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Educational Administration, M.Ed., and Principal Certification

Answer your call to serve others and demonstrate your passion for students and education; become a school principal. This principal certification program will give you the skills to deliver positive and transformative change, along with the opportunity to practice those skills during your internship placement in either a public- or private-school setting.

  • Seminar-style learning allows you to network with professional colleagues.
  • Work with faculty who have years of experience in Washington's public schools.
  • A 26-credit, principal certification-only option is available for those who hold a master's degree.
  • Benefit from more than 25 years of excellence and recognition in principal preparation. 

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Degree Snapshot
Credits 36 (certification + M.Ed.)
26 (certification only)
Completion Time 2 years
Class Format One in-person Friday evening and Saturday class per month; online between class sessions
Cost Per Credit $675* per credit (financial aid & scholarships available)
$400* per credit (certification-only)
Application Deadline Aug. 1 (cohorts begin each fall semester)
Later applications will be considered as program space allows.  

*for the 2023-24 academic year

Cohort Format

You'll move through the program with a group of colleagues, providing a built-in support system and establishing your own network of professional colleagues. The cohort will take each of the classes together in sequence; you'll begin and end the program with the same group of professionals.

Classes to Fit Your Busy Schedule

Whether you live in Spokane or commute from elsewhere, our schedule makes it possible for you to become a principal by completing your principal certification. The seminar-style courses meet on Friday evenings and Saturdays once monthly, with instructor and peer engagement online between class sessions. Most of the core requirements for the principal degree program are offered entirely online.

Enhance Your Career Opportunities

Explore some of the most pressing topics facing our schools and prepare for situations you'll face every day. During your field placement, you'll work with other members of school administration, staff and students to gain the tools needed to become a successful leader and experience the continually changing field of education.

Program Curriculum

Whitworth's 36-credit M.Ed. in Educational Administration Program includes principal certification. Applicants must hold a current teaching certificate. For those who already hold a master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university, the principal-certification-only option is available and requires only 26 credits for completion. The program curriculum is offered over four semesters.

  • M.Ed. in Educational Administration (36 credits)
    Includes certification requirements
  • Principal Certification Only (26 credits)

Whitworth's curriculum aligns with National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP) standards, which have been adopted by the Washington State Board of Education as the model for Washington state principal certification.

For course descriptions and learning outcomes of this major, please view the course catalog.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the program begin and end?

The first class begins in late August each year. However, some courses may be taken out of sequence, so it's best to check with the program advisor if you wish to start at another time. You can complete the principal program in as few as two years, although you have up to six years to finish.

Are there many employment opportunities once I graduate?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for principals is expected to grow 8 percent through 2030. Eighty percent of our most recent graduates were employed in administrative positions upon completion of the program.

Can my master's degree be in a field outside of education if I wish to pursue just the certification?

Yes. You do not have to have a master's degree in education. However, if you are applying for the principal certification you must have at least three years of teaching experience or obtain three years of experience before you complete the Educational Administration Program.

Do I need to have a Teacher Certification?

Teacher Certification is required to be fully admitted into the program. Additionally, you must have three years of teaching experience or obtain three years of experience before you complete the Educational Administration Program.

Program Director: Biography

Goldy Brown III, Ph.D. is the Director of Whitworth University's Education Administration Program. He comes to Spokane from Rockford, Ill. He has served as a former professor and routine guest speaker in college courses, where he has gained valuable experience leading college-level discussions on educational foundations and leadership. In addition, he has conducted seminars on “what principals look for when hiring a teacher.” He also has seven years of experience as a K-12 leader, serving as a principal. Schools that he led received four state recognition awards for closing the achievement gap between low-income and affluent students. Brown has also published and/or is working on 10 articles on school leadership. Brown has also served as an educational policy advisor for state and federal politicians, and organizations. He is the lead co-editor and chapter contributor of a book titled: The Economic of Equity in P12 Education: Connecting Financial Investment in Effective Programming, was released in spring of 2023.