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Graduate Programs

Principal Licensure

Master of Science in Education - School Supervision and Instructional Leader

Director of Instruction Certification

Quality school administrators help shape the future of education. Become a leader by enrolling in the Principal Licensure program at UW-River Falls. Graduates earn a Master of Science in Education in School Supervision and Instructional Leader. You may also elect to earn a Director of Instruction license.

Who Should Enroll

  • Educators and current administrators who want to be school principals in private or public schools in Wisconsin
  • School administrators who want to become curriculum directors for their school districts
  • Anyone interested in a leadership role in school administration

Key Features

  • Earn a master's degree in one year, required for certification as a principal in Wisconsin.
  • Earn certification as a Wisconsin Director of Instruction.
  • Curriculum is based on the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders and the Wisconsin Administrator standards for successful principals.
  • Designed to provide a flexible, practitioner-friendly program based on best practices and current needs of administrators in today’s schools
  • Approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).
  • Classes meet one weekend a month during the academic year and two weeks during the summer. 


The Principal Licensure Program is delivered through an accelerated cohort learning community model. Students meet face to face over four semesters, including two weeks in two summers and one weekend per month during the school year.  Cohorts meet in locations throughout Wisconsin. Program may adapt to online learning if needed. 

Admission Process

All documents are submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office, 103 David Rodli Hall, 410 S. 3rd St., River Falls, WI 54022.

  • A completed, online graduate application and payment of the processing fee.
  • An earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • An overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75 (on a four-point scale) or an average of at least 2.90 based on the last 64 semester credits (90 quarter credits) of the undergraduate program;
  • At least three years of experience in an educational setting
  • A one-page personal letter of intent indicating the reasons for your interest in this program
  • Two letters of support describing leadership ability (optional)
  • Resumé

NOTE: A criminal background check is not required as part of the application, but will be required for all accepted students prior to formal admission. Accepted students will receive an email from the College of Education and Professional Studies Associate Dean about this process. Indications of any criminal history on the background check are not considered in the application review process but may require a meeting with the college Associate Dean. Additionally, the program cannot guarantee any graduate an educational license nor job opportunities. Some licensing agencies and some school districts may choose not to consider applicants with criminal histories. 

Apply online.

Quick Response

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For More Information

Pamela Bowen
Program Manager

Contact Us

Admissions Office
M-F 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
103 David Rodli Hall