Become Certified Administrator






To BECOME CERTIFIED as an Administrator (Principal, Special Education Director, Career Education Director, Superintendent) in Missouri and one or more of the following applies:

  • You have completed an educational administration program in another state and wish to become certified in Missouri

An applicant who completed an educational administration degree program in another state and possesses a valid professional certificate in that state may be granted a Missouri certificate in an area most closely aligned to the certification if Missouri issues such certificate.  If an educator has completed an educational administration degree program in another state (either on campus or online), it would be beneficial to obtain that state's certificate whether one plans to reside in that state or not.  If a professional certificate is not submitted, then the educator will be required to complete all required Missouri coursework and assessments.

  • Complete the online Non-Missouri Graduate application.  All applicants for administrative areas of certification must also apply for a Missouri teaching certificate. The same application may be used to apply for both teaching and administrative areas of certification.
  • Submit remaining items on the Non-Missouri Graduate Application Checklist in one packet to Educator Certification, PO Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102.  We do not accept faxed or emailed application materials.
  • If you have out-of-state teaching and administrative experience, you will need to complete the Verification of Teaching Experience form.
  • As noted within the checklist, if your out-of-state professional certificates have expired, or if you have never held an out-of-state certificate, you must provide an institutional recommendation from the certification officer at the college or university where you completed your educational administration degree program. The recommendation form can be downloaded by clicking on the appropriate button when completing the online Non-Missouri Graduate Application. The form should be mailed back to you to be included in your packet.
  • You have completed an educational administration program through a Missouri institution
    • An Initial Administrator Certificate is the first certificate a new administrator receives. Completion of a master's degree or higher in educational administration from a college or university having an educational administration degree program approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is required. A superintendent certificate requires a minimum of an educational specialist degree.  The applicant must have a recommendation for certification from the designated official for educational administration at the college or university where the program was completed. The applicant must also obtain Missouri's passing score on the appropriate assessments.
    • Complete one (1) online Initial application and submit it to the Missouri institution where you completed your educational administrator program. The institution will complete their portion and then forward the application to DESE for processing. If you hold an expired teaching certificate and have not received a fingerprint background clearance within the past 12 months, you will need to do so.
    • The application processing time is dependent on receipt of background clearance, institution recommendation, official transcripts, and current DESE workload.  Your application status can be monitored online at the bottom of your profile screen and it is beneficial to the expediency of processing that you utilize this mode of checking the status of your certification.
  • You have not completed an educational administration program and are looking for information on how to become certified in an administrative area
    • Our Department does not evaluate transcripts for administrative areas of certification. Please contact a Missouri college or university with an approved educational administration program for further advisement.



To access your certification account (online profile) you must first log into the DESE Application Sign-In with a username and password, and then choose the Educator Certification System link located on the User Applications page. Your certification account (online profile) provides access to each of the following:

  • Apply for a certificate
  • Print out a certificate
  • View a certificate or pending application
  • View assessment scores
  • Check for the receipt of transcripts
  • Check fingerprint/background status

Please Note:  If you have not accessed your certification account in over 5 years, then your account access has been disabled. You will be required to re-register and create a username. Please follow these steps:

  • Step 1 - Go to:
  • Step 2 - Click on "Create Account"
  • Step 3 - Enter the information requested and click "Create User"
  • Step 4 - Once the username has been created, log in with the new username and password
  • Please note that if the "Create User" button is grayed out, try using a different username.
  • If you need additional assistance, please contact the Office of Data Systems Management or 573-522-3207.