Best Online Master’s in Educational Administration 2022

by TBS Staff
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Master's in Administration Education

School administrators oversee K-12 schools, while higher education administrators oversee student services and academic programs at colleges and universities. Graduates who earn an online master's in education administration enjoy lucrative and in-demand career opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that school principals earn a median salary of over $96,000 per year and projects the creation of 11,000 new principal jobs between 2018 and 2028. Additionally, the BLS reports that higher education administrators earn a median salary of over $95,000 per year, with a 4% projected job growth through 2029.

What Is a Master's in Education Administration?

A master's in education administration prepares graduates for jobs such as school principal, K-12 school administrator, and higher education administrator. Students take classes on topics like school leadership, instructional assessment, and school financing. Some programs offer electives or concentrations in areas like higher education administration, special education leadership, and differentiated curriculum planning.

Many educational administration programs incorporate an internship or practicum to give students hands-on experience in the field. Online programs typically let students meet practicum requirements at an approved site near their home.

Featured Educational Administration Programs

The Best Online Master's in Education Administration Programs

  1. Texas A&M University
    Location

    College Station, TX

    Tuition

    $19118

    In 1876, Texas A&M University became the first institute of higher learning in Texas. Today, the College Station-based university has an enrollment of over 69,000 students.

    Texas A&M works to transform educational leaders into agents of change with its online master of education in educational administration, emphasizing Pre-K-12 educational leadership. The 36-credit master's program includes courses like developing school-community partnerships, school principalship, and instructional leadership development training.

    Candidates must have a bachelor's degree, a Pre-K-12 teaching certificate and two years of full-time teaching experience. They must also interview with faculty and be involved in leadership activities.

  2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    Tuition

    $15829

    From its beginning in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has championed teaching, research, and community involvement. Annually, this university educates about 47,000 students on its Urbana-Champaign campus and online.

    U of I Online's master of education in educational administration and leadership prepares students for a wide variety of leadership roles, including superintendents, principals, and deans. Ambitious students benefit from a 32-credit curriculum with courses such as public school finance, education law, and leading school improvement.

    Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

  3. Mississippi College
    Location

    Clinton, MS

    Mississippi College opened its Clinton campus in 1826. This private Christian university enrolls over 5,000 students.

    The online master of education in educational leadership from MC has a faith-based curriculum emphasizing Christian leadership roles. This 36-credit educational administration degree program addresses leadership challenges with courses such as the instructional dimension of leadership, school law, and introduction to administrator preparation.

    Admission requirements include an official transcript, a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 GPA, a teaching license, and a minimum of three years of teaching experience.

  4. Western Carolina University
    Location

    Cullowhee, NC

    Tuition

    $15021

    Western Carolina University has been a substantial wing of the UNC system since 1972, though its history reaches back to 1889. Located in Cullowhee, this former secondary school has evolved into a university with over 12,000 students.

    WCU's 36-credit master of school administration (MSA) online program prepares working educators for leadership roles and principal licensure. The program features courses such as curriculum leaderships, leading adult learning, and shaping school culture.

    Candidates must have official transcripts with an undergraduate 3.0 GPA or higher, three years of full-time teaching experience, a valid North Carolina Class A teacher's license (or comparable out-of-state license), three recommendations, a resume, a leadership goal statement, and a candidate evaluation rubric.

  5. Southern New Hampshire University
    Location

    Manchester, NH

    In 1963, Southern New Hampshire University became a degree-granting higher learning institution. Since then, this university in Manchester has developed into an educational hub with over 135,000 students.

    Teaching professionals enroll in SNHU's online master of science in higher education administration to learn about higher education leadership's major components. The 36-credit curriculum increases management and leadership competence with courses such as data-driven decision making, program evaluation, and educational policymaking.

    Admission requires a completed application, a transcript release form for all schools attended, and a graduate attestation form showing at least a 2.75 GPA.

  6. LeTourneau University
    Location

    Longview, TX

    Located in Longview, LeTourneau University started as a technical institute in 1946. Presently, it has transformed into a full university with over 1,100 students.

    LETU's online master of education in education administration degree provides working educators with the means to increase leadership and management skills without sacrificing their present work life. Featured courses within the 43-credit curriculum numerous principal practicums, instructional leadership, public school law, and curriculum evaluation.

    Candidates for this master's degree must provide official transcripts proving a minimum 2.5 GPA from any regionally accredited undergraduate work resulting in a bachelor's degree. Applicants who don't meet the GPA requirement must submit a resume.

  7. George Washington University
    Location

    Washington, DC

    The George Washington University opened the doors to its Washington, D.C., campus in 1821. Now, GW oversees over 26,000 students.

    GW's online master of arts in educational leadership and administration appeals to working professionals seeking leadership positions in K-12 schools, central offices, and supervisory posts. The 30-credit curriculum offers such courses as instructional leadership for school improvement, introduction to quantitative research, and administrative issues in education.

    Applicants must submit a resume proving at least one year of teaching experience, official transcripts, proof of bachelor's degree, a statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation.

  8. Tarleton State University
    Location

    Stephenville, TX

    Tuition

    $12352

    Founded in 1899, Tarleton State University joined the Texas A&M system in 1917. From its Stephenville campus, Tarleton hosts over 13,000 students.

    Tarleton's master of education in educational administration trains ambitious educators for transformative leadership roles within the education system. This 33-credit master's in educational administration program has three concentrations and offers courses such as research in educational leadership, special problems, and special education law.

    Candidates must submit an online application and official transcripts verifying a 2.5 GPA or higher.

  9. Oklahoma State University
    Location

    Stillwater, OK

    Tuition

    $15009

    Located in Stillwater, Oklahoma State University has been educating adults since 1890. This land grant university has over 35,000 students across its five-campus system.

    OSU's master of science in educational leadership targets credentialed educators seeking career advancement in Pre-K-12 education by satisfying Oklahoma's principal certification requirements. Courses within the 36-hour curriculum include principalship, supervision of instruction, and school finance.

    To apply, candidates must submit a graduate college application, transcripts from all attended colleges, a current resume, a valid Oklahoma standard classroom teaching certificate, three letters of recommendation, and two specified essays.

  10. Southern Wesleyan University
    Location

    Central, SC

    Since 1906, Southern Wesleyan University's Christian foundation has been a significant part of its core educational values. From its campus in Central, SWU shares these values with over 1,300 students.

    With SWU's online master of education in administration and supervision program, working educators can continue their professional duties while earning a principal certification. The program's 36 credit course load includes cultivating a positive school climate, organizational development in schools, and advanced educational research.

    Candidates must have a valid South Carolina teaching certificate, two years of education work experience, an official transcript verifying a 3.0 GPA, two letters of recommendation, and a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Best Online Master's

Online Master's in Educational Administration Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Educational Administration Program?

Courses vary by program, but we outline several common master's in education administration classes below.

Education Administration Curriculum

Featured Education Programs

Certifications and Licenses a Master's in Education Administration Prepares For

Many education administration careers require a license. For example, principals generally need to complete a master's degree and hold a state-issued license to qualify for job opportunities. However, most higher education administrators do not need a license. Licensure requirements vary by state, so prospective school administrators should research the requirements in the state where they intend to work.

Choosing an Online Master's in Educational Administration Program

When researching potential online master's in education administration programs, students should consider factors such as a program's cost, accreditation status, format, and available specializations. Typically, public institutions cost less than private institutions, but students at both types of schools can take advantage of financial aid opportunities to help offset education costs.

Additionally, students may need to attend an accredited school to qualify for professional licensure or certification. For example, many states require individuals to hold an accredited degree to qualify for a principal or administrator license.

The length of an education administration master's degree track varies depending on the program and a student's enrollment status. Most programs take two years of full-time study to complete, although some schools offer accelerated timelines. Students should also consider a program's format. Asynchronous programs do not require set login times, giving students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional responsibilities.

Finally, many programs offer specializations in areas like principalship and higher education administration. Students should ensure they choose a program with focus areas that align with their career goals.

Accreditation for Online Master's in Educational Administration Degrees

Prospective students should ensure they attend an accredited school. Several education administration careers require a license, including school principal jobs. In most states, licensure candidates need an accredited graduate degree. Similarly, many employers prefer candidates with an accredited degree.

Schools may hold regional or national accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two. Regional accreditation is typically awarded to nonprofit, degree-granting schools that meet high academic standards.

Programs within a school may also receive specialized accreditation. Programmatic accreditation applies to specific programs, including teacher preparation and education administration programs. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation grants programmatic accreditation to education administration programs.

Educational Administration Careers

Graduates with a master's degree in education administration enjoy diverse career opportunities. We cover several common jobs for graduates below.

true $64,450 Instructional Coordinators 6%

Instructional coordinators — also called curriculum specialists — oversee a school's or district's curriculum and teaching standards. They develop educational materials, organize teacher training events and workshops, and analyze student performance data to make curriculum improvements. Some instructional coordinators specialize in an area such as special education or English as a second language.

true $95,310 School Principals 4%

School principals oversee the operations of K-12 schools. They implement curriculum standards, manage teachers and staff, and oversee the school's budget. Principals also hire teachers and assess their performance. In many schools, principals implement standards set by the district and coordinate with the superintendent and school board to improve the school. Principals often need a state school administrator or principal license.

true $94,340 Higher Education Administrators 7%

Higher education administrators manage student services and academic departments at colleges and universities. They may specialize in several areas, such as admissions and student affairs. Higher education administrators in admissions offices may set targets for how many students to admit, conduct outreach to encourage student applications, and oversee staff members. In student affairs, higher education administrators advise students on academic issues, lead programs, and schedule services.

Popular Questions About Master's in Education Administration

What is a master's in education administration?

Earning a master's in education administration prepares students for leadership positions in K-12 schools and colleges and universities.

What can you do with a master's in education administration?

Graduates with a master's in education administration can work as school principals, higher education administrators, and school administrators. They may hold the job title of dean, director, or vice principal.

How long does it take to get a master's in education administration?

Completing a master's in education administration program generally takes two years of full-time study, though some programs offer accelerated timelines.

How do I become an education administrator?

Many education administrator jobs require a master's degree from an accredited program and a state-issued license. For example, principals and other administrators at public schools often need a license.

How much do education administrators make?

Salaries for education administrators vary based on their specific role. School principals earn around $95,000, while higher education administrators earn a median salary of $94,000 per year.

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