The online Master of School Administration at App State

The road towards principalship starts with Appalachian State University’s Master of School Administration.

This 36 semester-hour App State Online program focuses on entry-level, site-based school leadership. After completion of this program, you will be eligible for principal licensure and prepared for careers such as school principal, assistant principal or other director positions.

Through this program, you will gain insight into your new role as you examine the leadership skills needed to evaluate the systems and processes for continuous school improvement.

Learn more about the principal's role in articulating, developing and implementing a school vision that aligns with and supports district priorities.

More information on School Administration


Degree details

Program information

  • This program blends synchronous (set meeting times in an online classroom) and asynchronous (with coursework completed on your schedule) courses
  • Internship practica: Students typically arrange the internships at the school where they work, tying hands-on administrative projects to the course goals and objectives.
  • Click for course information.
  • Completion time: six semesters

(Not every course listed may be delivered to App State Online students, but you will be offered all courses required for the degree.)

No significant travel is required at any time. However, new students are encouraged to attend an optional in-person orientation prior to their first class. Orientation invitations will be sent via email to new admits.

Eligibility and application requirements


Applicants must:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Have at least three years of public school teaching experience or equivalent experience in other settings (e.g., private school teaching; training in the private sector; etc.)
  • Hold a North Carolina "A" or "M" licensure or the equivalent from another state
  • Meet Graduate School admission criteria


GRE waivers are available if the applicant has an undergraduate GPA of 3.1 or better OR 3.0 Cumulative GPA with five or more years of professional experience in K-12 education.

No exam waiver is automatic but will require review and approval by the Graduate School upon submission of a complete application. An approved waiver request does not guarantee acceptance into the program. A denied waiver request does not mean that a candidate is denied admission to the program, only that a standardized exam score is needed to more fully evaluate the application. Standardized test scores may be required for scholarship consideration.

Applicants who do not meet the criteria listed above will be required to take the official general GRE exam in accordance with Graduate School policy.

Application requirements:

  • Completed online application to graduate school
  • Resume
  • Unofficial transcripts (or evaluated transcripts for degrees and coursework earned outside of the United States) should be uploaded showing any completed degrees and coursework.
    Note: Official transcripts will be required prior to enrolling.
  • Three references (one of which must be from a current principal or direct supervisor)
  • Application fee
  • Personal statement

Professional Licensure

Appalachian State programs that lead to a professional licensure or certificate are intended to prepare students for licensure or certification in North Carolina. Check the Professional Licensure webpage for information on licensure requirements in other states.

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