Elementary School Principal Degree Programs

Most elementary school principal degree programs require you to hold a teaching license and a bachelor's degree. Find out about graduate degree programs that can qualify you to become an elementary school principal. Schools offering Principal Licensure degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Elementary School Principal Degree Programs Are Available?

Most elementary school principal degree programs are offered at the graduate level. You can earn master's and doctoral degrees in educational leadership that prepare you for state principal certification or licensure. You can also look for educational administration programs, and many such programs focus on elementary schools.

Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Education (M.Ed.), Education Specialist (Ed.S.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) programs are available. If you've already earned a master's degree, you might be able to find a certificate program that fulfills the requirements you need to earn state licensure. If you need a flexible schedule, you can find some online master's degree programs that allow you to complete coursework on your own time, but you must complete any required internships in person.

Degree LevelsMaster of Arts (M.A.), Master of Education (M.Ed.), Education Specialist (Ed.S.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Master's Program ConceptsInstructional supervision, curriculum development, social behavior, staff development, school finance
Doctoral Program ConceptsAdministrative theory, educational theory, statistics, human resources administration, educational research
LicensureEach state sets its own requirements, but most principals must be certified

What Are Master's Degree Programs Like?

If you decide to earn a master's degree in educational leadership or administration, your core courses will usually cover elementary school administrative practices, instructional supervision responsibilities and curriculum development principles. Laws governing schools and special education are also covered. Other courses often go into social behavior, staff development and school finance. You might also take classes that prepare you to conduct and analyze research.

In many cases, you must complete a thesis to receive a master's degree in educational leadership. You might be able to find an elementary school principal degree program that offers a non-thesis option, though. To qualify for state licensure as a principal, you must complete an internship at a school, which allows you to observe and participate in the day-to-day operations of an elementary school.

What Does a Doctoral Degree Entail?

Doctoral degrees in educational leadership typically require you to take classes in educational and administrative theory. Other courses deal with human resources administration and educational research. Courses in research and statistics give you the skills you'll need to complete your dissertation, which is usually a requirement for earning a doctoral degree. An internship is also required in most programs.

Do I Need to Be Licensed?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you must obtain a license or certification to work as an elementary school principal in most states. Common requirements for licensure include a graduate degree, an internship and teaching experience. Additionally, you might have to pass a test and complete continuing education credits (www.bls.gov).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »