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Information on Master of Arts (MA) Degree Program in Education Administration

Majors Overview July 22, 2015

This article talks about Master of Arts (M.A.) degree programs in Education Administration and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and licensure and continuing education choices.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Programs in Education Administration

Experienced professionals who seek leadership positions in schools could benefit from earning a master’s degree program in education administration. Students can combine business management skills with knowledge of educational systems. The National Policy Board for Educational Administration’s Educational Leadership Constituent Council and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education accredit programs that meet national standards.

Licensure tracks that could help meet state requirements are available through some master’s degree programs. Concentration options such as secondary or elementary administration may be available to students. They may need to complete an internship before they graduate.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school and a minimum undergraduate GPA standard. Teacher certification or prior teaching experience may also be requirements.


At every level of academia, institutions rely on education administrators for guidance in the procedures, policies, and daily activities. Topics in management principles and general administration specific to education are in these master’s degree programs. The curricula usually cover research-related coursework, such as statistics and methodology. Broad educational topics are typically covered in the core coursework while specific subjects in human behavior and management, or elective opportunities are among the electives. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Program planning and evaluation
•Educational Policy
•Law and ethics
•School finance
•Educational Leadership

Career Choices

Enrollees in master’s degree programs in education administration are ready for leadership positions in elementary schools, preschools, colleges or high schools. Job titles can vary by grade level and institution. Program graduates can also seek some administrative careers outside of school settings, including positions with government organizations or educational support services. Employers for some administrative positions may want additional requirements, such as licensure or a doctoral degree. Program graduates can choose from possible job positions such as:

•School administrator
•Academic Dean
•Assistant principal

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a slower-than-average job growth rate of six percent has been predicted for elementary, middle and high school principals (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2013, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $87,760; at that time, administrators at postsecondary institutions banked $100,600 per annum, on average.

Licensure and Continuing Education Choices

Some employers for administrative positions in postsecondary schools expect prospective employees to hold a doctoral degree. Graduates from a master’s degree program may be able to use the credits to fulfill the requirements of a doctoral degree program. Apart from coursework, a doctoral degree involves research, completion of a dissertation and participation in student teaching assistantships.

The completion of an internship program, teaching experience, and a master’s degree are usually among the state requirements for public school principals. These professionals also require both a teaching and administrator license or only an administrator licensure.

Experience is often a requirement for preschool and childcare director careers; these professionals may often need to have early state-level childhood education certification or teacher licensure. A voluntary Child Development Associate credential is available through the Council for Professional Recognition for professionals in infant/toddler, preschool, home and family childcare environments.

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