How to Become an Education Administrator in Maryland

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Learn how to become an Education Administrator or School Principal in Maryland.

There are 2 primary avenues to licensure: 1.) Through a state-authorized education administrator program  or 2.) Through reciprocity agreements (see Maryland Educator Reciprocity).

Maryland confers 2 administration certificates for Instruction, Assistant School principals and School principals: Education Administrator I and Education Administrator II.

Academic Obligations

To become licensed as an Education Administrator I, which entitles you to be a Supervisor of Instruction or Assistant School principal in Maryland, you must:

  • Earn a Master’s Degree from an authorized institute of higher education (IHE)
  • Finish 1 of the following:
    • A Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)-authorized program for licensure of supervisory personnel that includes the outcomes in the Maryland Instructional Leadership Framework
    • An MSDE-authorized program for licensure of supervisory personnel
    • 18 semester hours of graduate from an authorized IHE that includes courses in the following areas:
      • Assessment, instruction, and curriculum
      • Evaluating, observing, and developing staff
      • Ethical decision-making and legal issues
      • School administration, management, and leadership
      • Practicum/supervised experience

Education Administrator II obligations (which certify you to become a School principal in Maryland) include fulfilling the above educational obligations for Education Administrator I plus additional Assessments outlined below.


There is no assessment necessary to become licensed as an Education Administrator I beyond the fundamental skills and content exams (Praxis I and II) required for educator licensure. If you wish to receive Education Administrator II licensure, you must pass the School Leaders Licensure Assessment with a minimum score of 165.

Classroom Teaching Experience Requirements

Licensure as an Education Administrator I requires 27 months of teaching experience and a practicum/supervised experience if you choose the graduate work education option listed above.

Suppose you are already licensed as a school principal in another state and have 27 months of school principal experience during the past seven years. In that case, you may also be granted a Maryland Education Administrator II certificate.

Background Check Requirements

Before you acquire your education administrator license, you must undergo a criminal history background check.

State Contacts

The Maryland State Department of Education’s Certification Branch can answer queries about administrative licensure by contacting the Assessment and Recruitment Coordinator at 410-767-0416 or by visiting their website.

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