College of Education

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Principal Certificate: District and School Leadership

Practicing educators learn theories and strategies to lead public and independent schools that are instructionally strong, collaborative, and learner-focused. Upon successful completion, candidates will qualify for their Washington State Residency Principal Certificate.

Within the course of a year or more, depending on your degree, you’ll be certified to become a school principal. Our program is designed to give you practical experience from day one, so that you can start changing lives right away.

Contact our enrollment counselor at or 425-889-7794 to start your journey at becoming a principal today!

Application Deadlines

July 1st Main Application Deadline

After deadlines, completed applications will be reviewed and accepted applicants admitted as space allows.

Program Details

Courses are online and students come to campus 2 times a week, every 3 weeks.

  • Certificate Only: 18 credits
  • M.Ed: 30 credits
  • Doctorate: 60 Credits (Ed.D.) | 72 Credits (Ph.D.)

Why Choose Northwest University

Uniquely Designed Content

Our courses are built to be tailored to the needs of our partner schools and districts: urban, rural, public, private, small, or big.


Our principal program is Washington-specific, with curriculum tailored to Washington’s current needs and requirements. All of our professors have experience teaching and leading in Washington state P-12 schools.

Integrated Coursework and Internship

You will learn from experience in addition to textbooks. Your homework and class time will be directly integrated with a 600-hour internship, which you’ll participate in during your year in the program.

Flexible Admissions

Our program is open to district-nominated candidates as well as other individuals interested in pursuing principal certification.

Multiple Degree Options

This program allows you to earn one of a number of degrees with the principal certification: MEd, EdD, PhD, or the certification on its own.


An education that will advance your career is more affordable than you might think. In fact, our tuition is among the most competitive you’ll find. And, once you’ve graduated, there’s a good chance that a pay raise will accompany your accomplishment. The average Salary in WA state for a public school principal is over $100k a year.

View Courses

View program details and course descriptions.

Go to the Catalog

Next Steps

Ready to get started? Begin the admission process now by completing our online application form. Or fill out the Request Info form, and a member of our Admissions team will contact you soon.

 Request Info  Apply Now