Educational administrators, including principals, superintendents, and deans, help schools run smoothly. They oversee daily operations, set long-term goals, and manage educators and staff members. Most administrative positions at K-12 schools and in higher education require a master's in educational administration. The degree prepares graduates for leadership roles in school systems and colleges, including as principals, district administrators, and superintendents.
Earning an educational administration master’s degree online qualifies educators for positions with increased responsibility and a higher earning potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), K-12 principals earn an average salary of over $95,000 a year. The growing field offers opportunities for educators seeking career advancement. BLS growth projections estimate nearly 20,000 new principal positions by 2026.
Choosing an online master's degree in educational administration offers flexibility and accessibility. The online format particularly appeals to teachers who want to continue working while earning their degree. Many administrative positions require teaching experience, and online programs let graduate students balance school with work obligations. Plus, the accessibility of an online program means prospective students can choose from the top programs in the country without having to relocate or leave their job.
The Best Online Master's in Educational Administration Degree Programs
Online Master’s in Educational Administration Degree Program Ranking Guidelines:
We selected the online educational administration programs based on the quality of the program, the types of online classes offered, the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation, including the school's reputation for effectively providing quality online degree programs.
1. California State University – Fullerton
CSUF offers an asynchronous, online/hybrid master of science in educational administration (MSEDAD). This program meets in person three Saturdays each semester. Students can apply courses in the MSEDAD toward a preliminary administrative services credential (PASC). Learners can also earn a standalone PASC.
The master's in education administration welcomes preschool-12 teachers, other individuals holding California teaching licensure or services credential, and international students interested in education leadership. The part-time graduate program takes five semesters to complete, including at least one summer session. Students in this cohort-style program all take the same two classes (six credits) each semester. The program starts twice each year in the fall and spring.
Applicants to the College of Education must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. They also need a minimum 2.5 GPA over the last 60 credits of their undergraduate work, although the school recommends at least a 3.0 GPA. The program does not require GRE scores. Other requirements include strong letters of recommendation, exceptional written statements, and professional experience in education. The program prefers applicants with at least five years of teaching experience.
Students take courses such as instructional leadership and assessment, organizational leadership and management, and community engagement for school leaders. MSEDAD learners must complete a six-credit capstone project in their final semester of the program.
California State University, Fullerton is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
2. California State University – Northridge
Employers can arrange for their midcareer employees to complete a two-year, completely online master's in education administration at CSUN. This contract-only, career-focused program admits cohorts of students whose employers commission and pay for their education.
The asynchronous program lets students complete weekly assignments at their convenience and takes a cohort approach, with 20-35 learners taking the same classes together. This approach lets students get to know and learn from each other while cultivating a network of colleagues. The education administration master's program boasts its own program support coordinator and faculty academic lead.
CSUN develops its online programs as comprehensive learning experiences with leading practitioners, faculty, and e-learning professionals. The university combines professional practice and superior scholarship to create its distance education programs. The same faculty members who provide instruction in CSUN's on-campus education programs also teach online classes, ensuring a high-quality learning experience for distance students.
This master of arts in educational administration prepares students for leadership positions in K-12 schools, universities, government agencies, and other types of organizations. Graduates work as principals, deans, program administrators, superintendents, and department heads. The Michael D. Eisner College of Education — the largest college of education in the U.S. — offers the program collaboratively with CSUN.
California State University, Northridge is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
3. California State University – San Marcos
San Marcos, California
CSUSM offers distance learners a master of arts in education in educational administration that qualifies graduates for a certificate of eligibility for the preliminary educational administration services credential. The program emphasizes K-12 education, equity, and cultural proficiency.
The 30-credit hybrid master's in education administration from CSUSM explores issues such as budget and personnel management, creating an environment of continual school improvement, and practical leadership philosophies. Students can complete the cohort-style program in as little as 12 months. Learners attend two in-person Saturday sessions each month, with the rest of coursework available online in an asynchronous format. Students take all classes with the same cohort of learners and develop a network of teacher leaders.
Required courses include the role of schooling in creating a democratic society, leading assessment and accountability, and school finance and resource allocation. Learners also complete action research during multiple field studies and master's culminating experiences, including a one-credit thesis.
Application requirements include a bachelor's degree, teaching credential, and four years of full-time experience working in a school (or an equivalent setting). Substitute teaching or part-time employment do not count toward this requirement. Applicants must submit official transcripts and two letters of recommendation from recent supervisors. Prospective students must also respond to a writing prompt. The program does not require GRE scores.
California State University, San Marcos is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
4. Appalachian State University
Boone, North Carolina
The 36-credit master of school administration from Appalachian, located in Boone, North Carolina, prepares graduates for leadership roles in educational settings, with a focus on principalship in K-12 schools. The Department of Leadership and Educational Studies offers the degree, which takes six semesters to complete. Graduates leave the program with a North Carolina principal's license.
The curriculum emphasizes the knowledge and skills described in the North Carolina Standards for School Executives, as established by the North Carolina State Board of Education. Graduates can pursue careers as principals, assistant principals, and department administrators. Appalachian's master's in education administration program combines synchronous and asynchronous learning. Students must attend a three-hour, real-time class each week in a virtual classroom. Learners complete the rest of their coursework on their own time.
School leadership majors also enroll in an in-person internship practicum — usually at the school where they currently work. The internship must involve a hands-on administrative project related to course objectives and goals. The curriculum includes courses like school-based evaluation and school improvement planning, data-driven school leadership, and building-level action research leadership evidences.
Applicants to this school administration program must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college and submit official GRE or MAT scores. They also need a minimum 2.5 GPA in their last earned degree and official test scores in the 25th percentile. Students with lower test scores may still apply if they earned a minimum 3.0 GPA in their last degree program. Prospective students must also submit a resume, three references, and official transcripts.
Appalachian State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
5. Texas A&M International University
The College of Education at TAMIU in Laredo offers two online master's in education administration programs: a master of science in educational administration and a master of science in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in educational administration.
The MS in educational administration develops students' educational leadership abilities. The 30-credit curriculum includes courses like administration of school facilities and finance, advanced problems in supervision, and administration of special programs. Learners must also complete two practica in school administration. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA over their last 60 credits of coursework. They also need a Texas teaching certificate and two years of teaching experience.
The 33-credit MS in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in educational administration prepares students for leadership roles in education. The curriculum explores issues like assessment, research, and coaching to improve learning. Required courses include advanced theories for learning, evaluation of curriculum and instruction, and collegial coaching and mentoring. Students must complete six required core courses and five specialization courses, including a capstone.
Established with working professionals in mind, the program features accelerated, seven-week courses. Students pursuing the MS in curriculum and instruction can graduate in just 12 months. The program offers six start dates each year. Admission criteria include a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA over a student's last 60 credits.
Texas A&M International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Texas A&M College of Education is accredited by the Texas State Board for Educator Certification.
6. San Diego State University
San Diego, California
Distance learners can earn a fully online master's in education administration from the College of Education at SDSU in just 12 months. The college's MA in education includes a concentration in educational leadership and a specialization in PK-12. Designed for teachers, administrators, and teacher leaders, the technology-focused program teaches learners to integrate technology into their classrooms, districts, or schools.
The program takes a cohort approach, with students progressing through the degree requirements together, getting to know each other, and developing a professional network. New cohorts start each fall and spring. The curriculum includes courses such as professional learning and growth leadership; communication, problem-solving, and decision-making in PK-12 systems; and organizational and systems leadership. Each course lasts 7-9 weeks.
Learners must also complete a master's project over two semesters. In the first semester, students conduct intensive research and formulate an idea for a project. The project must be related to the evaluation of a curriculum project or the administration of educational programs. In the second semester, students implement the project they developed in the first semester. The project must incorporate the evaluation, design, or delivery of technology for the student's school, district, or classroom.
Applicants must submit GRE scores and official transcripts from previously attended colleges. They also must submit a statement of leadership philosophy; resume or CV; and two letters of recommendation, including one from an immediate supervisor.
San Diego State University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
7. University of Houston – Clear Lake
The master of science in educational management from UHCL blends academic coursework with practical field experiences to create effective educational leaders.
UHCL's education programs have received the Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education. UHCL also boasts many education initiatives and centers, including the Center for Professional Development of Teachers, Center for Educational Programs, and the New Teachers Online program.
The 30-credit master's in education administration requires nine professional education core credits, 18 administration core credits, and a three-credit capstone experience. Students can enroll in the capstone after completing at least 18 credits of coursework. The curriculum includes classes like foundations of multicultural education, school resource management, and research design and analysis.
This hybrid program features a combination of online assignments and in-person sessions. The career-focused curriculum conforms to state and national certification standards. Education management majors can add one of the following concentrations: principal certification, principal certification and reading specialist, principal certification and special education certification, and principal certification and master technology teacher certification.
The University of Houston-Clear Lake is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The online educational management program is fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The College of Education also holds accreditation from the State Board for Educator Certification/Texas Education Agency.
8. University of Michigan – Flint
Well-suited for busy working professionals, the master of public administration in educational administration from UM-Flint combines online coursework with monthly in-person classes every second Saturday of the month. This flexible, part-time program takes two years to complete. Students go through the program with a small cohort of 20-30 classmates, giving them the opportunity to create a personal and professional network of peers.
UM-Flint's School of Graduate Studies offers this 36-credit master's in education administration. The program gives learners both a broad knowledge base and specialized understanding of educational administration and leadership. Students explore some of the most important responsibilities and challenges common in PK-12 education today. Dedicated professors provide mentorship and support throughout the program.
The curriculum includes courses such as leadership theory and practice, introduction to school law, and clinical practice in school administration. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university, a minimum overall 3.0 GPA, and a teaching certificate.
UM-Flint's educational administration master's program prepares learners to take leadership roles in education. The program also serves as excellent preparation for students wanting to pursue further education, including the university's doctor of education or education specialist degrees. The Michigan Department of Education for Principal Preparation approves UM-Flint's MPA in educational administration. Graduates of the program can apply for the mandatory school administrator certificate.
The University of Michigan-Flint is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
9. University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
La Crosse, Wisconsin
UW-La Crosse offers a fully online master's in education administration for full-time graduate students and working professionals. The curriculum for this M.S.Ed. in student affairs administration includes courses like foundations of ethical and professional practice in student affairs, student development theory, and administration of human and organizational resources.
The 36-credit degree requires a student affairs practicum and a capstone experience. The practicum must include at least 70 clock hours of practical experience working under professional supervision in academic or student affairs. The capstone serves as a culminating experience in the final semester of the program.
Online M.S.Ed. in student affairs majors who do not work full time can apply for paid graduate assistantship or internship positions through the program. These opportunities help students pay for tuition and give them valuable practical experience. These positions typically require 20 clock hours of work per week.
Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited college and a minimum 2.85 GPA. The program also accepts students with a lower overall GPA is they earned a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last half of their undergraduate work or a minimum 3.0 GPA in at least 12 graduate-level credits from an accredited school. However, the program still encourages prospective students who do not meet these GPA criteria to apply, as the department considers many other factors.
The program does not require GRE scores. Applicants must submit a personal statement, a resume, and contact information for at least two professional references. The application process also includes an interview.
University of Wisconsin La Crosse is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
10. New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Distance learners can pursue an online master of arts in education administration with an emphasis in community college and university administration from NMSU in Las Cruces. This program helps learners develop leadership skills and knowledge of current policies and trends in higher education. Graduates can take leadership positions in university and community college administration. The program includes a focus on leadership at institutions serving underrepresented communities.
The Department of Educational Leadership and Administration offers this 33-credit, completely online master's in education administration, which takes two years to complete. The curriculum includes courses such as administration of adult and continuing education, basing decisions on data in higher education, and management of educational change. Students also complete two three-credit internships in higher education.
Prospective pupils must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited university. Applicants submit official transcripts from all previously attended schools, a letter of intent, a resume, and three letters of reference. The program also requires a writing sample of no more than two or three pages that addresses a current topic in community college or university administration.
Students must attend an in-person or online orientation before the program starts in January each year. In-state and out-of-state learners both pay the same tuition per credit, and members of the military receive a discount. The program offers a limited amount of financial aid.
New Mexico State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
11. Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, New Mexico
ENMU in Portales offers a completely online master's in education administration that boasts some of the most affordable graduate tuition rates in the United States. The program helps students cultivate educational leadership skills and connects theory with practice. Instructors with experience in multiple areas of school administration teach in the program.
This 33-credit master of education with a concentration in educational studies and an emphasis in education administration requires 12 core credits and 21 emphasis-area credits. Distance learners take classes like theories of learning and motivation, American curriculum theory, and school finance. Students can either complete a thesis or a capstone project to fulfill graduation requirements. Learners who do not live near campus can defend their thesis and complete comprehensive exams online.
Students pursuing education administration licensure must complete two three-credit internships to be eligible for New Mexico Public Education Department licensure at the end of the program. Learners not pursuing licensure can complete a graduate project instead of an internship.
The asynchronous online program incorporates class discussions, individual projects and presentations, quizzes, and recorded lectures. Students do not need to attend class at specific times and can instead complete coursework when it fits their schedules. Distance learners can set up individual advising meetings with their professors via phone or email. Additional support for online students includes tutoring, library services, and an online writing center.
Eastern New Mexico University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
12. University of New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
The master of education in higher education administration from UNO prepares graduates for work as generalist practitioner leaders in postsecondary education. Accommodating both midcareer professionals and recent college graduates, the curriculum focuses on multiple areas of educational leadership. This hybrid program combines evening in-person classes with online coursework, helping professionals continue working while earning their degree.
The program focuses on practice and leadership in urban educational settings. The 36-credit degree requires six foundations and leadership credits, 24 professional practice credits, six elective credits, and a three-credit internship that must take place in a university or college-related educational setting. Graduation requirements also include completion of three assessments of student learning outcomes.
Learners take classes like organization and leadership in higher education; advanced education program evaluation; and teaching, learning, and curriculum in higher education. The program takes two years to complete. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college. The admissions committee requires transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a current resume, and a statement of purpose.
Graduates of the master's in education administration program often work as college and university administrators in areas like career services, residential life, admissions and retention, and student affairs. The program also prepares learners to transfer into one of UNO's Ph.D. programs in education. A diverse faculty teaches the curriculum and brings a variety of professional and academic experiences in educational organizations and postsecondary institutions.
The University of New Orleans is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
13. Missouri Southern State University
MSSU, located in Joplin, offers a master's in education administration with two concentrations: elementary education and secondary education. The school's teacher education department offers this 30-credit program, which combines online coursework and in-person internship requirements. The cohort-style program requires students to take two sequential classes each semester in separate eight-week sessions.
The curriculum includes courses such as foundations of school administration, assessment of student learning, and ethics and policy in school leadership. Graduation requirements include a portfolio, capstone experience, and internship, which align with guidelines established by the Missouri Leadership Development System. Students gain skills in organization management, community and family collaboration, leading personnel, and promoting a positive school culture.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. The program requires prospective learners to submit official transcripts from all previously attended schools, a current resume, three professional references, and an essay responding to a writing prompt. Applicants must also submit a video recording introducing themselves and describing their professional background, along with their goals and reasons for applying to the program.
All distance learners pay the same per-credit tuition rate, regardless of where they live. They may be eligible for financial aid opportunities, including TEACH grants. Learners must complete the building-level administrator exam, the Missouri School Leaders Performance assessment, and the Department of Teacher Education departmental program exit survey.
Missouri Southern State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. MSSU's online master's in education administration is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
14. University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, North Carolina
Catering to students who want to pursue careers in school administration, the master of school administration in educational leadership from UNCG includes a combination of online and in-person coursework. All fall and spring in-person classes take place in the evenings, with summer courses available at various times.
Learners must complete the degree within five years of their program's start date, and most students take classes part time. Graduates can work as principals, assistant principals, assistant superintendents, and executive directors. The degree leads to the North Carolina school principal license.
The master's in education administration includes courses such as principal leadership for special education; cultural and political dimensions of schooling; and teacher rights, recruitment, retention, and evaluation. The 42-credit program features 10 three-credit courses, including 12 required core credits, three research credits, and six elective credits. Students also complete a 12-credit, year-long internship experience to gain hands-on experience.
Prospective students may be eligible to apply for the North Carolina Principal Fellows Program, designed to establish a superior group of school administrators in the state. Participants receive a scholarship loan from the state legislature to cover the cost of tuition. They must enroll in the master of school administration program full time and graduate in two years. Recipients do not need to repay their scholarship loan if they work for at least five years as a school administrator in North Carolina.
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
15. Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, New York
Located in Stony Brook, New York, Stony Brook offers a part-time or full-time master of arts in higher education administration. Students can also choose to complete some coursework on campus or earn the entire degree online. Graduates go on to work in administration and student affairs in higher education.
Students can complete the 36-credit master's in education administration in as little as 16 months. They must take 18 core credits and 18 elective credits. Available classes include a survey of college student development theory, crisis management and prevention in higher education, and facilities management in higher education.
The curriculum also explores issues like technology in higher education, community college administration, and the roles of intercollegiate athletics. Stony Brook offers practicum opportunities for higher education administration majors through its residential programs, fraternity and sorority life, the dean of students, and more.
Distance learners receive digital badges that demonstrate proficiency in specific skills as they make their way through the program. Students can display these badges on online platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. They can also include them on their CVs and resumes. The program offers two digital badges: one in student advising and another in counseling and higher education management and operations.
Applicants to Stony Brook's online education administration master's program must hold a bachelor's degree and a minimum 2.0 GPA. They must also submit official transcripts and a personal statement. The program does not require GRE scores.
Stony Brook University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
16. University of Houston – Victoria
UHV in Texas offers two online master's in education administration and supervision programs: one with an emphasis on principalship and the other with an emphasis on superintendency. The university offers both programs as online or hybrid programs. Admission requirements for both degrees include a bachelor's degree from an accredited program and at least two years of teaching experience at an accredited school. Distance learners may be eligible for financial aid.
The master of education in administration and supervision with an emphasis on principalship takes as little as 12 months to earn when learners select the fast-track option. The program readies students to take the TExES #068 Principal Certification exam. Graduates can work as principals, assistant principals, central office members, or head coaches. The 30-credit program includes courses like theoretical foundations and functions of educational administration, school business management, and special education law.
The master of education in administration and supervision with an emphasis on superintendency includes practicum and internship requirements. Students take courses like educational policy and finance, theoretical foundations and functions of educational administration, and public affairs and community relations. Catering to individuals seeking superintendency who do not already hold a master's in education, this program gives students the flexibility to work full time while earning their degree. This track prepares students to pass the TExES #195 Superintendent exam. Applicants need a valid Texas principal certificate or alternative experience, as described by the Texas Education Agency.
The University of Houston - Victoria is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
17. The University of Texas at Tyler
Texas educators can earn their M.Ed. in educational administration and standard principal certificate completely online from UT Tyler's Educational Leadership and Policy Studies department. The program does not accept out-of-state learners. Students earn their master's in educational administration while completing certificate requirements. The program starts three times a year in the spring, fall, and summer.
The curriculum includes a concentration in public school leadership and administration. The 30-credit degree features courses such as strategic school improvement, administration of special programs in schools, and instructional leadership and supervision. Students also must fulfill internship and practicum requirements to graduate.
Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, standard or provisional Texas teacher certification, and a minimum 3.25 GPA. UT Tyler requires prospective students to submit official transcripts from all previously attended colleges, a copy of their teacher certification and teaching service record, and official GRE scores. Required minimum GRE scores vary depending on the applicant's GPA.
The program waives the GRE requirement for applicants with a minimum 3.25 GPA over their last 60 credits. Students must complete a screening survey after they submit all application requirements. Texas laws stipulate that individuals with certain criminal backgrounds may not be eligible to earn the standard principal certification.
The University of Texas at Tyler is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
18. University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign
Founded in 1905, the College of Education at U of I delivers an online educational administration and leadership principal preparation master's program. Known for its teacher preparation and research programs, the College of Education counts itself as one of the first research-based, land-grant schools of education.
The Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership department offers this 36-credit degree, which includes 32 credits of core coursework and four educational psychology foundation credits. The program helps learners understand and respond to the most important issues in postsecondary and K-12 education.
Students take courses like the political and cultural context of education, supervision of learning environments, and psychology of learning in education. The curriculum also explores issues like education law, student performance assessment, and public school finance. Learners must also complete a clinical experience in administration in a live or simulated setting under the supervision of a faculty member or practicing administrator.
Faculty members of the master's in education administration program include diverse scholars with experience in the humanities and social sciences. Students learn to use multiple methodological tools and theoretical frameworks to transform educational practice and research.
Applicants must submit a personal statement describing how their professional experience or academic background has prepared them for this program. They also need to submit a resume, three letters of reference, unofficial transcripts, an application fee, and a completed educational administration and leadership information form. Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
19. West Virginia University
Morgantown, West Virginia
WVU — located in Morgantown — offers a leadership-focused master of arts in higher education administration. The school's College of Education and Human Services offers the degree, which prepares participants for student affairs and academic administration positions at the postsecondary level. This flexible program offers both part-time and full-time study options and allows students 2-8 years to graduate.
The master's in education administration program lets learners develop a personalized plan of study to build skill sets and knowledge in a core interest area. Students work with an advisor to create a 30-credit program of study that includes a capstone experience. Learners also take 12 required common core credits, including classes like contemporary issues in higher education, college student development, and the history of American higher education.
Learners must earn a minimum 3.25 GPA and a grade of "C" or better in all courses to graduate. Students can complete all degree requirements online or take a combination of in-person and online classes. The distance education program incorporates advanced learning platform technologies. Senior administrators and experienced full-time faculty members teach the courses.
Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective learners must also submit the following supplemental materials: a resume, official transcripts from all previously attended schools, an academic writing sample, and three references. The program also requires a letter of application that describes the applicant's work experience and goals for studying higher education administration.
West Virginia University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
20. University of Wisconsin – Superior
Distance learners at UW-Superior can graduate with a master of science in education - educational administration degree in just 12-18 months. The program offers three career-focused tracks: PK-12 director of instruction, PK-12 principalship, and director of special education and student services. Career outcomes for graduates of this master's in education administration program include: principal; elementary, secondary, and postsecondary administrator; and executive director.
The 30-credit degree meets the requirements of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and features instruction from practicing administrators. Students must complete a six-credit practicum in addition to nine courses, like conflict resolution and mediation in K-12 educational settings, school business administration, and diversity and social justice.
In-state and out-of-state distance students pay the same tuition for the online MS in education - educational administration program. The university also offers multiple start times each year. Online learners receive the same high-quality instruction from faculty members as their on-campus counterparts.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. They also need an overall GPA of at least 2.75 or a minimum 2.9 GPA over the last half of their undergraduate program. Prospective students must submit the following materials: official college transcripts, a current resume demonstrating three years of professional teaching experience, a teaching license, and a completed criminal background check. The program does not require applicants to take the GRE. International students must meet additional admission requirements.
The University of Wisconsin Superior is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
21. Heritage University
Students in Heritage's career-focused M.Ed. in educational administration program take courses like data and student achievement, instruction and evaluation practices, and closing the achievement gap. The curriculum also explores issues like behavioral research in educational settings, curriculum alignment, and other contemporary issues in public education.
This blended program includes synchronous online classes and in-person coursework. Highly qualified applicants may be eligible for Heritage's accelerated one-year program. Resources for distance learners include individualized academic advising, career services, financial aid opportunities, and 24/7 access to library services.
Heritage's College of Education designed the educational administration program specifically for working professionals seeking leadership roles in K-12 schools. Program participants learn to integrate teaching with academic theory and gain new skills to help their students. Faculty members include principals, superintendents, and assistant superintendents with professional experience in school administration. Upon graduation, students receive an M.Ed. and a principal residency certificate. Participants must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate.
Applicants to Heritage's master's degree in education administration program need a minimum of three years of certified teaching experience, not including substitute teaching. They must also hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA over their last two years of coursework, along with a valid Washington state teaching certificate. This program requires applicants to submit official college transcripts, a completed participation acknowledgement form, and three letters of recommendation.
Heritage University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
22. Angelo State University
San Angelo, Texas
The online M.Ed. in educational administration from ASU — located in San Angelo, Texas — prepares students for careers as administrators in public and private higher education and government agencies. Graduates may also pursue further education at the doctoral level.
This completely online, 36-credit master's in education administration features dedicated faculty members with relevant practical experience. Students take online courses in five eight-week terms each year. The curriculum includes classes such as structure and organization of the school system, personnel and fiscal management, and social and cultural influences. Learners also complete a three-credit capstone in educational administration.
Applicants to ASU's educational administration master's program must hold a bachelor's degree with an overall 2.75 GPA (or a minimum 2.75 GPA in their last 60 credits of undergraduate work). Prospective students must submit transcripts from all prior schools. The program does not require GRE scores.
Admitted online learners may qualify for a variety of financial aid options, including graduate assistantships, departmental scholarships, and ASU's Carr Academic Scholarship program. The school gives out Carr scholarships based on a student's undergraduate GPA. Learners do not need to apply for Carr scholarships; instead, the school automatically considers them upon admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research.
Angelo State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
23. Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Located in Cape Girardeau, SEMO offers two online master's in education administration programs: an MA in elementary or secondary school administration and an MA in teacher leadership.
Created for experienced teachers, both MA tracks hold state and national accreditation. These programs prepare students to pass administrator certification exams, qualifying them to work in local school districts as principals and assistant principals. Other potential careers include superintendent and director positions.
Faculty members in the elementary and secondary school administration programs hold experience as school administrators. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree in education earned with a minimum 2.75 GPA and a valid teaching certificate. This 30-credit degree includes courses such as administration and supervision of special education, methods of research, and curriculum for education leaders. Students also complete a six-credit internship in their own school district.
Designed for classroom teachers, the 30-credit MA in teacher leadership prepares students for leadership roles in their districts or schools. The curriculum focuses on the classroom environment and is not for individuals who want to become principals. Graduates can work as curriculum coordinators, department chairs, and mentor teachers. Students can complete an internship in a K-12 setting and take classes like introduction to teacher leadership, foundations of curriculum development, and teaching in a multicultural society. Applicants need a minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA and a valid teaching certificate.
Southeast Missouri State University is regionally accredited by the North Central Association Of Colleges and Schools.
24. Florida State University, Office of Distance Learning
Distance learners who take two courses a semester can earn a master of science in educational leadership and administration from Tallahassee's FSU in six semesters. This asynchronous online program prepares students for leadership roles that improve education systems. The master's in education administration focuses on practical application of content and strong academic training, relying on input from field experts. Every student works with a designated advisor to plan their course of study.
This 33-credit degree includes courses such as teacher leadership development, resource management for educational leaders, and legal aspects of public school administration. Graduation requirements include passing a comprehensive exam; mastering certain competencies, skills, and leadership standards; maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA; passing the Florida Educational Leadership Examination; and completing internship and field experience hours.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university, earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA in all upper-division undergraduate coursework. They also need a current Florida Professional Educator's certificate and at least two years of full-time K-12 classroom teaching experience.
Prospective learners must also demonstrate instructional expertise by submitting their two most-recent performance evaluations from a Florida public school. The program also requires official college transcripts, a statement of purpose, essay questions, two letters of recommendation, and a resume or CV. Applicants need to earn the following GRE target scores: 3.5 in analytical writing, 149 in verbal reasoning, and 147 quantitative reasoning.
Florida State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
25. Idaho State University
ISU — based in Pocatello — offers an online master's in education administration that prepares professional educators to take administrative and leadership roles in schools. Students learn to lead staff, faculty, and students to accomplish school goals. This M.Ed. in education administration aligns with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation standards. Career opportunities include public, private, or charter school principal; textbook consultant; and central office administrator.
This 31-credit degree requires nine core professional studies credits, 18 educational administration emphasis credits, a three-credit internship, and a one-credit case study. Students who already hold an education-related master's degree may be able to complete only the requirements for Idaho's endorsement for principals. The curriculum includes courses like principalship, research and writing, and school culture and community relations.
Students should hold a bachelor's in education or a related field from a regionally accredited university. Applicants also need a minimum 3.0 GPA in upper-division credits taken at the undergraduate level. Applicants with an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher do not need to take the GRE. Students must hold at least one year of teaching experience at the K-12 level and submit a letter of interest, a resume, and the names of two professional references.
Idaho State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
The Advantages of an Educational Administration Education
With an educational administration degree, graduates can pursue leadership roles in education. Principals, superintendents, and postsecondary education administrators typically need an educational administration master's to qualify for these positions. While a bachelor's meets the requirements for a teaching license, in many states, candidates for a principal license must hold a master's degree in a relevant field. As a result, a master's in educational administration opens multiple career opportunities for those seeking leadership roles in education.
Educators with a master's degree typically see an increase in their earning potential. Professionals with a bachelor's in education earn an average of $51,000 per year, while a master's in educational administration increases the average salary to $65,000 per year. Many principals who complete an educational administration master's degree online earn above-average salaries, as the next section discusses.
Average Salary by Degree Level
|Degree Level||Average Salary|
|Bachelor's Degree in Education||$51,000|
|Master's Degree in Educational Administration||$65,000|
Educational Administration Degree Salary Information
A master's in educational administration prepares graduates for several leadership roles in K-12 education and higher education, including positions as a principal or superintendent. Principals apply the skills gained during an educational administration program to manage their school, and they typically hold several years of teaching experience before moving into administration. These career paths require strong leadership, decision-making, and communication skills, making them a good fit for educators seeking career advancement.
- Elementary School Principal
- Elementary school principals oversee daily operations while also setting long-term goals for their school. They create instructional improvement plans to meet district guidelines and hire and evaluate teachers. Elementary school principals coordinate with district administrators and staff, manage the school budget, and maintain a safe learning environment for students.
- Middle School Principal
- Middle school principals manage school operations, including overseeing teachers and staff members and acting as the final disciplinary authority for the school. They oversee the school budget, report to the superintendent about any school problems, and evaluate the curriculum to ensure it meets state guidelines.
- High School Principal
- At the high school level, principals ensure graduating students meet state career and college readiness guidelines. To achieve this goal, principals review teacher performance, student learning assessments, and curriculum standards. High school principals also manage the school's finances, coordinate with district administrators, and maintain disciplinary guidelines.
- School superintendents act as the head administrator in a school system. They oversee the district's administrators, staff, teachers, and principals. Superintendents develop the district budget, manage school buildings, and implement district goals. Typically, superintendents bring several years of experience as teachers, and many have worked as principals.
- Postsecondary Education Administrator
- At the college and university level, postsecondary education administrators oversee student services, including the registrar's office and admissions. They also manage academic departments. Academic deans, for example, oversee faculty members and manage budgets for their division. Many postsecondary education administrators hold a master's.
Salary by Experience Level for Educational Administration Careers
|Elementary School Principal||$68,000||$75,000||$78,000||$83,000|
|Middle School Principal||N/A||$77,000||$91,000||$92,000|
|High School Principal||$68,000||$82,000||$86,000||$94,000|
|Postsecondary Education Administrator (Academic Dean)||$71,000||$81,000||$84,000||$93,000|
Choosing an Online Educational Administration Degree Program
Prospective students may feel overwhelmed with the process of choosing an online master's degree in educational administration. However, students should take their time to find the best program for their career goals and interests. Considering several factors, such as the total cost, program length, and on-campus requirements, can help applicants narrow their choices. For example, public, in-state programs typically charge a lower tuition rate than out-of-state or private programs. The most affordable online option might not be an in-state program, though; many out-of-state public institutions charge a flat tuition rate for online students.
- Program Cost: The cost of an online master's degree in educational administration varies widely, depending on the school type and location. Prospective students can make informed decisions by researching a program's cost per credit plus additional fees, such as technology fees. When calculating total costs, students should also weigh the cost of books.
- Transfer Policies: Transfer policies determine how many previously earned credits students can apply toward their degree. Graduate programs with generous transfer policies can save educational administration students thousands in tuition costs. Some programs let incoming students apply transfer credits toward their degree, which also saves time on earning a master's.
- School Size and Type: School size and type shape a student's learning experience. Smaller schools generally offer small class sizes and more focused faculty attention. Larger schools provide a larger cohort of students and the possibility of a broader alumni network. Prospective students may also prefer either a public or private school for their educational administration degree.
- Program Length: Program length and enrollment options affect how long it takes to earn a master’s of educational administration online. Programs may offer part-time, full-time, or accelerated enrollment options, which affect program length. While most programs require two years, additional requirements, such as practicum hours or a master's thesis, can increase the program length.
- On-Campus Requirements: Online educational administration programs may include on-campus requirements, such as weekend residencies or an on-campus meeting with faculty advisors. Prospective students considering local institutions may prefer programs with on-campus requirements, while students who live further away may prefer a 100% online program.
Accreditation for Online Educational Administration Degrees
Prospective educational administration graduate students should always look for accreditation status when choosing a program. Accreditation benefits students in several ways. Students at accredited institutions qualify for federal financial aid, and accredited degrees meet the requirements for more professional licenses and certifications. Similarly, many employers only consider candidates with an educational administration degree from an accredited program.
To earn accreditation, institutions voluntarily submit to a review from an independent accrediting agency. During the review, the accrediting agency assesses the institution's graduation requirements, faculty qualifications, and student learning outcomes. Only institutions that meet high standards earn accreditation, which they must renew on a regular basis. At the institutional level, both regional and national accrediting agencies conduct reviews. Regional accreditation remains the highest standard, particularly for education degrees.
In addition to regional accreditation, prospective students can check for programmatic accreditation, which measures a particular program. In education, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) grants programmatic accreditation. As a specialized accrediting agency, CAEP helps set standards for education degrees and ensures that programs meet high standards. By checking for regional and programmatic accreditation, prospective students can identify the best educational administration programs.
Educational Administration Concentrations
Within educational administration, programs may offer concentration options that prepare graduate students for specific career paths. The most common concentration, principalship, trains graduate students for K-12 principal positions and often meets the state requirements for a principal license. Pursuing a concentration demonstrates advanced training in a particular area of educational administration.
Many educational administration programs offer a concentration in principalship, which prepares graduates for careers as vice principals or principals. The concentration emphasizes school leadership techniques, fiscal management, educator assessment, and long-term school planning. Prospective students should check if a program meets their state requirements for a principal license.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Principal; vice principal; school administrator
A school leadership concentration prepares graduate students for diverse roles in educational administration, including as a school administrator, instructional coordinator, or principal. The coursework emphasizes leadership principles, research on school administration, and methods for providing leadership within a school or district. A diverse concentration, school leadership may meet the requirements for administrator licenses.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: School administrator; principal; district administrator; instructional coordinator
Educational administration programs may offer a superintendent concentration for educators interested in becoming a school superintendent. The concentration covers skills required for district-level administrative positions, including as an assistant superintendent. The concentration may meet the educational requirements for a state-issued superintendent license.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: School superintendent; assistant superintendent
Higher Education Administration:
Graduate students interested in college or university administration can choose a higher education administration concentration. The coursework covers the best practices for college administration, budgeting in higher education, and staff management at the college level. Graduates may qualify for academic and nonacademic administrative positions, including as a dean or provost.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: College or university administrator; dean; provost
An instructional design concentration emphasizes curriculum development, assessment of student learning, and instructional design at the administrative level. Students study theories and methods of instructional design, curriculum application in practice, and measures of effectiveness. The concentration prepares graduates for careers as learning specialists, instructional coordinators, or school administrators with curriculum responsibilities.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Instructional coordinator; learning specialist; school administrator
How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in Educational Administration?
Earning a master's degree in educational administration online typically takes two years for full-time students. Most programs require 30-40 credits of coursework, which may include practicum requirements. Several program characteristics affect the length of an educational administration master's degree, including the student's enrollment status, graduation requirements, and program structure. Some programs, for example, require that students complete the curriculum in a particular order, which can prevent students from taking a larger course load. Meeting internship or practicum experience requirements can also add time to the degree.
Many programs offer flexible enrollment options to accommodate working students. Some graduate students prefer a part-time option, which may require three or more years. Educational administration programs also offer accelerated options, including accelerated coursework, additional course options during the summer semester, or an accelerated graduation timeline. Accelerated educational administration programs often require less than two years.
Courses in an Online Master's in Educational Administration Program
Leadership in School Systems:
Courses on leadership in school systems emphasize the responsibilities of principals, superintendents, and other school administrators. Students learn how to implement educational research in administrative roles, manage school budgets, and create school improvement plans. The coursework covers using data and research to effectively administer a school system.
Assessment and Evaluation
Educational administration graduate students learn how to interpret and use educational assessment data, including how to draw on evaluation data when creating a school improvement plan. Graduate students build statistical analysis skills, study current issues in assessment, and examine methods of data analysis. The course also covers student assessment trend analysis methods.
School administrators at all levels oversee and manage budgets. The class prepares graduate students to create and implement budgets, with a focus on resource allocation, financial administration theories, and accounting principles. Students learn about challenges in educational finance and how budgeting impacts daily operations. The coursework may also cover the legal and regulatory framework for school budgets.
Technology and Information Management
Graduate students explore the relationship between technology, information management, and educational administration. The course covers the use of technology in educating students and managing school systems, with an emphasis on integrating current technologies, assessing new technologies, and managing data.
Curriculum design courses prepare administrators to evaluate curricula and assess their effectiveness. The course examines principles for curriculum design and educational research on assessment practices. Learners also explore how to ensure that proposed curricula meet state standards. The course prepares graduates for careers as curriculum administrators or principals.
Paying for Your Online Educational Administration Program
Paying for your online master's degree in educational administration may seem like a daunting task, but you can explore many funding options. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by June 30 to discover potential federal funding opportunities. Many corporations and professional organizations offer scholarships as part of their community programs. Minority students and those working in marginalized communities can explore scholarships. Finally, ask the financial aid department at your desired schools about funding opportunities.
Who Can Apply: AASA awards seven scholarships to graduate students pursuing careers in school superintendency. Students must submit a recommendation from the chair of the school of education, two additional endorsements, and a short essay.
Who Can Apply: Members of Pi Lambda Theta, Phi Delta Kappa, or Educators Rising enrolled in an education program may apply for these scholarships. Applications are open to part-time and full-time students. Applicants must submit a personal statement, description of extracurricular activities, a recommendation letter, and unofficial transcripts.
Who Can Apply: Minority graduate students pursuing their school administrator credential may apply for these two annual scholarships. Students must be enrolled full time, have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, and have previously worked as a licensed teacher. Two recommendations are required.
Who Can Apply: This scholarship is open to graduate students pursuing a career in campus activities administration. Applicants must have graduated from a four-year college with a 2.75 minimum GPA, be accepted into a graduate program in student personnel services or a related area, and possess experience in campus activities.
Who Can Apply: English or language arts teachers in public institutions who are members of the National Council of Teachers of English may apply. The scholarship may be applied toward degree or non-degree courses at any accredited, degree-granting institution or professional school. Individuals must submit an application form and a personal statement.