Educational Leadership Licensures

Minnesota Licensure Programs

Programs are approved by the Minnesota Board of School Administrators (BOSA).

Minnesota State University Moorhead offers a highly individualized program to prepare aspiring administrators for licensure as a Director of Community Education, Director of Special Education, K-12 principal, and Superintendent. The program is delivered as a competency-based program to meet each licensure area. The program allows students to gain leadership skills and knowledge as well as disposition awareness through course work and practicum experiences. Competencies are demonstrated through the compilation of exhibits/artifacts and reflections in an electronic portfolio and a final oral presentation and assessment. Most candidates complete the program in one to two years. This program is delivered in online format

The following requirements fully implement the regulations set by the state of Minnesota legislation (M.S. 3512). Upon successful completion of the requirements, the university endorses the candidate to Minnesota Department of Education, which issues the license. Candidates applying to the licensure program, must have a master's degree and fulfill the requirements for admission to the specialist degree program.

Upon acceptance into the program, the following will occur:

  1. Students will be assigned an advisor to discuss pre-assessment requirements. All students must complete ED 695A, Introduction to Educational Leadership. The pre-assessment portion of this class is designed to conduct an individual assessment process and align previous coursework and work experiences with the competencies required for the licensure being sought.
  2. A plan of study for licensure is developed to meet the individual needs and goals of the student.
  3. Students are introduced to the Minnesota Administrative Core and specific licensure Competencies and do a self-evaluation with advisor oversight. According to MN rule (M.S. 3512), aspiring K-12 principals, superintendents, and directors of special education must attain a minimum of 60 graduate credits, which must include a completed master's degree in a related field.
  4. Three credit hours of ED 794 Practicum are required for each administrative licensure. Each licensure requires as minimum of 320 hours of practicum leadership work.
  5. All past and present coursework from an accredited university may count toward the total number of credits in each licensure area. Additional credits may be needed to attain program requirements and attain the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for demonstration of competence.
  6. All candidates must complete an electronic portfolio and present the attainment of knowledge, skills, and dispositions in all area identified in M.S. 3512 to a review panel made up of University personnel and licensed practicing administrator in the area of licensure.

NOTE: Aspiring Directors of Community Education must attain at least 20 specific graduate credits and hold a bachelor's degree prior to enrollment and participate in a minimum of 3 credits of practicum work.

Recommended Licensure Courses for all Candidates (specific courses determined by the student’s past academic record)

  • ED 630 Leadership, Planning, and Organizational Behavior in Education (3)
  • ED 631 Educational Law and Organizational Structure of Education (3)
  • ED 632 Curriculum, Instruction, and Learning Theory (4)
  • ED 635 Personnel, Supervision, and Staff Development (4)
  • ED 636 Policy and Educational Finance (2)
  • ED 695A Introduction to Educational Leadership (1)
  • ED 695B Portfolio Completion/Presentation (1) OR ED699 Thesis Field Research (1-4)

Specific Licensure Recommendations

K-12 Principal

  • ED 793 Special Services for Principals Seminar (3)
  • ED 794 Principal Practicum (3)
  • ED 640 PreK-12 School Administration (3)
  • ED 644 PreK-12 School Curriculum (3)


  • ED 788 School Finance & Business Management (4)
  • ED 793 Seminar: The Superintendency (3)
  • ED 794 Practicum: Superintendent (3)

Director of Community Education

  • ED 717 Adult Learning (2)
  • ED 789 School Community Relations (2)
  • ED 794 Practicum: Director of Community Education (3)
  • ED 793 Seminar: Admin. of Community Education (3)

Director of Special Education

  • ED 640 PreK-12 School Administration (3)
  • ED 644 PreK-12 School Curriculum (3)
  • ED 788 School Finance and Business Management (4)
  • ED 793 Seminar: Special Education Director (3)
  • ED 794 Practicum: Director of Special Education (3)

Alternative Licensure Requirements
A route is open to aspiring principals and superintendents who have no teaching experience. These candidates must complete all licensure requirements and demonstrate the equivalency of one year of teaching experience. For specific information contact the licensure coordinator.

Admission Requirements