Online Master's Degree Programs to Become a Principal

Find out what you'd learn in a master's degree program in educational administration or educational leadership. Check the prerequisites for entering these programs, which usually include current licensure as a teacher. Learn about how online programs work in this field of study, and review the job outlook and typical salary for school principals. Schools offering Principal Licensure degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Prerequisites Will I Need to Meet?

Master's degrees in educational leadership or educational administration are designed to prepare you to assume the role of a school principal and are available as Master of Education or Master of Science degrees.

Admission requirements for master's degree programs typically require you to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, along with Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores. Some programs also require professional teaching experience.

Prerequisites Bachelor's degree, GRE or GMAT scores, possible teaching experience
Common Courses Curriculum design, school finance, education law, instructional strategies, supervision of students and faculty
Additional Requirements Internship at a school that is approved by your program
Expected Job Growth (2014-2024) 6%*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

Courses in a master's degree program in educational administration and educational leadership cover the necessary topics that will prepare you for the role of a principal. These topics include educational policies, ethics, leadership and best practices. In addition to your coursework, you'll also complete an internship. Some common courses you can expect to find in these types of degree programs include:

  • Education law
  • Curriculum design
  • Instructional strategies
  • School finance
  • Supervision of students and faculty

What Can I Expect From an Online Program?

If you're planning on pursuing a degree online, you can expect to complete the same work as you would if you were enrolled in a campus-based program. You'll access lectures and coursework and submit assignments through your school's website. You may be able to access other student resources, such as advising services and online libraries. You'll also be able to communicate with your instructors and other students using e-mail and message boards. As part of an educational administration or educational leadership program, you will need to complete your internship at a school that is approved by your program.

In order to complete your work through a distance program, you will need access to a computer with an Internet connection and you may need to meet certain technical requirements. Most online programs support Windows and Macintosh operating systems; however, you may need specific software, such as Microsoft Office, to complete your work.

What Can I Do With My Degree and What is the Job Outlook?

Most states require licensure to become a principal. Once you become licensed, you can pursue a career as a principal in public or private schools, or you could seek other administrative positions. Job growth for principals is expected to rise at an average rate of 6% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (www.bls.gov). As of January 2016, the median salary for elementary school principals was $79,046, while the median salary for high school principals was $85,628 according to Payscale.com.

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

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • 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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  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty 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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  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire 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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  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Master

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  • Brenau University

    Brenau University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Brenau University:

    • Master

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