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Educational Leadership — Principal Certification

Students sitting at table in class

Recognized by the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) for preparing equity-oriented leaders, the program focuses on situating school-based leaders within societal contexts and teaches students how to engage school and community assets as the foundation for improvement efforts.

The program prepares equity-oriented school and community leaders to transform education at the campus level.

This certification program requires 24 hours to complete.

 Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more.
If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you contact the following:

Graduate Advisor
Dr. Rolf Straubhaar
Academic Services Building South (ASBS), Room 324

Advisor Support
Jacqueline Todd
Academic Services Building South (ASBS), Room 306

“ Emphasizing social justice, the principal preparation program provided me with opportunities to engage in scholarly learning and action research that directly impact my everyday work in schools. ˮ

— Tamey Williams-Hill, M.Ed. ’07, Ph.D. ’15, Education School Improvement, Director of Human Resources, Lake Travis ISD

Course Work

Educators who have already earned a master’s degree in education and have a minimum of one year of teaching experience in K-12 schools can take the 24-credit-hour post-master principal certification program. This program can be completed in three semesters with summer admission. Classes for both programs are offered at the San Marcos and Round Rock campuses.

Professional Certification Exam
You will be eligible to take the Texas Education Agency principal certificate exam upon successful completion of program requirements.
Education building

  Texas State Round Rock Campus
These programs can be completed in Round Rock or San Marcos.

The program encourages students to keep issues of equity and ethics at the forefront while developing and implementing collaborative action research strategies to effect systemic change at the campus level.

Program Mission

The education and community leadership program is committed to developing leaders who understand how to build and nurture healthy schools and communities. The program believes the practice of leadership must be ethically grounded, committed to equity, and informed by research. It also demonstrates a strong commitment to this philosophy through a broad-based rigorous curriculum, strong and relevant instruction, and meaningful feedback to students. Effective leadership development begins with an understanding of self and progresses outward toward a critical consciousness of the interconnected relationship among people, organizations, communities, policies, and practices.

Visit program website ›

Related Programs

Program Faculty

Faculty members are experienced public school teachers and administrators. This practical background enables the professors to demonstrate to students the manner by which ideas, techniques, and policy studies may be applied in a school setting. The faculty is actively engaged in professional organizations at state and national levels. They also serve as consultants to numerous school districts in personnel searches, facility studies, curriculum projects, staff development, and professional organization accreditation studies.

Meet our faculty ›

Career Options

A master’s degree in educational leadership with principal certification prepares educators for a variety of supervisory and leadership roles in schools and other educational organizations. Graduates of this program work in positions such as principal, assistant principal, academic dean, athletic director, instructional supervisor, curriculum specialist, special education director, director of student support services, and human resource specialist.

Application Process

Step 1

Review Requirements

Application Deadlines

Deadlines U.S. Citizen International
Fall No Admission No Admission
Spring No Admission No Admission
Summer I May 1 March 15
Summer II No Admission No Admission

Application Deadline
This program has a flexible deadline, which means applications received after the posted deadline may be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, with no guarantees for admission consideration.

Financial Aid
This program does not qualify for financial aid.

Application Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.


  Review important information about the online application.

Application Fee(s)

  • $35 nonrefundable Texas Education Agency technology fee (if offered admission)
    and either
  • $20 nonrefundable application fee
  • $60 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

  Review important information about application fees.

Transcripts & GPA

  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • master's degree from a regionally accredited university
  • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 2.75 GPA on your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work

  If you do not have a master's degree but wish to apply for the principal certification, we encourage you to review the Educational Leadership master's + professional certification program.

  Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

GRE Scores

  • GRE not required


  • copy of official teaching certificate documenting initial teaching certification

  • copy of official teaching record documenting at least one year's teaching experience

  Review important information about documents.

TOEFL Scores

Applicants are required to submit TOEFL scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution.

  • official TOEFL iBT scores with minimum individual scores of
    • 22 listening
    • 22 reading
    • 24 speaking
    • 21 writing

This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

  Review important information about official test scores.