2023 Best Online Education Administration Certificates [Graduate]

Ready to start your journey?
Explore the best online education administration certificate graduate programs. Advance your career and expertise in leadership in the field of education.

If you are an experienced educator with a passion for leadership, earning an education administration certificate could be a strategic step in your career.

Best Online Education Administration Certificates

Individuals with an educational administration certificate are often experts at cultivating community, creating significant changes based on data, and communicating with diverse groups of people. They are also responsible for bringing a school’s vision to life and ensuring that day-to-day operations run well.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

Organized and communicative individuals often utilize education administration certificate programs to pursue career advancement and certification in the field.

Online Education Administration Certificate Programs

Man getting Online Education Administration Certificate

Education administrators are often responsible for ensuring that the operations of a school are running smoothly. They manage budgets and events, resolve conflicts, and oversee all administrative procedures.

In addition to these responsibilities, administrators are also tasked with enforcing school safety procedures and routines, managing staff members, and preserving academic records. An online education administration graduate certificate program can help prepare you for a professional career in administration. Most programs are intended for working professionals with a significant amount of experience in the field of education.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

Depending on your education and career goals, you can select an administration certificate program that aligns with your needs. You can also choose a program that helps prepare you for professional certification.

Types of education leadership certifications include:

  • Principal certification
  • Educational administration certification
  • Special education administration certification

Curriculum for an education leadership certificate can vary depending on the program. Course topics may include:

  • School finance
  • Community engagement
  • School law and policy
  • Human resources management
  • Leadership for school culture
  • Culturally sustaining practices
  • Foundations of K-12 leadership
  • Supervision of curriculum and instruction

Many certificate programs also require you to complete an administration internship, where you will be able to gain hands-on experience under the supervision of an experienced mentor. Because most individuals who earn their school administration certificate online are already working within the field, many go on to become leaders in their schools and communities.

While you can certainly apply some of the skills and knowledge gained throughout an administration certificate program to industries outside of education, most graduates pursue positions as:

  • Elementary, middle, or high school principals
  • Postsecondary education administrators

Leadership roles within education often provide the opportunity for you to be an influential piece of creating and maintaining inclusive school communities and environments.

Principals and administrators can make an impact on the lives of students, especially those who need the most support. They can also improve a staff’s working environment by building strong and trusting relationships, delivering thoughtful feedback, and advocating for basic needs.

Education Administration Careers & Salaries

Education Administration Careers & Salaries

Working professionals who earn an education administration graduate certificate typically go on to work in leadership positions within education.

The communication, directorial, and organizational skills learned over the course of a certificate program can prove useful in a number of industries outside of education as well. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, here are some professional roles that are associated with education administration or related fields.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Training and Development Managers $120,130
Administrative Services Managers $100,170
Top Executives $98,980
K-12 Principals — Public Schools $98,870
Postsecondary Education Administrators — Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $98,180
Postsecondary Education Administrators — Junior Colleges $94,120
K-12 Principals — Private Schools $79,780
Social and Community Service Managers $74,000
Instructional Coordinators $63,740
Preschool and Childcare Center Directors $47,310

Because many education administrators are former teachers, most are also qualified for classroom teaching. Some individuals may even choose to return to the classroom at some point in their career. While obtaining an education administration graduate certificate can help you in your journey toward an administrative position, it does not promise a specific title or salary.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

Geographic location, previous experience, educational achievements, and demonstrated moments of leadership can all impact the positions you are qualified for.

Education Administration Graduate Certificate Curriculum & Courses

Students taking Education Administration Graduate Certificate

Education administration graduate certificate curriculum will vary between schools, but here are some examples of courses you may come across:

  • School Finance: This course help prepare you for handling school money, covering topics such as budgeting and auditing.
  • Community Engagement: In this course, you’ll explore methods of connecting with community and forming successful partnerships that enhance educational experiences.
  • School Law and Policy: Examining legal issues that may occur in education, this course covers areas such as educational law and the juvenile justice system.
  • Human Resources Management: This course covers human resources policies and practices, including topics like compensation, performance reviews, and recruitment.
  • Leadership for School Culture: Aimed at teaching students the skills necessary to influence and build school culture, this course explores topics such as leading diverse groups of people and developing a mission statement.
  • Culturally Sustaining Practices: In this course, you’ll learn how to incorporate culturally sustaining practices to help students and staff embrace and celebrate diversity.
  • Foundations of K-12 Leadership: This course examines necessary leadership skills specific to the world of K-12 education.
  • Supervision of Curriculum and Instruction: This course provides foundational knowledge and practices to increase and improve schoolwide student engagement and learning.
  • Technology for School Leaders: This course introduces the current technology used by school administrators to organize and store important data.
  • Administrative Internship: An opportunity to gain hands-on administrative experience under the supervision of an experienced staff member, this course provides a space to ask questions and engage in reflection.

You may also have additional opportunities for internship experiences, which could help you develop your leadership skills.

Admissions Requirements

Student preparing requirements for Education Administration Graduate Certificate

The admissions requirements for a certificate program may differ slightly than those for an undergraduate or graduate degree program.

As part of your application, you may be expected to submit:

  • GRE or GMAT scores (only if required)
  • Official transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV

Educational administration certificate programs are generally intended for working professionals with a significant amount of experience in the field. So, it’s often necessary to include an up-to-date resume.

Educational Administration Certificate Programs Accreditation

University offering Education Administration Graduate Certificate

Earning a certificate program from a school that has been regionally accredited could change your educational experience.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

When a program or school is accredited, this means that it has passed a series of quality checks. The programs, educational materials, curricula, and staff are all measured against a set of national guidelines to ensure excellence. As you look for leadership positions after you earn your administration certificate, employers may check to see that you have obtained your certificate from an accredited institution.   

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Education Administration Graduate Certificate Financial Aid

If you’re looking for assistance in paying for your certificate program, you could explore your financial aid and scholarship options. In order to determine how much federal financial aid you can receive, you can complete the FAFSA. This form is free to fill out and can help you gain a realistic understanding of the types of need-based support available to you.

Many college students also choose to apply for a variety of scholarship opportunities through their school or outside organizations. There are scholarships for specific achievements or skills, such as sports or academics, as well as more general ones.

What Is a Postgraduate Certificate in Education Administration?

A postgraduate certificate in education administration is a non-degree academic program that teaches leadership skills to individuals who hold a graduate degree, typically in the field of education.

If you have a master’s degree in education and several years of experience working in a school setting, earning an education administration certificate could be an beneficial next step. Not only can you gain leadership and managerial tools, but you can also learn how to communicate effectively, supervise staff, and address legal issues in education.

After earning a postgraduate certificate in education administration, most individuals go on to become principals or administrators at the K-12 grade levels. There are also graduate certificate programs for educational professionals who hold a bachelors in the field.

What Can You Do with a Graduate Certificate in Education Administration?

Administrative Services Managers working in school office

A graduate certificate in education administration can lead to a number of leadership opportunities within education.

After earning an administration certificate, many individuals go on to become elementary, middle, and high school principals. They use their knowledge to implement community building in school environments and to encourage effective learning and learning resources. Other graduates go on to work in administration roles in community colleges or universities.

In addition, some people choose to accept management positions outside of education, working in roles such as medical and health services or administrative services managers.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Post-Master’s Certificate in Education Administration Online?

The length of time it takes to complete a post-graduate certificate in education administration varies between programs. Many post-graduate certificate programs can be completed in as little as 1 year. Some may take longer, though, depending on the number of credits required.

Should you choose to attend school part-time, it may take longer to earn your certificate. Because these programs are intended for working professionals, just as with online education degree programs, many online certificate programs offer flexible schedules for their students.

What’s the Difference Between an Education Administration Certification vs. Certificate?

Certification describes a title you can earn, while a certificate is a program you can attend.

Education Administration Certificate Education Administration Certification
  • Is an academic non-degree program
  • Consists of graduate-level courses
  • May help you work toward professional certification
  • May count toward a graduate degree
  • Is a credential, not a program
  • Typically involves passing an exam or completing a program
  • Demonstrates professional proficiency

Most certifications are issued by an organization and require you to pass an exam. Some certificate programs are designed to help you prepare for a specific certification.  

Is an Educational Administration Certificate Worth It?

Man completing Education Administration Certificates online

Yes, an educational administration certificate is worth it for many students. Many individuals who complete an education administration graduate certificate go on to become school principals.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, elementary, middle, and high school principals are expected to see 8% job growth over the next ten years. Employment for postsecondary education administrators is expected to grow at the same rate.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

Additionally, many administrative leaders are able to make a positive impact on their community. Administrators and managers are responsible for making staff and students feel comfortable and safe. This type of role can bring about a sense of achievement and fulfillment for many professionals.

Universities Offering Online Graduate Certificate in Education Administration Program

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg State University campus

Fitchburg State University offers a Graduate Certificate in Education Administration that can be earned 100% online. The program requires three courses: Marketing and Recruiting for Education Programs, Policy Issues in the Administration of Online Programs, and Quality Assurance in Online Learning. Each course is worth 3 credits. Prospective students can apply on a rolling basis.

Fitchburg State University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University campus

Johns Hopkins University offers a Graduate Certificate in School Administration and Supervision. Classes may be taken part-time online or on campus in Baltimore. The curriculum emphasizes scientific research and evidence-based practice. The program can be started in the spring, summer, or fall, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Johns Hopkins University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University campus

Kennesaw State University’s Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration requires 15 credit hours beyond a master’s degree. Courses include Foundations of Higher Education, Organizational Management in Higher Education, Legal Issues and Ethics for Higher Education Administrators, and more.

Kennesaw State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Liberty University

Liberty University campus

Liberty University offers a Graduate Certificate in School Administration and Supervision that can be earned 100% online. Each class is 8 weeks long, and students can usually finish within a year and a half. The program requires the completion of 21 credit hours of courses such as Practicum I: School Administration, Supervision of Instruction, and School-Community Relations.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Saint Mary’s University

Saint Mary's University campus

Saint Mary’s University offers a Graduate Certificate in Educational Administration: K-12 Principal. The certificate can be earned online, typically in less than 2 years. The program does require students to come to campus for a 5 day summer residency and complete a field experience internship. Students must also create electronic portfolios of their experiences.

Saint Mary’s University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

St. Cloud State University

Saint Cloud State University campus

St. Cloud State University offers a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration. Courses are 100% online, and each one is 8 or 16 weeks long. The program requires the completion of 15 credit hours, and students can usually finish in less than a year. Prospective students can apply to begin in the fall, spring, or summer.

St. Cloud State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Strayer University

Strayer University campus1

Strayer University offers a program for a Graduate Certificate in Educational Administration. It requires three 11 week courses: Finance and Funding in Education, Strategic Planning and Leadership in Education, and Public Policies and Political Influences in Education. All coursework can be completed online. Strayer’s online courses do include live discussions.

Strayer University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Alabama – Birmingham

University of Alabama Birmingham campus

The University of Alabama—Birmingham offers a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration. The program is mostly online but does require a few on-campus meetings. The program requires the completion of three required courses and two electives. The required courses are Administration of Higher Education, History of Higher Education, and Access and Equity in Higher Education.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Missouri – Columbia

University of Missouri – Columbia campus

The University of Missouri—Columbia offers a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration. The program is 100% online and requires 12 credit hours of coursework. Students usually take one or two classes each semester for a year. The program offers access to internship opportunities as well.

The University of Missouri – Columbia is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of New Hampshire

University of New Hampshire campus

The University of New Hampshire offers a Graduate Certificate in Special Education Administration. To earn the certificate, students must complete a minimum of 16 credits. Course possibilities include Introduction to Disability for Inclusive Schools and Communities, Educational Finance and Business Management, Human Resources in Education, and more.

The University of New Hampshire is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Getting Your Education Administration Certificate Online

Woman pursuing Education Administration Graduate Certificates online

Earning an education administration graduate certificate online is a beneficial opportunity for those who have a professional background in education and are eager to step into a leadership role.

Throughout your online certificate programs education, you can learn the tools needed to be a strategic and empathetic leader while also learning how to effectively run an organization. You might even be able to take your managerial skills outside of the realm of education and into alternative industries, such as health care or social work.

Also, at some universities, credits earned in a post-masters certificate in education administration may carry over into PhD in Educational Administration online or on-campus programs.

You can start comparing online graduate certificate programs in education administration from accredited schools to find the one that best aligns with your professional interests and goals.

Ready to start your journey?
Molly holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of San Francisco and a B.A in Literature from the University of California - Santa Cruz. A Seattle-based educator, she focuses on student-centered instruction and creating culturally responsive curriculum.