Master’s in Educational Administration

Master’s in Educational Administration

Overview

Earn your master’s in educational administration fully online in the state of California or in-person at PLNU’s Bakersfield Regional Center. Our program is designed to ensure you receive your preliminary administrative services credential by the time you graduate and fully equips you to become a more effective administrator.

You don’t work in education because it’s easy — you do it because it matters. You want to make a difference in people’s lives. That’s what we want, too.

Everyone you encounter here will share that goal with you, from your admissions counselor to your professors. Rest assured, PLNU’s School of Education will take a personal interest in you and care about your concerns, experience, beliefs, and goals.

At PLNU, we’re here for the same reasons as you: We truly believe in the power of education, and we care deeply about individuals — including you.

Lasting Network of Support

PLNU’s Education Associates alumni network keeps you connected long after graduation. Faculty have a reputation for staying in touch and continuing to mentor students. Career counseling and additional professional development opportunities are always available to you.

Relevant Topics to Meet Real Needs

District partnerships ensure PLNU’s curriculum addresses current needs and topics facing educators. 

In each of the six one-unit fieldwork courses, you ‘ll be assigned a university supervisor to mentor and support the your fieldwork experiences. Along with a site mentor from your workplace, the supervisor helps you plan and execute required and discretionary fieldwork activities and leads reflective conversation at the conclusion of each eight-week experience. Each PLNU supervisor is a recently retired, longtime school administrator who’s well-skilled in supporting our preliminary candidates.

In addition to offering accredited programs grounded in research, PLNU equips you to integrate your beliefs, values, and goals with your teaching practice.

Customizable and Convenient

PLNU’s online program is offered throughout the state of California to allow our students the flexibility to create their own schedule. We understand your scholastic goals are unique to you and your lifestyle, and we’re here to support you through each step of the way. When you choose to enroll in our online master’s in educational administration, you:

  • Enroll in non-sequenced coursework which allows you to start at any time. 
  • Can finish the program in as little as 16 months. 
  • Simultaneously earn your PASC. 

Those seeking an in-person experience at our Southern California campuses will:

  • Enroll in coursework that challenges you to be an effective administrator.
  • Begin classes based on our selected start dates. 
  • Meet with your cohorts and professors face to face once a week.
  • Simultaneously earn your PASC.
Jill Hamilton Bunch

Spotlight

Jill Hamilton-Bunch, Ph.D.

Dr. Jill Hamilton-Bunch graduated from PLNU in 1990 with the desire to become a teacher. Since then, she’s helped countless others pursue their calling as educators — plus much more.

Read More

The best leaders have a deep understanding of history and tradition but are also forward thinking. They seek to impact tomorrow by transforming lives and institutions today.

In PLNU’s educational administration program, you’ll gain the skills and mindset to become the kind of visionary leader needed today. Rooted in a solid awareness of historical practices and theories, our program will help you analyze (and even create!) the newest developments in the field. 

Whether you’re currently working at a school site or aspire to be in school administration, we’ll help further your ability to handle the demands of the diverse and rapidly-changing school environment. Let us help you become the leader you’re meant to be.

Degree and credential offerings:

PLNU’s master’s in educational administration offers two tracks to choose from:

  1. Masters of Arts (M.A.) in Educational Administration 
  2. Masters of Science (M.S.) in Educational Administration

M.A. vs M.S. Comparison

 Masters of Arts (M.A.)Masters of Science (M.S).

Who it's for

The Master of Arts degree designates a terminal ending of the candidate’s scholarship; the degree is designed with a final action research project that integrates the candidate’s learning in the program with a field-based project that draws conclusions that are practical, relevant, and are reflective questions of the candidate’s teaching or leadership experience

The Master of Science degree prepares a candidate for future scholarship in an area of interest. The candidate completes a five-chapter thesis that includes a relevant literature review, applies research methodology, and critically analyzes data to inform practice and theory. This degree provides a direct pathway into the proposed PLNU Ed.D. doctoral program

Program start

Spring, Summer, FallSpring, Summer, Fall

Program Structure

Online and In-PersonOnline and In-Person
Length16 - 20 months20 - 24 months

Schedule

Online - Asynchronous

In-Person - Classes one night per week

Online - Asynchronous

In-Person - Classes one night per week

Accreditation

WSCUC

*approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and meets the requirements for educator certification in the state of California

WSCUC

*approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and meets the requirements for educator certification in the state of California

Program Highlights Receive your M.A. online in the state of California, have a flexible schedule, work closely with your local district partnerships, add customizable added authorizations, and develop knowledge and skills that align with professional standards

Receive your M.S. online in the state of California, have a flexible schedule, work closely with your local district partnerships, add customizable added authorizations, and develop knowledge and skills that align with professional standards

Scholarships

Available?

YesYes

International Student 

Eligible?

YesYes

 

Both tracks include the PASC credential. Which track you choose depends on your career trajectory. The M.A. includes a research project and has a shorter completion time. In the M.S. track, you’ll complete a thesis which prepares you for entry into a doctorate-level program.   Both options require 36 units to complete.

When you and your classmates complete PLNU's M.A. in Education with a concentration in educational administration, you’ll be prepared to:

Equip

  • Promote the success of all students by understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.

Transform

  • Promote the success of all students by modeling a personal code of ethics and developing professional leadership capacity.

Empower

  • Promote the success of all students by collaborating with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.

  • The CPSEL* are embedded in each of the six courses. The six units of fieldwork are the application of the six CPSEL.

*According to the California Teaching Commission (CTC): "The California Professional Standards for Education Leaders (CPSEL) identify what an administrator must know and be able to do to move into sustainable, effective practice. They are a set of broad policy standards that are the foundation for administrator preparation, induction, development, professional learning, and evaluation in California. Taken together, the CPSEL describes critical areas of leadership for administrators and offers a structure for developing and supporting education leaders throughout their careers."

Professional Licensure or Certification

This program is approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and meets the requirements for educator certification in the state of California, where Point Loma Nazarene University is physically located. PLNU cannot confirm whether or not specific programs meet out-of-state requirements for professional licensure or certification. Information about out-of-state requirements in teacher credentialing is available on this website.

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Application Information

Are you ready to take the next step and apply?

We're here to make the entire process a simple one. We'll walk you through the application process, answer your questions, and get you one step closer to earning your degree.

Program Start Date(s):

  • Fall 2022 Quad II - October 24, 2022
  • Spring 2023 Quad I - January 9, 2023
  • Spring 2023 Quad II - March 13, 2023
  • Summer 2023 Quad I - May 8, 2023
  • Summer 2023 Quad II - July 3, 2023
  • Fall 2023 Quad I - August 28, 2023
  • Fall 2023 Quad II - October 23, 2023

Application Deadline(s):

  • Fall 2022 Quad II - October 10, 2022

  • Spring 2023 Quad I - December 19, 2022

  • Spring 2023 Quad II - February 22, 2023

  • Summer 2023 Quad I - April 19, 2023

  • Summer 2023 Quad II - June 14, 2023

  • Fall 2023 Quad I - August 9, 2023

  • Fall 2023 Quad II - October 4, 2023

Note: Not all programs offer entry for new students each quad. Check with your enrollment counselor for programs and start dates.

Start Application

The Selection Process

The educational context at PLNU will challenge you to live a full life that integrates the pursuit of knowledge with beliefs, values, and actions. While honoring diverse perspectives and beliefs, Christian values and principles are woven into the educational experience. We understand your application is not only a reflection of you as a student; it reflects you as a person. At PLNU, we holistically evaluate your academic history, work and life experience, background, and circumstances to determine admission into a graduate program. Your undergraduate GPA is an important piece of your application, but if you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement of a 3.0, you may still be eligible for admission based on your application package as well as the exceptions policy per your particular program.* Therefore, we strongly encourage you to contact your enrollment counselor, who will advise you regarding your qualifications and provide specific information about the admission under exceptions process.

To be admitted into PLNU's Master of Arts in Education program, you must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, as evidenced by an official transcript.

Admissions Interview: You may be eligible for an interview waiver. Eligibility can be discussed in more depth with a PLNU admissions counselor once you've started your application. 

If you have any questions about your qualifications or the program in general, we encourage you to contact your enrollment counselor.

Application Checklist

Note: The application is completed entirely online with the exception of transcripts (which can be submitted electronically or directly to PLNU) and test scores, which should be submitted electronically.

  1. Submit an online application for admissions (including $50 non-refundable application fee, which is waived for PLNU alums, current or former military and their dependents, and PLNU employees).
  2. Submit official transcripts with proof of earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.* (If you are a PLNU alumnus, please notify your counselor to have your transcripts retrieved. You do not need to request transcripts from the PLNU Office of Records.)

    Official transcripts must be sent to:
    Point Loma Nazarene University
    Office of Graduate Admissions
    3900 Lomaland Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92106

    Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to:
    gradprocessing@pointloma.edu

    *Please note, official transcripts must be sent directly from the regionally accredited institution.
  3. Submit a personal essay, 2-3 pages in length and double spaced, that addresses the following topics:
    • Describe your professional career goals for the next five years.
    • Describe the variety of experiences that helped you determine these goals.
    • Explain what motivates you to work in California’s diverse schools.
    • Explain why you are applying to PLNU, a private Christian university.
  4. Provide two professional recommendations. You will be asked to register your recommenders by providing their names, titles, and email addresses.

Start Application

*Exceptions Policy: If you have below a 3.0 GPA in your baccalaureate degree, you will need to speak with your enrollment counselor for more information on the exceptions materials needed for your particular program.

Admissions Interview:  You may be eligible for an interview waiver.  Eligibility can be discussed in more depth with a PLNU Admissions counselor.

Career Opportunities

The Master of Arts in Education with an educational administration focus will prepare you to lead at the school site or district level or to continue leading at those levels with greater effectiveness.

Career opportunities include:

  • Principal or vice principal

  • District administrator

  • Instructional coordinator

  • Curriculum specialist

  • Program director

  • College or university provost or dean

  • College or university department chair

  • Admissions counselor

  • University registrar

Teaching Viewpoint Article

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Our School of Education is one of the top producers of education candidates not only within San Diego, but the state of California. Read more about the work being done at PLNU.

Financial Aid and Student Support

We take seriously the role of providing you with financial, academic, and career support so you have the tools you need to be successful at PLNU and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Financial Aid and Student Support

Frequently Asked Questions

What is required to be admitted into this program?

To be admitted into PLNU's masters of educational administration program, you must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, as evidenced by an official transcript. You must also have an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Additionally, you must submit a 2-3 page essay answering eight prompts. 

If you don’t meet the minimum GPA requirement, please contact your enrollment counselor regarding the exceptions process. 

See the application checklist to learn more about what's required to apply and be admitted into the program.

Can I work while completing the program?

Yes, candidates must hold a valid California teaching credential and have a minimum of three years of teaching experience before being admitted to the program. It’s recommended that students continue teaching while enrolled in this program.

What scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available to me?

You’ll have the option to apply for scholarships, grants, loans, and other special types of aid through PLNU’s Student Financial Services. Contact your enrollment counselor for more information.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The preliminary program takes 16 - 24 months depending on if you are enrolled in the M.A. program or the M.S. program. The length of time it takes you to complete the program also depends upon the quad start and how quickly you progress. Because the courses are not sequential, interested candidates can begin the program at the start of any quad.

How many days a week do classes meet?

In-person classes meet one night a week from 4:30 - 9 p.m. Online classes are asynchronous. You can complete the program based on your schedule.

PLNU is a Christian university, but I am not a Christian. Would I feel out of place in this program?

We welcome and encourage people of all backgrounds as students in our programs. Issues that relate to faith may be discussed in some classes, and engaging in discussion with individuals with alternative points of view will be encouraged as learning opportunities. Students will work within a learning community that is supportive academically, spiritually, and emotionally.

How do district partnerships work?

PLNU has agreements with districts throughout the San Diego and Bakersfield areas. PLNU will place you at a district to complete your fieldwork hours and clinical practice (student teaching hours).

Can I earn the PASC without completing the master’s?

Yes. You’ll complete a 24-unit program in as little as 12 months.

I am not yet working in education. Is this the right program for me?

The M.A. in Educational Administration is geared toward seasoned education professionals who instruct others as part of their work. For aspiring teachers like you, PLNU offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). The MAT is most likely to meet your needs if you have just completed your undergraduate degree or are transitioning to education from another field, but please contact your enrollment counselor if you’d like more personalized information.

When can I start this program?

Candidates may start this program only after they hold a valid California prerequisite credential in teaching, designated subjects, pupil personnel services, library services, speech-language pathology services, clinical or rehabilitative services, or school nurse services. Eligible candidates may begin the program at the beginning of any one of PLNU’s six seasonal quads.

Are there other requirements to earn the preliminary credential?

Yes, the university can only recommend a candidate to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for the preliminary credential after all PLNU coursework is completed AND after the candidate has completed five years of full-time service at a California public, private, or non-public school while holding a valid prerequisite credential.

How many units are required?

To earn just the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential, candidates must complete 18 units of credential coursework and six units of administrative fieldwork. The total for the entire credential program, therefore, is 24 graduate units. The entire program is designed to be completed within 12 months. Students can also choose to simultaneously work toward a master’s in educational administration.

In addition to the 24 units of credential coursework, the candidate will need to earn 12 additional units in specific PLNU coursework, including a master’s research design project. These additional “finishing courses” can be taken concurrently with the credential coursework so that the entire program can still be completed in 12 months or can be taken following the credential program and extending the period of study. The total amount of units for the master's and credential is 36 units.

What is the difference between coursework and fieldwork?

Students will be enrolled in coursework over six consecutive quads. Each course focuses on a specific strand of leadership skills specified in the California Administrator Performance Expectations (CAPEs) established by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). These six courses of three units each comprise the bulk of the credential program and are taught by PLNU professors who are either practicing administrators currently serving or recently retired administrators who are still current in the trends and requirements of successful school administration. 

While students are enrolled in their coursework, they’re simultaneously enrolled in fieldwork that supports the concepts and instruction within their credential coursework. In each of the six one-unit fieldwork courses, the candidate will be assigned a university supervisor to mentor and support the candidate’s fieldwork experiences. Along with a site mentor from the candidate’s workplace, the supervisor helps the candidate plan and execute required and discretionary fieldwork activities, and leads reflective conversation at the conclusion of each eight-week experience. Each PLNU supervisor is a recently retired, longtime school administrator who’s well-skilled in supporting our preliminary candidates.

How long do I have to complete the program?

Although it’s rare for a candidate not to complete the program in 12 months, PLNU will allow candidates seven years to complete the coursework — until such time that the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) changes course and fieldwork requirements.

Course List

For information about the courses required for the Master’s in Educational Administration program, view the PLNU Catalog. 

Course Information

Department Faculty

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