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Preliminary Administrative Services Credential/Master of Arts

Program Overview

The Department of Educational Leadership offers two options leading to the California Preliminary Administrative Services Credential.

Master of Arts in PK-12 Educational Leadership

The MA in PK-12 Educational Leadership requires students to complete coursework required for the administrative credential plus nine additional units related to research and the completion of an action research project.

Preliminary Administrative Services
Credential Only

The Credential Only option is available to those who already hold a master's degree; these students are required to complete the 30 unit credential sequence.


Students are admitted in cohort groups (including both master and credential only students) each fall. Each cohort includes approximately 20-30 students, all of whom are working professionals in public or private schools or other educational settings. Credential coursework is completed over 3 semesters (Fall, Spring and Fall). Master's coursework is completed in 2 additional semesters (the Summer between Year 1 and 2, and the Spring semester of the 2nd year).

Classes are held one evening each week, and in most cases are offered off campus at educational facilities accessible via major freeways.

The Department of Educational Leadership admits students each Fall into one of two cohorts, depending on the district where students are employed. Cohorts include students in both options (MA and Credential Only). MA and Credential Only students take a common core of courses leading to the credential. MA students will complete an additional 9 units separate from the cohort classes.

Regional Cohort

Those employed in public school districts other than San Diego Unified School District, in charter schools, and private schools will be placed in the Regional Cohort.  Classes in the Regional Cohort are held on Tuesday nights.

San Diego Unified School District Cohort

In 2010, the Department of Educational Leadership and San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) entered into a partnership for leadership development. The SDSU/SDUSD Aspiring Administrator Program offers SDUSD licensed personnel (who are nominated by their district) an opportunity to participate in a unique cohort with additional leadership development activities provided by the district. Classes in the SDUSD Cohort are held on Wednesday nights.  SDUSD Cohort applicants must first be nominated by their principal.  Nominations will be solicited by SDUSD’s Department of Leadership Development beginning in early December.