Administrator I Certification

At Towson, there are two ways to earn Administrator I certification, so you can choose the path that’s right for your career and schedule.

Towson University offers coursework that meets the Maryland Department of Education (MSDE) requirements for Administrator I certification.

This certification, in addition to a Master's degree, is required for assistant principals.  Moreover earning the Administrator 1 certificate is a necessary step toward eventual preparation as a principal.  Once you complete the Administrator 1 preparation program at Towson, you receive a stamp on your transcript indicating you are eligible for certification. When you apply to MSDE for the Certificate, you send in your stamped transcript.  Because Towson’s program is state approved, you will be granted it.

Choose Your Path to Certification

There are two options to choose from:

Transformational Educational Leadership (M.S.)

Complete the master's degree in Transformational Educational Leadership to receive the Administrator I certification stamp statement on your transcript.

Organizational Change Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS)

Complete the 30-credit Organizational Change Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) to receive the Administrator I certification stamp statement on your transcript.

Online Options and Timeframes

All courses for Administrator I certification are available online and may be completed in the following timeframes. Internship assignments that are part of the courses must be completed at an approved site in Maryland.

  • The 18 credits of required courses for Administrator I certification can be completed within a year.

Online courses for the Administrator I certification program are available only to residents of Maryland.

For more information about the online program, contact Dr. Marilyn Nicholas,  or 410-704-2987.

In-Person Options

All courses for Administrator I certification are offered on campus at Towson University as well as at Towson’s satellite campus in Harford County. For more information about in-person courses, contact program director Dr. Carla Finkelstein,  or 410-704-2974.

Off-Campus Cohort Programs

This program is available at off-campus locations across Maryland through the Towson Learning Network. There is a separate application for programs offered at reduced tuition rates to school system employees


Courses are taught by experienced faculty, many of whom have strong research agendas in education, professional development, assessment and leadership. Many still work in the field, sharing their leadership experiences with students. Our faculty members are superb advisers and mentors who help each student develop an individualized professional career plan.

Comprehensive Examination

All candidates must take and pass the comprehensive examination in order to graduate from the program. Students are strongly advised to register for the comprehensive examination before registering for the internship. Students may not complete or earn a grade in the internship without successfully passing the comprehensive examination.