Ohio Administration/Principal Certification

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) licenses qualified individuals as Principals and Superintendents. Grade levels for principal licensure include PK-6, 4-9 or 5-12. Superintendents are licensed to supervise grades PK-12.


Education Requirements

Principal:  You must have a master’s degree and complete a state-approved preparation program for principals. You must also be recommended for principal licensure by the dean/head of that program. Once licensed, you will complete the Entry Year Program for Principals, a mentoring and support program designed to help your professional growth and assess your performance. After successfully completing this program, you may apply for a Professional Principal’s License.

Top Pick

The University of Dayton School of Education and Health Sciences offers a top-ranked online MSE in Educational Leadership that prepares students to serve effectively at all levels of leadership from pre-k to grade 12.

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

Superintendent: You must have a master’s degree and complete a state-approved preparation program for superintendents. Additionally, you must receive a recommendation from that program’s dean/head of education.



For licensure as a Principal or Superintendent, you must pass the Praxis II Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision examination.


Experience Requirements

Principal: You must have at least two years of teaching experience under a Professional License.

Superintendent: You must have at least three years of experience in Ohio under a Principal License or Administrative Specialist License.

other information

Documents and Application Requirements

You may use the Initial Ohio License Application – In State (or Out of State Packet if you attended a preparation program outside of Ohio) to apply for your initial Principal or Superintendent license. Make sure to have the dean/head of education of your program sign where appropriate. Send official transcripts, copies of your teaching/administrative licenses, and copies of your Praxis II score reports along with the completed application and fees, to Ohio Department of Education, Office of Educator Licensure, 25 S. Front St, Mail Stop 105, Columbus, OH 43215-4183.


Criminal History Background Check

You must submit to a full criminal history background check through both the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) every five years after initial licensure as an educator in the state. If you have lived continuously in Ohio for those five years, you need only have a check performed by the FBI. Fingerprinting, if necessary, must be performed by a licensed WebCheck facility and electronically submitted to the Ohio Department of Education.


Contact Information

For more information on approved administrator preparation programs in Ohio, consult this database.

For information on licensing for Ohio administrators, call the Ohio Department of Education Office of Educator Licensure at 877-644-6338.

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Terminology and Specifics

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