The Graduate Certificate in School Leadership at Appalachian

Be the change you want to see. Become a school principal, transform schools to get the best from educators and improve learning outcomes for students.

Appalachian State University’s flexible, online Graduate Certificate in School Leadership program will prepare you to assume an educational leadership role by meeting the North Carolina state requirements for principal licensure.

Candidates must hold a master's degree in education (or a related field) from a regionally accredited institution and have completed three years of classroom teaching (or have experience in a related area such as media specialist, guidance counselor or technology facilitator). This is a 24 semester hour program and includes six hours of school-based internship courses.

App State Online: Keep your life… Change your future.

More information on School Leadership


  • Assistant principal
  • Principal
  • Department chair

Certificate details

Program information

Coursework will be delivered online in two formats:

  • Synchronous: One evening per week per class, students join their classmates and instructor for a three-hour class in real-time in virtual classroom.
  • Asynchronous: Coursework may be completed on the student's own schedule, except for individualized online meetings with the instructor.
  • Completion time: four semesters
  • Click for course information

(Note: Not all courses listed may be delivered to App State Online students. Refer curriculum questions to the program contact.)

Eligibility and application requirements


Applicants must:

  • Meet Graduate School admission criteria
  • hold a master's degree with at least 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited institution
  • have at least three years of public school teaching experience or equivalent experience in other settings (e.g., private school teaching; training in the private sector; etc.)
  • have a North Carolina "A" or "M" teacher licensure or the equivalent from another state

Application requirements:

  • Completed online application to graduate school
  • Resume
  • Official (sealed or electronic) transcripts from each college or university (other than Appalachian) attended in the last five years
  • Three references
  • Personal statement
  • Application fee

Note: Test scores are not required for this program.

Professional Licensure

This is a program that can lead to licensure or certification.  Appalachian State University cannot confirm whether this program will meet the requirements for professional licensure in other states or territories.

If this applies to you, check the U.S. Department of Education for information on licensure requirements and licensing agencies in other states. Or, you may address questions to State Authorization at Appalachian at or 828-262-7559.

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