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  • Course Delivery
  • Total Credits
  • Tuition
  • Duration
    2 Years

Program Overview

Looking to become a school administrator in Minnesota?

Do you hold an education-related master's degree? Are you ready to take on more responsibility and leadership in your school? Do you have a passion for serving as an educational change-agent? If so, you are ready to prepare for licensure as a school administrator in Minnesota. This program consists of 29 credits towards a Graduate Certificate for either K12 Principal or Director of Special Education licensure preparation (or 41 credits for both). You can also work towards Superintendency preparation (6 additional credits) or complete the Ed.S. degree (6 additional credits) to dig more deeply into administrative research and assessment. Ensure you have the skills necessary to take the step from the classroom into a leadership position within your school or district. The Graduate Certificate in Educational Administration is a minimum of 29 credits and can be completed in less than two years.

Prepare to Be a K-12 Principal in Minnesota

The Education Administration - K-12 Principal Graduate Certificate program is designed for students who already hold a masters degree and want to develop school administrative leadership and management skills. Minnesota State requirements for K-12 Principals inform the program curriculum. You will combine organizational leadership theories with practical skills needed by school administrators to become leaders of effective learning organizations including shaping inclusive school cultures, human resource management, and program evaluation. As a part of this program, you will complete a 320-hour field experience in a variety of school settings under a licensed administrator and University supervisor.

What Is Your Educational Background?

In order to be eligible for Minnesota administrative licensure preparation, you must have three years of classroom teaching experience under a valid state teaching license. Those who do not meet these requirements may need to complete the Alternative Pathway program to administrative licensure consisting of 1,050 hours of classroom experience and the completion of a portfolio which can be done simultaneously with program coursework.

Career Options

This program provides licensure preparation as a Director of Special Education, K-12 Principal, and Superintendent in Minnesota. Graduates of this program have also moved into other school and district-level leadership positions such as Curriculum Director, Athletic Director, or Dean of Students.

Routes to Completion

The credit amounts vary depending on what pathway you choose to complete.

Option One: 29 credits
Graduate Certificate in Educational Administration: Director of Special Education OR Principal OR Superintendent

Option Two: 35 credits
License in Educational Administration: Director of Special Education AND Principal OR Superintendent

Option Three: 41 credits
Graduate Certificate in Educational Administration: Director of Special Education AND Principal

Note: If you complete any of the graduate certificate options you can add on the Ed.S. degree with only 6 credits more.

Program is online with an annual 5-day summer residency on the Minneapolis Campus.

Course Information

The Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) in Educational Administration program is designed for students who already have earned a masters degree to develop school administrative leadership and management skills and research techniques. Minnesota State requirements for elementary and secondary principals, superintendents, or special education directors are embedded in the courses and the program completion options. The curriculum is practitioner-focused with an emphasis on action research. Instruction focuses on applying organizational leadership theories with practical skills needed by school administrators to become leaders of effective learning organizations.

For more information and course descriptions, check out our course catalog.

Applicants must submit:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Non-refundable application fee
  3. Official transcripts posting the applicant’s completed master's degree
  4. Other relevant official transcripts documenting potential transfer credits
  5. International transcripts must be evaluated by a university-accepted evaluator
  6. A reflective essay which includes a brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience, a description of the areas the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities, and any personal information the applicant wishes to share
  7. Two recommendations that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and/or academic ability
  8. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience
  9. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam. Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities campus. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Office of Admission 2500 Park Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55404
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Key Dates

Apply By
Start Date
Fall Semester Term I
Spring Semester Term I
Fall Semester Term I

Tuition & Fees

Tuition: $480


IDI fee:$100
Initial Assessment fee:$50
Exit Interview fee:$150
Graduation fee:$75

The Saint Mary's Difference

The heart of Saint Mary's is its people — faculty, staff, and your fellow students — who become your companions and allies on your educational journey. Here, in an intense give-and-take setting, each of us discovers just how much we can learn. You'll find, in every one of our classrooms, a person-centered education focused on your growth, your potential — because we believe that everyone deserves the chance to make an impact, to change the world around them.

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