School Principalship PK-8, Master of Arts in Education

Offered by Department of Educational Administration

Program Information and Admission Requirements

Departmental Objectives

Graduates will be effective school administrators, who are responsive, reflective, and collaborative decision makers and who have the requisite knowledge, skills, and technological expertise to organize learning environments that embrace the principles of democracy, diversity, and equity.

Program Objectives

Educational Administration Program objectives are aligned with the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE), Administrator Certification Rule 24, and the standards for Educational Leadership Program Recognition adopted by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA) in August 2018.

Nebraska Certification Requirements

Approved Programs: Graduate programs in Educational Administration for school personnel are approved for Nebraska Administrative and Supervisory Certification.

Special Education Requirement: Nebraska certification requires the completion of a Special Education course covering the identification of handicapping conditions and the various alternatives to providing educational opportunities for handicapped students. This requirement is a prerequisite for administrative certification and must have been met prior to a graduate degree in EDAD or taken as an elective within the graduate program of study. Program applicants who received their initial teaching certificate prior to September 1, 1992 will be required to take TESE 821P in place of one of their program electives.

Human Relations Requirement: The Nebraska requirements on human relations are met through the completion of the required coursework within a Master's Degree Program in Educational Administration.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements of the Office of Graduate Studies and Academic Outreach, the criteria for admission to this degree program consist of the following:

  1. An undergraduate grade point average of 2.75;
  2. Submit written recommendations from two school administrators who can comment on your potential to do graduate study and for educational leadership. (Appropriate forms online.);
  3. Submit a resume and an essay on why you wish to pursue a career in school administration. (Appropriate format information online.);
  4. Faculty review of all applications to the programs.
  5. Members of the Educational Administration Department will evaluate each applicant following the completion of 12 semester credit hours of coursework. At this point the department will make a decision relating to acceptance into a program by approving the applicant for candidacy.

All above requirements must be met to continue in the program beyond eighteen credit hours of coursework. Any deviation from the above requirements is by departmental approval only.

Time Limitation

The coursework for this M.A.Ed. degree must be completed within a period of 10 years.


Each student is assigned an advisor in the EDAD Department at the time of acceptance for graduate study.


The required graduate coursework for the M.A.Ed. degree in EDAD minimally is 36 semester credit hours of approved study beyond the bachelor's degree.

Transfer of Credit

The transfer of credit applicable to the Master's Degree program is determined at the discretion of the Office of Graduate Studies and Academic Outreach and the Department of Educational Administration upon evaluation of the prior academic record of the student. A maximum of 9 semester credit hours may be transferred into a degree program from institutions other than the University of Nebraska.

Quality of Work

Once a student begins a Master's Degree program, he/she must maintain a scholastic record of 3.00 based on a 4.00 scale.

Thesis Option

Master's Degree candidates may select a thesis option. The thesis option is a six-credit-hour registration which includes participation in the monthly research seminars and fulfills the elective requirement. The thesis is written under the direct supervision and guidance of the advisor. Thesis acceptance by the student's committee follows an oral examination over the study. The oral examination is in lieu of the comprehensive written examination required of Master's Degree Candidates.

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination is administered prior to, or during, the session in which the student is expected to receive the degree. Departmental procedures require that all EDAD coursework, except arranged courses, be completed or in progress before comprehensive examinations may be taken. Master's Degree Candidates will take a written comprehensive examination.

Degree Endorsement

Applicants for this endorsement shall have the equivalent of two full school years teaching experience in approved/accredited elementary and/or secondary schools. This endorsement also requires a minimum of one-semester internship experience supervised by a standard institution of high education in an approved or accredited elementary, middle or secondary school.

Non-Degree Endorsements

The granting of the principalship endorsement is based on the level (elementary or secondary) of the certification held by the candidate. Those having a K-12 teaching endorsement may opt for either a PK-8 or 7-12 program. The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers a non-degree administrative endorsement in  School Principalship PK-8 for those who have a previous Master's Degree in education.  For those candidates with a 7-12 principalship endorsement, who wish to qualify for the PK-8 principalship endorsement, 9 credit hours are required in addition to the basic 36-credit-hour program. For more information about these endorsements, please contact the Department of Educational Administration.

This program is offered online only.

Completion of the Master of Arts in Education Degree with an Educational Administration specialization satisfies the educational requirements for an Administrative and Supervisory Certificate with endorsement for the principalship in elementary schools.

Individual adjustments in the following program will be made for those who elect to write a thesis.

All students are required to complete an exit survey during the semester of graduation or program completion.

EDAD 831Social Foundations of Education3
EDAD 890Introduction to Educational Research3
EDAD 843Practicum in Educational Administration3
EDAD 848Curriculum Planning3
EDAD 851Human Resource Management3
EDAD 853School Business Management3
EDAD 854Introduction to Educational Administration3
EDAD 855Supervision of Instruction3
EDAD 859Legal Basis of Education3
EDAD 869The Principalship3
Select 6 credit hours of the following with the consent of the advisor:6
Current Issues in Education
EDAD Assessment Leadership
Administration of Special Education
The Junior High/Middle School
The Principal as Instructional Leader
School Improvement
Independent Readings
Advanced Educational Psychology
Contemporary Theory & Practice in Reading
Elementary School Curriculum
Issues and Trends in Early Childhood Education
Improvement of Instruction in Early Childhood Education
Improvement of Instruction in Elementary School Language Arts
Improvement of Instruction in Elementary School Science
Improvement of Instruction in Elementary School Social Studies
Improvement of Instruction in Mathematics for Grades PK-3
Improvement of Mathematics Instruction for Grades 4-8
Nature and Needs of Exceptionalities
Any other elective must have advisor approval
Total Credit Hours36