750px Principal Certification

Learn more about the Principal Certification program, including course information and how to apply.

Considered the leading principal certification program in Pennsylvania, this under-a-year program is designed for experienced educators who aspire to be elementary or secondary school principals. The IUP Principal Certification Program is nationally recognized by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC).

Start Your Principal Career in Under a Year

Our under-a-year program for working educators includes:

  • An online course (EDAD 756 School Administration) offered one time per year: summers only
  • A fall internship at a school
  • A spring internship at a school 

Summer 2024 Course Dates

EDAD 756 School Administration, 3 Credits

The first course in the program will be offered twice, live on Zoom. 

  • Summer l Session: June 17, 18, 20, 21, 24–28. 9:00 a.m.–Noon
  • Summer ll Session: July 8–12 & July 15–18. 9:00 a.m.–Noon 


A new cohort begins each summer, completing a three-credit, online course, EDAD 756: School Administration. The first internship is completed at the candidate's school district in the fall, and the second internship is completed at the candidate's school in the spring. One internship focuses on elementary level, and one internship focuses on secondary level. Candidates must have the support of principal mentors to complete internship requirements.

Deadline to Apply

All materials must be completed by April 15.

Course Information

EDAD 756: School Administration, three credits, is the primary coursework for this program. The class meets synchronously online in the summer. During the summer course, students complete contemporary readings and learn about the major issues of school administration, as well as write an internship plan proposal for the first internship experience (either elementary or secondary) for the fall semester. The internship proposal is due the last week of the summer course. Both internship experiences are based on Pennsylvania Department of Education school-level leadership competencies and outcomes. The internship is EDAD 798: Principal Internship, a six-credit course. It is taken in both the fall and the spring for a total of 15 credits to complete the program.

Seminar topics target leadership in a learning organization, ongoing professional development in strengthening school culture, and the necessity for continual curricular improvements. In addition, the topics of integration of electronic resources, supervisory strategies, inclusive practice, school policy, state and federal law, safety, labor relations, facilities management, human relations, and community involvement will be considered.

Why IUP's Principal Program?

  • Our Principal Certification Program is distinguished by its performance foundation for administrative certification.
  • Our program emphasizes the achievement of administrative competencies through documented outcomes of field experiences rather than progression through a sequence of courses.
  • Our program is designed to provide maximum convenience to the working professional by having the internships completed within the context of the candidate's home district.
  • Our entire program can be completed in a year.
  • Our program is considered a leading principal certification program in Pennsylvania.

Principal Certification Program Outcomes

IUP is dedicated to the preparation of outstanding educational leaders who see themselves as both scholars and practitioners. This particular program reflects the expectations that aspiring principals:

  • model credible strategic leadership within their own school district.
  • demonstrate exemplary interpersonal skills.
  • exemplify outstanding communication and organizational skills.
  • reflect a history of continued professional growth and the use of data to inform curricular and pedagogical decisions.
  • engage in political and community initiatives.

Contact the Program Coordinator

Dr. Susan Sibert
Email: smsibert@iup.edu 
Phone: 724-357-2400