Give your career momentum

ESU is proud to announce our new, one-year online accelerated principal certification preparation program.

This is a 27-credit program in which you take three, three-credit courses a semester. You will take two eight-week courses and be enrolled in a principal internship for three semesters.

Join a virtual informative session to meet program faculty and learn about application and enrollment.

Join a virtual informative session to meet program faculty and learn about application and enrollment.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally or nationally accredited college or university with a 3.0 or better G.P.A.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation
  • Satisfy the requirements set fourth in section 24 P.S. S 12-1209 relating to good moral character
  • Provide verification of at least two years of professional experience in an educational setting that is directly related to the educational process and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education
  • Be employed in a school setting where the internship hours can be completed under the mentorship of a licensed principal

This unique program is designed for working professionals, providing an authentic and job-embedded learning experience. You will learn about the competencies required for school leadership while applying these learnings in your internship.

This program also follows a cohort model, allowing you to advance your skills in a supportive community of Warriors that will drive you to succeed.

Sample Schedule
Term Courses Taken (8 weeks per course) Job Embedded Internship
Semester 1 PSED 595 Foundations of Leadership
PSED 588 School Law
PSED 573 Leadership
Semester 2 PSED 590 Supervision
PSED 554 Foundations of Curriculum
PSED 575 Curriculum & Student Achievement
Semester 3 PSED 596 School Finance
PSED 515 Data
PSED 574 Organizational Leadership & Management

Current and Returning Educational Leadership Students

How do I finish the program?


  • M.Ed. Educational Leadership: Apply to the Graduate Program in Professional and Secondary Education, and identify your track as Educational Leadership.
  • Principal Certificate only: The candidate has an M.Ed. already and is just seeking principal certification. Apply to the Secondary Education certification, and not the M.Ed.
  • M.Ed. Educational Leadership: The candidate seeks an M.Ed. and principal certification. Once you are accepted into the program, complete common core courses and contact a PSED adviser to discuss your career goals to complete Track OR
  • Principal Certificate only: The candidate has an M.Ed. already and is just seeking principal certification. Email the PSED graduate coordinator with your previous graduate transcripts. The PSED coordinator will determine if any of your previous M.Ed. courses meet PDE certification requirements.
Plan of Study
  • M.Ed. Educational Leadership: After taking 9-12 credits, meet with your adviser to assist you to complete the Plan of Study form. The plan of study will be signed by you, your adviser, graduate coordinator, department chair, and graduate director. Your signed Plan of Study will be sent by email. Please retain the Plan of Study for your records.
  • Principal Certificate only: Meet with your PSED adviser to make sure you are fulfilling PDE requirements to earn certification.
PDE requires a year long internship. A PSED supervisor will assist you to meet all your internship requirements and you must fill out and submit an Internship Application. You must be approved for PSED 573, 574, and 575. Email your completed application to Ms. Carolyn Cooper Chambliss.
Comprehensive Assessment Portfolio
While you are completing your courses, gather artifacts, read and write reflections for your comprehensive assessment portfolio for Educational Leadership. The portfolio is a chance to highlight your unique professional perspectives. You will present your portfolio the last semester of your program. Please review the Comprehensive Assessment Portfolio Assessment Policy and Protocol Manual, and ask if you have questions.
Finishing Up - Last Semester

Innovative Faculty

ESU professors have real-world educational leadership experience as school superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, curriculum supervisors and most administrative roles.

Learn more about the Accelerated Principal Certification Preparation Program.

Professional Licensure Disclosures and Distance Learning State Authorization: Applicants who are applying to programs that may lead to licensure in states other than Pennsylvania must be aware of the various state professional licensure requirements. Please see ESU's professional licensure disclosures, Evaluation of Conduct Record, and check licensure requirements by occupation and state at CareerOneStop.

Contact Us

For additional information regarding the programs offered in the Professional & Secondary Education department, please contact the secretary at

Contact Information

Campus Address
Stroud Hall 209 P
(570) 422-3363
Title of Department Leader
Graduate Coordinator
Mary (Liz) Azukas
(570) 422-3352