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Information on Master of Arts (in Education) Degree Program in Principal Licensure

Majors Overview July 27, 2015

This article talks about Master of Arts (M.A.) in Education degree programs in Principal Licensure and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and licensure information.

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Education Programs in Principal Licensure

Current teachers who want to increase their knowledge would benefit from enrolling in licensure programs. State-specific coursework is available through degree programs offered under different names, such as the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Educational Leadership or Administrative Leadership.

Students enrolled in these degree programs are trained to satisfy nationally-recognized school leadership standards and develop their expertise and knowledge in project management, strategic curriculum planning, and leadership accountability.

Full-time students commonly take one or two years to complete master’s programs. Given the busy schedules of teachers during the school year, incoming students to master’s programs are usually allowed to enroll on a part-time basis. Some schools may offer programs online.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in education, in addition to possessing teacher certification and experience, and submitting letters of recommendation.


Teachers who aspire to work closely with teams of professional educators, lead learning organizations, and change their communities may benefit from enrolling in a principal licensure degree program. Courses in learning leadership and contemporary education are devised to enable school administrators to face up to the challenges of leadership roles.

Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Developmental theory
•Educational research
•Leadership ethics
•Advocacy and communications
•Special education management
•Decision making

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of six percent has been predicted for elementary, middle and high school principals (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). This slower-than-average projection is attributed to budget deficits at state and local governments. In May 2014, educational administrators of elementary and secondary schools brought in an average annual wage of $91,780 (BLS).

Licensure Information

The Master of Arts degree program focusing on educational leadership is devised to suit the career needs of educational administrators, as a group. State licensing requirements are also required to be fulfilled by principals. Each state may have its requirements that may include the successful completion of a master’s degree, on-the-job training, and special coursework, augmented by the passage of a licensure test.

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