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Teaching can be a very rewarding profession, but it does require the proper credentials. Many school districts already require a Master’s Degree, even for beginning classroom teachers. However, suppose you want to go into the “management” of teaching eventually (either on the K-12 or college level). In that case, you will need to add a master’s in education administration to your curriculum vitae. Teachers can continue their education and advance their careers by pursuing an Online Master’s Degree in Education Administration. Many states require teachers to hold this degree before applying for a principal, assistant principal, curriculum specialist, or school district administrator. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, such roles have a median pay of $96,400 and a growth rate of 4% and in BLS page data is $98,420 projected to grow 5 percent from 2021 to 2031. In general, administrators are responsible for overseeing, managing, and directing all aspects of day-to-day school activities. This guide helps students to understand the online master’s in education administration programs in-depth.
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Best Online Masters in Education Administration Programs
Online Master’s of Educational Administration degree combines the knowledge and skills of an educator with the strategies and principles needed for leadership positions for an entire school or school district. In an online Master’s of Educational Administration program, students gain the skills and knowledge to become principals, vice principals, superintendents, and more. And many universities offer these programs. But not all programs are considered the best. We researched dozens of programs and created a list of the best masters in education administration programs offered online. Here is the list:
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One of the biggest concerns students face before they sign up for an online master’s in education administration program or any advanced degree is if the program is affordable. The rising tuition costs each year do not help the situation. Naturally, students look for the cheapest online masters in the education administration program. We collected the tuition fees of dozens of programs and created a list of the most affordable online masters in education administration programs. These programs might be relatively cheaper tuition, but they offer the same program quality as any other programs. For a variety of reasons, these programs are offered at affordable tuition rates. Here is the list.
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Understanding Online Masters in Education Administration Programs
There is a lot of demand for masters in education programs. Recently, especially in this past year, online master’s programs have become increasingly popular. However, even if you wish to stay focused on your classroom, earning your Online Master of Educational degree will help you in that area. But A Master’s Degree in Education Administration can prepare graduates for careers as college or technical school administrators and even as training managers within the private sector. Higher- Education administrators supervise student services and academic programs at colleges and universities. And enrolling in these programs in the online format is the current trend. And education administration programs provide the same rigor and quality curriculum as traditional on-campus options. But before signing up for these programs, it is essential to dig deep and fully understand these programs.
Online Masters in Education Administration Degree Types
Each university that offers a Master’s in Education Administration program will have a different take on the type of degree and the specific curriculum. Before deciding on an online university, evaluate the types of degrees each institution offers.
Most Educational Administration Master’s programs are abbreviated M.Ed., indicating a Master of Education in Educational Administration. However, some educational administration Master’s programs award Master of Arts Degrees. MA and M.Ed. Programs take different approaches to educational Administration.
M.Ed in Education Administration
The Masters of Education in Education Administration (ME or M.Ed.), for Higher-Education Administration, is usually a 2-year, full-time program. You will be required to complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework. These courses will stress applying theory, conceptual understandings, and research to policy and practice issues embedded in higher education’s external and internal environments.
Subjects will include College and University Management, the Nature and Function of Higher Education, and State and Federal Government in Higher Education. Additional courses will cover methodology, a Practicum or Workshop, electives, and at least one concentration area:
Curriculum and Instruction
General Administration and Policy
Literacy and Digital Learning
Policies and Procedures
For this degree, it is best to have several years of teaching experience under your belt. Through the ME degree program, you will learn to use the tools needed to either continue your career in the classroom or, to help your educational system run smoothly and efficiently.
MA in Education Administration
A Master’s in Education Administration prepares graduates for the school principal, K-12 school administrator, and higher education administrator. Students take classes on topics such as school leadership, instructional assessment, and school financing. Some programs offer electives or concentrations in Higher Education Administration, Special Education Leadership, and Differentiated Curriculum Planning.
Many educational administration programs incorporate an internship or practicum to give students hands-on experience in the field. Online programs typically let students meet practicum requirements at an approved site near their home.
MS in Education Administration
A Master of Science in Higher Education Administration prepares you for a higher education institution’s environment and the complex challenges that go along with it. You will learn how to use strategic leadership, student success culture, and data-driven resource management to advance colleges and universities in the 21st century. These essential skills will prepare you to guide innovation, address institutional needs and shape the higher education conversation.
MAT in Education Administration
Some universities also offer a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree. The MAT and the ME degrees are similar; however, they meet different needs in terms of their curriculum and desired end goals. Typically, the MAT degree is geared to those who are training to be teachers or those who are currently teaching and would like to continue to do so in the classroom but with more intense instruction and expertise. With your MAT degree, you may choose to focus primarily on a particular subject or specialization.
Specializations in Online Masters in Education Administration Programs
Many programs offer specializations in areas like Principalship and Higher Education Administration. Students should ensure they choose a program with focus areas that align with their career goals.
Grades PreK-8 Principalship
Students in this specialization focus on leadership roles for instructors in grades PreK-8. Developing the skills and knowledge needed to become a principal, degree-seekers in this concentration learn about students’ needs relative to their educational level, age, and personal backgrounds.
Grades 7-12 Principalship
Preparing students for careers as principals of students in grades 7-12, this concentration cultivates strong leadership skills and effective communication abilities—students in this concentration focus on understanding students across grade levels and promoting effective and safe learning environments.
Emphasizing leadership and responsibility, this specialization teaches students about administrative functions in higher education. Coursework prepares students to pursue leadership roles in student services, admissions, and higher ed administration.
Students pursuing this concentration learn methods to evaluate, develop, and train teachers and staff members on curricula designs and changes. Learners focus on curriculum-building skills and effective leadership.
This concentration option teaches students to work with special needs students and understand the best ways to help and cater to their educational needs and learning styles. Graduate students prepare for careers working in special education classrooms and schools.
Curriculum and Skills Gained in Online Masters in Education Administration Programs
While earning a Master’s degree in Educational Administration, students learn effective administrative and management tactics for education. Students graduate from these programs prepared to pursue advanced careers across the field. Most professions at the master’s educational Administration level require workers to pursue licensure with state-specific requirements and processes. Coursework across educational administration programs teaches learners the skills and competencies they need to impact students and the community positively. These programs are particularly beneficial to those with experience in education who want to transition into administrative roles. Education administration course topics vary depending on the college or university, but classes focused on education law, data-driven leadership, school resource management, and staff evaluation and development are common. Curricula typically include core courses, elective coursework, and an internship component. Common Master’s in Educational Administration Degree Courses include:
Differentiating Curriculum and Instruction
In this course, students design and modify differentiated curriculum. They also evaluate student learning. The course takes a practical, evidence-based approach and is appropriate for teachers, administrators, and support personnel.
This course examines the theories and research behind how students learn. Participants investigate how culture and context shape student learning, examining motivation, human development, and educational management. Students also learn how to develop teaching methods and instructional processes based on psychological concepts. The course prepares future education administrators to improve instruction using educational psychology.
Human Resource Management
In preparation for successful educational administration careers, students enroll in this course to understand and address crisis management, long-term changes, and inappropriate behavior across workplace settings. Students focus on research-based intervention approaches.
This course covers schools’ operational functions, the role of data analysis in school leadership, and how to use teacher evaluations to improve instruction. Graduate students also learn to manage resources — including teachers, budgets, and district opportunities — to increase student achievement. Depending on the program, this class may also cover implementing English language learning and special education programs. The course prepares students for leadership roles in K-12 schools.
During this course, degree-seekers learn about principals and elementary, middle, and high school administrators’ roles and responsibilities. They explore common issues principals face and how to handle them effectively.
Research in Education
Degree-seekers in this course analyze the role of research in education by exploring long-standing methodologies. They focus on historical and descriptive research, program evaluation, and quantitative and qualitative designs and methods.
This class introduces students to foundational school administration principles and responsibilities. Students study administrative doctrine, leadership behavior, and leadership skills in an educational environment. Learners also study school administration theories and applications. Some programs incorporate a practicum to give students hands-on experience in school leadership. The course prepares students for leadership roles in schools.
Students in this course learn how to develop a school or district budget and conduct budget forecasting. Students learn about the collaborative process behind creating a budget, budget implementation models, and the role of government funding in budget development. The course also covers enrollment trends, student attendance reimbursements, and population projections, including how these topics shape school financing.
This course examines the legal framework of the public education system in the United States. Students learn about judicial decisions that shape school law, schools’ legal responsibilities, and the legal constraints on public school officials. Learners study topics like collective bargaining, employment discrimination, and special education law. The course prepares future school administrators to adhere to laws and regulations.
Special Education Leadership
Students in this course review special education policies, laws, and the history thereof. Individuals explore practices involved with implementing procedures in schools and learning to promote inclusive special education practices.
Accreditation for Online Masters in Education Administration Programs
Prospective students should ensure they attend an accredited school. Several Education Administration careers require a license, including school principal jobs. In most states, licensure candidates need an accredited graduate degree. Similarly, many employers prefer candidates with an accredited degree. Schools may hold regional or national accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two. Regional accreditation is typically awarded to nonprofit, degree-granting schools that meet high academic standards. Read more about accreditation on the best guide for accreditation.
Programs within a school may also receive specialized accreditation. Programmatic accreditation applies to specific programs, including teacher preparation and Education Administration programs. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation grants programmatic accreditation to Education Administration programs.
Timeline for graduation from Online Masters in Education Administration Programs
The length of an Education Administration Master’s degree track varies depending on the program and a student’s enrollment status. Most programs take two years of full-time study to complete, although some schools offer accelerated timelines. Students should also consider a program’s format. Asynchronous programs do not require set log-in times, giving students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional responsibilities.
Online Masters in Education Administration Programs Admission Requirements
It would help if you typically had a bachelor’s degree in education and at least three years of teaching experience to qualify for a Master’s program in Education Administration. While specific requirements vary by school, some programs also require a minimum 3.0 GPA and GRE or MAT scores. A Master’s degree in Education Administration does not typically meet state requirements for initial teacher licensure. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in another field should look into the licensure requirements to become education administrators. Here are typical masters in education administration requirements:
Statement of Purpose
Many colleges and universities require applicants to submit an essay or statement of purpose along with their application. A statement of purpose enables applicants to describe their professional and educational goals and how an institution will help achieve these.
Before learners can enroll in a master’s program, they must earn a bachelor’s degree. For many educational administration programs, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Learners are expected to send their official transcripts directly to a college or university.
Master’s applicants are often required to meet minimum GPA requirements. While the specific parameters depend on the institution, students can expect a minimum GPA of 3.0-3.5.
Letters of Recommendation
Colleges and universities often ask applicants to submit 1-3 letters of recommendation. These should be written by professional and/or educational contacts (rather than by a friend or family member).
Not all online master’s in educational administration programs require applicants to submit GRE scores, although many do. Schools may use these scores to get a holistic view of an applicant’s skills and competencies. Institutions that require GRE scores will outline the minimum score requirements during the admissions process.
Online Masters in Education Administration – No GRE Programs
If you are a teacher desiring to advance into a more specialized area in the field of education, pursuing an online Master’s degree may be in your future. But what if you’ve been out of school for a while? Do you have to invest time into studying for and taking an entrance exam like the GRE as part of your application process for that master’s? The good news is that many schools with online Master of Education (MEd) or other education degrees are making the transition to waiving their GRE requirement.
Schools that do not require the GRE or waive the requirement under certain conditions recognize that other factors can indicate a successful student’s program. Factors such as undergraduate GPA and already having an advanced degree are the most common reasons that can lead to a waiver. Some programs encourage prospective students to contact their enrollment advisors or admissions counselors to learn other ways to be approved for the waiver. So, if you want to be a teacher or move into a particular area in the education field but don’t want to go through the process of taking that GRE, look through our list of some of the best online education Master’s programs. Here are a few masters in higher education administration online no GRE programs:
How to Pay for Online Masters in Education Administration
Students can access many different forms of financial aid, such as scholarships, grants, and fellowships. Federal grants are usually awarded to those demonstrating financial need, while scholarships are typically merit-based awards. Due to a nationwide shortage of teachers and other education professionals, many private organizations offer education majors scholarships. These scholarships may also be tailored to candidates from underserved populations, such as people of color and LGBTQ+ students, to help their advancement. You can find scholarships for education majors in online databases of scholarships and grants. Additionally, professional organizations’ websites for teachers and other education professionals typically offer scholarships or promote awards from other organizations.
Education majors may benefit from many federally funded grant opportunities. These are usually awarded based on financial need, making it easier for nontraditional students, first-generation college students, and students from underserved areas. Most education scholarships are only for US citizens who are at least 18 years old. You may position yourself favorably for a scholarship by showing outstanding academic and personal merit by maintaining a high GPA and engaging in extracurricular activities.
Seeking financial aid begins with filling out your FAFSA. This allows the federal government to gauge your level of need. Students need to submit their FAFSA results to apply for financial aid at accredited colleges and universities. Read more about FAFSA for Graduate School
Financial Assistance for Education Majors
Students can access several financial assistance resources to help them pay for their studies, such as loans, scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study positions. However, different conditions apply for each form of aid, so make sure you research each opportunity carefully.
College loans can usually be secured from the federal government or a private financial institution. Though you must eventually repay a loan, the amount you repay depends on the kind of loan you take out. For instance, federal loans tend to charge lower interest rates than private loans. You can also apply for a subsidized loan, which can decrease the amount of interest you need to pay back. While loans must be repaid, grants and scholarships do not require repayment. Grants are typically dispersed to students who demonstrate financial need, while scholarships from private entities often target students who meet certain academic standards. Students should exhaust grant and scholarship opportunities before applying for loans.
Graduate students may be awarded fellowships to research in their field. Additionally, students who qualify for a work-study program are matched with a part-time job at their school, allowing them to earn money to help pay for their studies.
While loans must be repaid, grants and scholarships do not require repayment. Grants are typically dispersed to students who demonstrate financial need, while scholarships from private entities often target students who meet certain academic standards. Students should exhaust grant and scholarship opportunities before applying for loans.
Grants for Teachers
Teachers and other education professionals can also access numerous federally funded grants. The following list describes grants specifically tailored to education majors.
The TEACH Grant provides up to $4,000 per year to students who plan on teaching in a low-income school district. The grant requires students to complete specific classes and to maintain a certain level of academic achievement. Once graduated, students with the TEACH Grant must work in a low-income school to keep the grant from turning into a loan.
Teach for America (Americorp)
Teachers accepted into Teach for America can apply for a financial package to help launch their careers. Packages are granted based on teaching location and financial need.
Troops to Teachers
Certain current and former US armed forces are eligible for Troops to Teachers (TTT), a Department of Defense program that supports prospective teachers who meet specific education and military service requirements.
Many organizations offer scholarships for students pursuing masters in education administration programs. Here are a few scholarships.
FAQs about Masters in Education Administration Programs
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Educational Administration?
Educational Administration refers to the tasks and communications related to the operating functions of a school. It focuses on the administrative practice and theory of educational institutions, education, and educators. Educational Administration emphasizes concepts of principalship, management, and educational philosophy.
What can I do with a Master’s in Educational Administration?
Professionals who hold a Master’s degree in educational leadership can pursue administrative and teaching positions across elementary, middle, secondary, and post-secondary education levels. Graduates may consider jobs as high school teachers, assistant principals, principals, and HeadMaster’s, among other executive and teaching roles in private and public schools.
There are many positions to consider with your Master of Educational Administration degree in hand. First, you may want to consider which level of education you would like to seek advancement in. Several options include the elementary and secondary level, at the post-secondary or college level, or as a superintendent over an entire school system.
Next, in what capacity would you like to serve? Is your history in elementary education? Are you most comfortable working with young adults in college? Or perhaps, you have experience teaching high school teens. Whichever age group you would prefer, there will be administrative positions available, as the BLS predicts a 4-7% job growth increase between the years 2018 and 2028.
So, what positions are available with an impressive degree like a Master of Educational Administration? Let’s explore. Perhaps the most popular career choice with this degree is that of the School Principal or Assistant Principal. You may also consider a career as a College Dean or University Registrar. Also, the School Superintendent job usually requires a master’s degree and several years of experience.
Other job titles include Instructional Coordinator, Special Education Teacher, School Career Counselor, Educational Consultant or Director, or Curriculum Content Writer or Developer. Just be sure to choose a career that inspires you and fits your personality and career aspirations!
What is Educational Administration and Supervision?
Education administration refers to leadership, instructional development, performance evaluation, and fiscal management in education. Principals and other administrators must take responsibility for a workforce of teachers and support staff.
Education administrators may also work in a specific education area, such as curriculum development or special education. They implement policies and processes that provide educational improvement, facility management, and regulatory compliance at colleges and universities at the post-secondary level.
Careers and Salary Outlook for Online Masters in Education Administration Graduates
Education Administration programs typically focus on topics like leadership, facility management, and instructional methods. Education Administration professionals ensure that schools run effectively and efficiently. And be sure to check your state’s requirements for administrative positions. Each state will have different requirements.
While graduates who hold a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration can pursue various lucrative career opportunities, most works as elementary, middle, and high school principals, these professionals earn annual median salaries of $95,310 and increase by 4% in BLS site page is $98,420 and grow 5 percent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of these positions will increase by 4% from 2018-2028, which is as fast as the average for all occupations. Texas reports the highest employment level for this occupation, Vermont boasts the highest concentration of jobs, and New York offers the highest salaries for principals across all levels.
School principals oversee the operations of K-12 schools. They implement curriculum standards, manage teachers and staff, and oversee the school’s budget. Principals also hire teachers and assess their performance. In many schools, principals implement the district’s standards and coordinate with the superintendent and school board to improve the school. Principals often need a state school administrator or principal license.
Higher Education Administrators
Higher education administrators manage student services and academic departments at colleges and universities. They may specialize in several areas, such as admissions and student affairs. Higher education administrators in admissions offices may set targets for how many students to admit, conduct outreach to encourage student applications, and oversee staff members. Higher education administrators advise students on academic issues, lead programs, and schedule services in student affairs.
Instructional coordinators — also called curriculum specialists — oversee a school’s or district’s curriculum and teaching standards. They develop educational materials, organize teacher training events and workshops, and analyze student performance data to improve the curriculum. Some instructional coordinators specialize in an area such as Special education or English as a second language.
Certifications and Licensing for Online Masters in Education Administration Graduates
To qualify for professional licensure or certification, students may need to attend an accredited school. For example, many states require individuals to hold an accredited degree to qualify for a principal or administrator license. Online masters in education administration students need to check with the states they live in to ensure that they meet any license requirements.
Additional Resources for Education Administration Professionals
Professional organizations help Education Administration students and professionals advance in their careers, expand their professional networks, and strengthen their skills.
American Association of University Administrators (AAUA)- AAUA represents higher education leaders and administrative personnel, including department chairs, unit directors, and community college administrators. AAUA offers professional development resources, including an annual leadership seminar that focuses on a current theme in higher education. Members benefit from access to the Journal of Higher Education Management, which publishes current research in the field. The association also offers a professional development fellows program that helps administrators develop their skills. Also, AAUA offers a professional development program for department chairs that includes onsite workshops and online support.
National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) – Founded in 1921, NAESP represents elementary and middle school principals. The association hosts the National Principals Resource Center, which provides professional resources, research articles, and webinars to help principals stay current in the field. NAESP also hosts an annual conference that provides networking opportunities for Education Administration students and professionals. NAESP’s career center connects principals with job opportunities from across the country. Members also gain access to NAESP publications, including Principal magazine, newsletters, and white papers.
National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)- NASSP is a leading organization to provide secondary school principals’ voice. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student’s potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to each student’s success.
The School Superintendents Association (AASA): AASA is the premier association for school system leaders and serves as the national voice for public education and district leadership on Capitol Hill.
The rankings, average tuition (based on the degree type for in-state students), and average graduation rates are based on information from several sources, including Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and may vary. All rankings and figures mentioned are subject to change. Based on our proprietary methodology, the rankings are purely Online Masters Colleges's (OMC's) opinions. They do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor any official government census or survey. Additionally, any views or opinions expressed on this page are those of OMC's researchers and teams. Unless specifically indicated, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the people, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page's provided content is solely for informational purposes, with information drawn from several sources, including IPEDS. OMC or its employees make no guarantees of the accuracy or completeness of any information on this page or found by following any link. OMC will not be held liable for any mistakes or omissions in this material, nor will it be held liable for any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the material on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, reader discretion is always advised because part or all the provided information may have changed over time, potentially leading to inaccuracies. Please read our Terms of Service for more information. Logos and trademarks are properties of their registered owners
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