Lehigh University

U*PAL is a rigorous Education Leadership Master's Degree Program at Lehigh University.  It is a program that is designed to develop school leaders who will think and act in ways that will transform the stagnation and mediocrity that exists in too many of our nation's schools.  The Cohort based program utilizes the underlying themes of creativity & imagination in leadership, issues of diversity and organizational culture.

Program Description

U*PAL is a 37 credit Ed. Leadership Master’s degree program. Students participate over the course of 13 months with attendance at Lehigh occurring over two 5 week summer sessions. U*PAL believes in rigorous research but not in research papers. Instead, working in teams, UPAL's aspiring school leaders develop creative and engaging approaches to demonstrating what skills and knowledge they have acquired. The remainder of the program takes place on-line during the regular school year. At that time, students take an online course in the fall and another in the spring while doing their usual jobs as well as an Administrative Internship.

Program Requirements

  • Risk taking ability

  • Passion for adaptive school leadership

  • Willingness to think and work collaboratively

  • Appreciation for creative and imaginative leadership strategies

  • Dare to develop and sustain schools that meet the needs of everyone in your school community

  • Deep concern for organizational culture

Application Requirements

  • Online application

  • Two letters of reference

  • Letter from principal permitting administrative internship

  • Written narrative (prompts on online application)

  • Transcripts

  • Phone interview

Application FAQs

Educators who realize that great leadership is a state of mind and who aspire to become visionary school leaders. If you want to break the mold and lead in the transformation of public schools that will truly serve the needs of urban students, then you should consider U*PAL as the pathway to that goal.

As a member of U*PAL, you will be working within a small cohort of students, from different regions of the country, taking rigorous courses that will challenge you to work collaboratively and creatively. Using research on Best Practices, we will study the work of: Maxine Greene, Doug Reeves, Yang Zhao, Richard Elmore, Ron Heifetz, David Whyte and others to create a common thread of innovative practices, and aesthetic inquiry, which will run through all courses. U*PAL courses will be integrated so that each one is a connecting piece in the overall program. U*PAL will also hold seminars utilizing the arts to develop the practice of sharing perspectives and the vitality that brings to the culture of a successful school.

The Lehigh University, Graduate School of Education, which is consistently in the upper ranks of the best graduate schools in the United States, has a tuition of $565 per credit making this a very affordable program, especially one with this level of rigor and uniqueness.