Initial Administrator License (IAL)

principal licensure program

Initial Administrator License (IAL)

Quick Facts

  • 28-32 credits
  • One year
  • Hybrid format combines face-to-face and online learning during the school year and in summer
  • Cohort model

Effective 21st century school administrators lead with creativity, crafting engaging ideas and backing them up with action. PSU’s Professional Licensure Program prepares award-winning anti-racist, culturally responsive school leaders that supports administrators during their licensure program and beyond. PSU’s program meets the highest professional standards and has regularly earned accolades for its equity focus.

Our graduates are leaders who give back to the community by co-teaching with our faculty, advising in our program, and building a strong network of support for our interns and graduates.  Our students and instructors are racially, linguistically, and culturally diverse, and our network provides personalized support through coursework, mentoring, practicum experiences, and networking throughout your leadership career.

Feel confident making strong decisions when it matters most, and move cutting-edge educational practices forward.


Susan Carlile
Program Coordinator


Stefanie Randol
Admissions Advisor

Program Benefits

  • Apply ideas discussed in the classroom to actual practices in the field
  • Focus on problems of practice in the integrated curricular approach
  • Develop your portfolio, valuable in seeking administrative employment
  • Challenge yourself to help create sustainable equity and inclusion in education
  • Network with other professionals
  • Experience incredible value: Learn from experienced teachers and successful local school administrators, like principals and district superintendents, who have scholarly expertise and advanced degrees—and do so in convenient locations and at an accessible price

Program Specifics

  • 32 credits
  • Variety of course formats, such as online courses during the school year and hybrid (face-to-face plus online) courses during the summer
  • Cohort model

About the program

Direct instruction and group problem-solving assignments will be completed throughout the year. In addition, each cohort member completes a full-year guided administrative practicum. All newly admitted students must agree to complete the entire cohort program even if you have already completed similar courses.

In addition to the cohort coursework listed in the program of study, all students are required to complete ELP 511 Principles of Educational Research and Data Analysis I (4 credits) or the equivalent. This course can be completed at any time prior to, during, or following your cohort coursework. If you have previously completed a graduate-level research course in your master’s program, it may qualify for substitution of this research credit. Courses older than 10 years will not qualify for substitution unless you can provide documentation of job-related research analysis completed in the past 5 years. Other restrictions and requirements apply, and a Petition for Course Substitution with supporting materials must be approved for substitution.

The 360-hour field-based IAL administrative practicum is the equivalent of working 120 hours per quarter or 12 hours per week in a building-level or district/agency administrative capacity. You will seek opportunities to develop fully as an educational leader. You will also try to acquire proficiency in the seven areas of administrative responsibility. These are outlined by TSPC's Performance Standards.

Candidates seeking recommendation from PSU for the Preliminary Administrator License must:

  • Possess a master’s degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  • Have completed the Initial Administrator License program at Portland State University
  • Have completed three years of successful licensed teaching or personnel service experience in public schools or regionally accredited private schools at the time of application for the administrative license
  • Apply for the Preliminary Administrator License within one year of completing the IAL program—currency of your coursework is a consideration by TSPC in granting licensure 
  • Hold a valid first aid card and demonstrate knowledge of Oregon and federal anti-discrimination statutes

Our graduates

The principal license is required for any administrative role in a public PreK-12 Oregon school. You will become a licensed school administrator with strong anti-racist leadership in public K–12 settings.

Why PSU?

PSU is the public research university for the Portland metro area. The IAL courses are taught by experienced, practicing school administrators with years of experience who help you learn how to become a principal or other school administrator. So, with our theory-to-practice focus in the IALprogram, you will appreciate the opportunity to immediately apply what you are learning into your current or future job/s or your imagined positions in the future with our theory-to-practice focus. PSU is also known for its commitment to forward-thinking progress, inclusive goals, and supporting diverse communities.