Principal Preparation

The Principal Preparation Program leads to a Master’s of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration Degree with Principal Endorsement (PRIN) or the Principal Endorsement only (ELPP).

Candidates who complete all the course work, field experiences, and degree requirements for this program earn their Illinois PreK- age 21 Principal endorsement on an Illinois Professional Educator License.

Program Purpose

Options offered under this program are designed to provide the background necessary for employment as an elementary or secondary school principal, or assistant principal in related or similar positions.


Concentrations offered under this program consist of:

MA in Educational Leadership and Administration with PreK – age 21 Principal Licensure (PRIN)
Candidates who complete this 33-credit hour concentration qualify for the M.A. in Educational Leadership and Administration and the PreK – age 21 Principal endorsement on an Illinois Professional Educator License.  

Principal Licensure Only (ELPP) 
Candidates who complete this 30-credit hour post-master’s Certificate of Advanced Study option qualify for a principal license (only) on a Professional Educator License. This endorsement requires the successful completion of the Training in Evaluation of Certified Personnel, and the Content Area Tests for Principals (subtests 195 and 196). This option is designed for candidates who already have their master’s degree and who are only interested in the post-master’s Certificate of Advanced Study Program.

Candidates for the Principal Preparation PreK – age 21 Endorsement must:

  1. Hold a master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution;
  2. Document at least 4 total years of successful teaching or school support personnel experience; and
  3. Pass the Illinois Content Area Tests for Principals (subtests 195 and 196).

To apply for admission to this program, candidates should contact: the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies at Chicago State University, (773) 995-2404 or visit graduate school and then follow the instructions provided on this homepage in submitting their application online. Official transcripts from all institutions previously attended (except CSU) are required.

The principal preparation program is open to highly qualified educators with at least three years of teaching experience or school support personnel experience at the time of admission who have been recommended by their supervisors.

To be considered for admission into the program, applicants must submit ALL of the following:

  1. Resume.
  2. Personal essay.
  3. Two letters of recommendation from supervisors, which need to be uploaded directly by the referees into the online application system.
  4. Official transcripts from all Colleges/Universities attended (except for CSU). A 3.0 GPA (on a 4 – point grading scale) is required for full admission to the program, while a 2.75 GPA is needed for conditional admission.
  5. Employment verification on school letterhead. Applicants must have worked as teachers or school support personnel for three years at the time of application. At program completion, candidates will be expected to have four years required for Principal Endorsement.

Additional Required Documents for International Applicants Only

  1. A course-by-course transcript evaluation from Education Credentials Evaluators (ECE) or World Educational Services (WES).
  2. Proof of English Proficiency: TOEFL/IELTS Official Score Report or Waiver Application.
  3. International Student Packet: - Bank Statement; and Notarized Financial Statement Form and Certificate of Sponsorship.
  • ELCF 5150*: Leading and Implementing Research-Based Practices (4 credit hours/20 field)
  • ELCF 5235*: Administration & Supervision of Exceptional and General Education Programs (4 credit hours/20 field)
  • ELCF 5245*: Supervision & Assessment of Literacy and Numeracy (4 credit hours/20 field)
  • ELCF 5335*: School Law for Exceptional & General Education (3 credit hours)
  • ELCF 5348*: Principal Internship (6 credit hours)
  • ELCF 5375*: Managing Fiscal Resources and Operations (3 credit hours)
  • ED 5960: Fundamentals of Educational Research (3 credit hours)
  • ELCF 5725*: Technology for Effective Teaching and Administrative Use (3 credit hours)
  • ELCF 5985*: Leadership in Creating a Peaceful and Productive School Climate (3 credit hours)

*Note: Courses required for the Principal Preparation Endorsement.

Candidates must, prior to graduation, fulfill the following general requirements:

  • Four (4) years of teaching or school support personnel experience.
  • Successful completion of all required credit hours for the program.
  • A GPA of 3.0 or better must be maintained in the program, and is required for degree completion.
  • Completion of a yearlong, intensive internship experience (ELCF 5348).

Additional Requirements for Completing the Internship are:

  • Certification as Teacher Evaluator.
  • Passing Score Report for the Illinois Licensure Test for Principals (Subtests 195 and 196).
  • Three semesters of internship experience.
  • All coursework for the degree, including transfer credits, must have been completed within the six years allowed for program completion.
  • The final assessment professional portfolio must be submitted through LiveText and approved by the assigned program facilitator.
  • Each candidate must be evaluated on professional dispositions through LiveText.

Dr. Athanase Gahungu, Program Facilitator

Department of Advanced Studies in Education

College of Education Building, Room 319

Phone: (773) 995-2086



Fall, Summer, and Spring semester of each year.

Yes. Student may transfer 9 credit hours of graduate credit earned at other accredited colleges and universities that were not used towards degree requirements or applied to a degree program at Chicago State University.

For an evaluation of transfer credit taken prior to admission at CSU, the student must indicate on the application for admission any transfer credit he/she wishes to have considered.

All courses must have been taken within the six-year time limit given for completing the degree program prior to the conferral of the graduate degree. Grades earned must be at least a B or above.

Yes, the program is aligned to state standards, Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC), Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) and the Educational Leadership Constituent Council Standards (ELCC).

The degree will take a minimum of four (4) semesters, and a maximum of two (2) years. Students are given a six-year time limit within which to complete their degree.

Core coursework consists of a total of 33 credit hours.

Yes.  The master’s degree can only be awarded to candidates who have achieved a 3.0 cumulative GPA or better in all required and elective courses applied toward the master’s degree. Students who fall below this standard will be placed on academic probation.

A course in which a grade of D of F was obtained can be repeated once to obtain a grade of C or better.

Once admitted to a degree program, no more than two grades of C can be earned in any graduate or professional course taken within the curriculum offered in that graduate program, whether or not the courses are part of the student’s program. Where a student has two grades of “I” outstanding on the graduate record, the student will be reviewed for probationary status.