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Principal PK-12 Certification Requirments

Individuals may qualify for an administrative certificate for purposes of employment in Pennsylvania’s public schools via a traditional or alternative route.

Principal (75) Traditional Route

  • Holds a baccalaureate degree from a regionally or nationally accredited college/university.

  • Satisfies the requirements set forth in section 24 P.S. § 12-1209 relating to good moral character.

  • Provides verification of three years of relevant professional experience.  For the purpose of this section, relevant professional experience is “professional experience in an educational setting that is related to the instructional process.”

  • Completes a Pennsylvania-approved, graduate-level principal certification program that includes an internship/practicum or an equivalent out-of-state program.  A 3.0 program Grade Point Average (GPA) is required.

  • Provides evidence of satisfactory achievement on the Pennsylvania required test.

Principal (72) Alternative Route

  • Holds a baccalaureate degree from a regionally or nationally accredited college/university.

  • Satisfies the requirements set forth in section 24 P.S. § 12-1209 relating to good moral character.
  • Provides verification of three years of relevant professional experienceFor the purpose of this section, relevant professional experience is “professional experience in an educational setting that is related to the instructional process.”

  • Provides verification of an offer of employment as a principal, vice principal, or assistant principal from a Pennsylvania public school.
  • Within two years of issuance, the Administrative Provisional I certificate holder must convert to the Administrative I (75) certification by either:

    • Completing a Pennsylvania-approved, graduate-level principal certification program that includes an internship/practicum or an equivalent out-of-state program. A 3.0 program Grade Point Average (GPA) is required; and

    • Demonstrating knowledge and understanding of school law and regulations by presenting evidence of satisfactory achievement on the Pennsylvania required test.

    OR

    • Providing proof of completion of a PDE-approved Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership (PIL) Induction Program; and

    • Demonstrating knowledge and understanding of school law and regulations by presenting evidence of satisfactory achievement on the Pennsylvania required test.

Administrative Level II Requirements

PDE will issue an Administrative II certificate to Administrative I certificate holders who within five years of employment for the first time in a position as principal, vice principal, or assistant principal:

  • Complete a PDE-approved Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership (PIL) Induction Program required for principals, vice principals, and assistant principals pursuant to section 24 P.S. § 11-1109.

  • Provide verification of three years of applicable satisfactory service.