Best Online Master’s in Education Administration

Ashley ReidAmy Boyington
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Updated June 26, 2024
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Ready to pursue an educational leadership position? Consider a master's in educational administration. Start by exploring some of the best programs.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Most education professionals report their jobs as meaningful and highly satisfactory — particularly education administrators. As leaders, education administrators can often effect high-level change for students’ futures.

Professionals interested in this rewarding job should consider continuing their education with an online master’s in education administration. Read more about this degree and explore our top program picks.

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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Top Online Master’s in Education Administration Programs

#1 Best Online Master’s in Education Administration

Florida State University

  • Location-markerTallahassee, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,640
  • Out-of-state$19,084
  • Retention Rate94%
  • Acceptance Rate37%
  • Students Enrolled45,130
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment58%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best Online Master’s in Education Administration

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Location-markerManchester, NH
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$15,000
  • Out-of-state$15,000
  • Retention Rate62%
  • Acceptance Rate92%
  • Students Enrolled145,533
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment96%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Best Online Master’s in Education Administration

George Washington University

  • Location-markerWashington, DC
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$57,894
  • Out-of-state$57,894
  • Retention Rate91%
  • Acceptance Rate50%
  • Students Enrolled26,457
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment26%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Best Online Master’s in Education Administration

University of South Carolina-Columbia

  • Location-markerColumbia, SC
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$12,288
  • Out-of-state$33,528
  • Retention Rate87%
  • Acceptance Rate62%
  • Students Enrolled35,471
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment56%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Best Online Master’s in Education Administration

Tarleton State University

  • Location-markerStephenville, TX
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,416
  • Out-of-state$14,208
  • Retention Rate70%
  • Acceptance Rate57%
  • Students Enrolled13,995
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment82%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 Best Online Master’s in Education Administration

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

  • Location-markerAmherst, MA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$15,791
  • Out-of-state$36,316
  • Retention Rate91%
  • Acceptance Rate66%
  • Students Enrolled32,045
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment20%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 Best Online Master’s in Education Administration

University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

  • Location-markerNorman, OK
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,920
  • Out-of-state$20,724
  • Retention Rate89%
  • Acceptance Rate85%
  • Students Enrolled28,042
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment57%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 Best Online Master’s in Education Administration

Loyola Marymount University

  • Location-markerLos Angeles, CA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$52,310
  • Out-of-state$52,310
  • Retention Rate90%
  • Acceptance Rate46%
  • Students Enrolled10,184
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment59%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 Best Online Master’s in Education Administration

New Mexico State University

  • Location-markerLas Cruces, NM
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,041
  • Out-of-state$22,507
  • Retention Rate72%
  • Acceptance Rate57%
  • Students Enrolled13,904
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment75%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 Best Online Master’s in Education Administration

South Dakota State University

  • Location-markerBrookings, SD
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,773
  • Out-of-state$11,283
  • Retention Rate80%
  • Acceptance Rate87%
  • Students Enrolled11,465
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment49%
  • AccreditationYes

Choosing the Right Online Education Administration Master’s Program

Each online master’s in educational administration program offers a unique curriculum and focus. Students should carefully consider which school provides the program most aligned with their experience, interests, and career goals.

For example, some programs take a general approach to education leadership, while others offer principal, special education, or higher education administration specializations. Admission requirements also vary.

Schools commonly expect each applicant to have an active teaching license and professional experience. However, some schools accept students with non-teaching backgrounds, particularly for general or policy concentrations.

Other important considerations include accreditation and cost. Institutional accreditation confirms that the entire school offers high-quality coursework, while programmatic accreditation indicates that a department or program within the school meets quality standards from third parties like the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Tuition rates for online master’s degrees in educational administration vary depending on the number of required credits, the school’s prestige, and state residency. Additional expenses like technology and book fees can also impact the total cost.

Students can apply for federal loans and grants by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), provided their chosen school holds institutional accreditation. They can also apply for merit- and need-based scholarships to help cover the costs.

What to Expect From an Education Administration Graduate Program

Explore the Education Administration Curriculum

Coursework varies by program, but the following list covers several common master’s in education administration classes.

  • Principalship: This course introduces students to school principals’ requirements and obligations. Students explore how responsibilities differ for elementary, middle, and high school principals. They may also roleplay and participate in discussions to identify solutions.
  • Human Resource Management: Enrollees explore how to recruit, hire, and place professionals in educational settings. They also may consider management theories and practices that prepare them to effectively place and compensate personnel.
  • Instructional Strategies and Models: This course explores the different ways young people learn. Enrollees may review research that explains students’ learning orientations and which instructional methods are most effective.
  • Staff Evaluation and Development: This course offers an overview of development and supervision strategies. Students may perform classroom evaluations, create staff development plans, and communicate with professionals under their supervision.

Understand Certifications and Licenses

Many education administration careers require licensure. For example, a principal typically must hold a master’s degree and a state-issued license to qualify for job opportunities. However, most higher education administrators do not need licenses. Requirements vary by state, so prospective school administrators should research the terms in the state where they plan to work.

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Education Administration?

A master of education administration degree can pave the way for school or program management careers. Degree-seekers typically choose this degree to enter administrative roles outside the classroom that still positively influence student outcomes, curriculums, and programs.

Career options for graduates with master’s degrees in education administration have varied salary potential. For example, a preschool director earns a median salary of $54,290, according to May 2023 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, postsecondary education administrators and school principals each earn median salaries of more than $100,000.

Pursuing credentials, like certifications, licensure, or a doctoral degree, may also affect job prospects and salaries for education administrators. For instance, admissions officers may only need a master’s degree for employment, but a Ph.D. may be required for a dean position. Similarly, some school districts may prefer superintendent candidates with doctorates.

Careers for Education Administration Graduates
JobMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth Rate (2022-2032)
School Principal$103,460+1%
Preschool Director$54,290-3%
Superintendent$103,840+3%
Instructional Coordinator$74,620+2%
School Counselor$61,710+5%
School Library Media Specialist$64,370+3%
Postsecondary Education Administrator$102,610+4%


Sources: BLS

Popular Questions About Master’s in Education Administration

What is a master’s in education administration?

A master of education administration prepares students to pursue advanced roles in education as instructional coordinators and school principals. Programs vary among schools but typically require 30-40 credits, with courses exploring multicultural education, school administration, and public school law.

What is the best master’s degree for a principal?

A principal usually needs a master of education administration or a similar degree, which includes courses like personnel administration, school and community relations, and school leadership. Some states may require principals to have a school administration license in addition to a master’s degree.

Is a master’s in Education Administration worth it?

Yes — salaries for professionals with educational administration degrees are strong. The BLS reports that kindergarten through secondary education administrators earned an average annual wage of $111,060. The BLS also projects employment for principals to grow by 1% from 2022-2032.

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

Program lengths vary for online master’s degrees in education administration. Typically, students can finish their coursework in around two years. Most programs require 30-36 credits.

What is the difference between educational administration and educational management?

School management involves overseeing operations for an educational institution, while education administrators direct and organize on a higher level. For instance, school managers might monitor teachers’ work performance, while educational administrators create educators’ policies and standards.

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