New Jersey Administration/Principal Certification

new jersey

If you wish to be a school administrator in New Jersey, you must apply for a Principal Certificate of Eligibility. This certificate authorizes you to accept the following positions: principal, assistant principal, vice principal, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, and director.


Education Requirements

You must meet one of the following degree requirements:
  • A master’s degree in educational leadership, curriculum and instruction, or leadership/management
  • A master’s degree and completion of a post-master’s program that leads to a certificate of advanced study in educational administration and supervision
  • A master’s degree and completion of a post-master’s program of 30 semester hour credits in educational administration/supervision
  • A master’s degree from an approved National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) or Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) educational leadership program at an out-of-state college/university

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

In addition, you must have 30 graduate credits (within your master’s degree program or in addition to it) in the following areas:
  • Leadership of a common vision of learning in the school community
  • Leadership of a culture and climate conducive to learning and staff professional growth
  • Leadership of a safe, effective learning environment
  • Mobilizing resources, responding to diverse needs, collaboration with communities and families
  • Integrity and fairness in leadership
  • Including the larger social, political, economic and legal context in school leadership


You must pass the Praxis School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA)


Experience Requirements

You must have at least five years of experience working under a provisional or standard New Jersey teaching certificate or equivalent out-of-state teaching certificate. You must also complete a 300-hour internship in educational leadership.

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Document and Application Requirements

Once you have met the above requirements, you may apply for the certificate online. Application fees must be paid online as well. In addition, forward the following documents to the New Jersey Department of Education:

  • Official transcripts listing master’s degree and the necessary graduate credits
  • Praxis SLLA test scores sent directly from ETS
  • A letter verifying five years of employment
  • Copies of any out-of-state teaching certificates you possess

Mail all of the above to: State of New Jersey Department of Education, Office of Licensure & Credentials,  P.O. Box 500Trenton, NJ 08625-0500


Criminal History Background Check

You need not undergo a criminal history background check as part of an application for a Principal Certificate of Eligibility. However, before any school district t in New Jersey will employ you, you must undergo this check. The hiring school district will instruct you on how to proceed with having your fingerprints taken. Background checks will be run through both the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Results will be reported to the Department of Education, who will notify the employing school district of your eligibility.


Contact Information

For more information on certification for administrators, contact the Office of Licensure & Credentials at 609-292-2070.