School Administration, M.S.A.


The Master of School Administration (M.S.A.) meets state standards for North Carolina Level I administrator licensure principal). The degree requires 42 semester hours. Students engage the content of leadership preparation through graduate classroom engagement and assignments, observing schools and school leaders in their practice, and performing tasks under the supervision of a school-based and university mentor during the internship. This program is only offered online.

Program Distinctions

  • Graduates can serve as principals and assistant principals in North Carolina.
  • Meets requirements of NC state legislation for School Administration licensure.
  • The UNC Greensboro School of Education was named one of the 2022 “Top Graduate Schools of Education” by the U.S. News & World Report.

The Student Experience

Our M.S.A. program is offered online. Students take eight (8) required academic courses (24 credits) and complete a yearlong internship in school administration (12 credits). Students will work with their advisers to choose two (2) electives (6 hours)— either in the Department or outside it—that match the student’s interests and provide both content and activities that are necessary to complete the student’s preparation. Advisers will encourage students to choose electives that create interdisciplinary and interprofessional connections in the student’s preparation.

After Graduation

Upon program completion, students will be eligible for positions such as:

Assistant Principal


Executive Director

Assistant Superintendent


The UNC Greensboro School of Education’s and Graduate School’s formal admission requirements specify the following for the M.S.A. program:

  • Grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better during the last half of the bachelor’s degree, or a GPA of 3.5 during the master’s degree

Admissions decisions are based on an applicant’s full set of application materials. All evidence about a prospective student, including the criteria listed above, work experience, letters of reference and recommendations, and the individual’s personal statement will be considered in making admissions decisions. In certain cases, applicants may be granted provisional admission, with a stipulation that they will be granted full admission upon successfully completing a specified number of coursework credits in the program. Faculty members engage in a collaborative, rigorous review of applicants.

The department’s formal admission requirements for the program are the following:

  • Three letters of recommendation with a minimum of one recommendation from a principal/supervisor who has recent knowledge of the applicant’s leadership capabilities and potential;
  • Completion of the District-Verification-for-Principal-Licensure-Candidates-1 document by the school district agreeing to support the candidate in participating in authentic, action-oriented, service-learning, outcomes-based activities and a year-long internship;
  • Transcripts from all universities attended;
  • A written statement that clearly articulates the applicant’s interest in and potential for school leadership; and addresses the following:
    • Page 1: Briefly detail your professional goals and why you chose ELC.
    • Pages 2-4: Respond to 2 of the 3 prompts listed here (Note – Please title each topic accordingly):
      1. The most critical issue in education today is…
      2. The leadership of a school makes all the difference because…
      3. North Carolina schools could improve by…
    • A resumè that provides detailed information regarding the applicant’s previous professional and leadership experiences, including three years of professional education experience.
    • After initial application screening, interviews may be conducted.
  • Applications for the M.S.A. program are reviewed once per year during April and must be completely submitted by March 31. Applicants who intend to apply for Principal Fellows must submit their applications by January 15.

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Program Details

Degree Type: Master's

College/School: School of Education

Program Type: Major

Class Type: In Person

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Dr. Brian Clarida