Certification Programs

The Educational Leadership Program of The Pennsylvania State University offers two certification programs: the Principal Certification Program and the Letter of Eligibility Program. The Principal Certification Program is currently offered at University Park and Harrisburg campus locations. The Letter of Eligibility Program and associated courses are offered only at the University Park campus location.

Immediately upon acceptance into either certification program, candidates for Principal Certification or the Letter of Eligibility should contact their assigned academic adviser for course planning sheets, information on their electronic portfolio, and further information regarding the Performance-based Internship required by both certification programs.

Admission Standards

  1. GPA of 3.00 or greater in the last two years of undergraduate coursework or 3.25 or greater in prior graduate work.
  2. Three (3) letters/forms of recommendation from immediate supervisers.
  3. Resume/Vita
  4. Two (2) official copies of all transcripts from all institutions attended.
  5. Statement of Purpose (In approximately two single-spaced pages please explain why you are applying. In writing your statement, you might consider some of the following questions: What background experiences led to your decision to apply to our program and what is it that most interests you? What types of career goals or plans do you currently have? What is your philosophy of educational leadership?)

Entrance into certification programs for administrative positions requires admission to the Graduate School and to the Educational Leadership Program.

The following requirements pertain to admission to and completion of certification programs:

  1. Admission as either a degree student or as a certification student.
  2. Certification as a superintendent or an intermediate unit director requires previous certification as a principal or supervisor and three years professional service in an administrative capacity.
  3. All certification students should maintain at least a 3.25 grade point average during their work. However, all students are required to maintain at least the graduate school degree minimum requirements.
  4. The completion of an approved program or programs for various educational administrator positions (Principal, Superintendent, Intermediate Unit Executive Director).
  5. A student in a master's or doctoral program on main campus, other than in Educational Leadership, who seeks certification at the same time, should seek advisement from the Educational Leadership certification officer or his or her assistant. Contact the program staff assistant (865-1487), for more information.

Evaluation of Credentials

Preliminary evaluation of credentials is recommended and is available through the Educational Leadership certification officer. Upon acceptance into the program, however, all students must have their credentials evaluated and the program requirements that must be met prior to a recommendation for certification determined by the certification officer. When all requirements are satisfactorily met, the program certification officer will forward all necessary substantiating documents to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for the desired certification. University officials make recommendations only on the completion of the program, including the 360-hour, year-long internship and successful completion of any tests required by the PDE.

The Principal Certification Program (PCP)

How to Apply
Required Courses

The Principalship Internship
Praxis Exam

Letter of Eligibility Program (LOE)

How to Apply
Required Courses

The Letter of Eligibility Internship

Approved Policy for both Certification Programs
Certification Advisement
Application for Certificate