Instructor explaining different roles in school administration.

Graduate Certificate in Education Administration: Superintendent

The Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Superintendent Graduate Certificate program is designed for post-master’s students seeking the Minnesota K–12 Superintendent license. 

Potential students must possess a master's degree in an education-related field, have completed principal or director of special education licensure (in most cases), and have experience in educational leadership.

Program Curriculum

Courses are intended to provide an understanding of the 13 core competencies and those specific to the superintendency. These include core courses required for all administrative licensure preparation and those required for superintendent licensure: a 320 hour field experience internship (with a minimum of 40 hours at a second district or organization), and EDS 760: The Superintendency, a course covering the specific competencies of the superintendency.

Class Time and Coursework

The course meets four times for full days over the course of the semester of enrollment. During the academic year those sessions are held on Saturdays; during the summer months they are held on weekdays. Through case studies, readings, and discussion, students study the rewards and challenges of the superintendency and interact with panels of current superintendents to gain a wide perspective of the skills necessary to lead today’s districts.


Students who have already earned administrative licensure will complete the course and the internship (for a total of 6 credits) required for superintendent licensure, document their competency in an electronic portfolio, and present their efolio at an exit assessment meeting. Students who have not completed an administrative licensure program prior to starting superintendent licensure are required to complete the core competency courses (27 credits) and include the competencies addressed in the core courses in their electronic portfolio and their exit assessment meeting.

Administrative Licensure Preparation Pathway

The program consists of 33 credits for initial K–12 Principal or Director of Special Education preparation (or 39 credits for both). You may then choose to stop out and obtain a graduate certificate, complete 6 credits towards superintendency preparation, or complete the Ed.S. degree.

Program Outcomes

The following outcomes are state-identified competencies for an educational administration degree from Saint Mary's.

Leadership—Lead educational institutions and departments through collaborative, visionary planning and decision making.

Organizational Management—Manage and evaluate organizational operations including human, monetary, and physical resources for institutional improvement.

Diversity Leadership—Promote, create, and monitor appreciation and cultivation of diversity.

Policy and Law—Interpret, develop, and implement local, state, and federal policy and law.

Political Influence and Governance—Nurture a cooperative alliance of key stakeholders to influence the politics and governance of educational institutions.

Communication—Utilize communication skills essential to inform and facilitate effective organizational communication.

Community Relations—Establish and maintain positive and effective community relations relative to educational institutions.

Curriculum Planning and Development for the Success of All Learners—Facilitate the planning and development of curriculum, assessment, and instruction.

Instructional Management for the Success of All Learners—Design, implement, and support instruction, assessment strategies, and behavior management.

Use Research Effectively—Integrate current research appropriate for all learners.

Human Resource Management—Interpret, apply, and manage policies and procedures, which foster positive and productive performance from faculty and staff.

Values and Ethics of Leadership—Practice ethical leadership, ensuring the best interest of all learners.

Judgment and Problem Analysis—Implement and facilitate problem-solving strategies integrating critical thinking, creativity, logic, and collaboration.

Safety and Security—Create safety and security plans to sustain an emotionally and physically safe educational environment for all.


Policy and Law—Interpret and explain local, state, and federal public policy and law.

Political Influence and Governance—Identify and explain the influencing politics and governance of educational institutions.

Communication—Promote effective relations with school boards, districts, and community members.

Organizational Management—Identify factors affecting school finances.

Judgment and Problem Analysis—Carry out the mission and vision with attention to competing interests.

Gainful Employment Information

Effective July 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education requires institutions with nondegree programs defined as “Gainful Employment programs” to disclose certain information about these programs. Read the report.

From Start to Finish

  • Those holding administrative licensure can prepare to add Superintendency in one to two semesters.
  • The Superintendency seminar is offered regularly at the Twin Cities Campus. Additional cohorts are offered at various locations across Minnesota. Contact us to talk through when cohorts will begin in your area.

Apply Now

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel), and
  2. An official transcript issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated by a university accepted evaluation source, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards).
  3. A reflective essay which includes the following:
    • brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
    • statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and his or her reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
    • description of the areas the applicant considers to be his or her strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
    • personal information the applicant wishes to share.
  4. Two letters of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability; and
  5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
  6. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or MELAB accepted.)

Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities campus.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Office of Admission
2500 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55404


This program is offered at our Twin Cities location and regional cohorts.

Connect With Us

Michelle Dougherty, M.A.

SGPP Admission - Enrollment Counselor Graduate School of Education

LaSalle Hall-TC Campus, LSH112

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5122


William Bjorum, Ed.D.

Educational Specialist in Educational Admin. - Program Director

Mother Teresa Hall-TC Campus, MTH19

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5126

William Bjorum Ed.D.
Carl Wahlstrom, Ed.D.

Associate Director - Education Specialist in Educational Administration, Education - Adjunct Professor

Mother Teresa Hall-TC Campus, MTH21

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 238-4539

Carl Wahlstrom Ed.D.
Matthew Neil

Education Administration Programs - Program Coordinator

The Heights, HT201

Campus Box: # 68

(612) 728-5155

Matthew Neil
Madeline Matthews

MAI - Program Coordinator

Mother Teresa Hall-TC Campus, MTH23

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 238-4562

Madeline Matthews
Jennifer Backer, M.Ed.

Ed.S. in Educational Administration - Adjunct Instructor

Thomas Coughlin, M.S.

Education Admin - Adjunct Assistant Professor

Deborah Hilde, M.A.

Education - Adjunct Program Instructor

(218) 744-7707

Lyle Koski, Ph.D.

Educational Administrative Licensure Program - Adjunct Associate Professor

Susan Manikowski, M.Ed.

MA Education Program - Adjunct Assistant Professor

Karen Mortenson, M.S.

Ed.S. Education Administration Program - Adjunct Associate Professor

Janet Pladson, Ed.D.

Ed.S. In Educational Admin. - Adjunct Assistant Professor

(952) 975-7165

Bruce Santerre, Ed.D.

Ed.S. In Educational Administration - Adjunct Assistant Professor

Susan Slater, Ed.D.

Educational Administration Licensure - Adjunct

Gregory Spath, Ed.S.

Educational Admin Licensure - Adjunct Program Instructor

Campus Box: # 28

(507) 449-0010

Gregory Spath Ed.S.
Beverly Stofferahn, M.S.

Coordinator of Superintendent Licensure Preparation Program, Education - Advisor

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5204

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