The 5 Best Masters in Educational Administration Online

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Masters in Educational Administration Online

Educational administrators can serve a variety of positions in either K-12 or higher education, including as principals, curriculum developers, superintendents, and more. In general, administrators are responsible for overseeing, managing, and directing all aspects of day-to-day school activities, in addition to working on long-term projects. Needless to say, this includes just about everything, and most professionals will need at least 5 or more years before being considered for administrative roles. (K-12 schools may demand less.) These professionals can read and follow blogs for teachers and administrators to discover other career paths, and keep up with news and information in the education landscape. Most important, however, is for the aspiring school administrator to have earned a master’s in the field, which will in turn prepare them for licensure/certification – required for all public institutions and varying on a state-by-state basis. While this may all sound like a lot of red-tape, educational administrators enjoy stable careers, and jobs are expected to grow slightly below 10% through 2024 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Faster than normal.) Further, for education, pay is nice: higher education administrators earn on average $89,000 per year, and K-12 principals earn $90,000. Given the stretched schedules of working teachers, online master’s have become increasingly popular in the last few years and provide the same rigor and quality curriculum of traditional on-campus options. Below, find our top 5 online picks.

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Featured Online Schools


  • Affordability (1/3): the average out-of-state tuition per credit hour
  • Completion Time (1/3): minimum amount of course work required for certification
  • Academic Reputation (1/3): the rank of the school’s parent institution according to US News

If you are interested in a broader overview of distance learning information visit our ranking of the best colleges online.

  • 1. Chadron State College

    Chadron State College offers an MEd in Educational Administration that consists of 36-42 credits, depending on the student’s concentration in either: Elementary/Secondary/PK-12, Curriculum / Assessment Supervisor PK-12 Education Administration Middle School, or Special Education Curriculum Supervisor PK-12. (The first three tracks are 36 credits; the last is 42.) Some example classes include Educational Philosophy, Curriculum Development, School Law, Fundamentals of School Administration, Supervision of Instruction, and School Administration and Leadership. Elective options allow the student to tailor the concentration to areas of interest, and each track also requires a practicum or internship in order to provide students with real-world scenarios and hands-on experience – in all, about 250 hours. Further, students seeking their state’s administrative endorsement/certificate must pass the PRAXIS II examination prior to graduation. Courses are accelerated, and enrollment is open for maximum flexibility. Students also benefit from a low 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio, career services, student advising, and tech support, among others. Applicants should have earned at least a 2.75 undergraduate GPA and have worked 2 years as a full-time teacher. Related degrees include MEds in School Counseling and Elementary/Secondary Curriculum and Instruction, plus 3 MAs in Education. This degree is accredited by he National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

    • Homepage
    • Tuition Per Credit: $380
    • Program Focus: K-12

  • 2. Capella University

    Capella University offers an MEd in Educational Administration Leadership that consists of 46 quarter credits – 16 core, 12 specialization, and 18 emphasis. Required classes include Survey of Research Methodology, Assessment and Improvement of Instruction, School Leadership and Management Practices, Education and the Law, Funding of Educational Institutions, Personnel Administration, and P–12 Principalship. Students must also complete 6 credits in an internship setting to gain real-world experience. In particular, this degree is aimed at educators who want to assume leadership responsibilities in the school system and focuses on the principal’s role in communicating, developing, and implementing a school program that aligns with district priorities. Courses deliver in accelerated 10-week blocks, which typically requires 10-12 hours of study per week, and on a fully-loaded schedule students can earn their degree in as little as 1-1.5 years. All of Cappella’s online degrees are designed for maximum flexibility with working professionals and adult learners in mind, so entry dates are available throughout the year, and students with previous academic work may transfer up to 12 credits into the program. This degree is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and is nationally recognized by the Educational Leadership Constituents Council (ELCC).

    • Homepage
    • Tuition Per Credit: $444
    • Program Focus: K-12

  • 3 (tied). University of South Carolina – Columbia

    The University of South Carolina – Columbia offers an MEd in Educational Administration that consists of 36 credits. Courses include School Leadership, School Personnel Administration, Supervision of Instruction, School Finance and Business Management, Legal Basis of Educational Organization and Administration, and The Principalship, among others. From there, students can choose elementary or high school practicum according to their field of interest and other electives, which they can discuss with an advisor. The program is accelerated, with 8-week course deliveries so that students can begin a career fast track and complete the degree in as little as 2 years. Alternatively, part-time students may take up to 6 years to graduate, allow the program some flexibility. Further, all classes are taught by experienced superintendents, principals and high-level administrators, each bringing a unique perspective to the curriculum and providing a broad-based yet pragmatic approach. USC also places an emphasis on student diversity and considers it a top priority in education. A recent survey found that 96% of program graduates earned a new job or advancement, which, if we consider that USC’s College of Education is considered a top 25 program, should be unsurprising. Founded in 1801, the university has a student enrollment of approximately 50,000.

    • Homepage
    • Tuition Per Credit: $625
    • Program Focus: K-12

  • 3 (tied). University of Massachusetts Amherst

    The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers an MEd in Educational Administration that consists of 30 credits. The degree is designed for students with at least two years of teaching experience in a K-12 setting and/or those who have earned a teaching license, and is accredited by he National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Founded in 1863, UMass has a student enrollment of approximately 30,000. The school is also a member of the Five College Consortium, alongside Amherst College, Hampshire College, Holyoke College, and Smith College. UMass’s online offerings have grown increasingly robust, and the school now offers 1,500 online courses per year in nearly 200 areas of study. Among the many resources students benefit from are 24/7 tech support, personalized academic advising, library services, and financial aid. Most important, UMass’s 330,000+ alumni network is highly active, and the school’s career services center does its best to connect recent graduates for professional opportunities.

    • Homepage
    • Tuition Per Credit: $470
    • Program Focus: K-12

  • 5. Louisiana State University

    Louisiana State University offers an MA in Education with a Specialization in Higher Education Administration that consists of 36 credits (12 courses). Requirements include Foundations of Higher Education, Understanding and Applying Research in Education, College Students in the United States, Internship in Educational Administration, Finance in Higher Education, Community College, Student Affairs in Higher Education, Student Development Theory, and more. All students must also complete a comprehensive exam in order to graduate. In particular, the curriculum is designed to develop leadership, higher education knowledge, and management skills in such areas as recruiting, admissions, orientation, financial aid, counseling, Greek life, student activities, academic support services, student athlete support services, and career planning and placement. To set students on a career fast track, courses deliver in accelerated 7-week blocks, and degree completion time can be as little as 15 months. The university also offers its online students exceptional resources, including a personal enrollment specialist, advising, career services, library, a center for academic success, virtual lab, and Moodle, a highly collaborative and dynamic learning platform. For those interested, LSU also offers a MEd in Educational Leadership.

    • Homepage
    • Tuition Per Credit: $417
    • Program Focus: Higher Education

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