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Certificate curriculum
PK-12 Administrative licensure

This program offers a variety of courses specifically designed to address the competencies required for each license.

Required for all licenses

  • OLPD 5324—Strategic Financial Planning and Policy for Educational Leaders (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5344—School Law (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5348—Leaders of Human Resource Administration (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5385—Licensure Seminar: Program Policies and Inclusionary Leadership (1 cr)
  • OLPD 5386—Leadership Portfolio Seminar (1 cr)
  • OLPD 5387—Leadership for Teaching and Learning (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5391—Special Education Law for Leaders (1 cr)
  • OLPD 5396—Field Experience in PK-12 Administration: Authentic Practice in Leadership (3 cr)

Note: OLPD 5391 is not required for the director of special education license. OLPD 5387 and 5391 are not required for the director of community education license.

Licensure-specific course requirements

K-12 principal

  • OLPD 5321—Principal as Leader of High Performing Schools (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5388—Leadership for Master(ful) Scheduling (2 cr)


  • OLPD 5322—Leaders in Superintendency and Central Office (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5393—Leading School Finance Elections (1 cr)

Director of special education

  • OLPD 5368—Leadership for Special Education Services (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5392—Special Education Finance: Program Models Policy and Law (2 cr)

Director of community education

  • OLPD 5389—Community Education Leadership (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5394—Leadership in Community Ed. Finance & Law (1 cr)
  • Plus credits in the following areas dependent upon undergraduate coursework or work experience: undereducated adults; strategies for teaching adults; children, youth, in society; early childhood/family education

Additional requirements

Exit requirements

  • Complete all coursework with a grade of S or C or better.
  • An electronic portfolio presented to a review panel made up of representatives from the University and licensed practitioners is required as the last step to earning licensure.

Further requirements: K-12 principal, superintendent, and director of special education

  • Possess or complete three years of teaching experience
  • 60 credits beyond a bachelor's degree to include a graduate degree
  • 320 hours of field experience

Further requirements: director of community education

  • A bachelor's degree plus 20 credits
  • 320 hours of field experience

Licensure through non-certificate option

In some cases students may enroll in the non-certificate program. This option is available only with approval of an adviser and only if the candidate is:

  • already licensed as an educational administrator in Minnesota and seeking an additional license,
  • a licensed and experienced administrator from another state,
  • or has completed extensive coursework in educational administration.

Under this option candidates must complete a minimum of 6 credits through the University of Minnesota as well as other requirements as specified. Additional credits will be determined after your adviser reviews your transcripts.

Alternative licensure pathway

There is a route to licensure for aspiring principals, superintendents, and directors of special education who want to become licensed but do not have a teaching license. In addition to the licensure requirements listed above, you must also complete the following:

  • EPSY 5135—Human Relations Workshop (4 cr)
  • CI 5155—Contemporary Approaches to Curricular Instruction and Assessment (3 cr)
  • 1050 hours teaching experience, including 8 weeks in the classroom

Professionals who may be licensed under the alternative licensure pathway include: school psychologists, school social workers, speech therapists, school librarians (without teaching license), school counselors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and school nurses as well as others outside of schools and school districts.


Jeremy Hernandez
Coordinator of Graduate Studies
612-626-9377 |