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Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Administration

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) program is designed to prepare aspiring individuals for challenging and productive roles as campus-level and central office-level administrators in Texas public schools through quality educational experiences that stimulate and encourage intellectual, personal, and professional growth and a strong commitment to education and those served.

Students in the M.Ed. program advance to candidacy for the degree based upon satisfactory completion of all prescribed coursework, and satisfactory completion of all program requirements.  To earn the degree, students must also have a satisfactory grade on each of the two sections of a department-administered comprehensive examination. 

Program Delivery

Coursework for the M.Ed./Principal Certification Program is delivered in an online and hybrid format. The entire M.Ed/Principal Certification program is delivered on the main Tarleton State University campus in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, and online. During the fall and spring semesters, class meetings are held on Monday through Thursday evenings and on Saturdays. During the summer sessions, class meetings are held during the day, evening on Fridays or Saturdays in Waco and Fort Worth.  A limited number of class meetings are held in Stephenville.

Admission to the M.Ed. in Educational Administration Program

Students will submit a formal program application to the Coordinator of the M.Ed./Principal Certification Programs, must meet program requirements, and have a valid two year teaching certificate. Students seeking certification must be admitted by the Educational Preporation Certification prior to enrolling in any courses. (Masters Program Application)

Graduate Program Advisor and Advisory Committee:

Each student in the M.Ed./Principal Certification program will be assigned an advisor.  Advisors are assigned alphabetically based upon the student’s last name. Students may check with the Administrative Assistant in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies to identify their advisors (254.968.1947 or

The student should consult with the graduate advisor concerning appointment of a three-member graduate committee. The graduate committee chair assists the student in developing a degree plan and, along with the remaining two committee members, assumes responsibility for assisting the student with preparations for the comprehensive examination.

Transfer Work

No more than six (6) semester hours can be transferred from another post- secondary institution. Students seeking course transfer credit into the courses sequence must submit all of the following to the academic advisor for review:

  • an original transcript indicating the course number, name, credit hours and grade as well as a copy of the course descriptive narrative from the appropriate post-secondary institution catalog; and
  • a copy of the course syllabus and multiple examples of student work from the course.
  • work with advisor to complete a transfer of credit form (link to form)

If the requested transfer course is approved, the student must also provide the same information to the Tarleton State University College of Graduate Studies.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination for the M.Ed. degree is administered three times per year. Examinees must have:

    1. filed a degree plan (link to form)

    2. complete an application (link to form)

To be able to take the comprehensive examination according to the following schedule:

Test Administration and Application Deadline Dates

Test Date   Application Deadline
Second Saturday in April March 1
Second Saturday in July June 5
Second Saturday in November October 1

No examination will be administered other than on a regularly scheduled administration date without permission from the graduate advisor, the Department Head, and the Graduate Dean.

Comprehensive examinations will be composed of objective and essay sections. A student must receive a satisfactory grade on each section in order to successfully complete the comprehensive examination, and subsequently be eligible for degree conferral.

Test Procedures

Section One: This section consists of multiple-choice questions that address the major core courses. This section is designed to test a student’s knowledge and understanding of content and concepts in the field of study.

Section Two: This section of the examination is designed to assess higher-order thinking skills. Each test is composed of one comprehensive essay to be graded blindly by all three committee members.

Grading Procedures:

The multiple choice questions are machine scored and a student is expected to satisfactorily answer a specific number of questions. The comprehensive examination essay question is evaluated based upon the following points system: 4—exceptional response well above expectations; 3—average response consistent with expectations; 2—weak response below expectations, a failing performance; 1—inadequate response, a failing performance; and 0—response did not address the required task, a failing performance. A student must receive a minimum score of ‘3’ on the essay questions in order to pass the essay portion of the master’s comprehensive examination. Oral examinations may be required of any candidate with a marginal performance on Section Two of the examination. If a test paper contains major grammar and/or composition errors, the student may be asked to repeat the examination.

Thesis Option

The thesis option involves an original research project under the direction of a graduate faculty member and the preparation of a thesis in addition to the prescribed coursework. The 36-hour degree program includes 15 hours from the educational administration core, 6 hours of EDAD 5388, and 15 hours by advisement. The student must enroll in EDAD 5388 for two consecutive semesters and complete the thesis according to the standards and policies determined by the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the College of Graduate Studies.

Practicum for the Principalship

Because the practicum course work cannot be applied to the Master of Education degree, students pursuing the Principal’s Certificate normally complete their master’s degree requirements before doing their practicum. The student must enroll each semester until the practicum is satisfactorily completed. Application for admission to the principal practicum must be submitted to the Coordinator of the M.Ed./Principal Certification Programs no later than June 15 preceding the fall of enrollment for the practicum, October 15 preceding the spring practicum, and March 15 for summer practicum. Students should be enrolled in the last two courses prior to enrolling in the practicum. There are specific requirements for the summer practicum. Students must have summer school/extended year for at least five weeks of the 12 week session. The practicum course typically is a one-semester course; however, this course may be repeated so that the student can satisfactorily complete practicum requirements. No more than three (3) semester hours of practicum course work can be used to satisfy certification plan requirements.

Recommendation for Certification

Recommendation for certification by Tarleton State University and the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies will be forwarded to the State Board for Educator Certification only after the student has successfully completed:

  • the designated course of study including the internship and professional development requirements,
  • documentation of two years of creditable teaching experience as a classroom teacher (TAC § 241.25), and
  • successful performance on the Principal Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES).
  • completion of the request for Certification Recommendation Form

Students will be allowed to register for the TExES during the last semester of the course of study and just prior to completing the practicum. Students who fail to register and take the TExES within four semesters after the date of completing the requirements listed must request permission from the Department Head prior to registering for the TExES. The Department Head may require additional study to ensure that the student is current in the knowledge and skills delineated in the Standards for the Principal Certificate. The additional study may include, but is not limited to, additional coursework.

Students who fail to satisfactorily complete the TExES must receive permission from the Department Head prior to registering for a subsequent attempt on the TExES. The Department Head may require additional study to ensure that the student is current in the knowledge and skills in delineated in the Standards for the Principal Certificate. The additional study may include, but is not limited to, additional coursework.

Students should regularly visit with advisors and the Certification Office for updates and changes in the certification process.