Non-degree Principal Endorsement Program

    Program Overview

    The non-degree Principal Endorsement Program offered at the GSE is nationally certified by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and allows certified teachers to take coursework that leads to New Jersey Department of Education certification as a principal within an elementary or secondary school setting. Students who enroll in this program typically seek to advance in their current role and demonstrate the core competencies needed to be effective leaders in public and private K-12 schools or higher education institutions. Candidates commonly continue to work for local school districts, charter schools, or other educational institutions while completing the required coursework. The program curriculum includes coursework focusing on educational law, public school finance, school-community relations, supervision of instruction, and personnel administration.

    This 36-credit endorsement program is available only to individuals who hold a New Jersey Standard Instructional Certificate or Educational Services Certificate, or its out-of-state equivalent. Five years of full-time teaching experience is also required. The program is not aligned to any specific degree program, does not lead to a degree of any kind, and is usually completed at the New Brunswick campus with some online classes available. All 36 credits in the endorsement program must be completed at Rutgers University. No transfer credits will be accepted. 

    For more information about this program:

    Program Details

    Application Deadline

    Feb 1 / Nov 1

    Entry Term(s)

    Fall / Spring

    Program Level


    Program Type






  • What You’ll Learn

    Through research-driven curriculum and guidance from expert faculty, candidates enrolled in this program will deepen their knowledge of educational administration and refine their leadership skills to become agents of change promoting each student’s academic success and well-being. Coursework will focus on topics including educational law, public school finance, school-community relations, supervision of instruction, and personnel administration. Depending on chosen electives, students may also have the opportunity for deeper examination into urban education and educational inequities, and the relationship between education and individualistic factors like gender, race, and ethnicity. Graduates of the program will possess the ability to develop and support academically rigorous, equitable systems of curriculum, instruction, and assessment that effectively facilitate student learning and academic success.

    For more information about the courses in this program, please visit the course catalog and online schedule of classes.

  • Program Requirements

    36 Graduate Course Credits

      • 3 Credits – Foundations of Educational Administration and Supervision
      • 3 Credits – Leadership and Communication Skills in Educational Supervision
      • 3 Credits – School-Community Relations: The Politics of Education
      • 3 Credits – Education Law
      • 3 Credits – Personnel Administration
      • 3 Credits – Public School Finance
      • 3 Credits – Supervision of Instruction
      • 3 Credits – Decision Analysis I or Assessment/Data/Problem Solving 
      • 3 Credits – Internship in Educational Administration I*
      • 3 Credits – Internship in Educational Administration II*
      • 3 Credits – Educational Administration Elective
      • 3 Credits – Educational Administration Elective

    *This course has a field experience component

    Students are expected to maintain a “B” or better average as a non-degree student. Accepted students will have 5 years to complete the program. After completing all of the required courses in the program, students should contact the Office of Academic Services at the GSE to notify them and to secure an application for the state endorsement. GSE personnel will then forward the completed application to Trenton along with a recommendation that the certification be awarded.


    Additional Requirements for New Jersey Certification:

    To be certified as a principal in New Jersey, graduates of the GSE’s non-degree Principal Endorsement Program must also complete state mandated administrative training in the prevention of harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB). Details on the required HIB training can be downloaded here. They are also required to take and pass the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA). For more information on state principal certification requirements, see

  • Careers and Outcomes

    The non-degree Principal Endorsement Program prepares candidates for principal certification and leadership positions in New Jersey public and private K-12 schools and higher education institutions. According to the State of New Jersey Department of Education, these positions may include assistant principal, vice-principal, principal, director, or assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Principal certification authorizes candidates to provide educational leadership and direction as it pertains to the objectives, policies, and budgets of the school systems they serve. Principal certification holders may also participate in supervising and developing school operations and education programs, evaluating school staff, and providing strategic guidance to school leaders and practitioners to promote high-quality, culturally-competent instruction.

  • Admissions Requirements
    • Photocopy or electronic copy of a New Jersey Standard Instructional Certificate or Educational Services Certificate
    • 1 Letter of Recommendation
      • The letter of recommendation must be authored by the applicant’s current or previous school principal or superintendent, on school letterhead, certifying the completion of five years of successful, full-time employment under a New Jersey Standard Instructional Certificate or Educational Services Certificate
    • Official Transcripts Transcripts
      • Applicants must hold a master’s degree or higher degree equivalent from a regionally accredited college or university, in the areas of educational leadership, curriculum and instruction, or in one of the recognized fields of leadership or management. Applicants are not usually admitted with a GPA less than 3.25 in their most recent degree.

    Applicants are responsible for reviewing and confirming that they meet all requirements before the application is submitted. Rutgers Graduate School of Education will not  refund the application fee if an applicant is not accepted.

  • How to Apply

    Current Rutgers University Students:

    All applicants who are currently enrolled in a program at Rutgers University and wish to begin the certificate program while continuing their current program should contact the GSE Office of Student and Academic Services (OSAS) at

    Non-Rutgers University Students:

    1. Collect the materials required for admission
    2. Submit your application online at
    3. Submit supporting materials online
    4. Any supporting materials that cannot be submitted electronically should be mailed to Graduate Admissions’ New Brunswick office. Their mailing address can be found here:
  • Tuition


    Click here for the New Brunswick Graduate tuition rates.

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