School Administration (MSA)

Now accepting applications for Fall 2017.  Apply TODAY!

Program Description:

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The Master of School Administration degree prepares candidates for the public school principalship at all grade levels.

The focus of this 36 semester-hour degree program is upon entry-level, site-based school leadership and leads to the initial licensure for school administration in North Carolina. It is designed to prepare entry level leaders in the governance and administration of the public schools. The focus is essentially directed toward site-based administration.

For a comprehensive overview of this program, please:

Career Options:

The MSA program prepares individuals for a school principalship at all levels of public school and leads to initial licensure as a school administrator in North Carolina.

Course List:

The complete course list is in the Graduate Bulletin. (36 total hours.) Please search for the "433A" major code to distinguish this program from others with a similar name.

Method of Delivery

Coursework will be delivered online in three formats:

  • Synchronous:  One evening per week per class, students join their classmates and instructor for a 3-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.

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.)

Application Deadlines:

Semester StartApplication DeadlineInfo Session / Webinar
SpringNovember 1  TBA.  Sign up for more info.
FallJuly 1


Applicants to the MSA program must have:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • A North Carolina "A" or "M" license or its equivalent from another state.
  • At least 3 years of public school teaching experience or equivalent experience in other settings (e.g., private school teaching; training in the private sector; etc.).

Application Requirements:

  • Completed online application to graduate school
  • Application Fee
  • Official (sealed) transcript from each college or university attended
  • Resume
  • Three references
  • Test scores (see information below)

Test Information:

For this program a test score (no older than 5 years) from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is equally accepted. Minimum score requirements for admission to the program may be found here


Click here to access Graduate School application information, requirements, and the online application for admission.

Applications must be complete (online application submitted, the fee paid, and all required supporting documents received by the Graduate School) and ready for review by the applicable deadline (See Proposed Cohorts table above). If it appears to be too late to apply, please contact the Office of Distance Education to discuss options.

State regulations may require all institutions of higher education (including Appalachian State) that deliver online instruction to students located within their borders to have written authorization to do so. If you reside outside of North Carolina and intend to apply to one of Appalachian’s ONLINE distance education programs, please notify the Program Manager.

Appalachian State University reserves the right to cancel the start of any Distance Education program due to the lack of sufficient, sustainable enrollment (typically 15 for Graduate programs and 18 for Undergraduate programs).  In the event of a cancellation for insufficient enrollment, application fees will be refunded.  Refunds will also be issued for any tuition and fees paid by applicants.  These refund policies apply ONLY to canceled programs.   When program starts are delayed, students may opt for a refund or apply their application to the new semester.  If you have any questions concerning this policy, contact the Distance Education Office (see contact info below).

For information or questions related to the application process, please contact

The Office of Distance Education
Toll-Free Phone: 800-355-4084
Direct Phone: 828-262-3113
Fax: 828-265-8673

Program Director
Dr. Barbara Howard

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Major Code: 
Master's Degree Programs