Principal’s Credential Certification

Principal’s Credential Certification

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The Department of Organization and School Leadership offers Principal Certification for students who have a master’s degree in Educational Leadership. All students pursuing the principal certificate must meet UTRGV, College of Education & P16 Integration, and department graduate admission requirements. All of the courses for principal certification are embedded in the coursework for the master's degree. Once the master's degree is completed, students who wish to pursue principal certification must apply to the certification program.

Admission Requirements

Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at There is no application fee.

Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to or mailed to:

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
The Graduate College
Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
1201 W. University Drive
Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

*Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB/TSC, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

Review and submit all Program Requirements:

  • Master’s degree in Educational Leadership or related field from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a recognized international equivalent.
  • Minimum GPA of at least 3.0.
  • A copy of the student's Teacher Service Record showing Two (2) years teaching experience.
    (For applicants with Master’s degree in Educational Leadership)
  • Presentation of the following to the Faculty Admissions Committee. (1 hour)
                   A. Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness
                       o  Presentation of how you use student performance data to improve instruction
                   B. Evidence of Leadership Activities
                       o  Presentation of End‐product from M.Ed. program
                       o  Presentation of school site leadership roles/responsibilities
  • Evidence of Teaching certificate (Updated)
  • Cleared Criminal Background Check
  • Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).

Students whose native  language is not English  or  who studied at a University outside the U.S.:

  • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
  • Certified English translation of educational records.


  • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.

Program Contact

Department Chair: Dr. Federico Guerra

Phone: (956) 665-7333

Office: Edinburg Campus, EEDUC 1.510A


Program Coordinator: Dr. Rosalinda Hernandez

Phone: (956) 665-7399

Office: Edinburg Campus, EEDUC 1.622




Applications will be accepted year round and prospective students are encouraged to apply at least 2 months before classes start to ensure a timely application review.  Applying early will also give prospective students the best opportunity to be considered for scholarships and other possible funding opportunities.


  • This program only admits applicants during Fall, Spring and Summer I semesters.
  • Students admitted only to a Certificate Program are not eligible to obtain a Student Visa from UTRGV.

Tuition Estimate

Residency Per 3-Credit Hour Course Semester (9-Credit Hours) Total Estimated Cost
Texas Resident $1,481.39 $3,894.17 $2,962.78
Non-Resident/International $2,708.39 $7,575.17 $5,416.78

*We estimate that tuition and fees will closely approximate the rates shown above; however, rates are subject to change. Please note that the rates above are estimated for on-campus students and those enrolled in 16-week online programs. The rate is different for Accelerated Online Programs (AOP). Visit the tuition and fees page for detailed information.

Course Requirements

For students who have completed the Educational Leadership master’s degree from UTRGV
Required Courses 6
EDUL 6390: Pre-Practicum 3
EDUL 6391: Practicum 3
Total hours required for completion: 6

Course Descriptions:

EDUL 6390: Pre‐Practicum               [3‐0]
EDUL 6390 is a pre‐requisite for EDUL 6391. The course provides students the opportunity to practice competencies and state standards in preparation to assume responsibility as principals in school districts and to pass the state principal certification exam. Applicable laws, policies, and regulations will be emphasized. Students who pass their TExES exam may earn a maximum of 30 hours of field based hours. * Students must pass the TExES exam before enrolling in EDUL 6391; this course may be repeated.

EDUL 6391: Practicum              [3‐0]
This course is based on Texas Education Agency regulations. Students practice TExES competencies, state standards, and theories as they engage in principal responsibilities in school districts. Applicable laws, policies, and regulations will be emphasized. A minimum of 160 hours of field‐based activities are required.
Prerequisite: EDUL 6390.

Appendix 1

Required Criminal Background Check

Commonly Asked Questions

Which  Program  do  I  choose  when  submitting  my  background  check information?

Choose   Educational   Diagnostician,   Guidance   and   Counseling,   School Psychology, Masters of Educational Administration, Principal, or Superintendent.

What will happen if I choose not to submit to a background check?

You will not be admitted to or be allowed to continue in the program.

What is the cost of the background check?

The package price is $19.75 (.01 cent will be used to hold CC on file. This will be refunded after completion of CBC). Per the Fair Credit Reporting Act , should any criminal activity be identified from a criminal database search, AccuSource must confirm the conviction at the county court of jurisdiction at an additional cost of $6.50 plus any applicable court fees. For applicants with previous residences outside of Texas in the last 7 years, county searches will be conducted at a cost of $6.50 per county in addition to the package cost, plus any applicable court fees.

What information is required to submit the application?

•  Your full legal name, date of birth, and Social Security Number

•  An email address that can be used to communicate with you regarding this application

•  Your UTRGV Student ID number

•  The city, state, zip code, and start and end dates of ALL addresses at which you have lived, worked or attended school since your 18th birthday. Exact dates are not required - month and year are all that is requested.

•  A valid credit card

When is the background check due?

The deadlines for  submitting your application and payment to AccuSource are August 15th for fall, May 15th for summer, and December 15th for Spring. You will not be admitted to or allowed to remain in the specified graduate programs if your background status is not “cleared.”

Can I use a criminal background check completed elsewhere (e.g., through the public schools) to meet this requirement?

You  will  need  to  complete  the  criminal  background  check  through  AccuSource.

How long does the process take?

This process will take approximately 10 minutes. Once a criminal background check application is processed the estimated time of completed results is 24-72 hours.

Note: Students admitted only to a Certificate Program are not eligible to obtain a Student Visa from UTRGV.

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