Frequently Asked Questions - Advanced Studies Certificate in Superintendency

The University of Northern Iowa's Superintendent Advanced Studies Certificate program is a performance-based program unique in that it minimizes student class time and maximizes on-site skill development while working with a lead mentor and mentors with special expertise. While this program requires a considerable amount of time in internship experience, the feedback from graduates becoming superintendents is the UNI program prepared them well for the superintendency. We recognize that multiple career and personal obligations, as well as travel limitations, may make it difficult to complete a program entirely through on-campus study. The UNI program is offered via interactive video conferencing technologies and online programming. Some summer seminars do include on-campus attendance. The majority of the hours required in this program will also apply towards a doctoral program. Most importantly - upon completion - students are prepared to take on central office responsibilities, AEA administrative responsibilities and school superintendent responsibilities.

See the "Next Steps" tab above for information. If you have any questions, please contact the program coordinator(s) and/or enrollment contact to the right or contact the Office of Continuing and Distance Education at

Upon receipt of a completed application portfolio, the applicant's portfolio will be reviewed.

  • In order to be admitted to the Superintendent Program, applicant must have (or will have upon completion of the program) five years of educational experience (three of which have been as a building principal or other PK-12 district wide or AEA administrative experience).
  • An admission status recommendation will be determined by the Educational Leadership faculty.
  • The Educational Leadership faculty recommends admission to the Department Head for concurrence and approval.
  • Admission decisions will be made each year by mid-December.

 Undergraduate GPA Admission consideration
 3.0 and above May be considered for full admission
 2.75-2.99 May be considered for provisional admission
 Less than 2.75 May be denied admission

There are no entrance exam requirements for this program.

For information about course delivery, please see the "Overview" and "Program Schedule" tabs above.

The program is planned so that students move through the sequence of courses as a cohort group. The first course forms a foundation for the program and includes an induction unit describing the program goals, sequence of courses, standards, rubrics and academic expectations. For that reason, it is important that you enroll and complete the courses in the same sequence. Program faculty expect that students have a growing knowledge of concepts built upon a prescribed sequence of courses. In addition, program faculty work to build an online community as students move through the course sequence together.

While it is often possible to make up courses that are missed, our commitment is to deliver the courses as outlined in the cohort schedule. This is not designed as a program in which students come and go. Rather, the cohort model requires that students take the prescribed sequence in unison. Should you need to miss a course, you should consult with your program advisor for options.

When you have completed the steps to admission and have been accepted into the program, we will send you details and information about how to enroll in the first course. After you participate in the first term of courses in the cohort sequence, the Office of Continuing and Distance Education will notify you with enrollment details for the next term of courses as they become available. You are required to enroll in your courses each semester. 

In general, students complete the full set of courses outlined in the program. It is possible to transfer a limited number of graduate credits. However, this credit must meet the following criteria:

  • Course must be a regular graduate course with a graduate course number (not professional development or college credit through an Educational Agency or conference).
  • Course must be taken by the student in graduate status, and the official transcript must show a grade of B- or better earned.
  • Course must be applicable as a graduate requirement at the institution where it is taken.
  • Course must be taught by regular graduate faculty.
  • Course must meet the UNI seven-year recency requirement.
  • Academic departments will determine whether or not they wish to accept transfer credit even if it meets the above requirements. These criteria were established to prevent credits not intended for use toward graduate degrees (i.e., Area Education Agency/professional development credits) from being used to meet UNI degree program requirements.

Please check with the program coordinator about specific situations and Transfer Evaluation forms.