Rhode Island Administration/Principal Certification


The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) issues Administrator Certificates. Certification areas include Building Level Administrator PK-12 and District Level Administrator.

Education Requirements

Building Level Administrator:

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

District Level Administrator:


For both titles, you are expected to pass a field testing requirement mandated by RIDE. Proposed rules would also require Building Level Administrators to pass the Praxis School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA) and District Level Administrators to pass the School Superintendent Assessment. This has not yet been decided by RIDE.

Experience Requirements

Building Level Administrator: You must have an internship of at least 300 hours in building level administration. Additionally, you must have at least three years of professional education experience at the PK-12 level.

District Level Administrator: You must hold certification as a Building Level Administrator (implying that you also have experience in this area, as well as complete 300 hours of a building level administration internship and three years of professional education experience). In lieu of holding a Building Level Administrator certificate, you may substitute applicable leadership experience you may have gained in other organizations besides schools.

Documents and Application Requirements

Once you have completed educational, experience, and exam requirements, use the Educator Certification General Application Form to apply for Administrator Certification in Rhode Island. Be sure to attach application fees, official college transcripts, a statement from your administrator preparation program that you have completed the program, official letters (on letterhead) verifying experience, and copies of all other educator certificates you may hold.

Mail this information to Rhode Island Department of Education, Office of Educator Quality and Certification, 255 Westminster Street, 4th Floor, Providence, RI 02903-3400.

Criminal History Background Check

Prior to accepting any school administrator position in Rhode Island, you must undergo a criminal history background check, including fingerprinting. Your potential employer will instruct you as to where to go to be fingerprinted. You are responsible for all fees associated with your background check. Your fingerprints and criminal background check will be run through the Rhode Island Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It may take up to six weeks for these checks to clear. You may not legally work with children in the state until the checks have cleared.

Contact Information

For more information, contact colleges and universities in Rhode Island offering approved school administrator preparation programs.

For more information on administrative certification in Rhode Island, contact Rhode Island Department of Education’s (RIDE) Office of Educator Quality and Certification at eqac@ride.ri.gov.