School Superintendent Certificate Program

Program Objectives

The Educational Leadership Program at Montana State University offers the Montana School Superintendent Certificate Program to prepare candidates to complete all state requirements for licensure as a School Superintendent in Montana.  The Montana School Superintendent Certificate Program is a 15-credit certificate with coursework designed to be completed through an intensive summer program with a semester long internship following the coursework. 

Program Flow

Students must first apply to the Montana School Superintendent Certificate Program via the MSU Graduate School. This is a leadership cohort program which begins summer semester (typically around May 10), in an online format, but transitions to a face-to-face component on campus for two (2) weeks with the entire cohort, usually during the last two weeks of June.  Applicants to this cohort program must be prepared to participate in this fashion - Skype or other web-based platforms will not be an option. Once accepted to the program, students must enroll and begin summer semester classes by mid-May. 

Program of Study

EDLD 620The School Superintendent3
EDLD 645Personnel and Collective Bargaining in MT3
EDLD 650MT Finance & Facilities3
EDLD 655MT Legal & Policy Studies3
EDLD 574Field Experience in Educational Leadership3
* Field experience is completed in a Montana school district of the candidate's choosing under the supervision of a properly licensed superintendent.
* Students who possess more than five (5) years of principal experience in Montana or five (5) years of experience as a central office administrator in Montana may petition the program to waive the field experience requirement.
Total Credits15

Educational Leadership Faculty

Dr. Jason Cummins, Assistant Professor and Program Leader

Dr. Bill Ruff, Professor 
406-994-4182 Email:

Application Process for Montana School Superintendent Certificate in Educational Leadership

The minimum requirement for admission to the certificate program is a master's degree or current enrollment in a master's program. 

Applicants are required to complete the online application and submit the following documentation via the Graduate School Online Application System.

1. Completed Graduate School Application

2. Academic Transcripts: Applicants must provide official transcripts verifying all Bachelors degree and Masters degree coursework (as well as confirmation of bachelor’s and master's degree earned) from the applicant's certifying university. Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded during the application process. Official electronic transcripts may be emailed directly from the Institution to or  Transcripts may also be mailed to the Department of Education Graduate Programs Office, 215 Reid Hall, PO Box 172880, Montana State University, 59717. Transcripts from a degree awarded through MSU do not need to be provided. NOTE: We require an undergraduate and graduate GPA of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale). Transcripts will be evaluated for rigor and academic fit. 

3. Personal Statement/Essay: Provide a statement that helps us understand your professional goals and aspirations that this certificate will help you realize. Also include your educational background - teaching area of expertise, number of years taught, number of years in school leadership positions, where you currently work, and whether or not you have already been hired into a MT Superintendent position for the upcoming year.

5. Resume/Curriculum Vitae: The resume/curriculum vitae must include the names and contact information of three personal references.

6. For International Applicants ONLY: Please visit the Graduate School International Application Process website for application submission information. 

Application Deadlines

The deadline by which all application materials for the School Superintendent Certificate must be submitted via the online application system is April 1st. Applications are reviewed once per year at the April 1st deadline. Applications received after the deadline may be reviewed for acceptance on a case-by-case basis.

Admission Process

Complete applications will be reviewed by members of the Graduate Admissions Committee who then convene to make final admission decisions. Once a decision has been made the application will be forwarded to The Graduate School for final administrative processing.  Please note that the application review process will begin at the close of the application deadline and not before.

Contact Information 

Dr. Jason Cummins, Chair of School Superintendent Certificate Program


Graduate Program Assistant
PO Box 172880, Reid Hall 215
Department of Education, Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-2880
Phone: 406-994-6786 Email: