Colorado Administration/Principal Certification


The Colorado Department of Education offers licensing for Principals and Administrators (Superintendents).


Education Requirements

The following are educational requirements for both Principal and Administrator certification in Colorado.

Learn more about the graduate school process. Contact schools offering educational administration degree programs in Colorado.

Initial Principal License:

Initial Administrator (Superintendent) License:



The following are examination requirements for Principal and Administrative certification in Colorado.

Initial Principal License:

Initial Administrator (Superintendent) License:

Experience Requirements

Initial Principal License:
  • You must have at least three years of full-time experience as a licensed teacher, principal, administrator or special service provider

Initial Administrator (Superintendent) License:
  • In lieu of taking the PLACE Administrator Exam, you may have three years of full-time experience as a superintendent or assistant superintendent

document application requirements

Document and Application Requirements

You must apply online for both the Initial Principal and Initial Administrator (Superintendent) Licenses. You will need to submit via postal mail supporting documents such as official transcripts showing completion of at least a bachelor’s degree and of the appropriate administrator preparation program; and verification of experience. Any supporting documents that you send to the Colorado Department of Education, including letters or email, must have your full name and date of birth on them. These should be sent to the Colorado Department of Education, Educator Licensing Unit, 201 East Colfax, Room 106, Denver, Colorado 80203.

Any PLACE Exam scores should already be online and available to the Colorado Department of Education at the time of your application. Application fees will also be paid online when you file your application.other

Criminal History Background Check

Before submitting your online application for administrative licensure in Colorado, you must complete a criminal history background check and fingerprinting process. Print this form and take it to your local law enforcement agency. Your fingerprint card must be completed in its entirety and is to be submitted to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), 690 Kipling Street, Suite 3000, Denver, CO 80215. You must also pay a $39.50 processing fee by check, money order or credit card form. If you have any questions, call the CBI at (303) 239-4208 or visit their website.


Contact Information

For more information on administrator licensing, call the Colorado Department of Education Educator Licensing Unit at (303) 866-6628.

Info to Explore

Terminology and Specifics

Recent News

President’s Education Awards Program (PEAP): A Celebration of Student Achievement And Hard Work in the Classroom!

Posted on 26 July 2017 | 11:05 am

President’s Education Awards Program (PEAP) student recipients are selected annually by their school principal. This year, PEAP provided individual recognition to nearly 3 million graduates (at ...

7 Options to Consider if You Didn’t Receive Enough Financial Aid

Posted on 24 July 2017 | 3:37 pm

  The reality of paying for college is that many families find themselves struggling to cover the entire college bill, despite having already filed the Free Application for Federal Student ...

The Leadership Imperative

Posted on 18 July 2017 | 1:20 pm

During my tenure as the Washington Principal Ambassador Fellow, I have found myself frequently reminded of a hard truth: teachers do not quit students or schools, they quit leaders. Teacher ...