Catholic schools are at once places of evangelization, of complete formation, of enculturation, of apprenticeship in a lively dialogue between young people of different religions and social backgrounds.  The ecclesial nature of the Catholic school, therefore, is written in the very heart of its identity as a teaching institution. It is a true and proper ecclesial entity by reason of its educational activity, in which faith, culture and life are brought into harmony.

-The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium

Central to the mission of the Church is the work of Catholic schools. The National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Catholic Schools (NSBECS) state that “An excellent Catholic school has a qualified leader/leadership team empowered by the governing body to realize and implement the school’s mission and vision.” The need for well-prepared leaders for Catholic schools is documented in numerous arenas as well as the challenges that face these leaders.

The Loyola University Chicago (LUC) Catholic Principal Preparation Program is...

  • designed to prepare future principals to meet the complex challenges of leading today’s Catholic schools.
  • uniquely designed to ensure each principal candidate becomes a mission-driven, faith-based instructional leader within the Catholic School context.

Program Objectives

Upon completion, principal candidates will ...

  • possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be highly effective principals to promote the spiritual, academic and social-emotional growth of their students.

About the Program

  •  a three-year program
  • leads to a Master’s Degree in Administration & Supervision and Illinois Principal Licensure eligibility
  • Course work will focus on the unique aspects of the principalship of Catholic schools.
  • twelve courses (36 semester credit hours)
  • 4 one-semester internships and 12 classes of coursework with embedded field experiences and assignments.
  • Courses will focus on instructional leadership, enrollment management, marketing and development.  Catholic Identity is infused throughout the coursework. 

Continuous Enrollments
Master's students in administration and supervision are required to maintain the status of continuous enrollment during their program of studies. This means that during each semester of each academic year (excluding Summer Sessions), each student must enroll in at least one course. A formal leave of absence may be granted upon request and the approval of the School of Education’s Assistant Dean of Student Academic Affairs.

The Unique Coaching Model

In your first semester, you will be assigned an experienced, successful Catholic school as your coach.This coach will remain with you throughout the program.

This coaching model is based on the foundation of a “support team” to ensure candidates have the breadth of experiences to be able to lead.  The support team is comprised of the candidate, the university faculty supervisor, the coordinator of coaches, the internship mentor principal, and the internship coach.  The internship coach is a veteran Catholic school administrator with a proven record for leading effective Catholic schools. 

Features of the Program

  • Focused in-depth coursework with coaching and immediate application for transforming Catholic schools to create increased student outcomes within a faith-based context.
  • Program designed by Loyola’s School of Education and community partners to ensure that all candidates acquire a solid foundation to be a Catholic school principal who is a mission-driven, faith-based instructional leader.
  • Optional two-week summer course at Loyola University’s Rome campus to develop global leadership perspectives.
  • Intensive coaching model that supports the candidate for the full program: candidate assigned a coach who is a former Catholic school leaders with a proven record of success and the coach remains with candidate for duration of the program. 



Admission Requirements

Interested in applying? Check out the MEd Catholic Principal Preparation application requirements.


Tuition, Financial Aid and Scholarships

The School of Education and Loyola's Financial Aid Office are committed to helping students secure the necessary financial resources to make their education at Loyola affordable. You can learn more on the Financial Assistance page.