Educational Leadership Certificate

The Educational Leadership Certificate is a 28-credit program for teachers, school counselors, school psychologists, and school social workers with a minimum of a master's degree seeking PK-12 Principal (5051) licensure through the WI Department of Public Instruction. The philosophy of the program is a learning-in-community, constructivist model with culturally relevant teaching. Students join in a cohort. The program meets the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards, the Wisconsin Administrative Standards, and professional educational requirements for principal licensure in Wisconsin. An administrative portfolio is required for program completion and licensure.

Admission requirements

  1. A master’s degree in education or closely related field from an accredited institution.
  2. One of the following:
    1. An overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.85 on a 4.00 scale, or
    2. An average of at least 3.00 in the last half of all undergraduate work, or
    3. An average of at least 3.00 for no fewer than 12 semester credits of graduate study at another accredited graduate institution
  3. Complete online application

  4. Original transcripts

  5. Provide a resume that documents at least one year of full-time employment in a K-12 setting and current position in a K-12 school
  6. Copy of applicant's teacher, administrator, or professional license1

  7. Provide verification that degrees completed outside the state meet WI licensing standards1

Criminal background check

The WI Department of Public Instruction (DPI) requires that candidates for admission to a teacher education, administration, or pupil services program successfully pass a criminal background check (CBC) as one criterion for admission. By applying for admission to one of these programs, candidates agree to provide the necessary personal information to UWL in order to initiate their CBC and to complete their portion of the process prior to the deadline specified in their admission letter. Teacher candidates are responsible for all costs associated with their criminal background check(s).


Required courses:
EDU 765Introduction to Educational Leadership3
EDU 766The Principalship3
EDU 767Data-based Decision Making for Instruction3
EDU 768Supervision and Evaluation3
EDU 769Leadership and Cultural Competence3
EDU 770School Law3
EDU 771School Finance and Resource Allocation3
EDU 772Inclusive Pedagogical Practices I2
EDU 782Inclusive Pedagogical Practices II1
EDU 773Practicum in the Principalship and Practicum Seminar4
Total Credits28

Program completion

Eligibility for Educational Leadership (5051) certification is contingent upon:

  • Cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0
  • Satisfactory completion of Educational Leadership Program coursework, associated experiences, and artifacts (including an administrative portfolio)
  • Have completed three years of successful full-time teaching experience at any of the grades at the early childhood through adolescence developmental range, OR have completed three years of successful experience as a school counselor, a school psychologist, or a school social worker, which includes evidence of at least 540 hours of successful classroom teaching experience (PI 34.065(4))
  • Completed DPI employment verification form documenting completion of at least three years of employment as described above in K-12 schools

The Minnesota Board of School Administrators requires 30 credits beyond the master's degree for Principal licensure; therefore, those seeking Minnesota licensure must take a minimum of two additional elective credits. Learners should work with their advisor to identify eligible electives.


Out of state license holders may contact the School of Education Certification Officer for assistance with applying for an equivalent WI teaching license. Candidates must hold an initial WI license prior to endorsement for the 5051 license.