College of Education > Academics > Leadership, Language & Curriculum > Licensure & Endorsements > Principal Endorsement

Principal Endorsement

Today’s school principals are much more than administrators. They collaborate with staff and community stakeholders to implement reform and strive for equity-based excellence. Moreover, they are curricular leaders, working with staff to establish a supportive educational climate, improve instructional practices, and develop meaningful, challenging curricula.

The Principal endorsement program offers a powerful, discipline-based curriculum with a problem-solving orientation that prepares effective and principled decision-makers. It is designed for licensed teachers who already hold a master’s degree in education and are seeking Principal endorsement.

Graduates of this program are prepared to assume school and district administrative and supervisory roles.

Are you interested in enrolling in this program?View its admission requirements and application instructions here or contact the College of Education’s Office of Graduate Admission at (773) 325-4405.


The Principal Licensure program at DePaul University is an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved program; it leads to Principal licensure in the state of Illinois.

Program Format

To accommodate working professionals, the Principal licensure program offers courses that meet on weeknights at DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus, online, or a hybrid online and on-campus format (but students are restricted in the number of online classes they can take online per the Illinois State Board of Education’s requirements for programs that lead to Principal licensure.) In addition, the program’s schedule is flexible, allowing students to attend full-time or part-time as their professional and personal schedules allow.

Program Requirements

The Principal Licensure program requires 11 courses (44 quarter hours) in Curriculum Studies and Administration and Supervision, as well as two internships (one in an elementary and one in a secondary school.)

This graduate certificate program is approved as a Gainful Employment Program through the U.S. Department of Education and is, therefore, eligible for Federal Student Aid. ​

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for the Principal Preparation licensure program, students must hold a master’s degree from an accredited college or university. They must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher at the undergraduate level and a 3.25 or higher at the graduate level. Students must also possess at least two years of fulltime successful teaching experience, hold a valid Illinois teaching license, and possess proof of passing two Principal content-area tests.  At the time of program completion, students must have at least 4 years of full-time, successful teaching experience to apply for licensure.

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

  • A completed graduate application
  • Application fee ($40.00)
  • A copy of valid Illinois teaching license
  • Proof of passing two Principal content-area tests
  • One official transcript from all colleges and/or universities attended
  • Letters from district office recommending entrance into the principal preparation program
  • Four letters of recommendation (two from a supervisor and two from colleagues)
  • Resume showing evidence of adequate background for the program
  • Statement of purpose indicating why you want to be a principal

Upon initial review, the process will include a required interview. Candidates will be expected to complete an on-site writing sample during the interview and submit a teaching portfolio.

Course Requirements

Licensure Only (Public School Strand)

The principal licensure program at DePaul University is an approved Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) program. It is a rigorous program preparing principals and assistant principals for work service in public and private schools in the state of Illinois.

This is a 44 quarter hour program, which leads to the State of Illinois’ principal licensure.

Educational Leadership Courses: 36 Quarter Hours Required, Grade of C or Better Required in All Courses

Course Title Quarter Hours

Curriculum Studies Courses: 8 Quarter Hours Required, Grade of C or Better Required in All Courses

Course Title Quarter Hours

Specific requirements for entrance into the principal licensure program may be obtained from the office of graduate admissions or the LLC department office.

Individuals seeking the principal licensure must:

  1. Complete an approved principal licensure program at an Illinois institution
  2. Complete all state-mandated training and examinations
  3. Have successfully completed the internship experiences
  4. Hold a master's degree

Upon successful completion of all principal licensure program requirements and any additional requirements, students must apply for their license. Students are to work with the College of Education's Licensure Officer when applying for the license. This graduate certificate program is approved as a Gainful Employment Program through the​ U.S. Department of Education and is, therefore, eligible for Federal Student Aid. 

Note:  Courses in this program leading to the principal licensure are designed for practicing educators and are not open to students and any other program without the specific permission of the educational leadership program director.

Content displayed from this DePaul University catalog page.

Interested in more information?

Fill out the form below.
Still deciding? View all of our Licensure and Endorsement programs.

Take the next step

We’ll send you information about the program, admission requirements and upcoming info sessions. Let’s get started.

If the form fails to load or displays incorrectly, click here to fill out an alternate form.