Academic Catalog

School Leadership

Master of Arts in School Leadership

MA School Leadership Program Learning Outcomes

College of Education
Division of Graduate Education
Master of Arts in School Leadership


Pamela Robinson, Department Chair
Janna Bersi, Yesenia Fernandez, Kitty Fortner, Leena Furtado, Jeremy Hart, Julie Jhun, Adriean Mancillas, Gary Rhodes, Terry Richardson, Carol Sullivan

Department Office: COE 1410, (310) 243-3524

Emeriti Faculty

Charmayne Bohman, Edith Buchanan, Muriel P. Carrison, James L. Copper, Peter Desberg, Farah Fisher, Jitsu Furusawa, Marjorie Holden, Antonia Issa-Lahera, Judith Jackson, Rita Lee, Susanne Medina, Sean R. Morgan, Karlton Skindrud, Judson H. Taylor, George Walker

Program Description

The School Leadership Program admits credentialed teachers who have at least four years of full-time teaching experience and will complete their fifth year of teaching while in the program. Students become part of a cohort, taking courses in fall, spring and summer. Students become part of a cohort, taking a total of 32 units, with no more than 6 units taken in the summer. Courses are offered in face-to-face, on-line and hybrid formats. In addition, students complete a field-based project and take a comprehensive exam. For the field-based project, students collect data and implement change that is driven by an equity gap at their school sites.


The School Leadership curriculum is designed to meet the needs of full-time working professionals by offering a full program of courses in the late afternoon and evening. Courses are offered so degree requirements may be completed in one year. The urban location of the University provides a unique opportunity for working with a diverse cultural and ethnic population in classes and in field experiences.

Academic Advisement

Students will work with an advisor when they are admitted to the Division of Graduate Education. Students must confer with their advisor each semester prior to registration to ensure that they are taking the appropriate course work in the proper sequence.

Requirements for Admission to the Graduate Program

Admission as a classified graduate student in education requires:

  • Admission to the University
  • Five years of full-time teaching experience in a public or private school (or five years' experience in pupil personnel services). Students with four years of full-time teaching experience in a public or private school, must complete their fifth year of full-time teaching experience during the SLP program.
  • A 3.0 grade point average in the last 60 units of college work. If less than a 3.0, a score of 500 or better on the MAT or a score of 300 or better on the GRE.
  • Possession of a valid California Teaching Credential or Pupil Personnel Services Credential.
  • Attendance at SLP orientation.
  • Must have passed the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST).
  • Two letters of recommendation, one from the applicant's site supervisor.

Admission Procedures

Application deadline for the School Leadership Program is June 1st. Dates are subject to change.

All prospective graduate students, including CSU Dominguez Hills graduates, must do the following:

  1. Apply for graduate admission to the university through Cal State Apply.
  2. Submit two sets of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended other than CSU Dominguez Hills to the CSU Dominguez Hills Admissions Office.
  3. Must complete a separate program application for the desired Graduate Education program. Must include a copy of all transcripts to the College of Education Student Services Center. Students can find the applications at:

A decision regarding admission will be made upon completion of university and program admission requirements.

Classified Standing

Students who satisfy all the requirements of program admission will be admitted with Classified Standing. Students accepted with Conditional Standing will have a semester to meet the conditions for Classified Standing. Upon completion of specified conditions, students must request that a Postbaccalaureate/Graduate Change of Objective form be filed by their advisor on their behalf.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in School Leadership requires completion of 32 units or more of course work with a minimum 3.0 grade point average. A minimum of 21 semester units must be completed in residence. Courses taken previously may be used to meet the course content requirements of a graduate program if they have been completed within the seven years immediately preceding the completion of the requirements for the degree or credential. However, no courses may apply toward the required number of units of approved graduate work that have been used to meet the requirements of another degree.

Students may take up to seven years to complete the course work, including exams. Course work that does not meet the seven-year deadline will have to be repeated and/or replaced by other courses with the approval of the program advisor.

A Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement must be met by all students prior to classified standing. This requirement can be met on the CSU Dominguez Hills campus by obtaining one of the following:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in the United States.
  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited non-US institution where English is the primary language of instruction.
  • Graduate students who earned a 4 or above on the analytical writing component of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
  • Students from a baccalaureate program offered in non-English speaking university settings can qualify to enter a graduate program by meeting one of the following options: take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and achieve a score of: 550 (paper-based); 80 (internet-based); 213 (computer-based); or achieve an International English Language Testing System (IETLS) score of 6.5.

In addition to the major requirements, students must meet all university requirements for the master's degree. Students should consult the section of the catalog entitled "Requirements for the Master's Degree."

Completion of Degree

  1. Complete an approved program of 30 units or more of course work and meet specific GPA requirements.
  2. Pass a comprehensive written examination. After completion of all course work or during the last semester of course work, the M.A. degree candidate may apply to take the comprehensive examination. There is only one retake opportunity.

Degree Requirements

Core Courses

GED 500 Research Methods in Education (3)
GED 501 Seminar in Learning and Development (3)

Required Courses

SLP 550 Induction Preliminary Leaders (2)
SLP 551 Visionary Leadership (3)
SLP 552 Instructional Leadership (3)
SLP 553 Organizational Leadership and Resource Management (3)
SLP 554 Collaborative Leadership (3)
SLP 555 Ethical Leadership (3)
SLP 556 Political, Social, Economic, Legal and Cultural Leadership (3)
SLP 557 Post-Assessment, Preliminary Leadership (2)
SLP 560 Fieldwork A, Preliminary Leadership (2)
SLP 561 Fieldwork B, Preliminary Leadership (2)

Culminating Experience

Under the supervision of a program cohort leader and a school site administrator, each student engages in an action-research field-based project, Within this project the development of the knowledge, dispositions, and skills of an effective leader are measured in multiple ways throughout the program. All culminating projects are presented on CSUDH campus at the end of the spring semester to the larger school community. Each project is subsequently evaluated by a panel of practicing school administrators who assess the leadership effectiveness of the Field Based Project.
The culminating project for the Master's is a 4.5 hour comprehensive exam consisting of four distinct tasks.