Administrative Program for Principals

Administrative Program for Principals Online Master of Education (M.Ed.)

About Administrative Program for Principals

Amplify your impact in K-12 education and advance your career.

 Become a leader in education with a master's degree in education and K-12 school principal certification from PennWest California.

PennWest California's education programs have been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing accreditation with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This graduate program is also nationally recognized by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC).

Our 100% online courses allow you to continue to work full time while earning your degree. You’ll apply what you learn in real-world settings through fieldwork and 360 hours of internship experiences, which typically take place at the school where you already teach.

Discover our unique, learner-focused approach to education.

  • Unlike traditional, course-oriented programs, our M.Ed. is practice-centered, incorporating school/University partnerships, fieldwork and internships.
  • This master's degree is a state-approved program that meets the education requirement for certification as a principal in Pennsylvania.
  • We use ongoing performance assessments rather than traditional testing to evaluate your ability to synthesize and apply program

PennWest California's teaching programs are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredits PennWest California. CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement. See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.


Program Highlights: Administrative Program for Principals

Essential Internships: In PennWest California's administrative program for principals you'll complete two school internships totaling a minimum of 360 hours. Internships typically take place on-site at the school where you already teach, and are supported by an on-site school principal and an assigned University supervisor.

Cohort Model: Build relationships with fellow students and benefit from networking opportunities. Our cohorts start in the spring and summer and stay together throughout all program courses, enabling a strong personal learning network that will continue to support you after graduation.

Learn more about applying.

Top 50 
PennWest California's administrative program for principals was ranked #34 in the nation for best online education management degree programs by
The national median salary for elementary, middle and high school principals is $90,410 per year. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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Degree Benefits

PennWest California's administrative program for principals offers exceptional benefits, including:

  • The flexibility of 100% online classes.
  • Field and internship experiences at your school site.
  • A fully accredited program that's also affordable.
  • Strong leadership skills and enhanced classroom instruction.
  • Hands-on experiences and exposure to decision-making processes of school principals.
  • Support from a personal adviser to achieve academic and career goals.
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Graduate Outcomes


PennWest California's online administrative program for principals gives you the opportunity to take on administrative leadership roles at the school level, whether as a principal, vice principal or supervisor of a content area. Our alumni are highly successful in getting jobs in school administration and have been hired as assistant principals and principals in K-12 schools across Pennsylvania and beyond.

Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs

This 30-credit master of education degree program starts in the spring or summer and meets the educational requirement for certification as a K-12 principal in Pennsylvania. Students who are seeking licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for more information.



Course Credits
ADP 621  Curriculum Leadership Using a Standards Aligned System 3
ADP 626  Instructional Leadership and Strategies for Inclusive Classrooms 3
ADP 631  School Law and Ethics 3
ADP 641  School Community Relations Seminar  3
ADP 647  Orientation and Assessment 3
ADP 661  Educational Leadership 3
ADP 664  Field Project/Leadership (M.Ed. students only) 3
ADP 670  Internship Part 1 3
ADP 670  Internship Part 2 – Final Requirement for Certification 3
ADP 673  Field Project/Research and Evaluation (M.Ed. students only) 3
Total 30


Admission Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements

  • Masters plus Certification: Regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.00 or higher (Students with a GPA below 3.00 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Certification Only: Regionally accredited master's degree with a GPA of 3.00 or higher in education field (Students with a GPA below 3.00 may apply for conditional admission
  • Official transcripts from an accredited institution
  • Copy of all teaching /instructional certifications
    • Must initially hold certification as a teacher, guidance counselor, or some other instructional-related professional position.  Refer to the Pennsylvania Department of Education website for guidelines/details.
  • A letter of endorsement from applicant's principal or immediate supervisor
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae
  • A completed Applicant Data Sheet
  • Statement of career goals and degree objectives
  • Note:  At the completion of the program and upon application for endorsement for certification from PDE, you will be required to provide verification of completion of the required years of relevant professional experience from your district as per PDE guidelines. Please refer to the PDE website for details to assure you can meet the work service requirement.
  • International Global Online Applicants

Conditional Admission Requirements

Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements: 

  • Masters plus Certification:  Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 3.00 will be reviewed for a decision
  • Certification Only:  Master's degree with a GPA under 3.00 will be reviewed for a decision
  • Official transcripts 
  • Copy of teaching certifications
  • A completed Applicant Data Sheet and/or a current resume or curriculum vitae

Provisional Admission:
Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

How to Apply:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
PennWest California
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419 

For additional information:
Phone: 1.866.595.6348

Out of State Students:
Out of state students are welcome to apply but should first contact their state department of education for further information regarding certification requirements and reciprocity agreements.

Related Programs
  • Administrative Program for Principals Certification Program (Online): An online program for students who already hold a master's degree and are seeking certification as a K-12 principal or continuing education credits.
  • Superintendent Letter of Eligibility Certificate Program (Online): A graduate-level program for seasoned educators seeking the university endorsement required for certification as a superintendent in Pennsylvania. 
Children graduate from preschool.

Student Success

Meet Trisha Maddas '08. She credits PennWest California's graduate program internships with preparing her for success in her current position as middle school assistant principal in the Elizabeth Forward School District. Maddas constantly interacts with students, parents, faculty and staff to create rich learning environments for all students. 

A PennWest California faculty member.

Faculty with Real-World Know-How

All professors in PennWest California's administrative program for principals are committed to student success and have firsthand experience in school and district administration. Our award-wining adjunct faculty members currently hold positions as school or district administrators, and our full-time faculty has past experience in administrative roles.

Two PennWest California graduate students pose for a picture during Commencement.

Double Your Impact: Enroll with A Colleague

Make a bigger difference in your school by enrolling in PennWest California's administrative program for principals with a colleague. Your course and internship projects are directly related to improving your school through gap identification, data analysis and addressing specific needs. Pairing up with a colleague broadens the scope and impact of your work.

Administrative Program for Principals Faculty

Dr. Silvia Braidic
Professor and coordinator, Administrative Leadership programs

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Dr. Todd E. Keruskin
Adjunct Professor
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Dr. J. Kevin Lordon
Associate Professor

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Dr. Megan Mealie
Adjunct Professor/Supervisor of Student Teaching

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Please Note: All students who will be seeking licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for more information. 

Completion of an approved certification program is a requirement for certification in Pennsylvania. In the certification process, the University informs the state that a student has completed the University's state-approved program. The state then reviews the student's credentials and determines eligibility for certification. We encourage all students to contact the Pennsylvania Department of Education before beginning PennWest California's program for further information about certification requirements in Pennsylvania.

At the present time, we cannot confirm whether this program meets the requirements for certification in states other than Pennsylvania. Interested students may contact the Department of Education in their state to inquire about their requirements. A listing of state Departments of Education can be found on the U.S. Department of Education website.

Out-of-state students seeking Pennsylvania certification should notify us of that intent in order to meet the PA certification expectations. Additional information related to Pennsylvania certification can be located at the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.

Individuals must apply for endorsement for certification through the program coordinator, Dr. Silvia Braidic,  to initiate the process.