The South Atlantic states pack a lot of action into a relatively small package. Eight states plus the District of Columbia offer a wide range of geography, culture, and sheer organizational diversity when it comes to schooling. e
From the entirely urban Washington D.C. public schools, on the doorstep of Congress and under their legal authority, to the vast county-by-county districting in Florida, educational administrators need to bring broad perspectives and well-honed skills to work every morning.
Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, and the rest, each have their own unique challenges facing public schools and the people who run them. Fortunately, they also have some first-rate universities offering master’s degrees in educational leadership to teach you how.
Working in the Hotbed of Educational Controversy Demands Elite Administration Skills
The South Atlantic states embody the transition between the North and the South in American culture and educational values. Some of the most fraught topics and controversies that educational administrators face anywhere in the country are emerging in these states:
- Florida’s legislature has run rampant censoring math textbooks, barring certain topics in U.S. history, shutting down some advanced placement classes, and putting teachers’ licenses at risk for displaying or making students aware of certain books.
- Virginia’s 2021 gubernatorial election largely hinged on questions over the conduct of the state Board of Education, and the turbulent outcome has roiled curriculum standards in the teaching of American history.
- Georgia’s state Board of Education voted by 11 to 2 to restrict classroom discussions of race and racism in a state that is likely to become a majority-minority state within the decade
And of course, the national coverage of Washington D.C. Public Schools systematically inflating their high school graduation rate is still reverberating in the District and elsewhere.
These are all issues that call for administrators with not just strong pedagogical expertise, but also that critical set of qualities that inspire leaders to step up in a crisis and create solutions.
And those are exactly the skills that you will learn at any of the schools we list here among the top programs in educational leadership in the South Atlantic region.
We held these programs to high standards while considering them for our list.
Editor’s Choice for the Best Educational Leadership Administrator Prep Master’s Programs in the South Atlantic Region
MEd in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (on-campus)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $69,480
Howard University’s MEd in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies is expertly designed to prepare today’s educators for the School Leaders Licensure Assessment and for fulfilling careers in educational administration and leadership. This program is expertly designed to reflect Howard University’s commitment to today’s urban and diverse school systems. And it’s no surprise. For the last 150 years, Howard has championed the cause of traditionally underserved groups. Choose Howard and you’ll enjoy a tightknit learning environment and a cohort design that includes just 5 to 15 students.
Nova Southeastern University
MS in Educational Leadership (online)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $33,900
Nova Southeastern University’s MS in Educational Leadership offers an outstanding path to an exciting job in educational leadership and administration! Featuring a research-based curriculum that’s rich in personal mentorships; led by a faculty of school administrators and leaders; and offered in convenient and flexible online format, this dynamic course of graduate study is your ticket to Florida’s PreK-12 leadership certification! Study at the pace that works best for you. Accelerate your coursework when you have time and slow down when necessary – the choice is yours!
MEd in Educational Leadership (on-campus)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $27,810
Stetson University’s MEd in Educational Leadership is where your dream of becoming a leader in P-12 education becomes a reality! This dynamic course of graduate study is designed to elevate your knowledge of leadership, curriculum development, the legal and financial aspects of school management, and working with diverse student populations and prepare you for the Florida Educational Leadership examination. This program features a cohort design that encourages outstanding collaboration and communication between faculty and students for a truly engaging course of study.
MEd in Educational Leadership – K-12 track (online)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $24,050
The fully online format of Lynn University’s MEd in Educational Leadership – K-12 track makes it a sure bet for our top programs list! This convenient graduate course of study offers a streamlined path to principal certification and to an exciting career in educational leadership and administration! You’ll feel good about choosing an online graduate degree through Lynn, who has mastered the online program for more than two decades. In fact, the university received an Apple status, which recognizes that the curriculum here is designed specifically for the digital platform. Small class sizes, your choice of full- or part-time study, and outstanding preparation for the Florida Educational Leadership Examination are just some of the perks of choosing Lynn for your MEd!
MS in Educational Leadership (online)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $21,492
Keiser University’s MS in Educational Leadership is where today’s educators become confident and competent educational leaders and administrators! This exciting online course of study prepares students to assume top leadership roles through a curriculum rich in topics like diversity, curriculum design, ethics, decision-making, and instructional technology. We love this program’s convenient and flexible online design that features eight-week terms and the option of taking just one or two classes at a time. And thanks to small class sizes and a dedicated faculty, you’ll enjoy personal attention and unmatched mentorship.
The University of Tampa
MEd in Educational Leadership (on-campus, hybrid)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $20,490
The University of Tampa’s MEd in Educational Leadership features everything today’s aspiring educational administrators and leaders need for success! This exciting program comes complete with a flexible format that includes traditional, weekend, and hybrid models. A host of experiential tasks expertly prepare students to take the Florida Educational Leadership Examination and assume top-level principal and superintendent roles. You’re sure to love the convenience of this MEd, which allows you to earn your degree in as little as 12 months through a summer-intensive curriculum.
Clark Atlanta University
MA in Educational Leadership (hybrid)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $28,530
Clark Atlanta University’s MA in Educational Leadership is where equity-focused, transformative leaders are made! Graduates of this dynamic course of study are prepared for Tier I certification and for an exciting career move into educational leadership and administration. Choose Clark Atlanta’s MA in Educational Leadership and you’ll also enjoy speaking events with nationally renowned educational leaders… an esteemed faculty of experienced practitioners… an engaging curriculum that’s rich in discussions, case studies, simulations, group projects, readings, and research projects… and a flexible, hybrid design for maximum convenience and flexibility.
Loyola University Maryland
MEd in Educational Leadership (online, hybrid)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $26,130
Loyola University Maryland’s MEd in Educational Leadership boasts a rich course of graduate study that prepares students to become educational leaders who deftly meet the social-emotional needs of all students, particularly the traditionally underserved. This exciting course of graduate study features a convenient and flexible format (choose a fully online or hybrid course design); eight-week courses; and your choice of full- or part-time study. Graduates of this program are well-prepared to take the School Leaders Licensure Assessment!
Mount St. Mary’s University
MEd in Instructional Leadership (on-campus)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $21,384
Mount St. Mary’s University’s MEd in Instructional Leadership is rich and rigorous, offering aspiring principals and superintendents a course of graduate study that prepares them for Administrator I or II certification. Marked by an acclaimed faculty and an exciting curriculum covering current trends in education, principals of school leadership & administration, strategic planning & leadership, and more, this program prepares today’s educators to assume top roles in educational leadership and administration. Choose Mount St. Mary’s for your grad degree in instructional leadership and you’ll enjoy convenient and flexible, eight-week courses!
Notre Dame of Maryland University
MA in Leadership in Teaching: Administration and Supervision (on-campus, hybrid)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $21,060
Notre Dame of Maryland University’s MA in Leadership in Teaching: Administration and Supervision is where classroom teachers become confident and ethical educational leaders and administrators! This exciting program prepares students to become principals and superintendents who deftly communicate, plan for, and lead in today’s dynamic, multicultural environment. Students of this program work with an advisor to develop a personalized program plan that meets their specific needs. Choose from many online, evening, and Saturday courses to fit your busy schedule!
High Point University
MEd in Education Leadership - Certificate in Education Leadership and Organizational Development (hybrid)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $49,716
High Point University’s MEd in Education Leadership with a Certificate in Education Leadership and Organizational Development is your pathway to a principal or superintendent license in North Carolina and an exciting, fulfilling career in educational administration and leadership! This dynamic course of graduate study includes courses like Education Theory and Practices, Strategic Planning & Organizational Development in Education, The Nature of Organizational Cultures and Shared Leadership, and Community & Public Relations for Education Organizations. Just some of the features of this program you’re sure to love include a hybrid model that blends both asynchronous and synchronous learning… an esteemed faculty with training in high-quality online learning… and options to stack additional certificates to meet your professional goals.
MEd in Educational Administration and Leadership K-12 (online)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $20,880
Columbia College’s 100% online MEd in Educational Administration and Leadership K-12 is your convenient and flexible pathway to a career as an elementary or secondary school principal! Designed as an optimal blend of leadership theory and practice, this dynamic course of study prepares students to effortlessly transform their education into action and assume an administrative or leadership role in the K-12 system. This program’s design includes six, seven-week sessions of two courses each. Start in January or August and graduate in just one year!
MAEd in School Leadership (on-campus)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $16,575
Whether you aspire to becoming an elementary or secondary school administrator, Furman University’s MAEd in School Leadership has what you need to succeed! This 39-credit program delivers a rich blend of courses and activities designed to prepare working educators to become credentialed school principals and supervisors. Choose Furman’s MAED in School Leadership and you’ll be part of a school that boasts a rich legacy of producing teachers and teacher leaders in South Carolina. It’s little wonder that U.S. News & World Report has long recognized Furman among the Most Innovative National Liberal Arts Colleges in the nation!
MEd in Administration & Supervision (online)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $29,700
Marymount University’s MEd in Administration & Supervision boasts a fully online pathway leading to Virginia’s PK-12 licensure in Administration and Supervision! This 30-credit course of graduate study is built on a cohort design, with new cohorts starting each fall semester. This means that though you’ll be studying online, you’ll enjoy a fulling engaging, interactive course of study that explores topics like social justice, ethics, and integrity. Earn your degree from anywhere in the world!
University of Richmond
MEd in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (on-campus)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $21,390
The University of Richmond offers aspiring educational administrators and leaders with the MEd in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies – a dynamic pathway to Virginia’s PK-12 endorsement in Administration and Supervision! An optimal blend of leadership theory and practical application here ensures that students are well-prepared to assume top positions in educational leadership and administration. In fact, all courses here are complemented with a relevant practicum! Earn your master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies through the University of Richmond and you’ll be part of a distinguished institution that is recognized among the most innovative schools in the nation!
University of Lynchburg
MEd in PK-12 Administration and Supervision (on-campus)
Total Estimated Program Cost: $18,315
The MEd in PK-12 Administration and Supervision through the University of Lynchburg is 36 credits of dynamic graduate study that is expertly designed to prepare today’s practicing educators with a streamlined pathway to Virginia’s PK-12 endorsement in Administration and Supervision! Whether your career aspirations include advancing to the role of principal, director, or supervisor within a school environment, this program comes complete with everything you need to succeed. You’re sure to appreciate earning your master’s degree through a university that boasts a 99% first-time pass rate on the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA)!