Tennessee Administration/Principal Certification


There are two levels of administrative licenses issued by the Tennessee Department of Education. The Instructional Leadership License –Beginning (ILL-B) is the initial administrative license issued, while the Instructional Leadership License-Professional (ILL-P) is the advanced administrative license, earned after you have at least three years of work experience under the ILL-B and have completed the necessary professional development activities for school leaders.


Education Requirements

In order to receive the ILL-B, you must complete a state-approved master’s degree program in school administration and supervision/educational leadership.

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



You must pass the Praxis II School Leaders Licensure Assessment to earn the ILL-B.


Experience Requirements

You must hold a valid Tennessee education license and have at least three years of education experience. You must also complete an internship during your program in school administration and supervision.

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Documents and Application Requirements

Once you have met application requirements, download the Application for Administrator License. Mail it to the Tennessee Department of Education, along with:

  • Having the Dean of Education and Certification of your college/university program complete Option 1 on Page 2 of the application
  • Ask ETS to submit your Praxis II scores directly to the Department
  • Attach official college transcripts showing receipt of a master’s degree and completion of the program in school administration

Send all of the above documents, plus the application fee, to Office of Teacher Licensing, Tennessee Department of Education, 4th Floor, Andrew Johnson Tower, 710 James Robertson Parkway, Nashville, TN 37243-0377.


Criminal History Background Check

You will be given more information on the criminal history background check and fingerprinting process when you are hired for an administrative position at a Tennessee school. Schedule an appointment to be fingerprinted by Cogent Systems. Cogent Systems will then send the results of the report to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). You must pay all fees for this check. Expect the background check to take up to four weeks to clear.


Contact Information

Contact colleges and universities in Tennessee offering approved instructional leadership programs for more information.

For more information on the administrative licensing process in Tennessee, contact the Office of Teacher Licensing of the Tennessee Department of Education at 615-532-4885 or Education.Licensing@tn.gov.

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