Online Master of Science in Educational Leadership with Catholic School Focus

Saint Joseph's University's Education Unit is dedicated to preparing exemplary teachers, educational leaders, and educational researchers. The department, in cooperation with colleagues in other departments, local school districts, and educational leaders, seeks to promote a vibrant intellectual community. Our program is recognized for preparing graduates to be exemplary educational leaders who are committed to social justice, contribute outstanding professional service and outreach, and perform research that enhances educational theory, practice and beyond.

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The Department of Educational Leadership and the Center for Catholic Urban Education at Saint Joseph's University offer an Online Master of Science degree in Catholic School Leadership. The MS in Catholic School Leadership require 36 online graduate credits, and results in the attainment of Pennsylvania Principal and Curriculum Supervisor Certifications.

The MS in Educational Leadership was a Catholic school focus was developed with the conviction that the position of the Catholic school principal is unique and that traditional educational leadership programs do not fully prepare principals to be successful in this specific role.

The Center for Catholic Urban Education
The Center for Catholic Urban Education is a division of the Educational Leadership Institute of Saint Joseph's University. The Center is dedicated to the ongoing existence and sustainability of Catholic schools in urban areas, with the belief that these schools offer an essential option for families committed to a values-based, quality education for their children.

Dr. Robert Palestini
Executive Director for Catholic Urban Education

Rev. Daniel Joyce, SJ
Senior Fellow, Center for Catholic Urban Education

Dr. Anne Marie Borneman
Senior Fellow, Center for Catholic Urban Education 


Degree and Certification Requirements
36 Graduate Credits are required. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to obtain Pennsylvania certification as a principal for grades K-12 and/or as a supervisor of curriculum and instruction, the latter being appropriate for one or more content areas.

Course Descriptions
Click here to view course descriptions.

Application Requirements

  • A completed Saint Joseph's University graduate online application.
  • $35 application fee.*
  • Official sealed transcript(s) of undergraduate work.
  • 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) in undergraduate work.
  • Valid teaching certificate.
  • Five years full-time teaching experience (by the time the degree is awarded).
  • Personal statement--a letter of intention outlining the candidate's professional goals and educational objectives for attending the program of their choice.
  • Two letters of recommendations.**
  • An interview may be required at the discretion of the Program Director.
  • Portfolio items:
    • Essay concerning how principals shape learning in their schools
    • Resume that includes evidence of leadership potential (other leadership roles)
    • Applicant's educational philosophy
    • A written description of a problem based learning activity.


*  The $35 application fee will be waived for all applicants that attend a Graduate Studies Open House and complete the online satisfaction survey or are SJU alums.

** If pursuing the program leading to Principal Certification eligibility, recommendations must be from school district administrators; one of which must be from the applicant's supervising administrator. Both letters must substantiate the candidate's leadership potential and qualifications to become a school administrator. 


Contact Information

Dr. Carolyn Berenato
Director, Educational Leadership Program