professors with relevant experience in the field. These courses include administration of students with special needs, contemporary management strategies for the K-12 principal, legal aspect of school personnel, research for effective school leaders, and supervision and evaluation. University of Iowa is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national institution. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #16 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#16 – Indiana University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Bloomington, Indiana

Website

Indiana University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,743

Indiana University’s school administration programs online include the master’s in educational leadership degree. This program may be completed online and is designed to prepare students to take on leadership roles in educational organizations, schools, and districts. Course requirements include data-informed decision making for school leaders, educational leadership principalship K-12, introduction to educational leadership, legal perspectives on education, public school budgeting and accounting, and school community relations. The institution is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 86th best national university in the country. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #22 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#15 – Saint Leo University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Saint Leo, Florida

Website

Saint Leo University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,630

One of the most affordable online educational leadership programs on our list is the master’s in educational leadership from Saint Leo University. This fully online program is designed to prepare educators who hold a valid teaching certificate to assume leadership roles in public and private educational settings. Courses are taught by university professors and include building school and community relations, data driven instructional decisions, decision making for instructional leadership, leadership in a learning culture, leading curriculum for special populations, school management, and values and ethics in educational leadership. Saint Leo is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 62nd best regional university in the South and the 26th best value school. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #149 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#14 – Iowa State University

Online Master’s in Community College Leadership

Ames, Iowa

Website

Iowa State University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,172

For those in search of school administration programs online at the community college level, Iowa State University offers this unique degree. This entirely online degree program is designed to prepare mid-career faculty, staff, and administrators for advanced administration roles in community colleges. Courses are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who teach on campus. Admission to the program requires a complete application, letters of reference, and official transcripts from accredited colleges or universities. Iowa State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #163 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#13 – University of West Florida

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Pensacola, Florida

Website

University of West Florida - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,062

University of West Florida’s online master’s in educational leadership consists of 33 credit hours and a completion time of 18 months. The graduate program is offered entirely online with classes taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. These courses include data driven decisions using standardized student achievement data, foundations of measurement, introduction to educational leadership, leadership in education – school improvement theory and practice, and principles of curriculum development. Admission to the program requires an earned bachelor’s from a regionally accredited institution and a GPA of at least 3.0 on the bachelor’s degree. A lower undergraduate GPA may require the submission of GRE scores. University of West Florida is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national institution.

#12 – Ball State University

Online Master’s in Educational Administration and Supervision

Muncie, Indiana

Website

Ball State University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,904

Ball State University’s online master’s in school administration is one of the most affordable graduate programs on our list. This 36-hour degree program can be completed in just 18-20 months and is designed to prepare educators for the task of school leadership. Classes are taken entirely online with instruction delivered by the same university professors teaching on campus. Courses include educational decision making, educational finance and ethics, human resource development, introduction to educational leadership, methodology of educational and psychological research, and the school principal. Ball State is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #16 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#11 – University of South Dakota

Online Master’s in Educational Administration

Vermillion, South Dakota

Website

University of South Dakota - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,557

University of South Dakota offers one of the top school administration programs online on our list. Small class sizes combined with highly accessible faculty and advisors make the program popular for educators who want to return to school to gain leadership experience. Various completion plans allow students the ability to tailor their degree toward adult and higher education, school district superintendent, or pre-K through 12 principal. Admission requires official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and additional application materials. The University of South Dakota is a top-ranked and accredited institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as a best national university. Also, the online graduate education programs have earned recognition.

#10 – University of Arkansas

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Website

University of Arkansas - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,350

One of the top educational leadership master’s online degree programs on our list is offered by University of Arkansas. The 33-credit hour program may be completed 100% online and in just two years. Admission does not require GRE scores for those with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. All courses are delivered online and taught by the same instructors who teach on campus. Online courses include analytical decision making, effective leadership for school improvement, ethical leadership, instructional leadership and planning/supervision, school law, school organization and administration, and the school principalship. The University of Arkansas is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 135th best national university in the country. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #47 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#9 – Liberty University

Online Master of Education in Administration and Supervision

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Liberty University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,000

Liberty University’s online master’s in school administration program is designed to prepare individuals for effective leadership roles in Christian, private, or public schools. The 36-credit hour program is accredited under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Standards and is ranked by U.S. News and World Report. Courses are delivered online and include curriculum development, foundations for educational leaders, foundations for exceptionality, learning theory, principles of behavior management, and school finance and management. A three credit hour internship is also required. Liberty’s online graduate education programs are ranked #174 by U.S. News out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#8 – Minnesota State University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Mankato, Minnesota

Website

Minnesota State University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,547

The online educational leadership programs offered at Minnesota State University include the online master’s in educational leadership. The 34-credit hour program uses a hybrid instructional model with conveniently scheduled courses that meet on Saturdays and weeknights. Courses include equity and education, leadership studies, multicultural leadership, organizational and systems change, and women in leadership. Admission to the program requires a complete application, official transcripts, and test scores as described by the program. Minnesota State is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 103rd best regional university in the Midwest and 29th top public school. Also, the graduate education school has earned recognition in recent years.

#7 – Emporia State University

Online Master’s in Educational Administration

Emporia, Kansas

Website

Emporia State University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,488

One of the top online master’s in school administration on our list is offered by Emporia State University. The 35-credit hour graduate program is offered entirely online and designed to provide licensed school personnel with the skills necessary to work as educational administrators. The GRE is not required for admission; however, a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required on the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework. All classes are delivered online and include advanced educational psychology for teachers and administrators, analysis of research, educational law and regulations, human relations and group processes in education, supervision and evaluation, and technological applications in school leadership. Emporia State is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the Midwest. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #40 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#6 – Louisiana State University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Shreveport, Louisiana

Website

Louisiana State University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,334

Louisiana State University’s online master’s in educational leadership program is designed for working educators and can be completed in as little as 15 months. The program consists of 13 courses, each running seven weeks in length. The courses are taught by nationally recognized faculty of the LSU network. Online courses include administration of school personnel, advanced school improvement and action research, best practices of principal leadership, introduction to school improvement, and understanding and applying research in education. LSU is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the South. Also, the online graduate education programs have earned recognition.

#5 – Indiana State University

Online Master’s in School Administration and Supervision

Terre Haute, Indiana

Website

Indiana State University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,184

One of the most affordable school administration programs online and on our list is the school administration and supervision master’s degree from Indiana State University. The 33-credit hour program is only available to Indiana residents and can be completed in just over two years of full-time study (2-3 courses per semester). Courses are taught by the same professors who instruct in the classroom. These courses include foundations of educational leadership, leadership for learning – curriculum and instruction, legal aspects of educational administration, school and community collaboration for effective schools, and the school principal – leadership for changing schools. Indiana State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best national university. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #113 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#4 – Western Carolina University

Online Master’s in School Administration

Cullowhee, North Carolina

Website

Western Carolina University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,065

Designed for working teachers and education specialists who want to work in leadership roles, the educational leadership master’s online program or master’s in school administration at Western Carolina University is well-suited. The 36-credit hour program utilizes hybrid (face-to-face and online) courses delivered with classes taught by university professors. Courses include current topics in public school law, ethical school leadership, leadership for continuous school improvement, leading adult learning, and shaping school culture. Western Carolina University is a top-ranked school. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution as the 37th best regional university in the South and the 13th top public school.

#3 – Western Governors University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Salt Lake City, Utah

Website

Western Governors University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,790

One of the most affordable online educational leadership programs on our list is the MS in Educational Leadership from Western Governors University. The program is designed for licensed and experienced classroom teachers who are interested in becoming school principals. Individuals should expect to spend 15 or more hours per week on their studies. Courses are delivered online and include comprehensive educational leadership integration, governance and leadership, measurement analysis and knowledge management, performance excellence criteria, and strategic planning. Western Governors University is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the West.

#2 – West Texas A&M University

Online Master’s in Educational Leadership

Canyon, Texas

Website

West Texas A&M University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,043

West Texas A&M University’s online master’s in educational leadership program is designed for teachers who want to earn school leader certification as a principal or superintendent. Flexible online courses are offered on seven-week, half semester bases, and taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. These courses include educational law, educational leadership and technology, instructional leadership development and teacher evaluation, introduction to educational leadership, multicultural education, and school business management and finance. Admission to the program requires an earned bachelor’s degree with an overall GPA of 2.75 or better, valid teaching certificate, two letters of recommendation, and professional employment evaluations. West Texas A&M is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top public school and best regional university in the West.

#1 – Fort Hays State University

Online Master’s in Educational Administration

Hays, Kansas

Website

Fort Hays State University - Online Master’s in Educational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $3,853

Fort Hays State University offers our #1 most affordable online master’s in school administration degree program. The program is offered through Fort Hays State’s Virtual College and is designed to equip students with the skills needed to become school principals. A total of 36 credit hours are required, including courses in cultural diversity, curriculum planning and evaluation PK-12, educational finance, educational leadership, introduction to school administration, special education for school leaders, supervision and evaluation of personnel, and utilization of technology in the classrooms. Fort Hays is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the Midwest. Also, the online graduate education programs are ranked #77 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

GSH Staff
May 2017

This concludes our list of the top 30 most affordable online master’s in educational leadership degrees for 2017.