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Graduate Certificate for
Principalship

Courses

The Graduate Certificate for Principalship is composed of six required courses for a total of 18 credits. Students must earn a grade of "B" or better in all courses to be eligible for the certificate. Additional state certification requirements for Pennsylvania include the successful completion of an internship (one of the six program courses), a passing score on the Praxis test for school leaders, and a valid Pennsylvania teaching certificate. Because this curriculum is designed specifically to meet the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education for Principal Certification, no transfer credits or course substitutions will be accepted.

If you are accepted into the certificate program, you may begin your course work at the start of any academic semester, including summer. The student course load can be three to four courses per year. However, it is strongly recommended that you take only one course at a time while working full-time. 

If you later choose to apply for and are granted admission to the master's in educational leadership program and have earned at least a "B" or better in each of the six certificate courses, you can apply the 18 certificate program credits toward the Master of Education program requirements.

Required Courses (18 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Focuses on the development of skills related to data use that will help inform administrative and leadership decisions in school settings.

  • 3
    credits

    This course focuses on several general models developed for school improvement purposes. It also explores the component pieces of school improvement, including leadership, professional development/professional learning communities, and a focus on teaching and learning including standards, instruction, and assessments.

  • 3
    credits

    Provides aspiring leaders with learning opportunities and activities authentic to school leaders and leadership roles in educational organizations.

  • 3
    credits

    The principalship course provides students with knowledge specific to the role of the principal in K–12 schools.

  • 3
    credits

    Provides an overview of major issues in school law. The course will focus primarily on case law including U.S. Supreme Court decisions as well as relevant state and federal lower court opinions.

  • 3
    credits

    Required field experience across a calendar year for students in order to receive their principal certificate from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students earn 1 credit for each of 3 consecutive semesters for a total of 3 credits.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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