Principal Certification, Credentialing, & Licensure (MA, M.Ed.)

Principal Certification is necessary for individuals wanting to provide leadership and overall management of elementary and secondary schools. To become a licensed principal, individuals must complete a graduate degree program. To do so typically principals complete a masters degree program in educational administration or educational leadership. In these programs, students learn the management skills necessary for administrative positions in both public and private schools. Students who have met the initial teaching certificate requirements, have taken the Praxis Exams, and have completed five years of satisfactory professional school experience with a grade of a B or better in each graduate level course are then able to obtain principal certification.

Typically, masters programs in administration require a bachelor’s degree and previous teaching experience. Degree program requirements range from 36-48 credit hours of coursework with most requiring a thesis or research project along with an internship. Specialties and coursework for masters programs in educational administration include: technology in education, curriculum development, personnel management, education law, and leadership development. Some universities have specific courses for principals including: Evaluation of Instruction, Diagnostic Teaching, School Leadership and Decision Making, Technology Integration with School Instruction and Management, School Finance and Facilities, and School Principal Internship where students can choose their area of focus.

Campus and Online Masters in Education Programs

A masters degree in education (M.Ed., MA.Ed., MS, MA, MAT, etc.) can include majors such as administration, counseling, curriculum & instruction, elementary education, secondary education, higher education, general education, special education, and many more. Below, you can browse some of the top-ranked accredited universities that offer masters degrees in education for aspiring teachers, teachers looking to further their careers, or those looking to become administrators.

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Liberty University – Liberty University is one of the top schools offering online, accredited degree programs. We have several Masters in Education degrees for students to select and specialize in the field of their interest, including Secondary Education Elementary Education, and Special Education. These degrees are for student who want to enhance their careers in a relatively short time.

Purdue University – Purdue offers a variety of accredited online Masters in Education programs, each designed to meet the specific goals of students who want to: obtain a masters in education, obtain a teaching license after getting their undergraduate degree in something other than teaching, become a school counselor, become a school principal, or teach college courses, develop K-12 curriculum, or develop college level curriculum.

George Washington University – GWU’s accredited online Masters in Education programs are ranked in the top 35 in US News’s most recent rankings. One designed for those that want to become a school principal, while the other for those that want to develop educational curriculum, both are fully online degrees that can be completed relatively quickly and on your own schedule.

Walden University – Walden University is among the largest educators with thousands of accredited degrees offered. Several degrees are offered in the field of Education at the Masters level alone. Even better, classes can be taken online and at the campus. Walden has several degrees available for students interested in Masters in Education programs, including Curriculum and Instruction, Middle Level Education, Elementary Literacy, and Middle Level Math.

University of Southern California – USC, a respected provider of online and onsite education, is an affordable option for students looking to further their careers in education. You will learn high-demand skills and retain knowledge that can be applied to real-world applications. Student have various online, accredited degrees to select from like Teaching, Secondary English, Secondary Math, and Secondary Science.

Northcentral University – For students who are seeking to further their knowledge in education, Northcentral University has crafted many online programs that offer a unique learning experience to each student. These online programs also provide more flexibility and convenience than campus programs and can be completed at a pace that is comfortable. Students can specialize in a field of their choice like Athletic Admin, eLearning, Global Training & Development, and Early Childhood Education.

Grand Canyon University – GCU offers multiple online master of education degree programs, such as programs for those that want to become a principal, work in early education, work in elementary education, work with middle school aged students, teach special education, or teach ESL. The curriculum follows the industry’s standards and best practices which in turn provides students with a better understand of the current work environment.

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