PDE Search

Administrative Certificates Principal K-12
A person prepared as a school administrator may be eligible for certification as a Principal K-12 provided that the applicant:
  • Has completed an approved program of graduate study preparing him/her to direct, operate, supervise, and administer the organizational and general educational activities of a school.  (Preparation completed out-of-state must meet Pennsylvania standards for certification).
  • Is recommended for certification as a principal by the authorized certification officer of the institution where such education was obtained, or holds a comparable certificate from another state (for out-of-state graduates only).
  • Provides a chief school administrator's verification of the completion of three (3) years of relevant professional experience defined as "professional experience in an educational setting that is related to the instructional process." 
  • Provides evidence of satisfactory achievement on assessments prescribed by the Department under Section 49.18(a).
  • Meet all other requirements provided by law.
All applicants must submit an application through the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS).  If you are being recommended for certification by a Pennsylvania college or university, you will be required to enter an educational record in to TIMS indicating the college/university attended and the Ed Leadership preparation program completed for this certification.  The Pennsylvania approved teacher preparation institution will affirm your program attendance/completion and recommend you for certification electronically using TIMS. 
Applicants attending an out-of-state college or university must obtain a written affirmation and recommendation using the 338A form.  The form must be sent with the TIMS cover sheet.  Both are supplied when the application is submitted online via TIMS.
Experience in Pennsylvania public schools can be submitted through TIMS and verified by the school if they are provisioned users of TIMS (check with your school).  Experience in out-of-state schools or schools not provisioned in TIMS should also be entered through TIMS, but must be verified on form PDE 338V (also supplied with the cover sheet when you submit your application in TIMS).
The TIMS application summary page and cover sheet lists the documents that must be submitted to meet the requirements for certification.  Transcripts are not necessary for persons recommended by Pennsylvania institutions.  Duplicate forms may be printed with the cover sheet or obtained  on the Applications and Forms page on our website. 
A list of institutions with approved programs for the Principal K-12 certificate can be found under Approved Certification Programs.
For additional information, please contact:

Division of Certification Services

Pennsylvania Department of Education - School Leadership and Teacher Quality
333 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.728.3224

Certification, Application or Technical Questions - Please submit a Help Desk Ticket.