What Are the Top Schools for a Master's Degree in Instructional Leadership?

Learn about the top three schools in the U.S. for earning a master's degree in instructional leadership. Find out about school rankings, program curricula and online options. Schools offering College Administration & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in an Instructional Leadership Program?

Programs in instructional leadership equip both new and experienced teachers with tools and knowledge that focuses on how to improve the classroom experience for students. Typically offered as a master's degree, interested applicants may wish to select programs that offer flexible class schedules that will allow them to continue teaching full time. Quality programs will also have an experienced faculty and staff that make themselves accessible to students.

Three Top Instructional Leadership Schools

University of Washington in Seattle

The University of Washington's College of Education was ranked as the eighth best graduate education school by U.S. News & World Report in 2015. This university offers a Master of Education in Instructional Leadership (MIL) designed for current educators who have at least three years of teaching experience and want to strengthen their leadership skills in the classroom. Students complete 36 credits of classroom study and then complete a 9-credit project based on their teaching position. Approximately 25-30 students are accepted into the MIL program annually. The following program is offered:

  • Master of Education in Instructional Leadership

Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas

Sam Houston State University's (SHSU) College of Education offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Instructional Leadership and a Master of Arts in Instructional Leadership. Both programs are offered online and on campus.

The M.Ed. requires 36 credits, but does not require a thesis, while the MA requires 30 credits and a thesis. Courses in both programs are similar and cover topics in curriculum planning, research methods, instructional supervision and psychology of learning. SHSU is part of the Texas State University System and is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked SHSU's online graduate education programs 30th in the nation. The following programs are offered:

  • Master of Arts in Instructional Leadership
  • Master of Education in Instructional Leadership

Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington

Pacific Lutheran University's (PLU) School of Education and Kinesiology offers a Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) in Instructional Leadership. This master's program is designed specifically for certified teachers who aspire to leadership positions, such as mentors and instructional facilitators.

Teachers enrolled in this program are encouraged to mentor and tutor students who are living in poverty to further their educational perspective. Courses cover topics in standards-based teaching, assessing staff and student needs, group dynamics and learning organizations. PLU was ranked 14th among regional universities in the West in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report. The following program is offered:

  • Master of Arts in Education in Instructional Leadership

Ten Top Schools with Instructional Leadership Programs

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocation
University of North Alabama4-year, PublicFlorence, AL
University of West Alabama4-year, PublicLivingston, AL
Plymouth State University4-year, PublicPlymouth, NH
Saint Leo University4-year, PrivateSaint Leo, FL
University of Montevallo4-year, PublicMontevallo, AL
Tennessee Tech University4-year, PublicCookeville, TN
New York University4-year, PublicNew York, NY
Eastern Kentucky University4-year, PublicRichmond, KY
University of Central Arkansas4-year, PublicConway, AR
Jacksonville State University4-year, PublicJacksonville, AL

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Queens University of Charlotte

    Queens University of Charlotte responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Queens University of Charlotte:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Concordia University Portland

    Concordia University Portland responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Concordia University Portland:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • New York University

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: New York
  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Wayne State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Detroit
  • Vanderbilt University

    Campus Locations:

    • Tennessee: Nashville
  • University of New Hampshire

    Campus Locations:

    • New Hampshire: Durham