How to Become an Education Administrator in Iowa

Learn how to become an Education Administrator or School Principal in Iowa.

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners provides endorsement to qualified applicants for PK-12 School principal and Superintendent titles.

Academic Obligations

School principal:

You must possess a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and successfully complete a series of courses and experiences either in that degree program or outside of that degree program.


You must possess a specialist (doctorate) degree or equivalent, such as a master’s degree plus at least 30 semester hours of graduate study beyond a master’s degree.

You must also demonstrate knowledge of the skills listed above under School principal.


No Assessments are necessary for either type of administrative endorsement.

Classroom Teaching Experience Requirements

School principal:

  • Possess at least 3 years of teaching experience in grades PK-12
  • You must successfully complete planned field experiences in elementary and secondary school administration as part of your education administrator preparation program


  • Possess at least 3 years of experience as a building school principal or other PK-12 education administrator position
  • You must successfully complete a practicum in PK-12 school administration

Document and Application Requirements

Utilize the correct application for your situation (either Application for Administrative Licensure – Iowa Institution if you have graduated from an Iowa institution, or Out of State Application for Education Administrator Exchange Licensure if you graduated from a non-Iowa institution). Include the correct fees, and have your institution fill out Section II of the application. If you are an out-of-state applicant, complete the experience authentication form in the packet. Send l all application forms and info to: Board of Educational Examiners, Licensure, Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th St., Des Moines, IA 50319-0147

Background Check Requirements

Before you acquire your education administrator license, you must undergo a criminal history background check.

State Contacts

For additional info on education administrator preparation programs/courses in Iowa, contact the officials at the institutions that offer these programs.

For info on administrative licensure, make contact with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners at 515-281-3245.

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