Online Colleges with an MA in Educational Administration: How to Choose

Several colleges offer master's programs in educational administration entirely online. States often regulate licensure for administrators, and many require a master's degree for entry-level positions.

Current education professionals who want to transition into administrative roles may choose to enroll in a master's degree program in educational administration. These programs can be found fully online and in a hybrid format, some asking for an in-person component in the form of internships and other work experience.

How to Select an Online Educational Administration School

Online education administration programs are available for working professionals in education who wish to advance to a leadership position with a public school district, community college, state system or private institution. Students choosing a program should look into the degree focus, program methods and licensure requirements.

Degree Focus

Though most master's programs in educational administration have many similar courses, the focus of the studies often specify a particular type of institution a student will be prepared to facilitate, such as elementary, secondary or postsecondary schools. Applicants are encouraged to review the school's syllabus to ensure the direction of the training meets with career goals and expectations. Some online programs are not recognized in all states, and students should verify the approval from their state's board of education prior to enrolling.

Program Methods and Technologies

Several colleges offer fully online programs in educational administration, though some provide studies in hybrid format, with some on-campus attendance required. Most schools utilize unified communications software to present course material to students. Normally, this includes built-in e-mail support for student/instructor communication, online assignment submission, message boards for class communication and real-time online testing capabilities. Some institutions also offer live video-streamed lectures with voice conferencing for class interaction and may provide specialized software for particular subject matter. While these factors do not necessarily determine program quality, they do enhance the learning experience, and students should choose the best option available to them.

Licensure Requirements

State educational, licensure and continuing education requirements vary, though many regulate licensing for administrators and principals, regardless of the institutional level. Some states mandate educational administrators complete a master's degree program in addition to obtaining licensing credentials. New administrators may need experience prior to licensure.

Online Program Options for Education Administration

Master of Education in Educational Administration

A Master of Education in Educational Administration program trains students for the responsibilities of administering schools, colleges or school districts. Online programs often cater to working adults, providing flexibility in class scheduling, though some may require teaching practicums to graduate. Students typically take courses in:

  • Foundations for the developing leader
  • Education finance and law
  • Shaping school culture
  • Improving teacher performance
  • Principal strategic leadership

Master's Degrees in Higher Education Administration

Master's programs that prepare students for administrative positions in community colleges and universities focus on leadership training specific to educational, legal and student issues at higher learning institutions. Courses teach the differences between planning 2-year and 4-year programs, accreditation standards and marketing techniques for adult learners. Students also learn strategic and financial planning skills, and may be required to attend seminars or participate in a teaching practicum. Coursework covers:

  • Higher education philosophy and history
  • Program evaluation
  • Data-centric decision making
  • Critical issues in student affairs

Schools with Online Master's Degree Programs in Higher Education Administration

Students can take a master's degree program in higher education administration at Southern New Hampshire University. This program covers research and data methodologies crucial to higher education administration as well as educates students on pedagogical practices and historical contexts.

Another option is the master's degree program in educational administration offered by Grand Canyon University. Completed in 25 months, this program teaches students about education law, finance and culture, among other things. It requires students to complete an in-person internship.

The University of Kansas also offers an online master's degree program in educational administration, designed specifically for current educators looking to transition into administrative leadership roles. Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation for consideration.

Educational administration master's degree programs are relatively easy to find online, although some programs may require an in-person field component. Students in these programs will gain insight into educational practices and procedures, giving them the tools to work as principals or in other educational administrative roles.

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