How to Become an Education Administrator in Pennsylvania

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

The Pennsylvania Department of Education issues Administrative Certificates to aspiring School principals and Superintendents.

Academic Obligations

School principal: You must successfully complete a state-authorized graduate-level institution program in school administration, School principal K-12, and receive a licensure recommendation from that program’s licensure officer.

Superintendent: You must successfully complete at least a 2-year graduate-level state-authorized education administrator program in educational administration and receive a recommendation for licensure from that program’s licensure officer.


To become a School principal or Superintendent, you must pass the School Leadership Licensure Assessment and Superintendents must instead pass the School Superintendent Assessment.

Classroom Teaching Experience Requirements

School principal: You must possess at least 5 years of teaching/professionally licensed service in Pennsylvania schools, verified by your chief school administrator.

Superintendent: You must possess at least six years of teaching/professionally licensed service in Pennsylvania schools, with at least 3 of those years serving in an administrative/supervisory capacity.

Documents and Application Requirements

You may apply online through the Educator Information Management System (TIMS) for Administrative Certificates for School principal and Superintendent. You will be asked to submit any out-of- state official college transcripts, letters of authentication from employers, and other materials as required. Mail these directly to the Bureau of School Leadership and Educator Quality, Pennsylvania Department of Education, 333 Market Street, 3rd Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333. You can check the status of your application online at any time by visiting TIMS.

Background Check Requirements

As an applicant for a School principal or Superintendent position in a Pennsylvania school district, you are subjected to 3 checks: Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Records Check, Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse History Clearance, and Federal Criminal History Record Information (CHRI).

You will be instructed on the procedure and given fingerprinting locations when hired by a school district. You will not be allowed to assume a position within a school district until all 3 checks come back clear.

State Contacts

Contact schools offering graduate programs in Pennsylvania to learn additional info about their school principal preparation programs and superintendent preparation programs.

For additional info on the education administrator licensure process in Pennsylvania, call the Pennsylvania Department of Education Division of Certification Services at 717-787-3356.

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