Education Administration Certification and Degree Programs
Learn about the degrees and certification necessary to become an education administrator at the primary, secondary or postsecondary level. See what courses are required, and find out about online degree programs.
What You Need to Know
Education administration degrees are typically graduate programs that are designed to prepare you for certification in K-12 education or leadership roles in higher education. Requirements for certification vary by state, but typically require that you have a master's degree in school administration plus 1 to 3 years of teaching experience.
|Degrees||Master of Education in Educational Leadership, Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and Policy, Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership, Ph.D. in Educational Leadership|
|Certificates/Certification||Post-Master's Certificate in Higher Education, Principal Certification Program|
|Courses||Diversity and social justice, motivation and change, principles of organizational theory, advanced education policy and politics, learning theories and psychological issues, research methodology, mentorship, research issues and proposal development|
What Degree Do I Need To Become An Education Administrator?
Many universities offer education administration degrees at the graduate level as a Master of Education or Master of Science in Education. Some programs focus on teaching you leadership skills for higher education institutions, while others prepare you for state licensure and elementary, middle or high school administration. Most programs include internship training or student-teaching practicum requirements.
You can also find shorter, post-master's programs that offer graduate certificates in education administration if you require only leadership instruction. These certificate programs prepare you for a career in higher education administration or qualify you for state licensure.
What Will I Study?
Programs in education administration focus on topics such as:
- Leadership methodology
- Educational policy
- Finance issues
- Resource management
You'll also study advanced policy topics in educational reform, as well as practical subjects, such as school budgeting. Some core courses or electives include subjects in educational psychology and child development.
Can I Earn My Degree Online?
You can find many schools that allow you to take classes part-time and in the evening, as well as fully or partially online. Depending on your pace, master's degree programs usually take 1 to 4 years to complete. Many schools also offer license preparation and administration certificate programs online.
You'll need to attend on-campus or on-site practicums to obtain the experience necessary to qualify for an administration position and certification. Some schools adapt to your schedule by offering individualized training if you're unable to participate in virtual classrooms.
What Kind of Certification Do I Need?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), if you're looking to become an education administrator for public primary or secondary schools as a principal, assistant principal, supervisor or school administrator, you'll usually need to obtain licensure, though the type of licensure varies.
Some states require a school administrator license, and others allow you to test for an endorsement on your teaching license. Some states offer provisional licensure that allows you some time to earn a graduate degree, and many require you to pass an administration or leadership assessment examination. For principals and other administrators in private schools, the BLS notes that pursuing state credentials is not required.