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  • Program Overview

    The online Gannon University Principal Certification program prepares educational leaders for certification in grades PreK-12.  This portion of the Pennsylvania Department of Education's (PDE) certification process includes 21 credits of coursework and is completed in one academic year.  Students are also required to complete three years of classroom teaching and successfully pass the School Leaders Licensure Assessment Praxis before applying to PDE for principal certification. 


    The 21-credit program is made up of five online academic classes, course-embedded internships in the candidate's school district, and culminating portfolio and internship projects. PDE requires 360 hours of supervised internship, which are scheduled throughout the one-year program.


    • Students begin in the fall semester.
    • All the classes are online, and internships take place in the school district.
    • Courses are offered two per semester in 7-week sessions.  This unique format allows the graduate learner to focus on one class at a time.
    • Four of the five classes have embedded internships, and the remaining 235-hour internship course is completed in the summer.
    • The program is designed to be completed in one full-time year, August to August.

    You will experience

    What makes the Gannon Principal Certification Program different?

    • An online program that gives busy professionals the opportunity to complete their coursework with much more flexibility than a traditional face-to-face program
    • Tuition of $550/credit (with no additional fees) for the 2020-2021 academic year.
    • A 21-credit program
    • A cohort model with a group of educators that offers networking opportunities with other future education administrators
    • Adjunct faculty members who are also educational practitioners.  This provides a pragmatic link between theoretical applications and present day instructional practices and regulations.  Gannon's adjunct faculty is comprised of superintendents and principals who present a realistic and firsthand view of theoretical models that are valid and applicable in today's classrooms.
    • Personal contact with Gannon University advisors throughout the internship process, meeting face-to-face and online on a regular basis.

    You will achieve

    Benefits of a Degree

    The mission of the Gannon University Principal Preparation Program is to prepare principals as instructional leaders who effectively and ethically bring about continuous school improvements that result in increased student achievement.  

     Upon successful completion of this online principal preparation program, students will have completed the coursework required for certification by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. 

    Steps to Certifications 

    You Will Study

    GEDU 720 Quality Teaching, Continuous Learning, and Professional Accountability

    This course will focus on the role of the principal as the instructional leader, along with the collaborative efforts by the instructional staff in bringing about quality teaching, continuous improvement and professional accountability.

    GEDU 722 School Financial Management

    This course examines the legal and other factors governing financial policies and practices in public school, sources of revenue, budgeting, disbursement of funds, school plant, records and insurance.

    GEDU 723 Legal Aspects of Educational Administration

    This course examines the major areas of school law with particular emphasis on the school code of Pennsylvania.

    GEDU 728 Principal Mastery Internship (235 hours)

    This internship requires candidates to work in their districts to initiate specific activities that will provide leadership opportunities in the role of the principal as an instructional leader and agent of school reform.


    Program Options

    • Principal K-12 Certification
  • Certificate Costs and Career Options

    View Gainful Employment information for this program.

  • State Authorization

    View Gannon's State Authorization for more information on SARA and state authorization. Have a complaint about a distance education program or courses? Read the state contact information document to learn more about filing a complaint.

    Student Success

    Gannon's Online Engagement Coordinator facilitates our online new student orientations, implements strategies to ensure that online students are active in their online courses, and provides general online student support through a variety of high-touch methods to engage students and support student retention efforts. Gannon online students can reach out with general questions about online learning or how to remotely access Gannon's comprehensive student services.

Gannon University Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge (I-HACK)

Gannon University Begins Construction on Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge. Learn more about I-HACK.