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Principal PK-12 Certification Requirements

Individuals may qualify for an administrative certificate for purposes of employment in Pennsylvania’s public schools via a traditional, certificate/experience, or alternative route. Those who currently hold specific credentials may add a Principal PK-12 certificate.

Principal (75) Traditional Route

  • Holds a baccalaureate or higher 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 (75) Certificate and Experience Route 

  • Holds a baccalaureate or higher 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.

  • Holds a comparable current and valid professional-level state certificate. 

  • Has two (2) full years of experience in the area. 

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

Principal (72) Alternative Route

  • Holds a baccalaureate or higher 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.”

  • 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.

Adding Principal (75) Certification

  • Holds a PA Principal certificate (83, 84), Career and Technical Administrative Director certificate (78, 83, 84) or Letter of Eligibility (90).

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

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

  • When applying based on this route, applicants must indicate 'no' when asked if a PA institution will verify that they meet certification requirements.

Submitting an Application

Applicants who completed an approved preparation program outside of Pennsylvania

Applicants who completed an approved preparation program inside of Pennsylvania, Administrative Provisional I (alternate route) applicants, and applicants adding Principal certification