College of Education and Human Development

Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

Leadership in education MEd

in Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development

Leadership is a growing academic discipline built on the premise that all of us can be leaders and can hone the skills of leadership to be more effective in our everyday lives. Applied to education, the study of leadership takes on new meaning and potential. Leadership in Education provides us with opportunities to shape and support young people’s growth and development. How can we make decisions that align with our shared vision and values? How can we design specialized professional development to improve teacher performance and build capacity? How can we set smart goals and create policies and practices to achieve them?

The MEd in Leadership in Education aims to supply you with the knowledge and skills to be able to answer these organizational questions. You will learn about group dynamics and collaboration, creating a culture of continuous improvement, how organizational policies shape behavior, and how schools and districts can change in order to adapt to new social, economic, and political environments.


MEd students in Leadership in Education will have the ability to:

  • Assess needs and trends affecting school districts, and provide new ideas and effective solutions.
  • Plan and support organizational change initiatives.
  • Understand how business processes and organizational structure can be improved for efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Motivate and persuade others to address problems and work to find solutions.


This program prepares students for a wide range of careers, including:

  • Teacher leader
  • Instructional coach
  • School principal
  • Director of special education
  • Director of community education


Required courses (16 credits minimum):

  • OLPD 5361—Project in Teacher Leadership (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5364—Context and Practice of Educational Leadership (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5374—Leadership for Professional Development (4 cr)
  • OLPD 5387—Leadership for Teaching and Learning (3 cr)
    OR CI 5155—Contemporary Approaches to Curriculum: Instruction and Assessment (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5501—Principles and Methods of Evaluation (3 cr)
    OR CI 5177—Practical Research (3 cr)

Electives (14 credits minimum):

14 or more credits of elective courses with advisor approval. Students often choose elective credits aligned with certificates in staff development, school technology, reading, and school administration.

Examples include:

  • Teaching and learning in a multicultural, pluralistic democracy
  • Planning interdisciplinary and thematic learning
  • Assessing student learning to differentiate instruction
  • Cross-cultural perspectives on leadership
  • Literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies
  • Professional development
  • School technology
  • Women in leadership

Transfer credits:

A maximum of nine graduate semester transfer credits may be applied to the M.Ed. program. Credits may include any combination of the following coursework:

  • Up to six graduate semester credits from fully accredited institutions other than the University of Minnesota.
  • Credits completed at the University of Minnesota before admission to the M.Ed. program

Transfer courses must be completed at the graduate level and approved by a faculty advisor and the college; a review of course syllabi is required. Contact the program coordinator for more information.

How to apply

    Admission Deadline

    Applications are due by July 1 for Fall semester start, November 1 for Spring semester start, and March 1 for Summer session start.

    Applications are not complete until ALL required materials and fees have been received. If anything is missing, your application may not be considered until the next review date the following year. It is strongly recommended to apply at least two weeks before any submission deadlines.

    Applications are processed by the Graduate School. A decision for admission notice will be emailed to you once your application is carefully reviewed by the department's admission committee and your transcripts and any credentials (test reports, diploma copies, etc.) are authenticated by Graduate School officials.

    Admission Requirements

    Degree: Bachelor's degree

    GPA: Undergraduate 3.0

    Note: Applicants should not submit GRE scores, as they will not be considered in the review process.

    TOEFL/IELTS Scores (Not required for U.S. students):

    • TOEFL: Internet based = 79 or above
      (21 writing/19 reading)
    • IELTS = 6.5

    Tuition and funding

    Tuition information: CEHD | OneStop

    Financial aid: CEHD | OneStop


    If a graduate student in an OLPD program has become inactive they must follow the readmission procedures.

    Whether you seek reactivation after accidentally being discontinued this term or want to return after a long absence these are the steps needed to re-apply.

    1. Complete the proper online readmission application.

      If you have been away from the program less than five years use the Express Readmission Application and email it to All others must submit the Online Application for Readmission
    2. Once received, the department will forward your application to the appropriate admissions committee. Readmission decisions are normally determined by the program’s admissions committee, not any one individual faculty member.

      Readmission is never guaranteed. Decisions for readmission are based on a review of previous progress toward degree completion, the proposed timeline for completion, the availability of faculty resources, and/or any additional application materials they may request from you. Individual programs/tracks reserve the right to readmit students under the current graduate program requirements, rules, and guidelines. They may also request an applicant to provide additional information prior to making a decision.
    3. Once the committee makes their recommendation, the department’s DGS will sign off on the decision and forward the result to the central Graduate Admissions Office for processing. Once processed, you will be notified of the decision.

    Individual department programs and tracks reserve the right to require readmitted students to retake coursework if they deem it appropriate. Readmitted students are also required to abide by current time-to-degree policies as determined by the University, which may differ from the policy in place when they first started the degree program.

    Individuals seeking readmission to the Ph.D., Ed.D., and M.A. program tracks in the former EDPA, WHRE, and WCFE majors can only reapply to the appropriate program track under the Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD) major name.


    We’re here to help. Simply complete this form and a member of our department will be in touch.