Licensure programs in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Description of the Program

Licensure programs in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies are designed to assist candidates in acquiring knowledge about leadership in P-12 educational settings. The program provides opportunities for students to develop in-depth understanding about leadership roles and responsibilities, working with external environments, policy development, organizational behavior, and contemporary educational issues.

The Principal's license is required for administrative positions at the school level as well as for some district office positions. The Administrator license qualifies candidates for the superintendency and other positions in the district office. School boards may, however, employ individuals who do not hold the former Type D certificate or Administrator's license.

Matrix of ELPS Courses and Standards

This matrix (in PDF version) provides a quick overview of which courses address each of the Colorado Principal Licensure Standards. The State Board of Education adopted these standards in 2003, and faculty have modified courses and internship experiences to be sure that each contributes to the standards.

Program Approach to Study

Entering students need not possess a master's degree. According to Colorado licensure requirements, the initial three-year provisional license does not require the completion of a master's degree; however, eligibility for a subsequent professional license demands a master's degree. Entering students who do not hold a master's degree must be concurrently enrolled in a master's degree program in educational leadership or a related field. Therefore, students may be eligible for a provisional license before completing the M.A. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. A provisional principal or administrator license is contingent on successfully completing the following program requirements and passing the PLACE exam. In addition, a professional license requires educators to complete an induction program and possess a master's degree.

The Principal License requires a minimum of 27 semester hours of graduate study in ELPS courses.The Administrator License requires a minimum of 30 hours of graduate coursework, or 15 hours in addition to the Principal Licensure. Students may obtain the Ed.D. degree, Ed.S. degree, or master's degree while also working concurrently on a Principal or Administrator license.

Welcome from the Coordinator, Dr. Linda R. Vogel

Thank you for visiting the web site for the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Program at the University of Northern Colorado! The ELPS Program offers degrees at the master's, educational specialist, and doctoral levels and includes learning experiences to meet state standards for the Principal and Administrator Licenses. Our Teacher Leadership Certificate program and Doctoral Minor develop leadership capacity while providing for great flexibility in career goals. We are dedicated to culturally responsive teaching and leadership in all of our programs, including our Native American Innovative Leadership program.

We are fortunate to have a collaborative learning environment that emphasizes learning, teaching, and collegiality. Our faculty has a great deal of practical experience at all educational leadership levels to fully support and develop your leadership skills. We are dedicated to serving our students and ensuring their ability to lead positive change in the educational environment of their choice to improve the learning, achievement, and lives of children and communities.

Our program has been nationally ranked in recent years by U.S. News and World Report and is nationally accredited by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC)/NCATE.  The University of Northern Colorado is also a member of the University Council for Educational Administration which is the leading national association for the preparation of educational leaders and offers many networking possibilities to our graduates.

Please stop by and visit us on the UNC campus in Greeley. If you have any questions about the program, please email We look forward to hearing from you!