The online Master of School Administration at Appalachian

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.

App State Online: Keep your life… Change your future.

More information on School Administration


  • Assistant Principal
  • Principal
  • Department administrator

Professional Licensure

This is a program that leads to licensure or certification.  Appalachian State University cannot confirm whether this program will meet the requirements for professional licensure in other states or territories.

If this applies to you, check the U.S. Department of Education for information on licensure requirements and licensing agencies in other states. Or, you may address questions to State Authorization at Appalachian at or 828-262-7559.

Degree details

Program information

Coursework will be delivered online in three formats:

  • Synchronous: One evening per week per class, students join their classmates and instructor for a three-hour class in real-time in the 3-D virtual classroom.

  • Asynchronous: Coursework may be completed on the student's own schedule, except for individualized online meetings with the instructor.

  • 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

(Note: Not all courses listed may be delivered to App State Online students. Refer curriculum questions to the program contact.)

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
  • Have GRE or MAT scores no older than five years (Click for entrance exam waiver eligibility)
  • Meet Graduate School admission criteria

Application requirements:

  • Completed online application to graduate school
  • Resume
  • Official (sealed or electronic) transcript from each college or university attended (other than Appalachian)
  • Three references (one of which must be from a current principal or direct supervisor)
  • Application fee
  • Personal statement

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Out of State Licensure

Appalachian cannot confirm whether this professional licensure program will meet the requirements for professional licensure outside North Carolina; therefore, prior to enrollment, if you intend to practice in another state, you must determine if this program meets requirements for licensure in your state by contacting your appropriate licensing agencies.