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  • Course Delivery
  • Total Credits
  • Tuition
  • Duration
    1 Year

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. Superintendency preparation for those already holding an MN administrators license can be completed in only two semesters.

Prepare to Be a Superintendent in Minnesota

The Education Administration - Superintendency Graduate Certificate program is designed for students who already hold a master's degree and, in most cases, have completed licensure preparation as a Principal or Director of Special Education. Minnesota State requirements for school Superintendents inform the program curriculum. The Superintendency preparation includes a blended seminar course that meets in-person just four full days within the summer semester. The seminar course includes case studies, readings, and discussion. You will study the rewards and challenges of the superintendency and interact with panels of current superintendents to gain perspective into the skills necessary to lead today's districts. Those who have already earned administrative licensure as a Principal or Director of SPED through Saint Mary's University will complete the Superintendency course and internship to earn the Graduate Certificate. Students who have not completed an administrative licensure program prior to starting superintendent licensure are required to complete the core competency courses in addition to the Superintendency requirements (for a total of 29 credits). If you have completed your administrative licensure at a higher education institution outside of Saint Mary's and are seeking to add a Superintendent license a minimum of 6 credits will be taken, as a non-degree candidate (additional coursework may also be required). As a part of this program, all candidates 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?

Educational Background - a Minnesota principal or director license is preferred. If the applicant does not have a principal or director license from Minnesota, then a Personal Learning Plan needs to be designed by the program director.

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
Ed.S. 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 AND Superintendent

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

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.
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Key Dates

Apply By
Start Date
Summer 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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