How to Become an Education Administrator in Michigan

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

The Michigan Department of Education will provide a School Administrator Certificate if you are a qualified applicant. Endorsements are available at the Elementary, Secondary and Central Office levels.

Academic Obligations

Elementary or Secondary Endorsement:

Central Office Endorsement:

  •  Hold a master’s degree
  • At least 21 semester hours of masters level credit

Alternative Certification for School Administrators
You may be qualified for an alternative licensure program for school education administrators if you meet the following obligations:

  • Hold  an undergraduate degree  and at least 1 of the following:
    • 3 years of experience as a K-12 education administrator
    • 3 years of experience as a central office administrator
    • 3 years of experience in management or leadership in other fields (if you are admitted under this option, you must successfully complete a supervised practicum)


If you are pursuing school administrator licensure under the traditional route, no assessment is required (beyond the ones you may have already passed to earn your teaching certificate).

Classroom Teaching Experience Requirements

No experience is required for the traditional route to administrative licensure. If you are in an alternative licensure program, 3 years of experience is necessary as explained above.

Document and Application Requirements

If you are applying for administrative licensure, utilize the Michigan Online Education Certification System (MOECS).

Background Check Requirements

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

State Contacts

For additional info on authorized central office/superintendent preparation programs in Michigan, see this link.

For additional info on alternative administrator licensure for Michigan school education administrators, visit this link.

For info about Michigan administrative licensure, make contact with Rajah Smart at the Michigan Department of Education at 517-335-6615 or email [email protected].

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