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Program Requirements for Principal Leadership Admission

There is a selection process for acceptance into the Principal Leadership Sequence. Evidence that the candidate has met the Program Selection Criteria must be submitted with the university application via the online application system. The program selection criteria include:

  • undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher (submit official transcript) OR scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test including a score of "4" or higher on the Writing Subtest;
  • letter of recommendation and support from school district administrator (submit official letter);
  • valid IL Professional Educator License (download from ELIS account, print as a pdf, upload into application system); 
  • evidence of passing the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency or equivalent (download test screen from ELIS account, print as a pdf, upload into application system);
  • two years of full-time teaching experience (submit official letter from school district) and once selected, provide evidence of continued employment as a teacher to meet the 4 year teaching requirement for principal licensure;

Conditional Continuation

During the first course, EDAD-7801 , the students are required to complete a professional portfolio demonstrating their current impact on student learning and teacher leadership which includes a successful oral interview and a written scenario. After the student has completed with a grade of "B" or better EDAD-7801  and EDAD-7802  for Principal Leadership, the faculty will review this information and recommend that the student be permitted to continue in the program, continue in the program conditionally, or be dismissed from the program.

The faculty may permit a student to progress conditionally. In such cases, faculty review of the applicant's record identifies evidence that the student will likely be successful in the program. The status of all students permitted to progress conditionally is reviewed by the faculty each semester, and students are informed in writing of the conditions necessary for them to be transferred to good standing status. When conditions are met, the student is informed in writing of the transfer to good standing status. A student may not be admitted to practicum courses without achieving good standing status. Students in the Principal Leadership sequence must pass the Illinois Content Exam for their sequence before enrolling in internship courses.

Admission to Candidacy

To continue in the Principal Leadership sequence, the student must be accepted as a candidate for the M.A. in Educational Administration degree program after completing EDAD-7801 , EDAD-7802 EDAD-7803 , and EDAD-7902  each with a grade of B or better.

Students must submit to the Division of Education Graduate Advisor an application for candidacy in the term that they expect to have completed the 12 credit-hours listed above. It must be submitted by the 30th of the first month of the term, e.g. September 30th, January 30th, May 30th. Contact the Academic Advisor for the application.

To qualify for candidacy, a student must

  • have completed the four courses referred to above with a grade point average of 3.0;
  • display, or be judged as exhibiting, or developing, the dispositions expected of graduate students as listed in the section "Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals "; and
  • receive a positive recommendation from the Educational Administration faculty.


  • Sondra Estep

    Dr. Sondra Estep, Associate Professor

    About five years ago, the Illinois Board of Education mandated that all principal preparation programs go through a major revision with the focus on producing better instructional leaders in Illinois schools. GSU not only met their new requirements but exceeded them. Further, GSU has been in a continuous cycle of assessment of the new program which has led to improvements to better meet the needs of our local students. I am proud to be a faculty member in such a dynamic program that works diligently to prepare principals who better understand their role of providing instructional leadership for their students, faculty, and greater educational community.

  • Conrad_David_96x112

    Dr. David Conrad, Program Coordinator

    I am proud to tell my colleagues that my preparation for principalship began at GSU. Their mix of practitioners and scholars provided a balance of theoretical understanding and practical application. I was impressed how faculty listened to school leaders about the training needs of future leaders. The program continues to anchor school leadership in the south suburbs.

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