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Administrative Program for Principals

Master of Education in School Administration Administrative Principal – Credits: 30 (program code: 0971)

Administrative Principal K-12 Certification – Credits:  24 (program code: 0977)

Program Description

Cal U's administrative program for principals (ADP) is an ideal program for working professionals who want to make a difference in education. This part-time, online program is practice-centered, performance-based and designed to provide a personalized approach in meeting the needs of all students, whether they are seeking a principal's certificate or a master's degree in education or simply wish to continue to enhance their teaching and leadership skills. The program has two tracks: K-12 principal certification only (24 credits) and the Master of Education with K-12 principal certification (30 credits). At Cal U, K-12 principal certification can be pursued as an integrated part of the master’s degree or as a separate certification-only track for people who have previously obtained a master’s degree. The K-12 principal certification and master's degree require the same core courses, but an additional two prescribed courses (6 credits) are required of those candidates pursuing the master's degree.

Individuals must apply for endorsement for certification through the program coordinator to initiate the process.

Out of State Students: Students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for the most up-to-date information regarding out-of-state certification information.

Delivery Mode

Global Online (100 percent online delivery)

Classes are conducted online with field experiences and internships taking place at the student’s school site.

Program Accreditation

Approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, this online program meets state educational requirements for certification as a principal. The program complies with Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) and Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) standards, and may be used to meet certification and professional development requirements in other states.

Admission Criteria

Admission Requirements (Regular)

  • Bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.00 or higher (Students with a GPA below 3.00 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Certification Only: Master’s degree with a GPA of 3.00 or higher (Students with a GPA below 3.00 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited institution
  • Copy of teaching certification
  • A letter of endorsement from applicant’s principal or immediate supervisor
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae
  • A completed Applicant Data Sheet
  • Statement of career goals and degree objectives
  • International Global Online Applicants

Conditional Admission Requirements

Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements. Those admitted conditionally based on any missing document have up to a maximum of one term to satisfy the requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree with a GPA under 3.00 will be reviewed for a decision
  • Certification Only: Master’s degree with a GPA under 3.00 will be reviewed for a decision
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Copy of teaching certification
  • A completed Applicant Data Sheet and/or a current resume or curriculum vitae

Students Outside Pennsylvania

Students domiciled outside Pennsylvania are welcome to apply but should first contact their state department of education for further information regarding certification requirements and reciprocity agreements.


Course requirements for all students
ADP 647 Orientation and Assessment
ADP 621 Curriculum Leadership Using a Standards-Aligned System  3
ADP 626 Instructional Leadership and Strategies for Inclusive Classrooms  3
ADP 641 School Community Relations Seminar
ADP 661 Educational Leadership
ADP 670 Internship: Part 1  3
ADP 670 Internship: Part 2  3

The following 6 credits are for students seeking a Master of Education with K-12 Principal Certification:

ADP 664 Field Project/Leadership 3
ADP 673 Field Project/Research and Evaluation  3

Transfer Credits

Requests for transfer credit must occur once a student is officially accepted into the program and prior to beginning any coursework. At that time, contact the program coordinator for information on the transfer credit review process.


Candidates in the ADP program receive academic and professional advisement throughout their enrollment in the program. Each candidate is assigned to an academic adviser from the time they are accepted into the program of study. Advisers work with candidates to discuss, monitor and provide counseling as it relates to their program of study.

How to Apply

  • Complete the Graduate School Application
  • Submit the nonrefundable $25 Application Fee
  • Mail official transcript to:
    • School of Graduate Studies and Research
      California University of Pennsylvania
      Box 91
      250 University Ave.
      California, PA 15419
  • Submit unofficial transcripts and other documents by mail (using the address above), email ( or fax (724-938-5712)

Application Questions

Phone: 724-938-4187

For Additional Information

Phone: 1-866-595-6348

Program Coordinator

Silvia Braidic, Ed.D. and Superintendent Letter of Eligibility (University of Pittsburgh); Administrative Certification: Concentration, Elementary and Secondary Pennsylvania Principal Certification (Carnegie Mellon University); M.S. Education, B.S. Education (Duquesne University); Professor
Web Page:
Phone: 724-938-4757

Program Faculty

Brian Barnhart, Ed.D., Adjunct Faculty; Assistant Executive Director, Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13

Stephen Burnham, Ed.D., Adjunct Faculty; Middle School Principal, Wilson School District

Daniel Castagna, Ed.D., Adjunct Faculty; Superintendent, West Mifflin Area School District

David Foley, Ed.D., Adjunct Faculty; Assistant Superintendent, Pine-Richland School District

Mark Gross, Ed.D., Adjunct Faculty; Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Indiana Area School District

Linda Hippert, Ed.D., Adjunct Faculty; Executive Director, Allegheny Intermediate Unit

Todd E. Keruskin, Ed.D., Adjunct Faculty; Assistant Superintendent, Elizabeth Forward School District

Catherine Lobaugh, Ed.D., Adjunct Faculty; Assistant Executive Director of Early Childhood,  Family and Community Services, Allegheny Intermediate Unit

J. Kevin Lordon, Ed.D., Associate Professor, Full-time Faculty; Administrative Leadership Programs; Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership

Gregory Taranto, Ph.D., Adjunct Faculty; Middle School Principal, Canon-McMillan School District

Brian Toth, Ed.D., Adjunct Faculty; Superintendent of Schools, Belwood-Antis School District