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EIU Department of Educational Leadership

Admissions Requirements

Admission to Eastern's Graduate School

To be granted admission to a graduate program in Educational Leadership, the student must first be admitted to the Graduate School at Eastern Illinois University. Thus, a student seeking admission should complete a graduate application online and send official transcripts directly to the Graduate School at 600 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston, IL 61920. Questions in reference to the application may be directed to the Graduate School at 217-581-2220. Additional information may be found in the Graduate Catalog.

The Graduate School requires that the student must have obtained a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited four-year college or university, must have achieved a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale for that degree, and must complete other requirements as specified by the department.

A student achieving a 3.00 GPA on the last 60 hours of graded academic work may substitute that criterion for the requirement of achieving an overall 3.00 GPA. Course work taken as a post-baccalaureate student may be considered in the computation of the GPA.

Students who do not meet the requirement for full admission may be granted provisional admission upon recommendation by the department.

International students must, in addition, score at least 550 on the Paper-Based TOEFL and at least score a 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL. Students who do not meet the minimum TOEFL scores cannot be admitted into the Graduate School.

Once the student is admitted to The Graduate School, the student's records are forwarded to the designated department (Educational Leadership).

Admission into the Department of Educational Leadership

Master of Science in Education in Educational Leadership Program: To be granted admission into this program candidates must complete all components of the Tier I application process. The Tier I application process requires the following:

  1. Evidence of a cumulative undergraduate GPA from a regionally accredited four-year college or university of 3.00 (2.75 for provisional admission) on a 4.0 scale or 3.00 (2.75 for provisional admission) on the last 60 hours of coursework. (This documentation will come along with the Graduate School Application and copies of your transcripts)
  2. Evidence of a valid and current Illinois Professional Educators License. (We will confirm this through the Educator Licensure Information System - ELIS) 
  3. Evidence of two years of full-time teaching experience or two years' experience in another licensure area. Fulltime is defined by the Illinois School Code 105 ILCS 5/24-11.  (We will confirm this through the Educator Licensure Information System - ELIS)


Principal Endorsement Program: To be granted admission into this program candidates must complete all components of the Tier II application process. The Tier II application process requires the following:

Successful completion of a minimum of 18 semester hours in the Master of Science in Education in Educational Leadership Program.

Evidence of a cumulative GPA of 3.5 in the Master of Science in Education in Educational Leadership Program.

Evidence of a valid and current Illinois Professional Educators License

Evidence of a passing score on the test of basic skills or the test of academic proficiency (TAP) if the candidate had not been required to take the test for receipt of his or her Illinois teaching license.

Submit evidence showing four (4) years full-time teaching experience will be completed by the end of the Principal Endorsement Program. Fulltime is defined by the Illinois School Code 105 ILCS 5/24-11.

Letter of support from an immediate supervisor indicating the candidate’s viability to pursue the program as well as a completed assessment of the candidate’s leadership potential. Click here for assessment.

Submission of a portfolio that presents evidence of a candidate’s proficiency as a teacher in each of the following categories:

a. Support for all students achieving high standards of learning

b. Accomplished classroom instruction, which shall include data providing evidence of two years of student growth and learning within the last five years.

c. Evaluations of teaching abilities from supervisors that attest to students’’ academic growth.

d. Significant leadership roles in past positions

e. Strong oral and written communication skills

f. Analytic abilities needed to collect and analyze data for student improvement.

g. Demonstrated respect for family and community

h. Strong interpersonal skills; and

i. Knowledge of curriculum and instructional practices.

9) In addition to the submission of the application packet and portfolio, candidates will be evaluated on the results of the following three on-site activities:

a. Interview including Portfolio Presentation and Discussion: Each candidate will discuss highlights of his/her portfolio in a personal 30 - 45 minute interview conducted by two full time faculty members.

b. Written Response to a Leadership Scenario: Each candidate will be given 30 minutes to write a response to a leadership scenario. Possible leadership scenarios include: Introducing to faculty the development of a new teacher evaluation process; sharing with staff, parents, and students plans to reduce the school budget; describing to the Board and/or community plans to employ and implement the Common Core Standards; assessing student perspectives related to school climate or other scenarios presented by faculty.

c. Group Observation/Problem Solving Scenario: The purpose is to assess how well the candidate interacts and works with others. 20 minutes. Three to four
candidates simulate an administrative team meeting. Possible planning/problem-solving scenarios include: Planning a data retreat; developing a process for budget
reductions; preparing for a parent advocacy group meeting (special education, gifted, etc.); preparing for a meeting with representatives from the teachers union to discuss concerns related to time demands. (RtI, curriculum work, etc).

10) At least two departmental faculty members along with representatives from the Partners Advisory Council will review the candidates completed application to include their portfolio, Tier I program performance, and their Written Scenario responses. Reviewers will utilize the Departmental Application Assessment Rubric to assess the candidates overall qualifications for admission into the program. All reviews will be conducted at least two weeks prior to the scheduled interview with the candidate.

11) Each candidate must submit a letter from the school district's superintendent showing approval for their school to participate in Eastern Illinois University's Principal Endorsement Program. The letter of approval must indicate the willingness of the school district to provide a site for the candidate to pursue all necessary clinical work including the internship under the guidance of a qualified site based administrative mentor.

Educational Specialist Program: The admission requirements for the Educational Specialist Program in Educational Leadership are currently being re-written so that they are in alignment with Illinois State Board of Education rules.  We hope to have this information updated by late October. 

Application Process

After the candidate is admitted to the Graduate School, the candidate's records are forwarded to the Educational Leadership Department for consideration.

Faculty review the candidate's application and make an admission decision. Upon admission, the candidate is assigned an advisor and a study plan is developed. The Welcome Letter and Study Plan will be emailed to the candidate at the address listed on their application.

Application Process for Students Who Have Been Previously Admitted Into the Program or to The Graduate School

If a student has been previously admitted to the program and has had a break in semester enrollment, a student must complete Graduate Re-admission Form.

If a student is already enrolled at Eastern and wishes to change programs (i.e., Master's in Educational Leadership to Educational Specialist in Educational Administration, or another department to Educational Leadership), the student must complete a Change of Status Form. Once a student completes a Change of Status form, the application process for departmental admission will begin as outlined in each program above.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Department of
Educational Leadership

2320 Buzzard Hall
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-6673

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