Master's Degrees for Aspiring High School Principals

Get details regarding the education that schools usually require aspiring high school principals to have. Find out about common curricula and online options along with employment outlook. Schools offering Principal Licensure degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Degree Do I Need to Be a High School Principal?

Most state boards of education require high school principals to have three years of teaching experience, a master's degree and one year of internship experience as an administrator. Most of these requirements can be met through a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Administration program.

You can learn how to manage a school's daily operations such as budgeting, human resources management, program planning and public relations. You can also develop a background in the educational theory used to set standards for student achievement and develop educational policy.

Program RequirementsMost states require a master's degree, an internship and at least three years of teaching experience to be a high school principal.
PrerequisitesTeaching experience, bachelor's degree, letters of recommendation and standardized test scores
Online Options Fully online and hybrid programs available; hybrid programs ideal for those currently teaching
Common CoursesEthics in education, curriculum design, student diversity, instructor supervision, educational law
Job Outlook (2014-2024)Six percent growth in field (for elementary, middle and high school principals)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are There Prerequisites?

You should have at least a bachelor's degree before applying to master's degree programs in educational administration. Also expect to submit standardized test scores, a statement of purpose and letters of recommendation. Many programs note that the strongest applicants have previous teaching experience. In fact, some schools only admit those currently employed as teachers.

Can I Find Programs Online?

Educational administration master's degree programs are commonly available online. This allows teachers to complete coursework and practicums while continuing to teach. Some programs can be completed entirely online while others require you to periodically meet with instructors on campus.

What Courses Will I Take?

Educational administration programs combine business and education course topics. You'll take courses like curriculum design, educational law, student diversity, ethics in education, instructor supervision and educational program development. Public relations, finance and accounting are other classes you might take. Collaborative projects and internships are also part of the curriculum.

Will I Be Able to Get a Job?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected the number of elementary, middle and high school principals would grow six percent during the 2014-2024 decade, about as fast as average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). This is due to the small number of applicants in a field where a large number of administrators are expected to retire in the coming years.

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

  • Concordia University Portland

    Concordia University Portland responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Concordia University Portland:

    • Master

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  • Capella University

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    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Master

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  • Full Sail University

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    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Master

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  • Northcentral University

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  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master

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  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master

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  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master

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  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master

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  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Master

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  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

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