Wilkes University

Educational Leadership with K-12 Principal Certification

Wilkes University's master's degree in educational development and strategies empowers teachers to find new, innovative ways to improve student performance.

The MS in Educational Leadership (EDLS) is available online.

The program consists of 27 credits to become eligible for the PA K-12 Principal Certification with nine additional credits to attain the Master of Science in Educational Leadership (see Program Checklist).


“At Wilkes, I feel like a student and not a number, Even though I’m doing the majority of my classes online, I still feel like I’m part of the family.”

Kyle Linko, Welding Technology Instructor
The Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County

Admission Process:

Students who would like to apply for the fall must submit all Phase 1 admission documents and credentials by Aug. 15. Applications are then reviewed for conditional admission to the program. Phase 2 of the admissions process requires the successful completion of the entry course, ED 517 The Principal as Educational Leader, to be offered full admission to the program.

About the Program:

The EDLS Online Program allows students to pursue the MS in Educational Leadership degree in a convenient web-based format, augmented by field experiences in the participants' school districts under the supervision of the course instructor and mentoring principal. The EDLS Online Program is approved by the PA Department of Education and is designed to meet PA Department of Education competencies for K-12 principals.

Online Orientation Session:

The EDLS Online Program begins with a half day intense online preparation for school leadership. During the online orientation, students will be familiarized with the program requirements and be given an overview of the courses, field work, and related academic requirements that form the base of the EDLS experience. The orientation also gives students a chance to form connections with cohort members in the EDLS Online Program.

Following the online orientation, students will finish their work in ED 517 The Principal as Educational Leader during the summer term. These and all subsequent courses will be conducted online at Wilkes LIVE through the Desire to Learn (D2L) course management system. Most EDLS online courses include a 30-hour field experience and field based project to help students develop their professional competencies as school leaders through application in their school districts.

Students should follow the course sequence listed below to complete all necessary requirements.

Certification and Program Completion:

Consistent participation in the cohort will enable students to become eligible for PA K-12 principal certification and to attain the Master of Science in Educational Leadership degree, which consists of 36 credits.

Candidates will be recommended to the PDE for K-12 principal certification upon the completion of the 27-credit certification program as listed below:

  • Successful completion of the EDLS Online Program of study, which includes fulfilling the required 360 hours of supervised field and intern experiences in K-12 schools as embedded in the program of study
  • A passing score on the School Leadership Licensure Assessment for principal certification (Praxis 6990- Passing Score is 151)
  • Three years of professional school experience at the time of application for certification
  • Submission of completed TIMS online application for certification

To apply for the program:

1. Submit a new application for admission to the EDLS program at Wilkes using the online application.
2. Provide the additional documentation required for this program as listed EDLS Application process.

After completing Phase 1 of the application process, students will receive registration forms for the online orientation session and the first course, ED 517. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance into the program after all admissions materials are received and reviewed.

Qualifications for Admission include:

  • All students must attend a mandatory online orientation session before starting the ED 517 course.
  • Phase 1 Checklist – All items must be submitted by the due date. Applicant files will be reviewed and students notified of provisional admission status prior to the start of class. Students not meeting minimum requirements will be notified.
  • Required Items
    • Graduate Application (Submit Online)
    • Compile all documents below (Admissions Portfolio) and send to Wilkes in one envelope. Individual items will not be accepted.
    • Two Recommendation Letters: one Professional and one Leadership
    • Official Sealed Transcripts in original envelopes
    • Copy of Teaching Certificate
    • One page essay on your Educational Philosophy
    • One page essay on "How Principals Shape Learning in Their Schools"

*Wilkes will not be held responsible for documents not addressed to the proper office.

Send your Phase 1 Admissions Portfolio to:

Graduate Admissions
Wilkes University
84 West South Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766