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North Dakota

How to Become an Education Administrator in North Dakota



N.D. – Learn how to become an Education Administrator or School Principal in North Dakota.

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction issues administrator licenses in Educational Leadership for those who wish to pursue administrative positions in North Dakota schools. Credentials are available at the Elementary and Secondary level and at the Superintendent level.

Academic Obligations

Provisional Credential – School principal:

  • You must possess completed at least 8 hours of graduate courses in a master’s degree state-authorized education administrator program  in educational administration
  • You have 2 years to successfully complete the educational administration program while working as a school principal under a Provisional Credential

Level II Professional Credential – School principal:

  • You must possess completed at least 20 hours of graduate courses in a master’s degree state-authorized education administrator program  in educational administration, as follows:
    • Planning, organizational behavior and leadership in education
    • Organizational structure and educational law
    • Staff development, supervision, and personnel.
    • Learning theory, curriculum, and instruction
    • Educational finance and policy
    • Administration of the elementary/secondary school
    • Elementary /Secondary school curriculum

Level I Professional Credential – School principal- you must have 1 of the following degrees:

  • Graduate  degree in educational administration with courses specific to the grade level you want the credential for (i.e., elementary, or secondary)
  • Graduate  degree with a major in which the Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB) offers licensure/endorsement
  • Courses  for either degree must include all of the above areas in Level II plus:
    • Theory and practice of administration and leadership
    • Political and legal foundations of education
    • Research, analysis, statistics, and writing
    • Educational foundations, curriculum, and instruction
    • Information systems for instruction and management

Provisional Superintendent Credential:

  • Issued if you already have a School principal Credential but lack the necessary courses for the Professional Superintendent Credential
  • You must successfully complete the educational obligations for Professional Superintendent Credential while working under a Provisional Superintendent Credential.

Professional Superintendent Credential:

  • You must possess completed the educational obligations necessary for a Level I Professional School principal Credential
  • You must also possess completed at least 8 additional hours of graduate courses specific to superintendents, as follows:
    • Seminar in superintendency
    • Advanced school law
    • Advanced finance, revenue, and business management
    • Facilities/facilities planning
    • Personnel administration
    • Politics, community relations and policy


No assessments are required for administrative licenses and credentials in North Dakota.

Classroom Teaching Experience Requirements

You must have at least 3 years of teaching or administrative experience (or a combination thereof) in North Dakota schools under an active North Dakota educator’s license.

To get the Professional Superintendent Credential, you must have 2 years of administrative experience in North Dakota schools as an elementary or secondary school principal, a central office administrator, or an administrator of an authorized school with a 12-year program; along with field experience (practicum) as a superintendent.

Documents and Application Requirements

You must send the Application for Administrator’s Credential

Mail all of the above materials to North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, Educator and School Effectiveness, 600 East Boulevard Ave., Dept. 201 Bismarck, ND 58505-0440.