M.Ed. in Educational Foundations

Typical Length 15 months

Delivery Summer Hybrid



Educational Leadership or “EdLeads” is a nationally award-winning master of education (MEd) program. Designed to allow teachers, administrators, and other educators to pursue study and research interests without career interruption, the program emphasizes the exploration of educational issues from cultural, philosophical, historical, and international perspectives.

As part of EdLeads, students attend face-to-face sessions over two summers (five weeks each) with independent study and advising during the fall and spring semesters. Students are required to do a final paper in the program, also known as a “Plan B” paper.

The program embraces students’ research interests as well as the idea of professional leadership for teachers and other educators. With a vibrant community of students from all over Hawaiʻi, the mainland U.S., Asia and the Pacific Islands, and beyond, the program invites intellectual stimulation and social interaction. A former student said, “I loved the opportunity to discuss relevant educational issues with other professionals.” Another student said, “The cohort experience helped to build a strong culture of mutual respect and enabled us to open up and share on a deep level.”

Who should consider this program

This program is appropriate for teachers, department chairs, vice-principals, principals, and others who seek to move into positions of leadership within educational organizations.

Common careers

Graduates of the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership use their degree for professional enhancement and advancement in different ways. Many teachers pursue this master’s degree to inform their practice at the school and classroom levels, while others are interested in this degree because it can help them make a career transition to a position of leadership within school systems or in other education-related organizations. Given the broadly applicable nature of the courses in this master’s program, there are many possibilities.

Admission Requirements
Apply to UHM Graduate Division View This Task

You must submit a graduate division application.

To submit your application please go to the UHM online application.

Make sure you choose the application type “Graduate Studies”.

For checklist item #7 (Planned Course of Study) select "Educational Foundations-MEd"

Information for prospective students can be found on the prospective students page of the UHM Graduate Division website.

Completed Baccalaureate Degree View This Task

Must have graduated from an accredited, four-year institution of higher education recognized by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM), prior to beginning the MEd, Educational Foundations program.

To check if you graduated from a UHM recognized institution contact the UHM Graduate Division at gradss@hawaii.edu or (808) 956-8544.

Undergraduate Cumulative GPA View This Task

An Undergraduate Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

The Graduate Division at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) requires an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to be considered for admission. Some departments however may admit students with GPA’s that are below a 3.0. Departments consider the GPA along with other factors when making their admission decisions.

Submitted Transcripts View This Task

A transcript from each post-secondary institution attended.

You should also including transcripts from, any study abroad or exchange programs, summer programs, and non-degree work and extension programs. Your official transcripts need to be sent directly to the Graduate Division from the issuing institution(s), or in sealed institutional envelopes if submitted with the application.

UH Transcripts

Transcripts are not required for course work completed at any of the UH campuses. Graduate Division Student Services will obtain UH transcripts on behalf of applicants.

International Students

Refer to the Office of Graduate Education International Admissions Requirements website for specific international requirements.

Send your official transcripts to the UHM Graduate Division at:
2540 Maile Way
Spalding 354
Honolulu, HI 96822

Unofficial Transcripts

You may submit a copy of your unofficial transcripts directly to the department. However, you are still required to have your official transcripts sent directly to the UH Mānoa Graduate Division at the address above.

Upload your unofficial transcripts.
This link opens in a new window or tab.

Submitting unofficial transcripts to the department alone does NOT meet the transcripts requirement.

Statement of Objectives View This Task

A written statement of objectives as part of your application.

You are required to write a response to the following question as part of your application to the MEd, Educational Foundations program.

Use the following directions to submit your statement of objectives.

  1. Save your statement as either a word (.doc/.docx) or PDF (.pdf) format.
  2. Name the file with your name and the word statement
    (e.g. StudentName_Statement.pdf).
  3. Upload your statement to Mākālei
    This link opens in a new window or tab.
Submit Resume or Curriculum Vita (CV) View This Task

Your resume or CV.

You are required to submit your resume or CV. You can either upload a copy directly to Mākālei or mail or fax a copy to the department.

Upload your resume or CV
This link opens in a new window or tab.

AlertYour resume or CV must be in either Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx) or PDF (.pdf) format.


Mail or Fax your Resume/Vitae to:

Department of Educational Foundations
Wist Hall Rm 113
1776 University Ave
Honolulu, HI 96822
Fax: (808) 956-9100

Sample of Scholarly Writing (Optional) View This Task

You may also include a sample of scholarly writing for consideration with your application to this program.

Scholarly writing may include a published research article, an unpublished manuscript such as, a research proposal, a thesis, a class writing assignment, or a professional research report written for your job. You can either upload a copy directly to Mākālei or mail a copy to the department.

Upload your sample of scholarly writing
This link opens in a new window or tab.

AlertYour writing sample must be in either Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx) or PDF (.pdf) format.


Mail your sample of scholarly writing to:

Department of Educational Foundations
UHM College of Education
1776 University Avenue, Wist Rm 113
Honolulu, HI 96822

Two Letters of Recommendation View This Task

Two (2) letters of recommendation

List two professional references who will write your letters of recommendation, e.g., supervisor, professor, advisor, instructor, etc. These references will be sent an email with directions for submitting the letter. Please verify in advance, the listed references have agreed to provide a letter and inform them they will receive an email with instructions. The College reserves the right to contact professional references other than those listed.

Name E-mail Phone Relationship Send

Please make sure the letters are submitted by:
Letters can be submitted by one of the following:

  1. Upload to Mākālei (preferred):
    • You will be able to see any letters that are uploaded into Mākālei. If you or your references want the letters to be private, letters should be faxed or mailed in.

  2. Fax: (808) 956-9100
  3. Mail:
    • Department of Educational Foundations,
      University Hawai‘i at Mānoa,
      Everly Hall, Room 113,
      1776 University Avenue,
      Honolulu, HI 96822

English Proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS) View This Task

Applicants who are not native English speakers may need to take the TOEFL or IELTS (Academic) tests. For more information view the Graduate Division website. For more information on the TOEFL and IELTS tests and to determine if you need to take them please visit the Graduate Division's English Proficiency website.

Minimum acceptable scores for the 2 tests are:

550/79 (Paper/Internet)

25 Listening
25 Speaking

6.00 for the Overall band test results

Send your official scores to the UHM Graduate Division at:

2540 Maile Way
Spalding 354
Honolulu, HI 96822

Identification Documents View This Task

International students are required to submit a copy of their Identification documents (i.e. Passport or Identification Card)

As required by U.S. federal regulations, all international applicants are required to submit a copy of their passport identification pages, or a copy of their national identification card if a passport is not available.

Send your identification documents to the UHM Graduate Division at:
2540 Maile Way
Spalding 354
Honolulu, HI 96822

International applicants need to show proof of sufficient funding to cover all educational and living expenses

International applicants need to show proof of sufficient funding to cover all educational and living expenses ,including expenses for any accompanying spouse or children. Upon admission to UHM, only international applicants with proof of funding will receive visa documents. The Confidential Financial Statement Form for International Applicants is required of most international applicants.

Send your financial statement to the UHM Graduate Division at:
2540 Maile Way
Spalding 354
Honolulu, HI 96822

Apply Now
Application Deadlines
Starting Semester General Admission International Students Admission
Fall N/A N/A
Spring N/A N/A
Summer November 1 November 1

*A new cohort begins every other Summer

Apply Now
Tuition & Funding

The pursuit of a Master’s Degree is a major commitment. However, the investment is probably more affordable than you might imagine—especially for participants outside of Hawai‘i. In order to help participants better plan, we previously created a rough budget. Please note that your travel to O’ahu is not arranged through the University.

A total of 30 credits is required for this program. The fall 2020 tuition rate for this program is $650/credit hour.

There are many resources available to help graduate students pay for college, including College of Education scholarships. There are also several scholarships listed generally through the STAR website (please note that this is only accessible to students with a valid UH ID number – must be admitted as a student prior to looking for scholarships on this site) and the Financial Support section of the Graduate Division website. For more information on financial aid and additional resources, please visit the UH Manoa Financial Aid Office (finaid@hawaii.edu).

Delivery Format

Face-to-face courses are offered during two summers (typically during June and July). The fall and spring semesters’ field-based research course, focused on students’ Plan B research projects, is offered online.


The MEd in Educational Foundations: Educational Leadership is a 30-credit graduate program delivered face-to-face during the summer and online during the academic year. Students will take:

  • 12 credits during summer 1
  • 6 credits during the fall & spring
  • 12 credits during summer 2

In addition to the coursework, students will be required to complete and present a culminating paper/project.

Summer I Tentative Courses = 12 credits

  • EDEF 630—Cultural Diversity and Education
  • EDEF 667F—Foundations of Curriculum Leadership
  • EDEF 610–Foundations of Educational Theory
  • EDEF 678—Approaches to Educational Inquiry

Fall and Spring = 6 credits

EDEF 649 (online)—Field Studies in Ed Foundations

Summer II Tentative Courses = 12 credits

  • EDEF 651–History of Education in America
  • EDEF 669–Intro to Comparative/International Education
  • EDEF 675—Introduction to Educational Policy Studies
  • EDEF 649—Field Studies in Ed Foundations

Plan B Committee

Chair (graduate faculty), second reader (with at least a master’s degree)

Culminating Experience

Public presentation of Plan B paper

Advising & Faculty
Program Coordinator
Photo of Alexander Means

Alexander Means

Assistant Professor

Request More Info