Online Education Administration Degree Programs Resource

An education administration degree focuses on the administration and management of educational systems. Education administrators work in many areas, such as admissions and data management, or in other departments like careers, finance and human resources. The goal of an education administrator is to organize and manage administration and facilitate the smooth work of the educational institution. Their job includes day-to-day work in schools, colleges and universities, both private and public. An education administrator is usually an individual who has formerly worked as a teacher, but in most cases has pursued a master’s degree in the field of education administration and has gained a license. A person holding this job should also be very organized, detail-oriented, innovative and enthusiastic. An education administrator should also have communication and interpersonal skills in order to be in close contact with staff, students and parents.

How to Become an Education Administrator

There are both undergraduate and graduate programs for pursuing this career. Courses that are usually offered include school leadership, school finance, school law, developing curricula, research designing, politics in education and many others which focus on communication and counseling. As stated in the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, another requisite for becoming an education administrator in the United States is the license or legal certification which varies by state. All states require the applicant to have a master’s degree and some even examine him or her with an additional test. There are some states which require the candidate to have a Ph.D. in the field.

Education Administration Degrees & Certification

A teacher who has acquired a MA in Education Administration, or a student who has gained an Education Administration degree and a masters’ degree in the field are both eligible for the job. However, previous experience and past work as a teacher is very important. A career the teacher can further pursue is that of a principal, assistant principal, director, superintendent or academic dean.

Top Ranked Education Administration Degree Programs

The following schools were ranked by US News as having the best education administration graduate programs (2014).

1. Vanderbilt University (Peabody)
2. University of Wisconsin—​Madison
3. Stanford University
4. Harvard University
4. Teachers College, Columbia University
6. University of Texas—​Austin
7. Michigan State University
7. Pennsylvania State University—​University Park
7. University of Virginia (Curry)
10. Ohio State University

Profiles of Education Administration Programs

Pennsylvania State University
Through its Department of Education Policy Studies, Pennsylvania State University offers a Master of Higher Education degree program that gives students the knowledge needed to research, analyze, and manage at a high level in postsecondary education. Graduates are prepared for careers as administrators, researchers, faculty, and staff officers in higher education institutions and in public and private organizations. Students work closely with program faculty and university professionals throughout the curriculum and also find opportunities through the school’s Center for the Study of Higher Education. Also housed at the College of Education are the Krause Innovation Studio for emerging technologies in education and the Institute for Research in Training & Development, which focuses on workforce preparation in Pennsylvania communities and beyond. The faculty of the College of Education are recognized for their editorial and research contributions, and US News & World Report has consistently ranked this master’s degree program among the top of its class.

University of Virginia
The University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education offers a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration that prepares students to assume leadership roles in postsecondary institutions. The theories that support current practice are emphasized throughout the program with a further focus on organizational and environmental factors that influence postsecondary institutions, including political and social forces. Full and part time options for study in the M.Ed. program are available; with full time study, the 36 credit hour degree can be completed in as little as one year. The cohort based program includes a capstone project centered on original research in a topic of the student’s choosing. In addition to the core curriculum, students can choose from electives in specialist topics like Legal Aspects of College Administration or Entrepreneurship in Higher Education. Full-time students also complete a one-year internship in an area of student affairs administration.

Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University awards a Masters of Education in General Higher Education Administration that takes a generalist approach to the administrative specialization, allowing students to gain a broad overview of the field to prepare for careers in administration. Core courses in higher education administration, general higher education, access to higher education, and managing institutions culminate in a practicum and comprehensive examination prior to graduation. Individualized specialist courses of study can also be developed within the general administration track. The curriculum reflects the College of Education and Human Development’s mission to understand and enhance the various contexts in which learning takes place through research, new program implementation, and policy work. Graduate students may have the opportunity to pursue participation in the school’s various research centers, including the National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools, the National Center on Performance Initiatives, and the National Center on School Choice.

Education Administration Degree Requirements and Coursework

A degree in education administration is a good fit for those who are seeking administrative roles in education, both in educational institutions and in public or private organizations involved in education and policy. An education administration degree program can also be a good fit for those looking to change careers from another field and enter the education space. As most education administration programs lead to a graduate degree, students typically have earned a bachelor’s degree prior to beginning the course of study.

Teaching and Education Programs

Searching for Schools...
Matching School Ads

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Do I need to have a teaching certification to pursue an education administration degree?

Answer: Many education administration degree programs are open to students of all academic backgrounds, including those who obtained an undergraduate degree in other fields and have not earned teaching certification.

Question: Are education administration degrees offered in an online format?

Answer: Yes, many schools have recognized the need for flexibility for working professionals by implementing online programs leading to the award of an education administration degree. Many programs are offered fully online or in online/traditional classroom hybrid formats.

Question: What career opportunities are opened by a degree in education administration?

Answer: A degree in education administration can open the door to many career opportunities, including school administration, advising and counseling, and consultancy. This type of degree program can also lead to administrative specialist certification in some states.

Question: How can I see if an education administration program is accredited?

Answer: There are two main types of accreditation for education administration programs. There is regional accreditation or national accreditation for the school as a whole. Additionally there is national certification specifically for teaching programs through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).