Virginia Administration/Principal Certification


Virginia's schools need leaders capable of providing quality education and direction to all students. A qualified principal or school administrator has the ability to direct a school to a more productive and effective curriculum, all while maintaining communication with parents and the school community.

But before assuming their leadership roles, potential principals must prove they have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform their duties by earning endorsements in administration.


Education Requirements

The Virginia Department of Education (DOE) ( ) requires all candidates for administrator endorsement to earn Master's degrees from accredited universities and complete approved administrator preparation programs.

Preparation programs in administration and supervision help candidates understand the background knowledge and skills they'll need to become principals or administrators one day. Most of these programs lead to master's degrees and fulfill many of the endorsement requirements.

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



Candidates seeking endorsement as a school administrator must complete the School Leadership Licensure Assessment (SLLA). The SLLA determines whether or not an entry-level administrator is fully prepared to reflect the vision and goals of a school through multiple-choice testing.

The DOE requires candidates to earn a score of at least 163 to be eligible for the administrative endorsement.


Experience Requirements

Virginia Licensure Regulations state that candidates seeking certification as administrators must have completed three years experience as a teacher. This ensures that school administrators have a full understanding of a school's atmosphere, and is able to relate to the faculty they will one day lead.

During their administration preparation programs, candidates also complete administrative internships that take place in a variety of different kinds of schools. Candidates must have completed a minimum of 320 hours focused on instructional leadership and school structure.

document application requirements

Document and Application Requirements

After completion of an administrative preparation program, candidates are ready to begin the application process. If candidates are simply adding an additional administrative endorsement to their current license, they may request through the Virginia school where they are currently employed.

Those applying for their initial administrative licenses generally follow the same procedures for initial teacher licenses. Adding an additional endorsement to a license holds a $25 application fee.

The largest difference is that administrative candidates must fill out the endorsement section with their administrative endorsement information. This includes their preparation program, as well as documentation of administrative internships and experience.

When you complete your application, you may send it, along with a $50 application fee to:

Virginia Department of Education
Division of Teacher Education and Licensure
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, VA 23218-2120


Criminal History Background Check

Virginia does not require fingerprinting of background checking for administrative applicants. Individual school districts may require candidates undergo background checking before employment, however.


Contact Information

If you're interested in learning more about the administrative endorsement process, you may contact the Department of Education at or see more on their website.

Info to Explore

Terminology and Specifics

Recent News

How I Found My Passion Through CTE

Posted on 19 February 2019 | 11:24 am

It was during my freshman year of high school when I first realized that STEM was not the career pathway I wanted to pursue. While I understood the importance of a strong foundation in STEM ...

5 Ways Agricultural Education and FFA Shape Students’ Futures

Posted on 8 February 2019 | 7:53 am

Agricultural education and FFA have long been essential parts of our nation’s career and technical education system. It’s only fitting during National CTE Month to celebrate how FFA and ...

Career Pathways, Post-Secondary Options…Call on the Experts

Posted on 5 February 2019 | 8:27 am

We call in the experts when we need brake service on our car, electrical work in our home, or tax planning for our future. The experts who our students can turn to about career pathways and ...