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

MA License

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.

The Program at a Glance

School: School of Education & Human Development Campus: CU Denver Online Classroom: Online and on campus classes Recommended completion time: 2 to 3 Years Credits required for completion: 41 Application deadline: Rolling decision

The Details

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. There are multiple options for you to enroll and complete the 32-credit hour Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies (ALPS) Principal Licensure program.

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 2021

Distance Learning #23
The distance learning cohort for the principal license requires attending face-to-face meetings on the Auraria campus in downtown Denver a few times every semester:

  • 3 days in Summer
  • Two weekends in the Fall
  • Two weekends in the Spring and a final weekend in the final summer

Fall 2021

Jeffco Cohort
The Jeffco Cohort will meet from August 2021 through December 2022 on Thursdays from 4:30 PM – 9 PM.

Douglas County Cohort
The Douglas County cohort will meet from Fall 2021 through Fall 2022 one Saturday per month from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Admissions Requirements

Application Deadlines

The following deadlines are firm, early submissions are encouraged.

Fall Semester: June 1

Spring Semester: November 1

Summer Semester: April 1

Application Requirements

  • 3 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.