Georgia Administration/Principal Certification


If you wish to serve in an educational leadership capacity in Georgia’s schools, either at the building or district level, you must attain educational leadership certification.

Education Requirements

You must have a master’s or doctoral degree in educational leadership in order to become fully certified as an education administrator in Georgia.

  • If you have a master’s degree from an educational leadership program, the program you complete must be approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and meet the standards of the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) as adopted by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
  • If you hold a master’s degree in another education field, you must also complete at least six semester hours of coursework in school law and ethics, organizational leadership, teaching and learning, and using data in the school improvement process, prior to enrollment in the mandatory educational leadership program.
    • If you hold a master’s degree in another education field, you will complete your educational and experience requirements while working in a leadership position in a Georgia school system. Therefore, you will receive a Non-Renewable Certificate while completing the program. This certificate is valid for five years. Once you have completed a state-approved educational leadership program, and met all Georgia special requirements, you will receive a Clear Certificate in Educational Leadership.

Learn more about the graduate school process. Contact schools offering educational administration degree programs in Georgia.

If you intend to work as a Superintendent, you must complete the educational leadership program at both the building and district levels.


During the internship portion of your educational leadership program, you will be given performance assessments from time to time. Additionally, you must complete both parts of the GACE Content Assessment for Educational Leadership. If you intend to work as a Superintendent, you must complete the assessments at both the building and district levels.

Experience Requirements

You must complete a residency requirement in order to become certified in educational leadership. This involves a planned, guided internship in a school system in which you get the opportunity to apply what you have learned in your educational leadership program to real-life situations.

Document and Application Requirements

To receive certification in educational leadership, you must complete the Application for Certification form, and send it along with your official transcripts and score reports to Georgia PSC Certification Section, Two Peachtree Street, Suite 6000, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3141.

Criminal History Background Check

Georgia does not require a criminal history background check or fingerprinting for educational leadership certification applicants unless you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony involving moral turpitude in another state. If this is the case, you must submit an FBI criminal history report with your application. Go to the nearest Cogent fingerprinting center and request a criminal history check. Submit the completed report with your certification application.

Once you are hired by a Georgia school system, however, you must submit to a criminal record background check. Depending upon your school’s policies, this may be an FBI/fingerprinting background check or a Georgia criminal history check. Information on how to fulfill this requirement will be provided to you by the school system. Usually your employing school system will pay all costs associated with this background check.

Contact Information

For more information on approved educational leadership programs in Georgia, search this database.

For more information on educational leadership certification in Georgia, contact the Certification Section at 404-232-2500.