The program accommodates the needs of working professionals by offering a degree and licensure through

  • a full-time, two-year on-campus master’s program
  • MSA Hybrid: A 2-year hybrid online/on-campus master’s program, or
  • an add-on licensure-only program.

All MSA full-time or MSA Hybrid students are eligible for a year-long, full-time, state paid internship during their last year of study.

Students in both the full-time, on-campus MSA program and the MSA Hybrid program take the same courses. The difference is in the way coursework is offered. Courses in both programs are taught by the same faculty, in most cases.

Who is the MSA program for?

The MSA program is for educators who want to assume leadership roles. Most MSA graduates move into leadership positions at schools, while others assume influential roles within state, regional, or national organizations that focus on educational professional development, research, or policy-making.

Completion of the program leads you to eligibility for licensure as a K-12 principal from the N.C. State Department of Public Instruction and qualifies you for principal licensure in most states.

The MSA program will prepare you to

  • Engage with students, parents, and community members to develop a shared school vision.
  • Employ cutting-edge, research-based solutions to support student needs and school improvement.
  • Lead with an equity orientation and in accordance with democratic principles.

Employment Opportunities

Students graduating with an MSA degree will be prepared and licensed to assume prominent leadership roles in traditional and alternative schools and districts.

Accreditation and Standards

The program is fully accredited by the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. The course of study is aligned with the UNC School of Education’s conceptual framework, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s Standards for School Executives, the 21st Century Skills standards, the Interstate Leaders Licensure Consortium standards, the Educational Leadership Constituent Council and National Professional Board for Educational Administration standards.

MSA Full-Time

The full-time, on-campus MSA involves two years of full-time study, including a full-year leadership/school executive paid internship and internship seminar.

In Year One, students enroll in five of the courses in the fall and the remaining four core courses in the spring. In the fall, courses are scheduled on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, meeting once a week. In the spring of Year One, courses meet Tuesdays and Thursdays. All courses start at either 4 p.m. or 7 p.m.

If you are seeking North Carolina licensure, you will also complete a series of artifacts that are aligned with the state’s school executive standards. These artifacts are compiled to form an electronic portfolio that is submitted to the state’s licensure division for review.

MSA Part-Time

You may also enroll in the MSA program on a part-time basis. Students choosing the Part-Time option may begin in either fall or spring semesters, and take courses in any order. Courses must be completed within five years of beginning the program.

MSA Hybrid

The MSA Hybrid is designed for students who wish to continue employment while pursuing the MSA degree. The program consists of four semesters and two summer sessions.

Students take the same courses towards the same degree, but the delivery format is a combination of synchronized digital learning (2 per week during semester) and on-site, face-to-face meetings (3 per semester). Students will be required to attend a summer orientation in July 2020 and a pre-internship seminar in July 2021.

During the first year, students take three courses in each semester with each course lasting approximately six weeks. During the second year, students engage in a year-long internship and enroll in a concurrent seminar course.