The M.S.E. in Instructional Leadership at Samford University’s Orlean Beeson School of Education is designed to develop leaders in the educational community. Students will dive into the pressing issues in education and learn from distinguished faculty with invaluable experience.

Program graduates earn a master’s degree and are eligible for instructional leadership certification in just 18 months.

Samford University produces the elite professional.Quentin Lee, Principal, Talladega County Central High School

Objectives and Curriculum

A M.S.E. degree in Instructional Leadership is available for candidates who hold a bachelor of science degree from a regionally accredited institution, hold a Class B certification in education and have completed three years successful teaching experience. Instructional Leadership certification provides the candidate with the required credentials to be considered for leadership positions in K–12 schools/systems in Alabama.

Graduates of the Master’s in Instructional Leadership program will have an understanding of the following concepts:

  • Issues in school finance: in-depth study of taxation, state school finance systems, impact of school finance litigation, budgeting processes and current/emerging issues in school finance.
  • Management design for school improvement: create a learning environment conducive to school success through the equitable utilization of resources.
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Education: learn how local, state and federal laws have played a role in establishing school policies and practices.
  • Teaching in the diverse classroom: look at the factors that make students diverse and learn to teach to their learning styles.

The curriculum requirement for the program is 30 credit hours. Students must have a 3.25 or higher cumulative GPA at Orlean Beeson School of Education to graduate. Please view our full list of completion requirements.

For more information about the graduate courses and electives offered at Orlean Beeson School of Education, please visit the Orlean Beeson School of Education section of the Samford University Catalog.

Curriculum is designed so that graduates leave the program more than prepared, that is why 80% of course work is directed toward improving instructional practice in schools.



Application Deadlines

Fall term: July 15
Spring/Jan term: November 15
Summer term: May 15

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Master’s in Instructional Leadership program you must:

  • Possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and a Class B teaching certificate.
  • Have obtained three or more years of teaching experience.
  • Score of at least 295 on the GRE or a score of at least a 396 on the MAT. Waived if applicant has already completed a graduate degree from an accredited university.

For an application to be considered complete, we must receive all of the following*:

  • Online application for admission: Please be sure to list your personal e-mail address on the application.
  • $35 Application Fee: This non-refundable fee is payable by credit card and is waived for Samford alumni, and current Samford students, faculty or staff.
  • Official GRE or MAT Scores: Applicants should request for GRE or MAT scores to be sent to Samford University from the testing agency. Waived if applicant has already completed a graduate degree from an accredited university.
  • Official Transcript(s) from all higher education institutions attended: Transcripts are considered official only when they bear the issuing institution’s seal and arrive with the seal intact. Transcripts can be sent electronically to or by mail.
  • Letters of recommendation: two letters of recommendation uploaded to online application.
  • Dispositions form filled out by current supervisor. May not be the same contact as the letter of recommendation.
  • Writing Sample: highlight one problem facing education today
  • Interview with program director
  • Portfolio
    • Most recent performance appraisal
    • Evidence of ability to improve student achievement
    • Evidence of leadership and management potential
    • Statement of purpose
    • Summary of program expectations

To check the status of application items, you may login to your application account and view the list of application items received.

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Is This Program for Me?

This program is designed for K-12 professionals with a passion for education and an unwavering belief in the importance of leadership development. If you have a desire to serve the education system in an administrative role, join this program and be pushed to your greatest potential.

Career Opportunities

  • Educational Administrator
  • Assistant Principal
  • Principal
  • Assistant Superintendent
  • Deputy Superintendent
  • Superintendent

Tuition, Scholarships and Financial Aid


Please visit our Tuition and Fees page for more information or contact the Graduate Admissions Coordinator.


Orlean Beeson School of Education is proud to award graduate students in its master's, certificate and specialist program a scholarship. Graduate students do not need to apply for this scholarship as it is automatically applied. The school will continue providing a scholarship until coursework is complete. Any additional scholarships are the responsibility of the applicant to secure.

Financial Aid

A financial assistance program administered by Samford One Stop has been established to aid students in attending Samford University.

Education students may have the ability to utilize Stafford Loans and Grad PLUS Loans. As an education student, a FAFSA is required to receive either of these loans.

To learn more about financial aid options, please visit the Samford One Stop or call 205-726-2905.

18-Hour Certificate in Instructional Leadership

Candidates currently holding a master of science degree in a teaching field from an accredited college/university and Class A certification in an education field from the Alabama State Department of Education may be eligible for the 18-hour program rather than a full degree program. Upon a successful completion of six prescribed courses (18 semester hours) the candidate will be eligible for the Class A Certificate in Instructional Leadership.

Admission Requirements

  • Application
  • Application fee of $35 made payable to Samford University (waived for all Samford alumni)
  • Official transcript showing bachelor’s degree and master’s degree
  • Class A teaching certificate, any field
  • Notarized Experience Verification Form documenting 3 or more full calendar years of classroom teaching experience
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Dispositions form filled out by current supervisor
  • Interview with program director
  • Portfolio

Plan of Study


Foundations of Instructional Leadership
Teaching in the Diverse Classroom


Management Design for School Improvement
Internship in Instructional Leadership

Summer I

Issues in School Finance
Legal and Ethical Issues in Education

18-Hour Certificate Plan of Study