Educational Administration Degrees in Colorado with Course Info

There are more than ten schools in Colorado that offer educational administration degree programs. Read an overview of seven schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Essential Information

Colorado offers several programs designed for teachers who'd like to pursue roles in school administration. These are offered at the master's degree level as well as through Education Specialist, Doctor of Education and Ph.D. programs. Advanced certificate programs are also available. Some areas of focus include higher education leadership, policy studies and special education administration. Practicums and/or internships are integrated into many programs to provide participants with hands-on experience in the field, and doctoral students typically need to complete a dissertation. Additionally, many programs are designed for professionals and offer online learning options.


Adams State University

Located in Alamosa, this school offers an online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration and Leadership. This 2-year program focuses on educating administrators working in Hispanic-serving institutions. Students work as a cohort and take classes in data analysis, policy development, leadership, curriculum and planning. They must attend a 2-day orientation session prior to the beginning of the program and another 2-day leadership summit residency at the end of the first year. Near the end of the program, they take part in a practicum to gain direct experience.

Colorado State University - Fort Collins

This Fort Collins school offers a Master of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education designed for individuals who wish to work as administrators within colleges and universities. Students take coursework in student affairs, research methods and organizational behavior and complete two practicums and an internship.

A program leading to a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Education and Human Resource Studies with principal licensure is also offered. The 4-semester program includes coursework in leadership, research, curriculum development and resource management and includes two semesters of a principal internship.

There is also a Ph.D. program in higher education leadership designed to prepare individuals for advanced administrative positions in postsecondary institutions. This distance-learning program requires some condensed, on-campus attendance. The curriculum consists of 30 credit hours of research and 30 credit hours of coursework in areas such as law and finance in higher education and education policy analysis. Students also complete a dissertation.

Regis University

Students can earn a Master of Education in Educational Leadership at this Denver school. This program, available in both online and on-campus formats, prepares graduates for school principal licensure in Colorado and Wyoming. Students take classes in curriculum design, educational leadership, adult learning, school finance and school law. At the end of the program, students take part in an internship to learn how to manage a school as a principal.

University of Colorado - Colorado Springs

Located in Colorado Springs, this school offers a Master of Arts in Leadership Education with a principal licensure track. This program is offered both on-campus and online and allows students to pursue both the M.A. and licensure courses or take coursework for licensure only. M.A. students take core courses in research and foundations of education, along with principal licensing courses in staff development, legal issues for school administrators and program evaluation. Students complete a principal practicum as well.

The university also offers master's degrees in leadership in education for future administrators and researchers. Also available is a Ph.D. program with coursework in educational leadership, research and policy, which is geared toward educational leaders in colleges and universities, non-governmental organizations and public schools.

University of Colorado - Denver

The School of Education and Human Development at this Denver university offers several programs in educational administration. Students can earn an M.A. or an Ed.S. (Educational Specialist) in Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies. Both degree programs prepare students for the principal license. Courses cover research methods, multicultural education, human learning and social psychology. Practical experiences and principal internships are integrated throughout the program, and students must complete a comprehensive exam.

The school also offers a 1-year executive leadership program leading to administrator licensure for individuals who plan to oversee a school district. The curriculum consists of four classes that cover topics in system improvement, leadership development, organizational management and strategic personnel management. The program is structured to accommodate working professionals, with weekend and online classes and experiential practice in the students' home districts.

Finally, there is a 3-year Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program leading to administrator licensure for educational leaders who wish to engage in school reform. The partly online curriculum covers issues such as leadership and learning and equity in diverse communities. An internship and dissertation are required.

University of Denver

The Morgridge College of Education at this Denver university offers a Master of Arts, Ed.S. and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Students also have the option of completing one of two principal licensure certificates in combination with these programs or on their own. Classes focus on education law, school finance, leadership, research, educational policy, ethics and curriculum development. Students take part in internships to gain the experience of managing a school.

University of Northern Colorado

Located in Greeley, this university's College of Education and Behavioral Sciences offers programs of study leading to an M.A., Ed.S., Ed.D. and doctoral minor in educational leadership and policy studies. Dual administrator/principal licensure is available and can be combined with any of the programs. Students can also enroll in a 1-year teacher leadership certificate program that includes four courses and a field internship. Courses in this program can be applied to the principal licensure program.

All of the programs are research-based, giving students the opportunity to learn about the latest ways to improve student learning. Throughout the programs, students gain leadership skills that promote professional development and educational management. Doctoral students write a dissertation based on original research. There is also an interdisciplinary M.A. in Educational Leadership and Special Education Administration leading to dual licensure as a special education director and principal.

Career Requirements

The Colorado Department of Education requires all public school principals and administrators to be licensed. Becoming a licensed school principal requires a bachelor's degree, three or more years of work as a licensed teacher in a public or private school at the K-12 level and completion of an approved principal preparation program. Administrators and school superintendents need to have a bachelor's degree and to have completed an approved school administration program at the graduate level. Each license also requires passing an exam. Requirements for administrative positions at colleges and universities vary, but generally require a master's degree or higher. Read on to learn about various Colorado school offering educational administration degrees, many of which are designed to prepare participants for licensure.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Educational Administration Programs Offered Graduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Adams State University 4-year, public; remote town M.A. in Higher Education Administration and Leadership $6,594 per year for in-state students; $12,534 per year for out-of-state students*
Colorado State University - Fort Collins 4-year, public; midsize city M.S. in Student Affairs in Higher Education,
M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies
$11,357 per year for in-state students; $24,925 per year for out-of-state students*
Regis University 4-year, private, not-for-profit; large city M.Ed. in Educational Leadership $10,800 per year*
University of Colorado - Colorado Springs 4-year, public; large city M.A. in Leadership Education,
M.A. in Leadership in Student Affairs in Higher Education,
M.A. in Leadership in Education: Foundations and Research,
Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Research and Policy
$9,916 per year for in-state students; $19,330 per year for out-of-state students*
University of Colorado - Denver 4-year, public; large city M.A. in Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies,
Ed.S. in Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies,
Executive Leadership Certificate,
Ed.D., Leadership for Educational Equity
$7,804 per year for in-state students; $21,646 per year for out-of-state students*
University of Denver 4-year, private, not-for-profit; large city Two principal licensure certificates,
M.A., Ed.S. and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
$43,458 per year*
University of Northern Colorado 4-year, public; small city M.A. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies,
Teacher Leadership Certificate,
Interdisciplinary M.A. in Educational Leadership and Special Education Administration,
Ed.S. in Educational Leadership,
Ed.D.,
Doctoral Minor
$10,809 per year for in-state students; $19,454 per year for out-of-state students*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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