The Graduate Certificate in School Leadership consists of four graduate-level ★3 courses: 2 are required courses, and 2 are chosen from a list of approved electives.

Courses have both synchronous and asynchronous components, including online (Zoom) class sessions. Any synchronous sessions are in Mountain Time (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). Dates and times are determined by the course instructor.

Note: you must take a course in the term for which you apply. Course offerings are dependent upon sufficient enrollment.

Required Courses

EDU 520 Foundations of School Leadership ★3

Explore the foundational dimensions of school leadership including instructional leadership, fostering effective relationships, supporting the application of foundational knowledge about Indigenous Peoples, visionary leadership, leading learning communities, modelling continuous professional learning, developing leadership capacity, understanding the social context influencing schooling, and managing school operations and resources. Note: EDU 520 is offered in all semesters.

EDU 521 School Leadership: Theory and Practice ★3 (Prerequisite: EDU 520)

Hone leadership practices grounded in research to demonstrate mastery of Alberta's Leadership Quality Standard (LQS). Includes a job-embedded learning component in which participants visit, observe, and collaborate with a school leader or leadership team in a school setting of their choice, in which the Alberta Program of Studies is offered. Note: EDU 521 is offered in all semesters but Summer.

Completion of the required courses fulfills the academic requirements for principal certification in Alberta.

Approved Electives

These are the electives that are approved for the GCSL program:

  • EDU 523 System Leadership: Theory and Practice
  • EDU 530 First Nation, Métis, Inuit Issues in School Leadership
  • EDU 596 Special Topics in Educational Leadership (variable topics)

Approved electives are offered on a rotating basis, dependent upon sufficient enrolment. For current offerings, click here and be sure to note which ones are approved for GCSL. You may also contact the Graduate Administrator at for help.


The program uses the University of Alberta's 4-point scale grading system. For more information about the University of Alberta grading system, see the grading system at the Office of the Registrar.