Certification-Only Track

The Principal Certification-Only Track is for public/charter school administrators and educators who already hold a Master’s degree and are seeking eligibility for Principal Certification. Over its five courses, this track provides a 360-hour internship, focused class topics, and practitioner assignments relevant to the public/charter school environment. Click here to read more about our curriculum.

University-Assigned Mentoring

For each Certification-Only Track student, the program establishes a mentoring relationship with an experienced school leadership professional with a public/charter school background. Throughout the year, these mentors work directly with our students, nurturing their growth as leaders, and developing relationships that frequently last beyond the program and extend into the professional realm. Learn more about our mentors.


Working within their public/charter school place of employment, students complete a 360-hour on-site internship focused on core areas such as teacher supervision, budget management, curriculum development, and community relations, etc. An on-site mentor enriches the internship experience, and helps students to hone their observation and leadership skills. Students are active participants in selecting a school leader to serve as their mentor, and public/charter school on-site mentors must hold principal certification. Special arrangements can be considered for students not currently working in a school setting.


Students create a portfolio of coursework reflecting their understanding of the roles of school leadership, and identify an essential question or area of focus. A final oral presentation of the portfolio offers the students an opportunity to indicate the significant knowledge, dispositions, and performances gained during the year. 

Focused Observations

Students have daylong visits to a variety of independent and public/charter K-12 schools, which take place five times over the course of the program. Students use research-based techniques in to observe, analyze, and communicate about school practice to inform their learning in curriculum development and leadership. Attendance at three of the five observations is required.


To be admitted into this track, students must either have at least three years teaching experience or two years teaching experience and be in a teaching position while completing the program. Accepted on a rolling basis starting September 1st, prospective Certification-Only Track students should submit through the online application:  

  • A statement of purpose
  • A resume
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts from all academic institutions attended. Unofficial transcripts may be submitted for review purposes, however, should an applicant be offered admission and subsequently enroll, official transcripts will need to be submitted to the Admissions office.

Please note, Certification-Only Track applicants must already have a Master’s or terminal degree. The School Leadership Program does not require GRE scores. Applicants who do not have an undergraduate or a graduate degree from a university or college where English is the primary language of instruction must take either the TOEFL iBT or the IELTS exam and submit their test scores with their application for admission. The School Leadership Program is unable to provide immigration sponsorship for international students. Please note that certification after the completion of the program is only available to domestic applicants per U.S. regulations.