Master of School Administration, MSA

A school administration degree program on your terms

Make a greater impact on your school—and everyone in it—when you study to become an educational leader. At East Carolina University, you can earn a master’s in school administration degree that provides the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to be a highly effective school administrator. Whether you desire to be principal, an instructional specialist, or athletic director, among other roles, your opportunities—and your value—grow with ECU’s Master of School Administration.

Enjoy a cohort model that fits your schedule

As a professional educator, you need flexibility from graduate schools for education. At ECU, you’ll enjoy a part-time schedule when pursuing your school administration master’s degree. For additional convenience, we offer a fully online school administration degree or, if preferred, a hybrid format—a combination of online courses and in-person classes held in the evenings to fit your work schedule. Plus, you can do it all within two years and be on your way to an enhanced career.

ECU’s program uses a cohort model, which allows you to build relationships with peers in eastern North Carolina and across the state. You’ll have each other’s support while at ECU—and beyond—as you journey together to become highly regarded educational leaders.

Why study school administration at ECU?

Whether you complete our online school administration degree or choose a hybrid format, you’ll have access to all these benefits of attending ECU:

Applied learning

Engage with stakeholders and put your education to practice in six leadership development areas that emphasize student learning, teacher empowerment, community involvement, organizational management, school culture and safety, and school improvement—for a well-rounded school administration degree.

Real-world experience

Complete a part-time, administrative internship in the second year of your school administration master’s degree for hands-on learning and résumé enhancement.

State licenses

Receive a North Carolina principal license upon completion of your hybrid or online school administration degree. You can also earn the state’s curriculum instructional specialist license.

Professional network

Meet educational professionals statewide in your ECU cohort made up of around 12 students. Whether you complete a hybrid or online school administration degree, you’ll participate in an online or regional, hybrid cohort and make lifelong connections.

Our lowest tuition rates

Complete this high-quality school administration degree at our lowest tuition rates—distance education course fees—for the best value among graduate schools for education.

Courses you will take in the school administration degree program

Be ready for your internship—and your future career—when you complete the core curriculum in year one of ECU’s master’s in school administration program. Your coursework will prepare you to become the educational leader today’s schools need through courses such as:

  • Strategic Leadership for 21st Century Schools
  • Micro-political Leadership and Decision-making Within a Legal Context
  • External Development Leadership for Cultivating Partnerships
  • Cultural Leadership for Systemic School Improvement

All classes are taught by ECU faculty who have practitioner experience in K-12 settings and can provide their unique perspective to ensure your ability to connect classroom learning to real-life situations.

Visit ECU’s course catalog for an in-depth look at our school administration master’s curriculum.

What can you do with your school administration degree?

From your coursework to your internship, the master’s in school administration program at East Carolina University prepares you to assume a leadership role in the K-12 school administration jobs you desire.

Gain the skills, knowledge, and licensure to become an educational leader

Upon completion of your hybrid or online school administration degree, you’ll be a better problem solver, communicator, innovator, collaborator, and change agent for equity. You’ll have also earned a North Carolina principal license and will be eligible for the state’s curriculum instructional specialist license. These licenses, combined with your expanded skills and knowledge, qualify you for roles such as:

  • Principal or assistant principal
  • Instructional coordinator
  • Academic facilitator
  • Dean of students
  • Central office administrator
  • Athletic director

Where are master’s in school administration program graduates working?

Alumni who hold East Carolina University’s school administration master’s degree fill the demand for K-12 school administrators in districts throughout North Carolina.

As you consider ECU’s master’s in school administration program, know that the demand for school leaders is expected to rise. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that school administration jobs for principals and instructional coordinators, for example, will increase by 8% and 10%, respectively, by the year 2030—making it the right time to pursue your professional and personal growth.

Get started on your master’s in school administration degree

Take the next step toward earning your school administration degree at one of North Carolina’s top graduate schools for education. We have the resources to answer all your questions and help you get started.

Degree programs related to ECU’s school administration master’s program

Accreditation for school administration at ECU

The best graduate schools for education will hold one or more accreditations to ensure you’re getting a high-quality education that adheres to standards. At East Carolina University, we maintain accreditations by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). In fact, we are the only master’s in school administration program in North Carolina to hold NCATE’s national accreditation.

Our school administration master’s program has also gained national recognition by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) and is aligned to the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders, National Educational Leadership Preparation standards, and North Carolina Standards for School Executives—all for your utmost confidence and preparation as an educational leader.