College of Education > Academics > Leadership, Language & Curriculum > Graduate Programs > Educational Leadership (MA/MEd) > Admission Requirements > Educational Leadership - Principal Admission

Educational Leadership - Principal Program Admission Requirements

Admission Eligibility

DePaul offers several options for students seeking Principal Endorsement at the master's level: an Educational Leadership - Principal master's degree program, with Principal and Catholic Principal concentration options, or a Principal Endorsement program. Please be advised that none of DePaul’s Principal Prep options are 100% online, the programs are both online and in-person in compliance with ISBE standards.

To be eligible to enroll in the Educational Leadership - Principal master's degree program, students must have a bachelor's degree and two years of full-time teaching experience within the last five years on a valid Illinois teaching license. 

To enroll in the Principal Endorsement program, students must have a bachelor's degree, a master's degree in education and two years of full-time teaching experience within the last five years on a valid Illinois teaching license.

Application Requirements

Please be advised that the application process is a two-part process. Part one is the standard application and part two is a portfolio, interview, and writing an essay on the day of the interview.

Part One:
To apply, please submit the following items to The Office of Graduate Admission:

  • Graduate admission application
  • $40 domestic application fee, $75 international application fee
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended
  • Résumé
  • Copy of valid Illinois teaching license
  • One letter from district office recommending entrance into the principal preparation program*
  • Two letters of recommendation (one from a supervisor and one from a colleague)
  • Statement of purpose indicating why you want to become a principal

*School District Employment Verification Details
We do not have a form for your employer to fill out but all that you need is a couple of sentences on company letterhead that establish (this may come from the HR Dept.):

  1. you are currently employed there,
  2. the position that you hold,
  3. that you have 2 years of teaching experience (that this experience is recent),
  4. how long you have been employed there, and
  5. that you are in good standing on company letterhead

Ex: "The individual (your name) has been employed for ____ school district for ______ months/years (etc.) and is in good standing" along with contact information should we need to reach out to them.

Part Two:
You will be asked to compile a portfolio and asked to interview.

Portfolios (and interviews) are only sought after part one is complete. If you would like to begin working on your portfolio in advance please see the list of items below.

Format: There are no length requirements, you may make it as many documents as necessary. We recommend that you format this portfolio by creating a google drive and using various folders to keep your components organized. You will be provided an email address so that you know who and how to submit these documents. This information is to help you get started and to know what you can expect.

Each candidate must meet the following minimum portfolio requirements below. Submission of a portfolio that presents evidence of a teacher candidate’s achievements during his or her teaching experience in each of the following categories:

  1. Support of all students in the classroom to achieve high standards of learning
  2. Accomplished classroom instruction, which shall include data providing evidence of two years of student growth and learning within the last five years
  3. Significant leadership roles in the school (e.g., curriculum development, discipline, team teaching assignment, mentoring)
  4. Strong oral and written communication skills
  5. Analytic abilities needed to collect and analyze data for student improvement
  6. Demonstrated respect for family and community
  7. Strong interpersonal skills/li>

Please note that, “evidence” includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Evaluations of the candidate’s teaching abilities from supervisors that attest to students’ academic growth;
  2. Evidence of leadership roles held and descriptions of the impact the candidate has had on the classroom, school or district, or the constituents served;
  3. An analysis of classroom data (student scores) that describes how the data were used to inform instructional planning and implementation, including an explanation of what standards were addressed, the instructional outcomes and steps taken when expected outcomes did not occur;
  4. Information on the candidate’s work with families and/or community groups and a description of how this work affected instruction or class activities;
  5. Examples of the candidate’s analytical abilities as evidenced by a description of how he or she used the results from student assessments to improve student learning; and
  6. Evidence of curriculum development, student assessments, or other initiatives that resulted from the candidate’s involvement on school committees.

Applicants who have earned a degree outside of the U.S. or who will be considered international students must submit additional materials. Visit our International Students page for more information.

Application Deadlines

The Educational Leadership - Principal master's degree program and the Principal Endorsement program admit new students in the fall and winter quarters. The program offers rolling admission, but regular deadlines are set to assure students full consideration for admission and financial aid. These programs will continue to accept and process applications after the regular deadline if space is available.


Regular Deadline


August 15


December 1

Applicants will be required to participate in an interview with Educational Leadership program faculty as part of the admission process. Once a complete application has been submitted, the Office of Graduate Admission will contact the applicant to schedule an interview.

Take the next step

Learn more about Graduate Admission.
Attend an Admission Event.

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Graduate Admission

College of Education Graduate Admissions
DePaul University
1 E. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604
Tel: (773) 325 – 4405