Master of Arts in Leadership for Educational Organizations, Principal (License)

School of Education & Human Development


Degree: MA License

Classroom Type: Online and on campus classes

Prepares district leaders for future-ready schools. Equipped with a focus on diversity and social justice and the skills and knowledge to develop a vision for a successful school, graduates pursue careers as elementary, middle, or high school principals and administrators to realize change at school and community levels.

Application​ deadlines

April 30

Program Details

Interest Categories: Education & Counseling

Campus: CU Denver Online

What you'll learn

You’re dedicated to making a difference and ensuring your students succeed. You step up when leadership roles arise and are ready to take your passion for learning and leading to the next step. The University of Colorado Denver’s MA in Leadership for Educational Organizations (LEO-MA) degree with principal licensure is the program for you. With CU Denver’s excellent reputation and our expert and supportive faculty, you’ll start a path to a fulfilling career as an elementary, middle or high school principal or administrator where you’ll realize change at school and community levels. You’ll learn how to encourage diversity and social justice, develop a vision for a successful school and attain the real-world knowledge necessary to help you apply it.

CU Denver will prepare you with the wide breadth of knowledge necessary to create a school learning environment that is cooperative, safe and welcoming. You will learn how to:

  • Collaborate across communities and stakeholder groups
  • Become well-versed in current educational issues and how to overcome them, and
  • Gain awareness of the legal, financial and political dimensions of schools and school districts.

You’ll learn all of this with a focus on equity and social justice, ensuring that all students have equal opportunities for an excellent education.

Choose CU Denver’s School of Education & Human Development

You can trust CU Denver to provide an education that will prepare you for excellence in your career as a school principal. We have a name that is recognized for preparing leaders of excellence who value equal opportunities in education. Additionally, CU Denver’s School of Education and Human Development is counted among U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” making us one of the top education schools in the country.


Learning with a cohort gives you the ability to customize your learning experience. Our cohorts are tailored to match your needs and future professional goals. We believe you will be best prepared for this demanding career with personalized instructional development with practitioners and leaders with a proven track record of success.

Typically, cohorts comprise 25 principal candidates who move through the four-semester principal licensure program together. We look for applicants to have a teaching or special services license plus a minimum of three years post-licensure experience. We welcome applicants from all districts into our principal licensure cohorts. However, we partner with metro-area districts to prepare leaders specifically for their schools.

Please review all options and specific semester starting dates below to find the best cohort option for your circumstances and career goals.

Upcoming Cohorts

Summer 2024 Distance Learning Cohort

  • Applications accepted through April 1, 2024
  • Remote classes with synchronous meetings
  • Summer 2024: Wed, Thurs, Fri daytime synchronous meeting in mid-June
  • Fall 2024: synchronous meetings - two weekends (Friday evening and Saturday)
  • Spring 2025: synchronous meetings - two weekends (Friday evening and Saturday)
  • Summer 2025: meet on the last day of class - Friday, July 11, 2025
  • Register for a virtual info session

Fall 2024 Douglas County Cohort

  • Applications accepted through June 30, 2024
  • In-person instruction with online work and integrated clinical experiences.
  • Classes take place one Saturday per month from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. from Aug. 2024 – Dec. 2025 at a Douglas County School District facility.
  • Information sessions:
  • Face-to-face info session: Jan. 25, 2024, from 4 – 5 p.m. at the Legacy Campus Room 241, 10035 S Peoria St, Lone Tree CO 80134.
  • Register for a virtual info session

Fall 2024 Denver Metro Cohort

  • Applications accepted through June 30, 2024
  • Hybrid (in-person instruction, online coursework, and integrated clinical experiences)
  • Classes begin in August 2024 with the first in-person sessions slated for Friday, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Sept. 14. Classes take place one Friday per month from 5 - 8 p.m. and one Saturday per month from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. through Dec. 2025 at CU Denver.
  • Register for a virtual info session

Sample Courses

  • EDUC 5751 - Principal/Administrator Licensing I 3-9 credits
  • EDUC 5752 - Principal Administrator Licensing II 3-9 credits
  • EDUC 5753 - Principal Administrator Licensing III 3-9 credits
  • EDUC 5754 - Principal Administrator Licensing IV 3-9 credits
Course Catalog

Recommended Completion Time:The program is completed in a cohort that runs 4 consecutive semesters, so it takes a little over 1 year to complete the program.

Required Credits for Completion:32

Admission Requirements

Application Deadlines

We practice "rolling admission" and after your application is complete, we strive to notify you of your admission status in no more than two to three weeks.

The following deadlines are firm, early submissions are encouraged.

Fall Semester: June 1

Spring Semester: November 1

Summer Semester: April 1

Application Requirements

  • 2 recommendation letters
  • Official Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • If applying for an endorsement, proof of teaching license or special services license is required
  • Resume/CV
  • Written Statement: Describe your interest in the program, your special strengths, and the goals you hope to achieve through your work in the program
  • $50.00 application fee
  • International Applicants only: Proof of English Language Proficiency (International applicants should review the following information regarding English language proficiency)
  • Admissions Interview: An interview may be required as part of the admissions process. If so, applicants will be contacted with more details.

For more information, email or call 303-315-6300.

CMS Login