After years of undergraduate study, you may find yourself wishing to go back to school, or maybe you always knew you would go beyond senior year. Whatever your motivation, you have decided that you want to obtain a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, but you did not get your undergraduate degree in education. Therefore, you are asking yourself, “Can I get a Master’s in Educational Leadership with an undergraduate degree in a different field?”
The Short Answer
The short answer to your inquiry is “yes.” By visiting websites with detailed information on master’s degree programs in education, you’ll find that the prerequisites vary. Some programs are going to require that you already have your undergraduate degree in some field of education. However, others will not. In the event that you do not have an undergraduate degree in education, then you may have to fulfill some additional requirements. Whether or not you have to, or if it’s possible to do so at all, is going to depend upon a variety of factors such as the college and the state.
When you look into the requirements for a graduate educational degree program at any array of colleges and universities, you are going to find that they vary substantially. Some may require that you have experience in the classroom under your belt, and others may simply ask for a teaching philosophy. Finding out what the requirements are for a range of schools is advisable as is researching different programs and opportunities. You should also look into whether you need to take the GRE, if the school requires a certain GPA for admission and so forth.
Not only do the requirements of the colleges and universities vary, but so do the rules and regulations of each state. For example, you might find that the requirements for a master’s in educational leadership are different in New Hampshire than in South Dakota. Each state is going to govern the policies that are set forth by the graduate colleges and universities, but they may tack on their own requirements as well. For example, a state may require that teachers have a certain number of undergraduate credits in the field of education before they can work in the classroom.
Perhaps you are still wondering what you are going to do if you do not have an undergraduate degree in education. One option is to keep looking into different schools or to consider relocating to a state that has reasonable pathways for graduate student’s with varying undergraduate degrees. However, you should ask the college you are interested in if there is anything that you can do. In a number of circumstances, you may find that you just need to take some undergraduate courses to obtain the appropriate number of credits. You may need to conduct observations in area schools, and you may have to participate in a student teaching program. It will also depend upon the requirements that the master’s program itself asks of you. Additionally, you should consider looking into an online degree program that will work with your educational background (for additional information, please see: Can I Earn a Master’s in Educational Leadership Online?).
Fortunately, the answer is not a solid “no.” If you want to obtain a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership but have an undergraduate degree in a different field, you can find a variety of avenues to pursue to reach that goal.