From principals to superintendents or administrators, you’ve likely come across several educational leaders in your life. It takes training, studying, and years of education to learn the skills needed to properly run an institution of higher learning. Through a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership online, you’ll learn the skills needed to advance your career.
The demand for leaders in education is steadily growing. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that this degree type has a very high earning potential. The median salary of school principals is over $96,000 a year, for example.
Similarly, an administrator’s median salary is $94,000 per year. Administrator positions, along with several others that are available to master’s degree holders, have a faster than average growth rate.
Benefits of an Online Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership Program
Taking part in a graduate program allows you to further your career. Many leadership and administrative roles are only available to people who have a graduate degree. A Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership opens several career opportunities to you and obtaining it online comes with several convenient benefits.
Expanding Your Knowledge: A master’s degree program takes what you learn at the undergraduate level and expands it further. Throughout a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership program, you’ll explore more complex topics, learn what it takes to have a leadership role in a school setting, and gain valuable knowledge related to the responsibilities and expectations of someone in such a position.
Career Growth: Once you earn your master’s degree, you’ll discover that more career opportunities are open to you. These careers put you in management and administrative roles rather than being a teacher or professor. Not only do these roles come with more responsibilities, but they also come with higher salaries. For people who want to make a difference from the highest level of their profession, earning a master’s degree is important.
Studying from Home: Many people who take part in a master’s degree program already have professional responsibilities they must meet. It is difficult taking courses and commuting to school regularly while still working a part- or full-time job. Through online courses, you have the convenience of completing coursework wherever you like.
Several colleges and universities have an asynchronous format, which means you’re free to complete work and study at your own pace. The only requirement is that you submit your assignments before the due date.
Choosing Your University: There are hundreds of universities throughout the United States. These schools have different program types, class sizes, costs, and more. It is severely limiting to only choose from the universities within commuting distance. In many scenarios, people find themselves having to move to entirely new locations just to pursue their degrees.
However, an online program takes away those limitations. Because online programs are available to everyone, you have the freedom to choose from the best universities, not the most convenient. Several universities offer the same rate to students out-of-state as those within, while others even offer discounts. This gives you even more incentive to study online at a distant university where you pay in-state tuition.
Savings: Factoring in things such as living expenses, commuting costs, room and board, meal plans, parking fees, and more makes going to college locally much more difficult. The additional costs you must pay on top of your tuition comes with several financial setbacks.
While studying online does come with its fair share of costs as well, it removes several of the additional fees that come with a traditional college education. These savings can go toward purchasing supplies, covering tuition costs, or covering general living expenses.
Best Online Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership Schools
Due to online universities allowing you to study from wherever you choose, there is a long list of schools available to people who want to earn their master’s degree. Several colleges and universities are known for their master’s in educational leadership online programs.
These programs match the same level of quality as traditional ones, and you have many of the same resources you’d receive if going to school on campus. Below is our list of the best universities and colleges for earning your master’s in educational leadership online.
The University of Cincinnati was one of the first universities to offer classes online. Among its online programs is a yearlong master’s program in educational leadership. The program is designed for licensed educators who already work in the field.
Throughout the program, students learn the skills needed to successfully take on leadership roles in administration and the classroom. Courses include curriculum development and data analysis, human resources administration in education, and an overview of special education law.
Students choose from three leadership concentrations: special education leadership, online learning and leadership, and principal leadership.
Students participating in the fully online program qualify for the same financial aid opportunities as on-campus students. Admission into the program requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a 3.0 or higher GPA. Other requirements include a 500-word goal statement, three letters of recommendation, two years of teaching full-time, and a valid teaching license.
Louisiana State University offers a wide array of graduate and undergraduate programs online, including its fully online master’s program in educational leadership, which is designed for professionals teaching PreK–12th grade.
The program teaches students advanced skills in management and leadership. It is 39-credits long and each course lasts seven weeks. In addition to traditional coursework, students gain experience through part-time internships that allow them to work full-time.
Classes in the program include supervision of instruction in elementary and secondary schools, best practices of principal leadership, and understanding and applying research in education. Students have access to networking and career opportunities with their classmates, as well as Louisiana State University’s large network of alumni.
Graduates from the program go on to pursue careers as superintendents, principals, and school administrators.
Florida State University has almost 300 degree programs on offer. Its College of Education offers a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. This 33-credit program has classes in resource management for educational leaders, data-driven school improvement, and teacher leadership development. Students learn through a combination of theory and practice and are taught by professionals in the field.
Successfully graduating from the program requires a 3.0 or higher GPA and completion of fieldwork in addition to coursework. Students must also take a comprehensive exam at the end of their final semester.
Admission into the program requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college with a 3.0 GPA at a minimum. Students must also have at least two years of professional education experience. Other requirements include GRE scores, an essay question, statement of purpose, resume or CV, letters of recommendation, and official transcripts.
The University of Kentucky has a fully online Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership Studies. Students have the option of pursuing nine-credit graduate certificates that are a part of the degree program. These certificates include instructional coaching, leadership for deeper learning, and school technology leadership.
The 20-month, 30-credit master’s degree program has a long list of required courses, such as leadership for learning-centered schools, leadership for school program improvement, and leading action research and inquiry.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Teachers in Kentucky studying for their teacher leader endorsement must take on an additional 15 credits in the program. It’s strongly recommended that those interested in the program already possess teaching experience.
Admissions require a bachelors’ degree, preferably based in education, from an accredited college or university, and a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants must also provide a writing sample, CV or resume, personal statement, and four letters of recommendation.
George Washington University is a private research institution with a world-class faculty and many top-ranked undergraduate and graduate programs. The university offers dozens of master’s degree programs in education, which includes a fully online educational leadership program.
Through completing the 30-credit program, students are prepared to work principals or administrators. The curriculum fits the requirements for licensure in administration and as a principal for North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC.
The curriculum has a strong focus on fulfilling the needs of diverse communities and giving students practical knowledge needed to reach their educational goals. It includes courses in supervision of curriculum, instruction, and assessment; school finance and resource management for school leaders; and leadership for equity and social justice. Students also receive practical experience through internships.
Applicants are required to submit their resume, two letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a statement of purpose.
The University of Florida offers a fully online master’s program in educational leadership that is designed for adults already working as educators. The program offers students access to mentoring opportunities, a student-centered faculty, small classroom sizes, and field experiences outside of the classroom to fully prepare students for their leadership roles.
There are full-time and part-time opportunities for the program and students typically take two years to complete it. It takes nearly 36-39 credits to complete the program. Courses include communication in educational leadership, supervision practice in school administration, and data-driven decision making.
Students seeking to earn their Florida principal certification must take a three-credit course, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) training. Students can fulfill this ESOL requirement in multiple ways. One of which is by completing 60 hours of ESOL-specific education work.
Admission into the program requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university a 3.0 GPA or higher from the last 60 credits of undergraduate work completed.
George Mason University is a large research institution with over 37,000 students from all over the world. Of the 211 degree programs the university has to offer, one of which is a fully online master’s program in educational leadership. This program meets Virginia’s requirements for licensure in supervision and administration for PreK-12th grade.
Graduates from the program typically pursue careers as instructional leaders or district and school administrators.
The program has a strong focus on professional and scholarly dialogue, the connection between practice and theory, and advocacy to improve student achievement. Faculty includes entrepreneurs, education researchers, and current and former district leaders. Created for working professionals, the program allows students to graduate in two years by taking one or two courses at a time.
Admission into the program requires applicants to have a valid teaching license, two full years of experience teaching full-time, transcripts showing a 3.0 GPA or higher, a goal statement, resume or CV, and two recommendation letters.
The University of Iowa is one of the top research universities in the country. It has over 32,000 students and offers a fully online MA in Educational Leadership. Students within the program gain the knowledge needed to become successful professors, policymakers, and school leaders. The program prepares students to pursue their licensure for PreK-12 school leadership.
This 36-credit program was designed for working professionals, which is why many students are teachers and administrators. Students complete 12 additional credits to pursue licensure. Core courses in the program include school and community relationships, research for school leaders, and supervision and evaluation.
Admission into the program requires a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, a 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA, evidence of professional or academic potential, answers to essay questions, three letters of recommendation, and a requirement of three years of professional teaching experience.
Applicants who do not meet all the requirements are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Working as an educator is a fulfilling role in which you see children grow and learn before your eyes. Those in an educational leadership position are tasked with more than looking after a classroom. Entire schools and districts rely on the leadership skills and knowledge of effective educational leaders.
By taking part in these programs and receiving your Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, you’ll become one of the few people equipped to push education in the right direction and better guide students to success.
Take the first step forward to your own success. Download the Career Karma app and make the transition to a better career today.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.