Many people interested in pursuing a position in educational leadership ask the question “How long does it take to earn a Master of Science in Educational Leadership degree?”. If you currently possess a Bachelor’s degree and you are interested in advancing your career with an advanced degree, it is important to consider how much more time you will need to dedicate to schooling so that you can set goals and accomplish these goals. The duration of all Master’s degree programs, cohort-based or not, can range depending on a variety of different factors. Read on, and learn what to consider so that you can map out the best route to take to earn your M.S. degree.

Are You Attending School Full-time or Part-time?

Not everyone is lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend graduate school on a full-time basis. If you were to enroll in the typical Master’s degree program full-time, and you followed the college’s course of study, you would graduate with your Master’s in 18 months to 2 years. If you are working full-time in a school setting, or you have familial obligations, you may not have time to attend school 15 or more hours each week. For students who attend programs part-time, it will take a bit longer to complete the course of study of the program. Part-timers, depending on how many credits they complete each semester, can expect to spend anywhere from 32 months to 48 months earning a Master’s degree.

Choosing a Program Based on Credit Requirements

If you want to become an instructional and certified principal, or a leader in an educational facility, you need to take specific courses and also complete a capstone project requirement in most states. The credit hour requirements of the most respected M.S. Educational Leadership programs can range, but most fall between 40 credit hours and 60 credit hours. Obviously, the less credits that are required, the quicker you can graduate. To ensure that you take a program you take will prepare you for the certification exam while meeting educational requirements, select one that has earned a specialized accreditation through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education so that you know the curriculum meets the standards.

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Duration Based on your Academic Performance

Another factor to consider is how you will perform once you are in school. Just because you attend school full-time and you have committed to following the program’s suggested course of study does not mean that you will complete the program in the amount of time estimated by your counselor. Academic performance is a very important thing to consider. If you do not pass a class, or your standing does not qualify you for priority registration, your graduation date could be delayed. You may have to retake a class, or even wait for seating in a class to open up so that you can meet all credit requirements. This is why you should consider the availability of classes when you are selecting a graduate school.

Be sure that the program that you take is state-approved so that you can get certified upon graduation. Compare all of the programs that you are interested in, and then decide how much time you are willing to commit. With the answer to the question, “How long does it take to earn a Master of Science in Educational Leadership degree?”, you can make a decision for your future.