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School of Education and Human Development University of Colorado Denver

School of Education and Human Development

Principal License

Are you a licensed elementary or secondary educator interested in obtaining a principal license? As we all know, principals can make a tremendous impact on the success of students, teachers, schools and districts. We hope that your path to such a role begins here at University of Colorado Denver in our Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies (ALPS) program.

The ALPS program provides opportunities for you to develop in-depth understanding about leadership roles and responsibilities, contemporary educational issues, and collaborations within and across communities, as well as a thorough awareness of the legal, financial and political dimensions of schools and school districts. Each course incorporates multiple perspectives, themes of equity and social justice, a focus on the needs and experiences of diverse children and youth, and implications for leadership in today's schools.

You will study with faculty who are engaged in education at the state, national and international levels. These faculty collaborate with local district leaders to form an instructional team that expands your professional horizons - connecting you to knowledge and practices emerging from innovative school and district reform.

Classes are designed to fit your busy schedule, combining face-to-face and online learning with field-based clinical practice. Students complete the 32 semester credits for principal licensure in less than a year and a half.

Throughout the program, you will engage in school-based research projects designed around actual work tasks facing today's principals. Successful completion of course work and a major presentation prepares you to apply for your initial principal license.

You may also earn a graduate degree by building on the 32-credit principal licensure program with 9 additional semester credits and a brief paper.

For more information, select from the above tabs and/or contact us at or 303-315-6300. We also encourage you to attend an information session. Sessions include details about curriculum, cohort options, credits, costs, timeline, and the application process.


This 32 credit-hour principal licensure program is delivered over four consecutive semesters (including summer semester). Program content and clinical practice experiences are integrated throughout. Principal candidates generally use their own school as a clinical-practice site. Program credits are organized in four learning domains as outlined below.

  • EDUC 5751 Principal/Administrator Licensing I
  • EDUC 5752 Principal/Administrator Licensing II
  • EDUC 5753 Principal/Administrator Licensing III
  • EDUC 5754 Principal/Administrator Licensing IV

The ALPS program requires a capstone final presentation, as well as the placement of major assignments on an electronic, web-based data management service called LiveText.

If you do not have a previous graduate degree, you may complete 9 additional semester credits and a brief paper to earn an Master of Arts in Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies.

If you have a previous master's degree, you may complete 9 additional semester credits and a brief paper to earn a Specialist in Education degree in Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies.

For more information, please review the ALPS policy on licensure and related degrees.

Please learn more about program course work, clinical work, portfolios, licensure requirements, and degree options in the ALPS Student Handbook.

If you have questions about program requirements, contact us at or 303-315-6300.


You will complete the 32-credit principal license program as part of a cohort. Approximately 25 students work through the four consecutive semesters together.


Cohort Options

If you have questions about upcoming cohorts, please contact or 303-315-6300 to receive information about the interview and admissions process.

We welcome applicants from all districts into our principal licensure cohorts.  We look for applicants to have a teaching or special services license plus a minimum of 3 years post-licensure experience.  Upcoming cohorts include:

Spring 2016 Cohort

Denver Public Schools or Charter/Innovation Cohort 

Summer 2016 Cohort

Distance Learning Cohort #18 

Fall 2016 Cohort

CU South Denver Cohort (hybrid courses at the Liniger Building at CU South Denver) 

Do you already have your principal license and master’s degree? Are you interested in training for an executive role at the district level? Please learn more about getting your Administrator License through our Executive Leadership Program .


Recent graduates of our program have gone on to work on the following positions:
Assistant Principal
School District Administrator 

CU Denver School of Education &
Human Development

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