Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Leadership

The MA in Educational Administration and Leadership is designed to prepare well-rounded, competent, and social justice-oriented education leaders, site administrators, and K-12 school principals. The focus of the program is on building leadership and administrative competencies to ensure that graduates understand and challenge all of the “isms” that are endemic and ingrained in the fibers of our society. The program prepares graduates to address and abolish marginalization and the predictive power of demographics in schools, and to promote places of learning that are inclusive of all learners, especially of those who are underrepresented. Aspiring inclusive social justice educational leaders and administrators in this program are supported in developing the dispositions, knowledge, and skills which are essential for transformative leadership and culturally-relevant schooling.

The MA program is available to full-and part-time graduate students through all-day weekend classes complemented by asynchronous online engagements. Courses are laid out in a clear cohort model sequence that is somewhat flexible.

Most MA students are simultaneously enrolled in the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential Program. For information on admission to the Administrative Services Credential Program, please see the ELSIT website:

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. DEVELOPMENT & IMPLEMENTATION OF A SHARED VISION: Education leaders facilitate the development and implementation of a shared vision of learning and growth of all students.
  2. INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP: Education leaders shape a collaborative culture of teaching and learning informed by professional standards and focused on student and professional growth.
  3. MANAGEMENT AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT Education leaders manage the organization to cultivate a safe and productive learning and working environment.
  4. FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Education leaders collaborate with families and other stakeholders to address diverse student and community interests and mobilize community resources.
  5. ETHICS AND INTEGRITY: Education leaders make decisions, model, and behave in ways that demonstrate professionalism, ethics, integrity, justice, and equity and hold staff to the same standard.
  6. EXTERNAL CONTEXT AND POLICY: Education leaders influence political, social, economic, legal, and cultural contexts affecting education to improve education policies and practices.

Admission to MA Program

MA-Only Admissions

Applicants seeking admission to the MA degree program only (without the Preliminary Service Credential) must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Additional entrance requirements include:

  • A minimum 3.0 GPA in the undergraduate degree or last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted, including credential courses.
  • Evidence of written English proficiency.

MA & Administrative Services Credential Admissions

Applicants seeking admission to the combined MA degree + Preliminary Administrative Services Credential program must meet the following additional requirements:

  1. Possess one of the following valid credentials:
    1. a clear or life California teaching credential that requires a baccalaureate degree and a program of professional preparation, including student teaching or the equivalent, and holds an English learner authorization; or
    2. a clear or life California designated subjects teaching credential in adult education, career technical education, vocational education or special subjects, provided the applicant also possesses a baccalaureate degree, and holds an English learner authorization; or
    3. a clear or life California services credential in pupil personnel services, health services for school nurse, teacher librarian services, or speech-language pathology or clinical or rehabilitative services requiring a baccalaureate degree and a program of professional preparation, including field work or the equivalent.
  2. Basic Skills Requirement (CL-667). ( Successful passage of one of the following:
    1. Pass the CBEST
    2. Pass the CSET: Multiple Subjects Plus Writing Skills Examination
    3. Pass the CSU Early Assessment Program or the CSU Placement Examinations
    4. Achieve Qualifying Score on the SAT or ACT
    5. College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations
    6. Pass a Basic Skills Examination from Another State
    7. Meet the Basic Skills Requirement by Coursework
    8. Meet the Basic Skills Requirement by Coursework and Exam
  3. A minimum of five years of successful full-time work experience teaching or pupil personnel or health services, or library services experience (or a combination—please consult item #2 above for a complete list) in public schools or private schools of equal status upon completion of the program. Please note that school substitute service and/or community college experience is not acceptable.
  4. A successful completion of (a) SFSU’s Tier I Administrative Services Credential Program, and (b) CalAPA Cycles 1 through 3.

Upon completion of the Preliminary Administrative Services credential requirements, the candidate will receive a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (Tier I) or a Certificate of Eligibility if an administrator position is not yet secured. The certificate of eligibility authorizes one to seek initial employment as an administrator but does not authorize actual administrative service until an administrative position is secured.

Application Procedure

New students apply to the university through Cal State Apply:

Upload the following documents:

  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you attended.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Curriculum vita/resume.
  • Written Statement of Purpose. The Statement of Purpose should be an approximately 750-word document that describes the student’s reasons for wanting to pursue this MA Degree. Both content and writing skill will be evaluated as part of the admissions decision and will determine whether you have met Level One Written Language Proficiency at admission.

A faculty committee regularly reviews applications for admission. Educational Administration and Leadership program candidates are admitted in the Spring semester only. Spring admission to the program allows candidates to finish the program in the fall and enter the university-job pipeline in time for PK-12 early Winter-Spring job announcements.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One

Written English proficiency will be assessed based on the Statement of Purpose, submitted as part of the application.

Students admitted conditionally or not meeting the written English proficiency standards must demonstrate that they have met the Level One Written English proficiency requirement by completing the final assignment in EDAD 713 with a grade of B or higher.

Level Two

Written English proficiency will be assessed in the Culminating Experience—EDAD 892.

Educational Administration and Leadership (M.A.) — 33 units

EDAD 713Administrative Processes3
EDAD 714Practicum: Site Administration3
EDAD 723School Administration3
EDAD 733Curricular Leadership for Multicultural Education3
EDAD 743Educational Planning, Technology, and Evaluation3
EDAD 753Human Resource Administration in Education3
EDAD 763Law and Education3
EDAD 774Change Processes and Education3
EDAD 784Special Education Administration3
ISED 797Seminar in Educational Research3

Culminating Experience

EDAD 892Educational Administration Supervised Field Internship Project3