Leadership Studies School Principalship Certificate

School Principalship Certificate

Students looking to obtain principal administrative licensure have two avenues to pursue. The first is through the Master of Arts Degree in Leadership Studies–Education Leadership. The second is by completing the post-master’s certification program in school principalship, which is available to those who already possess a master’s degree in education. The information below is for the post-master’s program in Leadership Studies.  If you wish to view the Master of Arts program information, please go to the master’s degree page.

Admission Requirements

  • Applicant must have completed a master’s degree in education from an accredited institution,
  • Applicant must have had at least an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0,
  • Applicant must hold a Professional Teaching License or a Student Support Certificate in school counseling, and
  • Applicant must have a minimum of two years of teaching or school counseling experience at the time of admission to the program.

Program Requirements

  • Students will follow a program Plan of Study consisting of 18 credit hours.
  • Every student must designate a practicing principal who agrees to act as his/her mentor during the program.
  • Field experiences are a required component of this program. Some field experiences are embedded into the program classes, and the remainder are completed in the Capstone course.
  • All admitted students are expected to maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.
  • Upon completion of the program, students may apply for a graduate certificate from Marshall University. This certificate is official recognition by the University that an individual has completed the program and will be needed to obtain state licensure.
  • Upon completion of the program, candidates seeking school principal licensure in West Virginia are required to pass the PRAXIS 5412 Educational Leadership Administration and Supervision test.
  • West Virginia licensure also requires the candidate to complete the Evaluation Leadership Institute from the West Virginia Department of Education.
  • Students seeking licensure in other states should contact the state’s local licensing agency for information on requirements.

Required Courses

  • LS 510 – The Principalship
  • LS 610 – Leadership for School Improvement
  • LS 612 – Educational Technology for Administrators
  • LS 630 – School and the Community
  • LS 675 – Legal and Policy Issues
  • LS 660 – Capstone: School Management


To apply, please visit our graduate admissions page.


The Evaluation Leadership Institute (ELI) prepares principals and central office administrators to evaluate personnel effectively. Aspiring administrators complete a brief online ELI course to obtain their provisional administrative certification. Once administrators are hired, they must complete in-person, ELI training within 90 days of employment. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Austin at jessica.austin@k12.wv.us or call the Office of Leadership and System Support at 304-558-3199.