Residency Principal or Program Administrator

This application is for those principal and program administrator applicants who completed their preparation program in another state or have met the requirements below.

The principal and program administrator roles are separated in the state of Washington.

  • The Residency Principal Certificate is for school-level leadership as a principal, assistant principal or vice-principal
  • The Residency Program Administrator Certificate is for district-level leadership roles other than superintendent or assistant superintendent roles, e.g. director level positions. This certificate is not required by the state of Washington to be employed in a program administrator role. This is NOT the appropriate application for the first-tier Superintendent Certificate. To find information regarding the Superintendent Certificate.

If you are unsure which application to complete based on your program or experience, please contact the Certification Office before submitting an application.


  • Completion of a master's degree. Must submit official transcripts showing the degree
  • Completion of a state-approved administrator preparation program Form 4001E,
  • Three years of full-time, out of state administrator experience AND a copy of an out of state administrator certificate Form 4020F-1
  • Submission of fingerprints for a background check is required if a valid certificate is not already on record.
Additional Requirements for Principal Certificates Only:
  • Hold or have previously held a regular teacher, educational staff associate, or Initial/Continuing CTE Certificate.
  • Verification of three years of successful school-based instructional experience in an educational setting. Form 4001F


If you have all the necessary documentation to apply for this certificate, log in to E-Certification

*IMPORTANT: Please note that application fees are NOT refundable. Ensure that you select and submit the correct application. If you have questions regarding your application, please contact our office.