What does it cost?

Check out our cost calculator or visit student financial services for information on estimated costs.

How long will it take?

3 semesters at 2 courses per semester (6 total courses; 18 total semester hours) • 300 clinical hours

All required classes to earn a certificate can be completed online.

Application Deadlines View Admissions Requirements

  • Fall: July 15
  • Spring: November 15
  • Summer: April 15
College of Education & Human Development

Educational Leadership, Tier I Certificate

Talk to enrollment coach
LaToya and Moisés
Enrollment Coaches

Talk to the program coordinator
Will Rumbaugh, Ed.D.

The online Tier I Educational Leadership Certificate program is for those with an education-related master’s degree who are passionate about leading and ready to take the next step towards becoming an entry-level leader in a school or school district such as an assistant principal. The courses introduce students to educational leadership theory and practice. Students participate in 300 hours of varied leadership experiences supported by a school or district mentor in addition to completing advanced coursework. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a program certificate from the Board of Regents and will be eligible to apply to the Professional Standards Commission for a Tier I Educational Leadership add-on certificate.

Our Voices, Our Stories, Our Faculty

Program Highlights

Faculty members have served in pre-kindergarten to 12th grade positions:

  • Classroom teacher
  • Assistant principal
  • Principal
  • Curriculum supervisor
  • Curriculum director
  • Assistant superintendent
  • Area/associate superintendent
  • Georgia Department of Education director


Faculty serve in leadership positions of professional organizations throughout the country:

  • UCEA- University Council for Educational Administration
  • COPIS- Council of Professors of Instructional Supervision
  • CASTLE- Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education
  • CEDAR- Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform
  • GAEL- Georgia Association of Educational Leaders
  • GASSP- Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals
  • GELFA- Georgia Educational Leadership Faculty Association
  • CIES- Comparative and International Education Society

Faculty publish research in top journals:

  • Educational Administration Quarterly
  • Journal of Educational Administration
  • Journal of School Leadership
  • Educational Policy
  • Education Policy Analysis Archives
  • NASSP Bulletin
  • Journal of Research on Leadership Education
  • AASA Journal of Scholarship & Practice
  • Peabody Journal of Education


Faculty research interests include:

  • School technology leadership
  • Inclusive leadership
  • Decision-making
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Network analysis
  • Democratic education
  • Educational policy and politics
  • Equitable education
  • International educational leadership
Program Details

When applying to the Educational Leadership Tier 1 Online Certification, Non-Degree, you will need to submit several documents for review.

  • Online Application
  • Application Fee of $50
  • Goals Statement (upload with application – please address each of the following items in your goal statement)
    • What are your reasons for applying to Georgia State’s Tier 1 leadership program?
    • One major part of the Tier I program is logging 300 hours of clinical leadership experience. This requires you to assume leadership positions in your school and/or district. You will be responsible for working with a mentor to identify and participate in these experiences.
    • Describe how you will be able to complete those hours.
  • Resume (upload with application)
  • Applicant must identify a mentor who currently holds leadership certification in Georgia and will need to complete the following agreement form. Once the agreement form has been completed by both parties, the applicant should upload the signed agreement to their application under the MISC documents section.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (one letter of recommendation must be from a school leader who supervises/evaluates you and the second letter can be from either the mentor leader or an educational professional who can give evidence of your leadership skills)
  • Applicant must have three years of experience in a K-12 school setting (upload teaching certificate to application) and meet certification requirements in Georgia
  • Official Transcript(s): minimum 3.25 graduate GPA required for admission (must hold a master’s, specialist, or doctoral level degree)
    • submit official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended either electronically to gradapplytranscripts@gsu.edu or by mailing directly to Georgia State University | Office of Graduate Admissions | P.O. Box 4018 Atlanta, GA 30302

In order to meet certification requirements for educational leadership in Georgia, you will also need to complete the following prior to program admission:

  • Georgia Ethics Assessment for Educational Leadership

Click here for information and how to register for the Georgia Ethics Assessment for Educational Leadership.


  • 18 semester hours (6 courses) to prepare aspiring leaders for issues, research, and best practices related to leading in a school or school district
  • 300 hours of clinical leadership experiences in schools and districts
  • Tier I is the entry-level Educational Leadership certification. Educators certified in this field may work in school-level leadership positions below the principal and district-level leadership positions that do not supervise principals.
  • Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a university certificate from the Board of Regents, and they will be eligible to apply for Georgia’s Tier I Educational Leadership certification from the Georgia Standards Commission.
  • Students who complete the program will meet the competencies required in Georgia’s Leader Keys Effectiveness System
  • They will also meet the competencies required in the National Professional Standards for Educational Leaders

There are two options for the Tier I Add-On Certificate Program:

  1. Totally online
  2. Blended (Five class meetings each semester face to face at Atlanta campus; the remainder of the weeks are online, asynchronous)



  • Georgia State's Tier 1 Program is PSC-approved, meeting Georgia’s PSC Tier 1 Certification requirements.
  • School level — Assistant principal, assistant administrator, instructional coach.
  • District level — Instructional coordinator/supervisor, curriculum coordinator/supervisor, program coordinator/supervisor.
  • Assistant principal — $85,173 median annual salary in Georgia (salary.com).


General Questions

LaToya and Moisés
Enrollment Coaches

Curriculum Inquiries

Program Coordinator
Will Rumbaugh, Ed.D.
Email: wrumbaugh@gsu.edu

Unit Coordinator
Nick Sauers, Ph.D.
Email: nsauers@gsu.edu

Department of Educational Policy Studies
College of Education & Human Development
30 Pryor St. SW
Suite 450
Atlanta, GA 30303

Email: epsdept@gsu.edu
Phone: 404-413-8030

30 Pryor Street SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

The information shared here provides an overview of Georgia State’s offerings. For official details on admissions requirements, tuition, courses and more, refer to the university catalogs.