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 Distance Education program focuses on entry-level, site-based school leadership and leads to the initial licensure for school administration in North Carolina.

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.

Distance Education at Appalachian: Keep your life… Change your future.

More information on School Administration


  • Assistant Principal
  • Principal
  • Department administrator

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.

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

Application requirements:

  • Completed online application to graduate school
  • Resume
  • Official (sealed) 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
  • Writing sample
  • GRE or MAT scores no older than five years
  • MSA Questionnaire


Semester Start Application Deadline


July 1

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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.