GSE School District Leadership Certificate

Certificate: School District Leader Certificate (SDL)

Career Path: Leadership positions in New York State at the school district level such as superintendents, deputy and assistant superintendents, district administrators and supervisors in curriculum areas, and supervisors of pupil personnel services.

Fordham GSE’s Division of Educational Leadership, Administration, and Policy (ELAP) offers coursework, supervised field experience, and other services to support candidates who are seeking SDL certification.

Credits: 15

Start Semester: All

Campus: Lincoln Center or Westchester

Schedule (Full-time or Part-time): Two courses are offered on seven Fridays or five Saturdays during the spring and fall semesters. An intensive summer institute (six credits) and a semester-long district-level internship may both be taken in the summer.

Admissions Information

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: July 1
  • Spring: January 3
  • Summer: April 30

Effective immediately, those applying to the Teaching or Educational Leadership programs at the master's or advanced certificate level are now required to submit standardized GRE or equivalent exam scores with their applications.

Browse the Admissions section for more about the application and financial aid processes.

Certification Prerequisites

  • 60 credits of graduate coursework by the time of completion, which must include a master’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (B or better)
  • Paid, full-time, three or more (3+) years of experience as a school administrator, pupil personnel professional, or classroom teacher by the time of completion
  • Two references (if currently working in a pre-K-12 setting, one reference should be from your current school principal)
  • Proof of immunization against measles, meningitis, mumps, and rubella
  • A satisfactory command of oral and written English

Program Curriculum

Browse course schedules and descriptions and review a list of courses.

Fordham University offers several program options for current and aspiring district leaders who are interested in School District Leader (SDL) certification.

Fordham SBL students: If you earned a master’s degree from Fordham GSE’s ELAP division within the past five years, you only need an additional nine credits to fulfill the SDL coursework requirements. The nine credits can be completed during the summer.

Fordham Ed.D. students: If you are currently pursuing or have completed an Ed.D. in the ELAP division in the past five years, you only need an additional nine credits to fulfill the coursework requirements.

The additional nine credits of coursework for both Fordham SBL and Ed.D. students entail:

  • The Superintendency
  • Boards of Education
  • Clinical Practice in Administration and Supervision (District-Level Internship)

Sample Course Sequence


  • Cases and Simulations in Administration and Supervision
  • Leading a Learning Organization


  • The Superintendency
  • Boards of Education


  • Clinical Practice in Administration and Supervision (can all be taken in the summer)

Fieldwork Requirements

Candidates must complete a semester-long district-level internship which may be taken during the summer, fall, or spring semester after the successful completion of six credits in the program. Fall or spring internships will necessitate that interns have a flexible work schedule in order to complete the minimum 200-hour internship requirement.


GSE Admissions
[email protected]

Gainful Employment Disclosure

See our Gainful Employment Disclosure page.