a principal sits at a desk surrounded by four children

Principal Leadership

Graduate Certificate

Pursue your passion for leadership with an expedited, highly customizable curriculum tailored to your — or your district’s — goals through the Principal Leadership program at Ƶapp University.

Designed for working K-12 educators, the program positions you to achieve the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Principal Certification and earn a higher salary. Core courses on leadership and organizational behavior, curriculum, and school finance will prepare aspiring principals to make a difference in their schools. The online principal leadership courses, combined with in-school internships, ensure that you are prepared to address the day-to-day challenges you’ll encounter as an educational leader.

Our flexible program is offered as either a standalone certificate or as part of our Teaching Excellence Master of Science degree. It provides a selective, practical, and evidence-based path to effective principal leadership preparation. If you want an innovative, practical, and rapid path to principal certification, Ƶapp is the best choice.

Program Overview

  • Options: Graduate certificate
  • Location(s): Online
  • Credits: 18
  • Duration: 1 year
  • Cost: $894 per credit; $11,000-16,500 total (special rates available for veterans and Pennsylvania teachers)
  • Deadline: Rolling admissions
  • Start term(s): Fall semester
  • Careers: Principal, education adminstrator

Admissions Requirements

To apply for the Principal Leadership program — either the standalone certificate or as part of the master’s in Teaching Excellence — the following are required:

  • A completed Ƶapp application, available for free via our free online application.
  • All official transcripts from accredited higher education institutions.
  • An undergraduate or graduate grade point average of 3.0 overall.
  • 2 years of teaching experience prior to enrollment.
  • A personal statement outlining the candidate’s career path, career aspirations, and professional interests.
  • A professional resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Academic, scholarship and leadership potential as evidenced by a positive recommendation from a supervisor (requested electronically as part of the application).
Why Earn a Principal Leadership Graduate Certificate?

    Hone your skills as you learn from accomplished instructors and active educators steeped in principal leadership standards. Our 100% online coursework and 360 hours of field experience give you access to the academic and practical support needed to advance in your career.

    Classroom practice lets you bring your online learning to life. Field work experience in our principal leadership programs emphasizes special education, assessment and data-informed practice, technology implementation, staff training, and curricula development for diverse learners.

    Our six-course (18-credit) program lets you develop effective principal leadership techniques without stepping away from the work you love. You’ll become a collaborative, data-informed, and reflective leader while making a positive impact in your school.

    Aspiring leaders looking for a fast, flexible, affordable path to career advancement are ideal candidates for the principal leadership certificate. Our program is competitively priced and meets most districts’ reimbursement policies.

    The Principal Leadership Certificate is fully embedded within our Teaching Excellence Online master’s degree. It can be taken as a separate certificate. Completing the program satisfies all PDE Principal PK-12 certification requirements.

    Our principal leadership program opens a range of career opportunities for you. As a principal you’ll impact PK-12 students’ lives in myriad ways, from creating universal access to early childhood education to ensuring that high school graduates are career ready. You’ll be a thought leader in your school and community as you drive change and shape the future.

    Ƶapp Principal Leadership graduates hold titles such as:

    • Principal
    • Assistant Principal
    • Community School Director
    • Finance Director
    • Assistant Superintendent
    • Superintendent

Career Outlook with a Principal Leadership Certificate

Many graduates of the Principal Leadership program gain the skills necessary to earn a higher salary and become a principal. The Ƶapp certificate opens the door to opportunities that will further your professional growth and enhance your career. Hear from one of our recent program alumni about her career in education and success following graduation:

“I have been truly blessed to get positions so quickly with both of the degrees I earned from Ƶapp. As someone who stepped away from being in school after so many years, the faculty in the Principal Leadership program made things easy and comfortable; I appreciated the fact that I personally knew my professors and they helped me succeed. The affordability of Ƶapp’s program made a big difference to me as well. If you are considering pursuing your Principal Leadership Certificate, be prepared to work hard, but it is worth it. Being an administrator is a lot of work, but you get to give back in a different and rewarding way; there is a lot of good that comes with it. As a two-time graduate, I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity from Ƶapp.” — Dina Hathaway ‘99M ’21

While earning her master’s degree in Special Education from Ƶapp in 1999, Dina had secured a job before she graduated. This began a lifelong career in education that would culminate in her current role as assistant principal at North East Middle School after she earned her Principal Leadership certificate in 2021.

Get started on your Principal Leadership Certificate!

Earn your Principal Leadership degree and use your leadership skills to drive results in your school.

Apply Today

Ready to get started? today for the Principal Leadership Certificate at Ƶapp University.

Explore Financial Aid

Earn an affordable graduate certificate with competitive per-credit costs. Special rates are available for veterans and Pennsylvania teachers. To learn more, visit our Graduate Cost and Financial Aid webpage or contact us at grad@mercyhurst.edu or 814-824-3351.

Request More Information

to receive more information about the Principal Leadership certificate.