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 5384—Special Education Law for Leaders (1 cr)
  • OLPD 5396—Field Experience in PK-12 Administration: Authentic Practice in Leadership (3 cr)

Note: OLPD 5384 is not required for the director of special education license. OLPD 5387 and 5384 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 5376—Leading School Finance Elections (1 cr)

Director of special education

  • OLPD 5368—Leadership for Special Education Services (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5375—Special Education Finance: Program Models Policy and Law (2 cr)

Director of community education

  • OLPD 5389—Community Education Leadership (3 cr)
  • OLPD 5377—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:

  • CI 5155—Contemporary Approaches to Curricular Instruction and Assessment (3 cr)
  • 1050 hours classroom experience


Gary Prest
Director of Administrative Licensure
612-626-8647 | pres0004@umn.edu