MA in Educational Leadership: Degree Overview

Apr 22, 2021

Essential Information

Master of Arts (MA) programs in educational leadership are generally designed for aspiring principals or school administrators. Some master's programs in educational leadership offer concentration areas, such as student affairs education, higher education, preschool through 12th grade education and building and district leadership. Students may be required to participate in supervised practicum experiences. Programs usually last for about two years and can sometimes be taken partially online.

To apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree and a license in another area of education, such as a teaching license. Applicants must also submit a resume.

Master's Degree in Educational Leadership

Curricula may focus on areas like human relations, diversity, technology, research, management and professionalism. Students engage in coursework that is dedicated to leadership, educational issues and policy development. Students are guided to an understanding of aspects of external environments, organizational behavior and school culture to help them formulate individual educational visions. Programs may introduce a variety of educational, cultural, social, legal and political concepts. Students may study topics like ethical issues, team building, grant writing, staff development, and:

  • Curriculum design
  • Inquiry processes
  • Supervision
  • Standards
  • Community education
  • School improvement

Popular Career Options

An individual who obtains a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership can be prepared to pursue leadership positions in educational settings or to advance their existing careers. A graduate may choose to work in various positions, including:

  • Supervisor
  • Assistant principal
  • Principal
  • Professional educator
  • District leader

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Elementary, middle and high school principal employment should increase at a rate of 4% from 2019-2029, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, During that same decade, post-secondary education administrator employment is also estimated to increase at a rate of 4%. Median annual wages for education administrators in May 2020 were $98,490 at elementary and secondary schools and $97,500 at post-secondary schools.

Continuing Education

Individuals have the option to continue their education and pursue doctoral degrees. Doctoral programs can encourage students to examine educational issues and policies to make informed decisions as leaders in schools.

To summarize, an MA in Educational Leadership is a relevant degree for experienced educators who want to expand their educational expertise and pursue jobs as administrators.

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