Students who want to become principals or academic directors can pursue a master's degree in educational administration. In these programs, students learn to evaluate and assess teaching strategies and curriculum design. Specialization options include administration, school business management, and higher education administration. Students are also required to gain hands-on experience working in an administrative role, and they must pass a comprehensive exam prior to graduation.
In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree and a resume and submit letters of recommendation, a statement of personal goals, and GRE or GMAT scores. Because the programs are aimed at working teachers, many schools offer weekend and evening classes, as well as online courses and summer sessions. Depending on the student's schedule, these programs can be finished in as few as 18 months.
Master's Degree in Administration of Education
In order to graduate, students must complete 36 to 45 credit hours of coursework. The core curriculum provides a strong foundation in school leadership through classes in educational administration, philosophy of education and educational research. Students also explore managerial strategies, school law, finance, and the supervision of staff. Common course titles include:
- Learning theories
- Supervision of instruction
- Program assessment and evaluation
- Emerging educational models and technologies
Popular Career Options
Graduates are prepared for advanced administrative and management positions in K-12 schools and institutions of higher education. Typical job titles include:
- School administrator
- Academic director
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in 2018, elementary and secondary school education administrators earned between $61,490 and $144,950 per year. The BLS also indicated that principals of elementary, middle and high schools are expected to see a 4% employment increase from 2018-2028. This job growth will vary based on location because of differences in student enrollment numbers, as well as state and local budgets.
Licensure and Continuing Education Information
Most states require school administrators in K-12 schools to obtain state licensure prior to employment. Licensing requirements vary by state; however, aspiring administrators are usually expected to earn a master's degree, complete teacher training, and pass an exam. Administrators must also complete continuing education courses to maintain licensure. Those who want to pursue more advanced studies in the field of educational administration can enroll in Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Education program.
To summarize, a master's degree in educational administration helps experienced teachers build the leadership skills they need to take on administrative positions in educational institutions. These programs tend to be flexible to accommodate working teachers.