Frequently Asked Questions


Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

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General Questions

Doing this program allows you to complete both a master's program and a certification at the same time and allows individuals to apply, during the program, for principal certification in Washington state. This program is completed in December and allows you to apply for open principal positions that start the next academic year.
If you already have a master's degree and want to become a principal, Gonzaga offers a stand-alone Principal Certification option that may be a good fit for you. You can learn more about this program here.
Gonzaga offers a standalone Online M.Ed. in Educational Leadership. To be eligible for this program you must have three years of relevant professional experience in the Pre K-12 environment.  

Furthermore, if you have a master’s degree, Gonzaga offers an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. To be eligible for this program at least five years of experience in a Pre K-12 environment is required.

To be eligible for this Master's in Educational Leadership and Principal Certification program, you must have a valid Washington State teaching license.

If you are not interested in gaining principal certification and live outside of Washington State, you can earn an online M.Ed. in Educational Leadership. More information about this program can be found here.  

Gonzaga offers a very competitive tuition. The program costs the credit rate multipled by the number of credits in the program. Tuition rates are evaluated every year.

For current tuition rates and information about how to finance your degree go to our Tuition and Financing page.

Program Experience

The program is a total of 14 courses equaling 42 credits.
You may request to transfer credits, which will require approval of the Department Chair, the Dean of the program, and the Registrar's Office.  A maximum of 1/5 of program credits (6) may be transferred.  

Coursework must be at a distinctive graduate level by the transfer institution and must have been taken within the last five years.  A minimum grade of a B must be earned.  Courses previously applied to a completed degree are not transferable to the student’s current program.
Classes are online in an asynchronous format. You do not have to log on at a scheduled time and have 24/7 access to your online classroom allowing you the flexibility to balance your work, school and personal life.
The retreats allow you to learn in person from faculty, guest speakers, and fellow cohort members. It is an opportunity to visit Spokane and Gonzaga plus allow for valuable collaboration.
While the program is online, there are five retreat days that occur during the program's duration. These occur on Friday and Saturday the first weekend of November, March, and May.
Yes, you will take three classes in the summer of the first year and three classes in the summer of the second year.
Traditionally a cohort is approximately 15 students.
One option for funding during your internship is the Association of Washington State Principals (AWSP) grant. The AWSP Intern grant offers funding while you are interning to mitigate the cost of release from your teaching position. You can find more information on the AWSP website.
Yes, Gonzaga offers a one-time scholarship for this program that you can apply during the application processThere are also other scholarship opportunities you can investigate by visiting our Tuition and Financial Aid page.  

The principal internship is a 600-hour internship. These hours are broken down into sections and consist of: 

  • 270 hours completed during an average school day in the school building.
  • 270 hours completed outside of an average school day or are completed offsite of the school building.
  • 40 hours completed within your district but in other grade level buildings (elementary, middle, high school, alternative school, highly capable, etc.). This is typically done within an average school day. 
  • 20 hours are completed in another school district drastically different in demographics from your other experiences in schools. This is typically done within an average school day.

If you work in a district office, or another area outside of a specific school, your internship can be done with any school in your district. You will need to work with the individual school’s administration to find what opportunities are available.

Your mentor must be a certified principal and must have three years of experience in the role.

No, your principal mentor does not get paid.

Why Choose Gonzaga?

Our program is designed to give you the best possible timing to launch your search for a principal position when districts are getting ready to look for new principals. We also require you to utilize the National Educational Leadership Program (NELPS) standards in your problem of practice. This sets you up for success as you take on a principal position.

You will be assigned a faculty advisor who will work with you throughout the duration of the program to help you meet your academic goals.

We also have a Graduate Student Services Team available to answer your questions and connect you to the resources you need, including: 

  • Program Support 
  • Graduate Student Association 
  • Foley Library 
  • IT Help Desk 
  • Disability Access 
  • Career & Professional Development Services
  • Center for Cura Personalis 
  • Health & Counseling Services 
  • Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center 
  • Rudolf Fitness Center 
  • Transfer, Veteran and Returning Adult Services 
  • Unity Multicultural Education Center 
  • University Mission & Ministry 
Jesuits have been educating people since 1540, and Gonzaga's Master's programs continue to offer the opportunity to pursue a degree that strives to educate the whole person: intellectually, spiritually, physically and emotionally, which is called Cura Personalis.

Gonzaga was founded in 1887 and continues to pursue a mission of educating leaders with a mind for social justice and the capacity for reflective and critical thought.