The 4 Best Online Master's in Education Administration


The Absolute Best

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If you have a background as a classroom teacher and you’re looking to transition into an administrative role in a school or district office, you’re sure to find just the training you need among the best online master’s in education administration programs listed below. These programs are designed to provide you with the educational theory and practical administrative skills you need to prepare for positions like curriculum supervisor or principal. Most online master’s degree in education administration programs require a current teacher certificate and classroom teaching experience.

Before you commit to an online master’s program, it’s important to contact the educational licensing authority in your home state to determine whether your chosen program meets all local requirements to work as a school administrator. The University of Nebraska-Kearney education administration programs, for example, are intended to meet all requirements for the Administrative and Supervisory Certification in Nebraska. Eligibility for certification in other states is up to the licensing authority in each individual state.

The University of Nebraska-Kearney (UNK) hosts several excellent online master’s degree in education administration programs, including two supervisor programs and a principalship program. The curriculum supervisor program is designed for teachers who are interested in taking on a leadership role in their school district, focusing primarily on curriculum development and teacher supervision. To enroll, you must hold a teacher certificate with a subject endorsement in the academic area you wish to supervise. The special education supervisor program is similar to the curriculum program, but focuses on special education rather than an academic area like science or language arts. This program requires you to have a teacher certificate with a special education endorsement. UNK’s school principalship program is designed to provide classroom teachers with the skills they need to transition into a school leadership role. As a student in the principalship program, you take courses in human resources and school business management and in curriculum planning and instructional supervision. You must specialize in either elementary or secondary education. Like the other programs, you must hold a teacher certificate. All three UNK programs require a minimum of two years’ classroom teaching experience.

The St. John’s University School Building Leader program provides the broad skills you need to work in various administrative and supervisory roles within elementary and secondary schools and in other educational environments. In this program, you study general educational theory to prepare for work in instructional supervision and curriculum development, and develop human resources management and communication skills to work in school leadership positions. Admissions requirements include a teaching certificate and at least three years of teaching experience. This program is specifically designed to prepare students for the School Building Leader certification in New York, but it meets requirements for administrative licensing in many other states.

South Dakota State University (SDSU) is home to another quality online education administration master’s program designed to prepare experienced teachers for transition into careers as school principals. As an SDSU educational administration student, you can choose to specialize in elementary, secondary, or adult and higher education administration. The elementary and secondary specialization options are designed to lead to a principalship endorsement in South Dakota, which meets or exceeds requirements in other U.S. states. Enrollment in the program requires a general education teacher certificate and at least three years of classroom teaching experience.

The educational leadership and administration program at George Washington University is also a solid option for students who want to take on administrative responsibilities in their schools. Graduates are eligible for administrative licensing in the District of Columbia, Virginia, and other states, and are prepared for a variety of leadership positions, including instructional supervisor, assistant principal, and principal in addition to administrative positions in school district offices. George Washington University also offers a post-master’s certificate program in educational leadership and administration, which is designed for students who already have a master’s degree in another educational specialty. This program qualifies students for the same administrative licensing as the master’s degree program, but takes about 16 months to complete instead of nearly two years, which a full online master’s program typically requires. To find out more, you can visit the school’s Master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration program page.