North Carolina Administration/Principal Certification

north carolina

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction issues School Administrator licenses in the following categories: Superintendent, Principal, and Assistant Principal. All of these categories require that you first have a Standard Professional 2 (SP2) Educator’s License.

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Education Requirements

Assistant Principal:
  • Complete a state-approved school administration program at the master’s level or above

Principal:
  • Complete a state-approved school administration program at the master’s level or above

Superintendent:
  • Possess an advanced graduate degree (six years) in school administration, OR
  • Possess a bachelor’s degree and five years of relevant managerial experience (see below)

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

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Examinations

Assistant Principal:

Principal:

Superintendent:

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Experience Requirements

Assistant Principal:
  • While no experience requirements are stated, it is assumed that you have at least three years of teaching experience as you have had a SP2 Educator’s License

Principal:
  • While no experience requirements are stated, it is assumed that you have at least three years of teaching experience as you have had a SP2 Educator’s License

Superintendent:
  • It is assumed that you have at least three years of teaching experience as you have had a SP2 Educator’s License
  • You must also have at least one year of experience as a school administrator
  • If you are claiming a bachelor’s degree as your educational qualification, you must also have at least five years of relevant managerial experience

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Documents and Application Requirements

To apply for a School Administrator license, file the Application for a North Carolina Professional Educator’s License. Have your college or university’s school administration program complete the Verification by Institution form. Send official transcripts listing degrees obtained and dates. Provide copies of your SLLA test scores. Complete Form OS-HQ for Highly Qualified Status. Complete the Verification of K-12 Educator Experience form. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you want any documents returned. Pay application fees of $85 by check, money order or certified check (or credit card via this form) payable to the Department of Public Instruction.

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Criminal History Background Check

While you do not need to submit to a criminal history background check for school administrator licensure in North Carolina, you will have to undergo such a check prior to employment in any North Carolina public school. You will be provided with instructions on how to go about this at the time of application/hire.

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Contact Information

To find state-approved school administrator preparation programs, search this directory.

For more information on administrator licensure in North Carolina, call the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Licensure Section at 919-807-3310 in state and 800-577-7994 out of state.