Master of Arts in Education Administration: Degree Overview

Oct 15, 2019

Master of Arts (MA) programs in education administration prepare experienced teachers for leadership positions in schools. Get more information about what these programs entail, and learn about employment prospects for graduates.

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Essential Information

In MA in Education Administration programs, students can learn to combine their knowledge of educational systems with business management skills. Students can choose from a variety of concentrations, including elementary education and secondary education. Often, a hands-on internship is required for graduation.

Some master's degree programs offer licensure tracks that prepare students to meet necessary state requirements. Programs that meet national standards are usually accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education or the National Policy Board for Educational Administration's Educational Leadership Constituent Council.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, and they may need to meet a minimum GPA requirement. They must also have a teaching license and experience in the field.

Master of Arts in Education Administration

In MA programs in education administration, aspiring administrators guide the policies, procedures and daily activities of educational institutions. These programs usually include research-related coursework, such as methodology and statistics. Core courses typically cover broad educational topics, while electives might include specific subjects in human behavior and management. Some possible course topics include:

  • School finance
  • Law and ethics
  • Program planning and evaluation
  • Educational leadership
  • Educational policy

Popular Career Options

A master's degree program in education administration can prepare individuals for leadership positions in preschools, elementary schools, high schools and colleges. Job titles vary depending on the institution and grade level. Some administrative career opportunities exist outside of schools. These include positions with educational support services and government organizations. Additional requirements, such as a doctoral degree or licensure, might be needed for some administrative positions. With a master's degree in education administration, graduates could qualify for the following positions:

  • Academic dean
  • Principal
  • Assistant principal

Career Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment of elementary, middle and high school principals could increase by 4% between 2018 and 2028, which is about as fast as the national average. The BLS also reported that these workers earned a median annual salary of $95,310 in May 2018, and administrators in postsecondary institutions earned an average annual salary of $94,340.

Continuing Education and Licensure Information

Some administrative positions in postsecondary institutions could require the completion of a doctoral degree. Individuals who have completed a master's degree might be able to count those credits toward the requirements of a doctoral program. In addition to coursework, doctoral students perform research, complete a dissertation and participate in student teaching assistantships.

State requirements for public school principals usually include a master's degree, teaching experience and the completion of an internship program. Licensure is also required, and principals might need either a teaching and administrator license or just an administrator endorsement.

Childcare and preschool directors often need experience and could require either teacher licensure or early childhood education certification through the state. The Council for Professional Recognition also offers a voluntary Child Development Associate credential for infant/toddler, preschool, home and family childcare settings.

By earning an MA in Education Administration, teachers gain the management skills they need to redirect their careers toward leadership positions in educational institutions. These programs can qualify graduates for licensure, which is required for principals in public schools.

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