Admission requirements to the master of arts in educational leadership (MAEL) are intended to help you meet the Illinois state requirements for the principal endorsement on your educator’s license upon completion of your program. This cohort program starts with a new group of students each summer; you should begin your application process well in advance of the term in which you wish to begin classes.
Two-Phase Admission Process
To assist future principals in meeting Illinois state requirements for principal preparation programs, the School of Education has designed a two-phase admissions process for the master of arts in educational leadership (MAEL).
Applicants must meet the admission requirements below and may be asked to sit for an interview with an admission committee.
- Complete our convenient online, no-fee application
- Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, generally with a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
- Submit evidence of a passing score on the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) or Basic Skills Test
- Have at least four years of teaching experience on a current, valid Illinois teaching certificate/license
- Provide names and contact information for three individuals who can provide professional letters of recommendation on your behalf, one of whom must be your current principal
- Request official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended, and have them sent directly to North Park University:
North Park University Admissions
3225 W Foster Ave., Box 19
Chicago, IL 60625
Generally, only students with 3.0 out of 4.0 GPA in undergraduate work will be considered for admission to this program. However, candidates with lower GPAs may be considered if they submit strong GRE or MAT exam scores.
Test of Academic Proficiency
The Illinois State Board of Education may accept ACT Plus Writing (composite score of 22) and SAT (composite score of 1030 on critical reading and mathematics) score reports that are up to 10 years old when obtaining a provisional educator’s license/certificate or for admission to an accredited teacher preparation program, like North Park’s degree offerings. The official score report cannot be more than 10 years old (month/year) at the time of the application (ISBE form 73-60 or 73-54) and submission to ISBE and must include a score on a writing component. Learn more from ISBE.
Request more information from the School of Education about this policy and how it impacts your application.
If you successfully pass Phase One of the process, you'll enroll in EDUC 6030: Educational Leadership.
During this course, your instructors will work with you to develop an Admissions Portfolio that will demonstrate how you successfully meet the requirements for Phase Two admission, which are designed to prepare you for the State of Illinois for principal endorsement and include:
- An updated resume
- Evidence of leadership roles and descriptions of your impact on your classrooms, school or district, or constituents served
- Demonstration of at least four years of teaching experience on a valid and current Illinois certificate/license, with demonstrated student growth within two of the last five years
- An in-person interview with full-time faculty members in the School of Education and representatives from partner schools and districts
- An on-site written response to a scenario presented by the interviewers
Once you can develop this Admission Portfolio and meet the requirements for Phase Two, you’ll be granted full admission into the MAEL and can enroll in the continuing coursework.
Review our complete graduate education application process for more details on the process and timeline of your application.