In Texas, individuals interested in principal certification can look to various public universities that offer Master of Education programs with focuses in principalship, educational leadership or educational administration. Students who already possess a master's degree can pursue graduate-level programs designed only to prepare them for principal certification. Applicants to certification-only programs typically need 1-2 years of educational experience and a current teaching certification. Certification-only programs may be completed in one year, while master's degree programs can take 2-3 years to complete. Additionally, internships are often required of students in either program.
Texas A&M University
At Texas A&M University in College Station, students complete principal certification requirements as part of their master's degree program in public school administration. The program consists of 33 hours of classroom studies and a three-credit hour internship. The program is designed for working educators, with eight classes taught online and four in a hybrid of online and in-person instruction. Classes meet on four or five Saturdays each semester, and students can earn their degree in two years. Required courses include public school law, school/community partnerships and applied data techniques.
Texas State University - San Marcos
Texas State University - San Marcos offers several paths to a principal's certificate. Students can earn a master's degree with principal's certification through a 39-semester hour course of study. The program explores new methods and issues in education. Students move through the program in a cohort group, which gives them the opportunity to form connections with other educators. Individuals who have a master's degree in a field related to education can enroll in a principal's certification program that consists of eight courses, including two internships.
Texas Tech University
Located in Lubbock, Texas Tech University offers a master's degree in educational leadership that includes required courses for principal certification. Individuals who already hold a master's degree can work on certification requirements only. All students must be admitted to the graduate program, then file a separate certification plan. Applicants must have at least a year of full-time teaching experience. The degree plan calls for 36 hours of courses including fiscal management, staff development, education law and two internships. Principal certification requires an additional three-hour course as well as Instructional Leadership Development and Professional Development and Supervision training.
The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington offers a master's degree program that includes requirements for principal certification. The degree program is 36 credit hours with courses such as leadership theory and diversity in education. Individuals who already hold master's degrees can enroll in the certification program and meet state qualifications with 21 credit hours of courses in topics that include leading change and the political aspects of education. Capstone and administration internships are required for both the degree and the certification programs.
The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin's principalship program is part of the Public School Executive Leadership (PSEL) program and is offered with the master's degree. Students go through the principalship program in cohorts of 15 to 24 members. Classes are scheduled to mesh with working teachers' schedules; fall and spring classes are in the evenings and on weekends, while the summer schedule is more intensive. Through internships and classes, the principalship master's program emphasizes scholarly research and leadership, preparing graduates to analyze areas of need and determine how to address them.
The University of Texas at El Paso
At The University of Texas at El Paso, the College of Education offers a master's program that includes principal certification and a principal certification program that lets students take the courses they need to meet state requirements. The master's degree program calls for 36 credit hours including courses in budgeting, educational law and personnel administration. Students can choose from courses in bilingual education, implementing technology programs and the legal basis of special education. Two school management internships are required. Applicants to the principal certification program must have a master's degree, hold Texas teacher certification and have at least two years of teaching experience.
The University of Texas at San Antonio
At The University of Texas as San Antonio, educators who want to become principals can earn a master's degree with a concentration in educational leadership for K-12 school administrators. The 36-credit hour program meets state requirements for principals and includes core courses in human relations for education administrators, research methods and education in a culturally and linguistically diverse society. Other courses cover school finance, the duties of a school administrator and education law. An internship is required.
The University of Texas - Pan American
Located in Edinburg, The University of Texas - Pan American has a principal credential program that includes five core courses in topics such as personnel management, instructional leadership and support programs. An internship is also required. Students who are completing a master's degree in educational leadership at the university and individuals who hold a master's in educational leadership from another university may apply. An aspiring principal with a master's degree in another area of education can also enroll in an accelerated five-week summer program; the internship is completed during a fall or spring semester.
University of Houston
At the University of Houston, the master's degree program in administration and supervision meets the state's requirements for principal certificate education. The 36-credit hour program takes two to three years to complete. Core courses include human development, statistics for school leaders and curriculum development. Courses in education law, leadership, school finance, interpersonal communication and leadership are required, as is an internship.
University of North Texas
Individuals can earn a master's degree in educational leadership that meets principal certificate requirements at the University of North Texas in Denton. Students complete 30 semester hours of required administration courses. A practicum is required. The university also offers an accelerated degree program that can be completed in 12 months. Individuals who already hold a master's degree can enroll in the principal certification program, which consists of six courses such as management of school resources and instructional leadership, plus an internship.
The Texas Education Agency regulates certification for the state's school principals for kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12). The agency requires that a principal hold a valid teaching certificate and have at least two years' experience as a classroom teacher. A principal must have a master's degree from an accredited institution and complete a principal educator preparation program as part of the master's program or separately. Principals must pass state certification tests. Below are brief overviews of the ten largest schools with principal educator certification programs and a table showing general information for each.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Principal Certification Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-16 Graduate)|
|Texas A&M University - College Station||Four-year; public; small city||Master of Education in Public School Administration||$8,656, in-state; $18,183, out-of-state*|
|Texas State University - San Marcos||Four-year; public; town|| Master of Education or Master of Arts, Educational Administration major,
Post-Master's Principal Certification
|$7,786, in-state; $15,604, out-of-state*|
|Texas Tech University||Four-year; public; midsize city|| Master of Education in Educational Leadership,
Principal Professional Certification Preparation Program
|$7,390, in-state; $14,410, out-of-state*|
|The University of Texas at Arlington||Four-year; public; large city|| Master of Education, Principal Certification,
|$8,517, in-state; $16,271, out-of-state*|
|The University of Texas at Austin||Four-year; public; large city||Master of Education, Principalship Program||$10,934, in-state; $20,762, out-of-state*|
|The University of Texas at El Paso||Four-year; public; large city|| Master of Education in Educational Administration, Concentration: K-12 Administration,
Principal Certification Program
|$5,381, in-state; $12,562, out-of-state*|
|The University of Texas at San Antonio||Four-year; public; large city||Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies||$6,586, in-state; $20,945, out-of-state*|
|The University of Texas - Pan American||Four-year; public; small city||Principal Credential||$6,498, in-state; $13,518, out-of-state*|
|University of Houston||Four-year; public; large city||Master of Education in Administration and Supervision||$9,074, in-state; $17,894, out-of-state*|
|University of North Texas||Four-year; public; midsize city|| Master of Education in Educational Leadership,
Principal Certification Program
|$7,165, in-state; $14,185, out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.