MA in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies (Higher Education Leadership)

Total units required for MA: 30

Program Description

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies aims to develop TK-12, higher education, and workforce development leaders from diverse backgrounds who will positively impact all educational settings. The program specifically focuses on cultivating leaders who promote learning, equity, social justice and achievement for all students. Educational Leadership and Policy Studies seeks to prepare transformational leaders with the capacity to effectively facilitate and manage change.

Admission Requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student in Higher Education Leadership requires:

  • Completion, and successful review, of Cal State Apply and program Supplemental application
  • Successful interview with faculty, demonstrating
    • Preparation for graduate level study
    • Professional experience at any level in higher education
    • Some leadership experience
    • Familiarity with current issues in education
    • Knowledge of conflict resolution and negotiation skills
    • Knowledge of higher education as a field
    • Entry level understanding of ethical leadership
    • Vision for P-16 education

Applicants who have deficiencies in admission requirements that can be removed by specified additional preparation may be admitted with conditionally classified graduate status. Any deficiencies will be noted on a written response to the student's admission application.

Specific Additional Admission Procedures

Each applicant must forward the following to the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department in the College of Education:

  • the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies application for admission
  • the supplemental application (can be found on the Apply | Sacramento State ( page)
  • two letters of reference (forms attached to application packet); and
  • one set of transcripts, including Sacramento State (these need not be official).

Approximately two weeks after the deadline for submission of application materials to the Department, each applicant will be scheduled for an interview. Approximately two weeks after all applicants have been interviewed, a decision regarding admission will be mailed to each applicant.

Minimum Units and Grade Requirement for the Degree

Units required for the MA:  30

Minimum Cumulative GPA:  3.0.  Only units with a grade ''C'' or better may be counted.


  • This graduate degree program is subject to general University and Departmental requirements. These requirements are explained in the ''Graduate Studies'' and the ''Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department'' sections of this catalog.
  • All work must be completed within a 7-year period
  • 30 units required for the MA, including at least 21 units in approved Educational Leadership courses. Up to six units, including extension credit, can be transferred from another university (if current and not used toward another degree); a minimum of 21 units must be taken in residence

Advancement to Candidacy

Each student working toward a Master's degree must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy for the degree; the application is a form on which the student indicates a proposed program of graduate study. The student must be advanced to candidacy the semester prior to enrolling in EDLP 230. The procedure should begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements;
  • completed at least 12 units in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies graduate program with a minimum 3.0 GPA; and
  • completed a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline with a "B" or better, within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento.

Advancement to candidacy forms are available on the Office of Graduate Studies website or the GPSE Department Office. The student fills out the form after planning a degree program in consultation with his/her Educational Leadership faculty advisor. The completed form is returned to the GPSE Graduate Coordinator for approval and then submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies.


  • Thesis/Projects: Students must file a petition in the Department office one semester in advance and must have advanced to candidacy before they enroll in thesis/project.
  •  The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, Higher Education Leadership Concentration, consists of the following tracks: Student Affairs Leadership and Community College Leadership.

Program Requirements

Graduate Core Requirements (15 Units)
EDLP 200Diversity and Equity in Educational Leadership3
EDLP 201Foundations of Educational Leadership3
EDLP 202School Law and Ethics of Educational Leadership,Education Law and Ethics of Educational Leadership3
EDLP 209Organizational Systems and Human Resources3
EDLP 250Education Research 3
Concentration Requirements (9 Units)
Select one of the following concentrations:9
TK-12 Leadership
Higher Education Leadership
Workforce Development Leadership
Culminating Requirement (6 Units) 1
EDLP 230Master of Arts Thesis/Project Seminar3
EDLP 500AMaster of Arts Thesis/Project3
Total Units30

Concentration in Higher Education Leadership (9 units) 

EDLP 224Advanced Seminar: Dynamics of Organizational Change3
EDLP 227Leading the Way for Student Success: Student and Instructional Services3
EDLP 228Innovative Leadership: Strengthening Organizational Capacity3