Principal Certification

The Principal Certification program focuses on the skills required for campus-level and central office administration. Individuals may enroll in a program leading to the Texas Principal Certificate along with a Master of Education with a major in Educational Leadership. Those who already hold a master's degree may earn a principal's certificate without earning a second master's degree.

Our program emphasizes current theory and research to inform educational leaders as they make decisions regarding positive school culture, effective teaching practices, and student achievement. We accentuate field-based, practical applications of learning in educational leadership with online, blended, and face-to-face classes. We also help prepare candidates for the Texas Examination of Education Standards (TExES) for Principal Certification.

Lead Advisor: Dr. Linda Stromberg (, (940) 565-3274
Administrative Assistant: Marilyn Deuble (, (940) 565-2942

Admission Requirements

1) Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university;

2) GPA of 3.0 or higher overall baccalaureate GPA, or previous master's GPA of 3.5 or higher.

3) At least two years teaching experience as the teacher of record in a Pre-K-12 accredited school.

4) At least provisional teacher certification.

Admission Process

Admission to the program is a two-part process. Each applicant must first apply to and meet the general admission requirements of the Toulouse Graduate School at UNT. Then, applicants must complete an application packet from the Educational Administration program.

1) University Graduate School Application

Applicants should apply through the Toulouse Graduate School at Submit the online application along with official transcripts from all universities/colleges attended.

If the minimum GPA requirements are met, the packet will be forwarded to our department for review. Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Toulouse Graduate School, including a minimum 3.4 GPA on a master's degree work (if applying with a master's degree), 2.8 on bachelor's (if applying without a master's degree), or (alternatively) GPA of 3.0 on the last 60 credit hours taken if applying with a bachelor's degree.

2) Program Application Materials

Applicants must submit the following to the Educational Leadership Program Office at (please do not fax or mail):

a) A letter of recommendation from your supervisor identifying your leadership, critical thinking and writing skills.
b) An essay describing why you're seeking a Principal Certification, identifying relevant educational experiences and strengths, and providing evidence that you will be a successful educational leader in an increasingly multicultural environment.
c) A resume that includes your previous work and educational experience.
d) A program application to the Principal Certification Program.

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Certification Requirements

1. Required Coursework (18 hours)

EDAD 5330 - Instructional Leadership (3 hours)
EDAD 5390 - Campus-Level School Law (3 hours)
EDAD 5400 - Management of School Resources (3 hours)
EDAD 5610 - School Communications and Public Relations (3 hours)
EDAD 5650 - Professional Development and Supervision (3 hours)
EDAD 5680 - Administration of the EC-12 Curriculum (3 hours)

3. Internship

EDAD 5500 - Internship

The internship cannot be used towards a master's or doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Internship must be completed in an accredited Texas school.
EDAD 5500 requires 160 hours of interviews, observations, and participation in administrative functions at the school where the intern is a faculty member or administrator, as well as at other sites determined by a supervisory team consisting of a district supervisor and a university supervisor. Students must submit an application for internship in advance.  The application is available here or may be obtained from the program office at UNT, in Matthews Hall room 218. The deadline for submitting the application is October 1 for the following Spring, February 1 for the following Summer, and March 1 for the following Fall semesters.

Probationary Certificate

Upon completion of four courses, candidates are eligible for a probationary principal's certificate. This allows the candidate to serve as an administrator for one year. Students must be enrolled at UNT throughout the period of the probationary certificate. The candidate must complete the whole certification program before the probationary certificate elapses. In order to be awarded the probationary certificate, the candidate must be serving in a position that would require the principal's certificate.

A certification plan signed by an educational leadership instructor and a teaching service record from the district must be on file before the probationary certificate may be granted. The teaching service record should be faxed to the COE certification officer at 940-565-2728. In addition, certification requirements from the state require a completed Statement of Eligibility form the University and the school district for the student be granted a probationary certificate. Students must apply online at the TEA website:

Time Limit for Courses

There is a seven year time limit for courses applied toward certification, which means courses on the certification plan cannot be over seven years old at the time of completion of the program. For students who already have a master's degree, earning certification consists of taking seven of the Educational Leadership courses, including the internship. Some students may be able to transfer in courses from the previous master's degree. The number of hours that a student can transfer into the principal certification program from another master's degree varies according to courses and whether or not those courses are equivalent to educational leadership courses.

Certification Plans

Students who have prior graduate course work to transfer to a principal's certificate must schedule an appointment with an advisor to prepare a certification plan. This should be completed during the first semester of course work or prior to beginning course work. Subject to the approval of the departmental advisor and the Toulouse Graduate School, up to six hours of graduate work completed elsewhere may be applied.

Master of Education in Educational Leadership

For certification concurrent with earning a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership, please see Master's of Education in Educational Leadership for the Master's Degree with Certification Program.