K-12 Principal and Interscholastic Athletic Administration

Master of arts

Admissions requirements

Applications accepted on an ongoing basis, allowing students to start four different times per year, Official transcript from institution(s) where you completed your bachelor's degree and any graduate coursework, Resume or curriculum vitae, Written statement

Student success

  • "The professors I had were either retired or currently working in the field and that is invaluable. It prepared us for having real life experiences."Jason Misner, Superintendent, '11, Read More

Program overview

This program is offered fully online via a blend of synchronous and asynchronous courses to meet the needs of working professionals.

This concentration is designed to prepare a student for the leadership role of being a building principal, as well as an athletic director. Students who complete this concentration will be recommended to receive, from the state of Michigan, the School Administrator Certificate. Program graduates may be endorsed to receive the administration certification outside of Michigan as well (depending on the certification process in state of residence).

Notification: Starting, January 2025, the State of Michigan will be requiring state testing for those that are wanting to attain a School Administrator license for either the Central Office or Building Level. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Why this program at Western Michigan University?

  • This program has the fewest required credits of any similar M.A. in the state of Michigan, while still meeting all state and national standards. 
  • Ranked No. 41 in the the nation and No. 2 in the state of Michigan for best online master's in education programs by U.S. News and World Report in the 2023 rankings.

  • New! Earn up to 15 of the 33 required credits with our Prior Learning Assessment program. Learn more. 

  • We are the only institution in the U.S. that includes an optional co-curricular designation known as the WMU Signature. Pathways include: Teaching & Student Success, Leadership, Health & Wellbeing, Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice, and more! 

Application information

Applications are accepted on an on-going basis throughout the year. Admission decisions take approximately two weeks after all materials are received.

Note: To complete many course assignments, and to have a mentor for a two-semester principal internship, applicants must be employed within a K-12 setting OR have access to a school setting.


The K-12 Principal master's degree program meets the new standards for the Michigan K-12 administrator certification requirements, CAEP accreditation standards and the guidelines of the National Educational Leadership Preparation Standards (NELPS), and is Michigan State Department of Education principal preparation program approved.

Multi-year course offering/planning tools


The Lead is a monthly online publication that highlights the work of our Educational Leadership (K-12) programs, and contains a wide-array of information relevant to school administrators; it also celebrates the work of our alumni, students and faculty. Visit The Lead newsletter page for all issues.

Cost & Funding

Helpful links