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Master of Science (MS): Educational Administration Degree Overview

Master of Science (MS) programs in educational administration train students in the leadership and management of classrooms, schools, district offices and educational systems.

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Essential Information

Students in MS programs in educational administration learn about standards-based curricula and how schools are assessed. Other courses help participants develop administrative skills in school operation, building management, budgeting and hiring.

Master of Science in Education Administration programs generally require a bachelor's degree and prior teaching experience. Some programs expect that candidates hold a teaching certificate and have a minimum of two years of classroom experience. An interview, entrance exam and letters of recommendation could also be required. These programs generally take about two years to complete. Graduates might be eligible for employment at K-12 schools and district offices; a state license is usually required to work as a principal.


Master of Science in Education Administration

Coursework within these programs can focus on school-side management issues, such as budgeting and working with personnel. Some schools offer internship opportunities, giving students the chance to put classroom knowledge into practice. Specific courses within the program may include:

  • History of education
  • Principalship
  • Educational leadership
  • Educational research
  • Faculty management
  • Legal matters in education

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a master's degree program in educational administration can work in elementary, middle or high schools. They can seek positions in district offices or find jobs developing school curricula. Job titles could include:

  • Instructional supervisor
  • Principal
  • Curriculum coordinator
  • Educational program director
  • District administrator

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), slower-than-average growth of 6% is expected for elementary, middle and high school principals over the 2014-2024 decade. The BLS reported in May 2015 that elementary and secondary school education administrators earned a mean wage of $92,940 annually. Growth of 9% is expected for postsecondary education administrators over the 2014-2024 decade. The BLS reported a May 2015 mean wage of $102,610 for these administrators.

Continuing Education

In most states, principals need to acquire a license before they can seek positions in public schools, according to the BLS. Licensing requirements vary by state, but can include a teaching license, a master's degree in educational administration and a passing score on a licensure assessment test. Renewal of a license generally includes completing a minimum number of continuing education units.

Graduates who would like to qualify for advanced employment opportunities or who are interested in educational research can pursue a Ph.D. in Education or a Doctor of Education.

A master's program in educational leadership can prepare students for work as principals or for similar school administration roles. These programs are often designed for students who have some teaching experience, and field training may be included in the curriculum.

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