Certification

Principal and Assistant Principal Certification

Candidates must possess the proper New York State certification to qualify for principal and assistant principal positions with the New York City Department of Education.

There are various New York State certificates that currently qualify a candidate to serve in a supervisory position in the New York City Department of Education:

  • School Administrator and Supervisor (SAS) certificate
  • School District Administrator (SDA) certificate
  • School Building Leader (SBL) certificate
  • School District Leader (SDL) certificate

Please note that as of September 1, 2007, the SAS certificate was replaced by the SBL certificate and the SDA certificate was replaced by the SDL certificate.

The SAS and SDA certificates are still valid; however, since September 1, 2007, New York State is issuing only the SBL and SDL certificates.

Candidates interested in obtaining the new SBL and SDL certificates should be aware that the minimum requirements for the SBL and SDL certificates are slightly different from the SAS and SDA requirements.

If a candidate holds one of the previously issued supervisory certificates (SAS or SDA):

  • Either certificate can be used for principal, assistant principal, and education administrator positions.
  • Other supervisory positions (e.g., superintendent) require the SDA.

If a candidate holds one of the new supervisory certificates (SBL or SDL); they may not be interchangeable:

  • Candidates for principal, assistant principal, or education administrator positions must have the SBL certificate.
  • Candidates for other types of supervisory positions (e.g., superintendent) must have the SDL certificate.

Please note, the New York City Department of Education does not require or use the School Business Administrator (SBA) or new School District Business Leader (SDBL) certificates.

In the transition from one series of certificates to another, applicants should be aware of the following:

  • Candidates can no longer apply for a provisional SAS or SDA certificate.
  • Candidates may still apply for a permanent SAS certificate as long as they met all requirements by September 1, 2007, or while their provisional certificate was still valid.

For a PowerPoint presentation detailing the new requirements, see Certification of School Leaders.

For additional information, please visit: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/memoceo06-05.html.


For Subject-Based Supervisory Positions (e.g., Assistant Principal-Supervision Mathematics), candidates must also possess a valid New York State teaching certificate in that subject area.

For Candidates with Supervisory Certificates from Other States
If a candidate holds an administrative or supervisory certificate from another state, she/he may be eligible for a New York State certificate through interstate reciprocity.

Even candidates who are certified in another state must apply for and be issued New York State Certification to be considered for supervisory positions with the New York City Department of Education.

If a candidate is certified in another state, she/he must submit a new application with all the required supporting materials (e.g. transcripts, evidence of experience, etc.) to the New York State Education Department.

For Candidates with Internship Certificates from New York State
Please note, the New York City Department of Education does not accept any supervisory Internship certificates.

New York City Certificates of Eligibility 

Note: Candidates for principal and assistant principal positions are no longer required to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Candidates for other supervisory positions – education administrator, and supervisor of – must still apply for a COE using the Supervisory Eligibility Pool (SEP) Web site.

A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) — similar to a New York City license in teaching — is used in New York City to qualify for supervisory positions, such as education administrator and supervisor of, with the New York City Department of Education. Issuance of a COE is based on meeting State certification requirements and the results of a background check conducted via fingerprint screening.

Once a candidate has a New York City COE, she/he is placed in the supervisory eligibility pool (SEP) and is qualified to apply for supervisory positions in that area. Candidates may apply for certificates at any time. Applying for a New York City COE is easy, free, and can be done online. Applications will be reviewed in less than three business days if a candidate has his/her records in order. To learn more about obtaining a COE or to access the COE application, please visit the SEP Web site.


For Candidates with Future-Dated Supervisory Certificates from New York State
If the New York State Education Department has already issued your supervisory certificate with an effective date in the future (certificates are only issued on September 1 or February 1) then you are eligible to apply for principal or assistant positions prior to the effective date. Please note: This applies only to candidates with valid certificates that are not yet effective.

  • If your certificate has been issued effective September 1, then you are eligible to begin applying for positions on May 1.
  • If your certificate has been issued effective February 1, then you are eligible to begin applying for positions on December 1.