The Superintendent Endorsement is a non-degree program consisting of 30 semester hours of coursework.

Candidates must already have an Iowa Administration License and at least 3 years of principal experience in order to obtain the superintendent endorsement (State of Iowa Endorsement 171).

Application Deadlines

  • Fall semester – July 1 (April 15 for international students)
  • Spring semester – December 1 (October 1 for international students)
  • Summer session – April 30 (March 1 for international students)

If you have missed a deadline, you may sign up for up to 6 semester hours of classes as a non-degree seeking student.

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from a Regionally Accredited American College or University, or an equivalent degree from another country as determined by the Office of Admissions
  • Undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 or better on a four-point scale
  • English Proficiency Requirements (international applicants)
  • Evidence of academic ability and professional promise
  • Iowa Administration License
  • *At least 3 years as a K-12 building administrator

*If you are applying to a licensure program without having completed three years of teaching/administrative in-school experience, please contact the Program Coordinator directly to explain your circumstances.

Application Process

  1. Create an application account to begin the application process.
  2. Submit the online application to the Graduate College and pay the $60 application fee by credit card ($100 for international applicants).
  3. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive email instructions on how to establish your HawkID and password which you will use to access MyUI, our online service center for students and applicants.
  4. You will use your Admissions Profile on MyUI to upload required supplemental materials.

Required Supplemental Materials

  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
  • Official TOEFL scores may be required for some non-native speakers of English
  • Two to three page (double spaced) statement of purpose, addressing your educational philosophy, past leadership experience, and career aspirations with respect to K-12 leadership
  • *Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to your promise as a leader.* One letter must be from your current district superintendent One letter must be from your current building principal or equivalent. If you are not currently employed as an educator, you may request letters from previous administrators who know your promise as a leader. Please explain your specific situation in your Statement of Purpose.

* You will be asked to give the contact information of your recommenders, including their email, on your Admissions Profile. The recommender will then get an email with instructions on how to upload the recommendation letter and/or form.


Application questions can be directed to: Sue Cline in the Office of Student Services   319/335-5260,

We look forward to receiving your application!

Student Handbook

Educational Leadership Ed.S. and Superintendent Certification

Course and Clinical Requirements

Minimum total semester hours required: 30 s.h.

Core Requirements (18 s.h.)

  • EPLS:6315 Orientation to the Superintendency (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6321 Social Advocacy Summit (1 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6329 Legislative Summit (1 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6323 School Finance (2 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6325 Organizational & Educational Leadership, (2 s.h)
  • EPLS:6319 Human Resources Leadership, (2 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6270 Policy and Politics of Leadership (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6265 Standards-Based Education and Accountability (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6317 Operational Leadership and Management (1 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6405 Supt. Entry Plan (1 s.h.)

*Note: Currently the school finance course above is provided through the Iowa Superintendent’s Finance & Leadership Consortium, a partnership between the University of Northern Iowa & the Iowa Association of School Boards. Students will enroll and participate in the two 2-day sessions offered yearly by ISFLC.

During the first session, all students must take the introductory school finance course. During the second session, students may choose from a variety of school finance related offerings.

Students enroll in this program through University of Northern Iowa Continuing Education, and are expected to then transfer the hours to the University of Iowa so they may count toward the superintendent’s endorsement.

Clinicals (9 s.h.)

  • EPLS:6417 Operational Leadership Clinical (1 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6415 Orientation to the Superintendency Clinical (2 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6419 Human Resources Leadership Clinical (2 s.h.) includes clinical work and Iowa Evaluator Approval Training II and III, through School Administrators of Iowa or local AEA)
  • EPLS:6425 Organizational & Educational Leadership Clinical (1 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6404 Central Administration Clinical (3 s.h.)

Students are required to spend 40 clock hours of effort for each semester hour of clinical courses. Documentation of these hours must be maintained and submitted at the end of the course. Documentation should include date, time spent, description of the activity, and reflections. Each activity must be identified with the corresponding Iowa School Leadership Standard. A syllabus will be provided to guide the clinical activity.

Electives (2-3 semester hours)

Electives should be chosen in close consultation with the student’s academic advisor.

Candidates work as:
  • Superintendents in Iowa
  • Leaders in K-12 school districts
  • Chief administrators in area education agencies
  • Administrators in state or federal departments of education
Application Deadlines
  • Fall semester – July 1 (April 15 for international students)
  • Spring semester – December 1 (October 1 for international students)
  • Summer session – April 30 (March 1 for international students)
Application Questions

Sue Cline
Office of Student Services