Academic Programs of Study

Principal Certification

  • Convenient, low-residency program
  • Courses taught by experienced school administrators
  • Yearlong supervised internship
  • Approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education

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Principal Certification at Marywood

Marywood University’s principal certification program educates school principals who serve children, families, teachers, and communities in ethical and inspiring ways. Our program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Low-Residency Program

Our 18-credit principal certification program can be completed in as little as 18 months. Courses are delivered in hybrid and online formats, while periodic on-campus workshops afford you the opportunity to network with current and aspiring school leaders, hear engaging speakers, and review your coursework. A required year-long internship provides hands-on experience in a public or private school setting.

Experienced and Accomplished Faculty

Courses are taught by experienced principals, superintendents, and other school administrators from throughout Northeast Pennsylvania. Using national standards, best practices, and current research, our faculty will guide you through the challenging issues confronting school principals today.

More About This Degree

Our program provides the certification you need to become a K-12 principal in Pennsylvania. Because our courses are tied to national standards and taught by practicing school administrators, you can rest assured that Marywood’s principal certification program will prepare you to address the most pressing problems facing today’s school leaders.

Specific Program Requirements

  • 1 year of teaching experience with Level I certificate
  • Personal statement
  • Letter of recommendation from a school principal in your district

Graduate Admissions Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • “B” average during undergraduate study or demonstrated potential for graduate work
  • Completed application
  • Essay
  • Official, sealed transcripts
  • Two or three letters of recommendation

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Master of Science in School Leadership

30 semester hours

The program in School Leadership consists of 30 semester hours of low-residency graduate work and 24 hours of participation in the Principal Leadership Academy. The Academy provides an orientation to the Marywood campus, four on-campus Powerful Learning Experiences (PLEs) and a concluding networking experience. The courses are divided into three categories: nine semester hours in core courses, which are intended to give the student an understanding of research, organizational dynamics, and multicultural issues in schools; 15 semester hours in concentration courses, which provide an understanding of administration, current issues in education, curriculum planning, supervision and evaluation of instruction, law, finances, and an internship in a school setting, and three semester hours in elective courses.

The overall goal of the program is to develop school principals who are motivated to serve children, families, teachers, and communities by applying solid research and best practices of the discipline to their role as principal. Vital program components are the establishment and maintenance of long-term relationships among school districts, school leaders, and mentors, as well as a focus on the candidate's personal growth using an ethical, authentic, and standards-based approach. Internships are individualized, based on needs and interests of school districts and candidates. The Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) building level standards support the courses and internship.

In addition to an initial interview with the chair of the Education Department or designated faculty member and the successful completion of coursework, the degree candidate is required to complete a Professional Contribution under the guidance of a faculty mentor and give a public presentation of the Professional Contribution. To be eligible for Pennsylvania certification, the candidate must complete state testing requirements and provide 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."


9 semester hours

EDUC 501 Research Theory
COUN 532 Multicultural Issues In Counseling
EDUC 605 Theories of Educational Organizations
EDUC 555 Professional Contribution


18 semester hours

*EDUC 545 Administrative Theory for School Leaders
*EDUC 547 Curriculum Planning for Schools
*EDUC 548 Supervision and Evaluation of Instruction
*EDUC 549 Law and the School
*EDUC 551 School Finances
*EDUC 593 Administrative Internship


3 semester hours

This program has been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for awarding certification as a PK-12 principal.

*Certification Program in School Leadership - Persons seeking a PK-12 principal certificate in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, who do not wish to receive the Master of Science degree, may do so by taking only courses marked with an asterisk listed under the degree program. An initial interview is also required.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that certain criteria be met prior to acceptance into certification or degree programs. Upon completion of the program, to be eligible to apply for certification, candidates must pass the School Leaders Licensure Assessment test (use Praxis SLS Bulletin to register) and have three years of certificated experience in a school setting.

NOTE: The Program requirements discussed in this section are subject to change based on guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.