How to Become an Education Administrator in Tennessee

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

There are 2 levels of administrative licenses issued by the Tennessee Department of Education. The Instructional Leadership License –Beginning is the initial administrative license issued. At the same time, the Instructional Leadership License-Professional (ILL-P) is the advanced administrative license, earned after you have at least 3 years of work experience under the ILL-B and have completed the necessary professional development activities for school leaders.

Academic Obligations

To obtain the ILL-B, you must successfully complete a state-authorized master’s degree program in school administration and supervision/educational Leadership.


You must pass the Praxis II School Leaders Licensure Assessment to earn the ILL-B.

Classroom Teaching Experience Requirements

You must possess a valid Tennessee education license and have at least 3 years of education experience. You must also successfully complete a practicum during your program in school administration and supervision.

Documents and Application Requirements

  • Have the Dean of Education and Certification of your institution program send an institutional recommendation.
  • Ask ETS to submit your Praxis II scores directly to the Department
  • Submit  official college transcripts showing receipt of a master’s degree and successful completion of the program in school administration

Submit all of the above materials, plus the application fee, to Office of Educator Licensing, Tennessee Department of Education, 4th Floor, Andrew Johnson Tower, 710 James Robertson Parkway, Nashville, TN 37243-0377.

*Applications for educators completing a Tennessee program are sent through TNCompass by an educator preparation provider on behalf of the administrator candidate. Once an application is sent, educators will receive an email advising them to complete their personal affirmation statement in TNCompass successfully. The application will not be processed until the personal affirmation is completed.

Background Check Requirements

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

State Contacts

Contact institutions in Tennessee, offering authorized instructional leadership programs for additional info.

For additional info on the administrative licensing process in Tennessee, make contact with the Office of Educator Licensing of the Tennessee Department of Education at 615-532-4885 or [email protected].

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