Frequently Asked Questions

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  Administrative Licensure
  Board of School Administrators

NOTE: Answers to these questions are for initial guidance only and could vary depending on unique circumstances.

  • Which institutions have approved administrator preparation programs?

    Click here to see approved Minnesota administrator preparation programs.

  • Who is the contact person at each approved university administrator preparation program?

    Click here to see approved administrator preparation programs and the primary contact person for each.

  • Is there an alternative route to administrative licensure if I have never earned a teaching degree and never been a K-12 classroom teacher?

    There is no alternative route for licensure as a K-12 principal, Director of Special Education, or Director of Community Education. However, there is an alternative route for licensure as a superintendent. To complete the superintendent licensure process, you must show that you have substantive experience and education in administration, supervision, management, and executive leadership, in either education, health care, business or industry, labor, or government. You must also:

          a. complete a written application.
          b. provide a written description of your qualifications.
          c. provide official post-secondary transcripts for all coursework.
          d. construct a portfolio showing how you have met the core and superintendent leadership competencies.
          e. provide a professional resume
          f. include letters of recommendation and portfolio examples.
          g. meet with a BOSA review panel which will make a decision to grant or not grant a license.
             The BOSA review panel may identify a plan of activities to remediate identified areas.

    The application packet must be mailed to the BOSA Executive Director. See mailing address here.

  • I am a speech clinician / school psychologist / social worker / school counselor. Is it possible to become a licensed administrator in Minnesota?

    Yes. You can become a licensed K-12 principal, superintendent, or director of special education. To do so, you must:

    a. meet the degree requirement of a master’s plus 30 credits or 60 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree in an approved university administrative preparation program.
    b. demonstrate appropriate teaching knowledge and skills through a portfolio or other appropriate presentation as determined by an approved university administration preparation program, and
    c. complete a one-year teaching internship of 1050 hours, including eight weeks of supervised teaching, within 12 months under the supervision of an approved university administration preparation program.

    To meet this requirement and to establish a program of study, contact an approved university administrator preparation program. To view a list of all approved university programs, click here to go there now.

  • How many hours of field experience are necessary for an initial administrative license as a principal or superintendent?

    You must complete experience of at least 320 hours or 40 eight-hour days to be completed within a one-year time period. No further supervised field experience is required after licensure. Credits awarded for field experiences count toward the accumulation of the required 60 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree.

      K-12 Principals: Field experience in three different settings, elementary, middle, and high school, with a minimum of 200 hours at one level, a minimum of 40 hours at each of the other two levels, and 40 "flex hours."

    Superintendents: Field experience in two different settings, with up to 280 hours in the primary setting and a minimum of 40 hours in a second setting. Each field experience must be supervised by an administrator who is licensed as a superintendent.


    Field experiences can be earned within Minnesota or in another state as long as the supervising administrator is licensed in the area for which you are seeking licensure.

  • How is my program of study for licensure determined?

    If you are entering an administrator licensure program of study for the first time, you will meet with an advisor / program coordinator to write a program plan. This plan will outline the required coursework and field experience needed to meet licensure. The program plan may also outline requirements for a degree.

    If you already hold one or more graduate degrees, you will meet with an advisor / program coordinator to write a program plan that meets licensure requirements.

    To view a list of all approved university programs, click here to go there now.

  • How do I renew my current administrative license (superintendent, principal or director)?

    To renew your current two-year license, you must:

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    Submit the form provided at the end of the online renewal application to verify you have completed one year of administrative experience while holding a valid two-year administrative license to qualify for a five-year continuing license.
    If no administrative experience has been earned, consecutive two-year licenses will be granted.
    Submit the online application and, if appropriate, mail the verification of experience and document checklist to the Minnesota Department of Education.


    To renew your current five-year administrative license, you must:

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    Submit the designated district administrator completion certificates totaling 125 clock hours of administrative and supervisory continuing education that have been pre-approved by the Minnesota Board of School Administrators.
    Complete and submit the online renewal application.


  • Who do I call or email if I have a question about my current license?

              Call:  Stan F. Mack II, Executive Director, (651) 582-8796
               Email: Stan.Mack@state.mn.us

  • OUT-OF-STATE: I’m a licensed principal/superintendent/director of special education in another state. What do I need to do to become licensed in MN?

    If you hold a license in another state, you may be issued a two-year initial license in Minnesota upon application. To complete the application process, you must:

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    Submit an application through the Minnesota Department of Education.
    Follow all instructions given and submit all materials as indicated on the checklist at the end of the application process.
    Include a copy of your most recent out-of-state license


    In order to be issued a five-year continuing license after two years, you must complete at least one year of experience in the role for which you seek Minnesota licensure. Plus, your total program of studies must show that you have earned at least 30 semester credits beyond the master’s degree or 60 semester credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. If you need more graduate credits, you must enroll in an approved Minnesota university licensure program.

    To view a list of all approved university programs, click here to go there now.

  • OUT-OF-STATE: Is the Human Relations component a requirement for out-of-state licensure applicants?

    Yes. Your records must show that you have completed an approved human relations (HR) training program. If this is the only requirement that must be met, you will be issued a one-year initial license and must complete a human relations training program before the end of the initial license period. After meeting the HR component, a two-year initial license will be issued. However, if this is one among many requirements you must meet, you will be granted a two-year license contingent upon completion.

    The HR component must be met through a BOSA approved program. To view a list of all approved university programs, click here to go there now.

  • OUT-OF-STATE: Is it required for me to have teaching experience in order to be licensed as an administrator in Minnesota?

    Yes. If you were issued an administrator license in another state without ever holding a valid teaching license, you can become a licensed administrator in Minnesota by:

    a. demonstrating appropriate teaching knowledge and skills through a portfolio or other appropriate presentation as determined by the approved university administration preparation program, and
    b. completing a teaching internship of 1050 hours, including eight weeks of supervised teaching, within 12 months under the supervision of an approved school administration program.

    To view a list of all approved university programs, click here to go there now.