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Program Description:

The University of South Dakota's Customized Master's Degree will build on the core post-secondary knowledge, curriculum and support infrastructure crafted by Teach for America (TFA).  The Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Leadership, Pre K-12 Principal program will draw upon the best available theory, research, and experiential wisdom.  This program will meet the state certificate requirements for principals and will lead to South Dakota certification.  South Dakota principal certification may be transferred to meet school administrator requirements in other states.  Students wanting to transfer South Dakota principal certification must contact their respective State Department of Education.  Again, the program will complement the training and support that TFA provides, offering Corps members additional skills in curriculum development, leadership, supervision, and administrative skills necessary to meet the needs of schools.

Upon completion of the online Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Leadership, including the accompanying field-based internship and three years of licensed class room teaching experience, Corps Members will be eligible for South Dakota Pre K-12 Principal certification.

Program Requirements: 

Required Core Courses (18 credit hours):

Course Title


EDAD 710: Elementary School Administration (3 cr.)
Every Spring, Every Summer
EDAD 711: Secondary School Administratin (3 cr.)
EDAD 715: The Administrator & Instructional Supervision (3 cr.)
Every Fall and Summer
EDAD 716: The Administrator & Curriculum Development (3 cr.)
Every Semester
EDAD 735: School Law (3 cr.)
Every Fall and Summer
EDAD 794: Internship/Field Experience (3 cr.)

Other Required Courses (14 credit hours):

The following courses are offered as part of the Teach for America Summer Institute:

  • EDAD 792: Special Topics: School Climate and Culture (3 cr.)
  • EDAD 792: Special Topics: Administration of Curriculum Development (3 cr.)
  • EDAD 790: TFA Teaching as Leadership Framework (5 cr.)
  • EDAD 740: School Community Relations (3 cr.)

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School and specific requirements of the Educational Administration and Leadership program. Graduate School requirements can be accessed online at Graduate School Application.

To be eligible for the Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration and Leadership, applicants must:

  • Provide documentation of acceptance to the TFA program.
  • Three years of teaching experience is required for admission.
    • USD will recognize the alternative certification that TFA candidates receive from their respective State Department of Education as entrance to the program.
  • Possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning and an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.7 (on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent (2.5 for provisional admission)
  • Provide official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning
  • Provide three letters of recommendation
  • Provide a Statement of Purpose

For more information about the USD Customized Master's degree, please contact USD Online at 605-658-6140 or by e-mail at  Once accepted to the program, students will work with their program advisor, Dr. Karen Card.