Master’s in Education Administration

Note: This page provides information on a Master's Degree in Education Administration. For details on degrees in educational leadership, please see our Master's in Educational Leadership and PhD in Educational Leadership pages.

Education administration is a field of study regarding the process of directing the talents of faculty, staff, students, and even parents toward common educational goals. Administrators typically take on the role of school principal, vice principal, or coordinator within the educational system. However, administrators may also be found at the local, county, and state board level.

Choosing an Online Master's Degree Program

An online Master's Degree in Education Administration is ideal for the busy adult student who already holds a bachelor's degree. In many cases, those who seek and online master's degree in this field are already teachers or work in the field of education. Before signing on, make sure the program you choose is legitimate and reputable. To help you make the best decision, consider the following questions:

Is the Program Accredited?

Program accreditation is one of the first things you should inquire about. School accreditation is achieved by a process of peer review. The review must be done by an official organization or agency representing the field of education, such as the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Accreditation shows that an online college or university offers a high quality education. The US Department of Education offers more information about the accreditation process.

How Long Has the Program Been Offered?

It may be a good idea to find out how long the online program has been offered. As a general rule of thumb, the longer the better. Do keep in mind that online education is relatively new. However, you may want to reconsider if an online school has not been around long enough to gain full accreditation.

What Technologies Will Be Used to Facilitate Online Learning?

Technology is a major component of online learning. Schools use different online learning platforms to facilitate instruction. Programs such as Moodle or Canvas act as virtual classrooms where students can access multimedia lectures, assignments, learning materials, and grades. Students can also collaborate and communicate with one another via online class message boards.

What Resources Will I Have Access To?

Good schools often give students access to online resources like scholarly journals, videos, and research databases. Not all online school provide quality resources - that is why we recommend finding out about these resources beforehand. Good online schools will even give students access to support services such as technology assistance and advising.

What Skills and Topics Are Covered?

Reputable programs can present a thorough and organized curriculum upon request. Before committing to a school, become familiar with the program's learning outcomes -this is a list of skills, ideas, and knowledge that students are supposed to obtain as a result of completing the online Master's in Education Administration program. Assess the program goals to see how they relate to your personal goals.

Do You Have Job Placement Information for Students Who Recently Graduated from the Program?

Alumni can often act as career guidance mentors. Find out how their online Master's Degree in Education Administration helped in their career. These are great resources to have, as you will be able to get advice from people who have completed the same exact program as you. If given the chance, ask for advice regarding online learning and what to do after the program to land the right job.

What Are the Program Requirements?

Most programs require the master's of education administration candidate to hold a valid teaching license or provisional license in order to be accepted. In addition, most programs require a minimum of three to five years of certified teaching experience prior to entering the program.

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Is an Online Degree Right for You?

Getting a Master's Degree in Education Administration online can be a time-saver. This can also allow students to attend classes out of state or at a college that is not in close proximity. There are many programs available online for those choosing to go into educational administration. Most online programs will utilize a platform in which discussions can be had and podcasts or video lectures can be shared. This form of education could be more cost effective in the long run as time, housing, and travel expenses are limited. You can review the following when considering an online master's degree program:

Flexible Schedule

One of the most noted appeals of online schooling is flexibility. This means that students can complete their class requirements whenever and wherever most convenient - whether that's early in the morning before work, on a lunch break, or late at night after putting the kids to bed. Online schooling allows students to maintain and create their own daily schedules, rather than reorganizing their life around a class schedule. This is a great benefit for students who work full time and for those who have family responsibilities.

Accessibility and Convenience

Online degree programs allow students to complete requirements regardless of geographic location. Students can participate in a degree program virtually from anywhere in the world - all you will need is a secure computer and internet connection. Since physical attendance is not required, this also opens up opportunities for students with physical disabilities and scheduling restrictions. In many cases, students have reported that online courses are easier to concentrate in - since there are less distractions from other students and classroom activity.


Often, students who thrive in online degree programs are self-starters. Without much external influence, such students are able to remain organized, plan studies, and stay on top of their assignments. For other students, physical interaction may be necessary for success. Take a minute to reflect on the type of learner you are. If you are able to motivate yourself, you may find great success in an online learning environment.

Tuition and Costs

Tuition for graduate school is known to be quite costly - this is especially the case if you are thinking of attending a school that requires you to relocate. As more students learn about online education, they may realize that some expense typically associated with earning a master's degree are omitted. Consider the following:

  • No costs associated with commuting, parking, or on-campus dining.
  • No fees related to moving, relocating, or living close to campus.
  • Students can continue to work in order to maintain a source of income.

Many programs offer financial aid and loans through FAFSA. In addition, some scholarships and grants are available through various organizations to curb costs.

Master's Program Course Topics

Experienced teachers may be interested in pursuing a graduate degree to support their move to an administrative role within their school or district. Created with this in mind, the Master's Degree in Education Administration offers teachers an evidence-based method to improve their capacity and study school improvement in an environment of their peers. While programs do vary, most administration master's programs contain the following elements of study:

Governance, Finance, Law, and Leadership for Principals

This class will provide you with an in-depth look at the type of budget and spending that is likely within a school system. This will also cover the legalities of spending and leadership within an educational institution.

Strategic Planning for Educational Administrators

All administrators must plan ahead to keep things running smoothly, yet advancing within their schools. This class will help you learn the techniques to best lead within an educational institution.

Workforce Focus for Educational Leaders

Management of people, especially such large numbers of teachers, students, and staff can be daunting. This class will help you learn the basics of leadership while keeping a school running smoothly.

More Course Topics:

  • Examination of current research and theory for curriculum development, implementation and evaluation
  • Practical overview of how to analyze, design, and conduct educational studies with an emphasis on extracting meaningful data
  • Compare and contrast quantitative and qualitative educational studies with clearly defined success criteria and procedure for when and how to use each
  • Practical review of administration information-gathering tools such as educational journals, associations, program evaluation, sampling procedures, data collection, accreditation procedures, and statistical analyzes
  • Review of current research on effective schools and districts; characteristics of effective school leadership; characteristics of effective instructional leaders
  • Analysis of instructional components, evaluating student and teacher performance in an evidence-based fashion, building capacity amongst colleagues
  • Practical survey of methods to positively impact school climate, motivation and leadership
  • Survey of leadership theories; leadership in practice to prompt self-awareness and growth as a school leader
  • Practical strategies for leading an institution through a transitional process
  • Theory of change and models for how individuals and groups execute and accept the planning, adoption, implementation and institutionalization of changes
  • Critical analysis of the appointed and elected individuals and bureaucracies that create, determine, implement and review public educational policy
  • Practical toolkit for effective leadership, instruction, and management strategies focusing on a diverse educational setting
  • Theoretical evaluation designed to foster self-awareness and insight into personal feelings on diversity, with such issues as culture, ethnicity, exceptionality, gender, language, and socioeconomic status
  • Evaluation of school demographic issues including urban/suburban educational settings and practical strategies for using the strengths of each
  • Historical overview of the legal foundations of public education
  • Practical application of political theory for school and district managers
  • Application of political skills to form collaborative teams with school personnel, students, parents, and community organizations
  • Examination of the role of the law, court rulings, and the politics of school governance at the federal, state, and local levels to form a practical toolkit for school and district management
  • Examination of the role of the principal in leadership, organization and administration of an institution
  • Practical skills to remain focused on continuous school improvement strategy and metrics
  • Practical tools for resource management in education including school finance, technology, financing, fundraising, budgeting, and understanding federal, state, and local revenue streams
  • Develop a management-level understanding of the functions, operation, and evaluation of support personnel and services that parallel education
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Professional Associations

Professional organizations and associations in this field are intended to assist school administrators succeed in their districts. Industry conferences and events bring together like minded professionals. The AASA, School Superintendents Association, focuses on the importance of collaboration as a means to improve and benefit the schools and children they serve.